Broadcasting and filmmaking in Wales are booming, with studios and creatives producing award-winning films, shorts and TV programmes, from Y Golau to His Dark Materials. With this in mind, the industry needs professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and with a wide variety of skill sets. That’s where Culture Connect Wales (CCW) comes in.
While it may have officially launched in September 2021, CCW has been in the making since 2015 when Diverse Cymru produced a report on the lack of diversity in film and TV. To try and combat this, CCW was formed as a community-led initiative and platform to encourage and facilitate diversity in the broadcast media sector. It’s a collaboration between the diverse ethnic communities of Wales, the film and TV industry, and the Welsh Government via us, Creative Wales.
The aim? To remove traditional barriers to access for ethnic communities in all subgenres of the industry, from writers, researchers and directors, to producers, wardrobe assistants, hair and makeup artists, and all sorts of administrative roles. CCW connects racially diverse communities with the film and TV sector in ways that haven’t happened before, opening doors to more people and pushing the industry forward in learning how to work with racially diverse communities in the process.
Working with industry big hitters, including BBC Cymru Wales, Channel 4, S4C, and ITV Cymru Wales among others, CCW (led by Watch Africa CIC) acts as the link between the industry and individuals. The website offers guidance to those thinking of a career in film and TV but not quite sure where they fit in, as well as listing the latest job opportunities for those with experience.
There’s also a space for talent to showcase themselves with a personal profile highlighting their skills, experience and background. While on the flip side, production companies and other organisations related to the industry can create their business profiles to promote training and career opportunities and connect with talent. For those working in the industry, CCW provides support on how to make productions and workplaces inclusive. The initiative also hosts workshops and masterclasses for communities to find out more about working in film and TV.
Since its launch, we’ve worked closely with CCW to turn their ambitions and goals into realities. As well as funding, which helps communities, we have also connected CCW with leading industry bodies so that they can collaborate with them.
Ultimately, the initiative wants to make sure that the stories we share in our film and TV industry – and the people who tell them – better reflect our rich and diverse population here in Wales.
Head to the Culture Connect Wales website to discover more of their work. In the meantime, here’s a quick round-up of how it helps diverse communities in Wales:
- It provides platforms for communities and the film and TV industry to connect
- It provides opportunities for racially diverse communities to get into the sector
- It supports the sector to be an inclusive place for staff – and therefore a better place to work