Megan Thomas looks ahead to the upcoming BAFTAs to see what audiences can expect.
The much-anticipated British Academy Of Film & Television Arts Awards in Wales, or BAFTA Cymru, will be taking place on Sun 14 Oct at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. The event, now in its 27th year, is sticking to what it knows with presenters, with Huw Stephens due to present the ceremony for the fourth year.
On Thurs 4 Oct, the recipients for the Siân Phillips Award and the BAFTA Special Award were announced at the nominees’ party at Cornerstone, Cardiff and will be presented as usual at the Sun 14 ceremony. The Siân Phillips Award, dedicated to multi-award-winning Welsh actress Phillips, is given to a Welsh man or woman who has made a meaningful contribution to international feature filmmaking or network television. This year, the Siân Phillips Awards is going to Lindy Hemmings, an Oscar-winning costume designer who has worked on Wonder Woman, Paddington and Casino Royale. The BAFTA Cymru Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television this year is Mavis Nicholson, who was the UK’s first ever female chat show host. Born in Neath, from the 70s until the 90s, she interviewed names as star-studded as David Bowie, Lauren Bacall, Nina Simone and Kenneth Williams.
Seeing familiar names like previous winner Rhod Gilbert and previous nominee Beti Jones is of course exciting, but often something we come to expect. Thus, one of the best parts about the nomination process and the awards ceremony are the first-time nominations, showing that excellence in broadcasting and production in Wales is continually expanding. Most notably on this point, Charlotte Church and Gareth Thomas receive first-time nominations in the Presenter category.
Welsh thriller series Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher leads alongside Born To Kill, with six nominations each. Impressively, the latter – a Cardiff-filmed mini-series – stands out for the fact that lead actor Jack Rowan has already been nominated by BAFTA for the same role in 2018. Earlier this year, during the UK-wide TV BAFTAs, he lost only to Sean Bean in Broken. Not bad for a 21-year-old.
BAFTA Cymru strives to identify and reward excellence, inspiring creators and practitioners. But more importantly, it provides a stage for Wales to showcase its cultural density and relevance. BAFTA Cymru teaches us of art’s capacity to invoke community, bringing together nominees from all corners of Wales, and hopefully the upcoming award ceremony will illustrate this with flair.
BAFTA Cymru Awards, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Sun 14 Oct. Tickets: £55-£100. Info: www.bafta.org