Meet Afanti Media: the family-run production company famed for creating high-quality content for the likes of BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and Sky. Since it was founded by Emyr Afan and Mair Davies in 1997, the company has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent television producers. It now boasts a 70-strong permanent workforce, offices in Cardiff, Manchester and London and a roster of freelance contributors.
Its back catalogue is filled with much-loved TV shows, such as Songs of Praise, Jonathan, and Life Drawing Live with Joe Lycett, which was shortlisted for a BAFTA for Best Live Event. Over the years, we’ve supported some of Afanti’s productions, including the pilot for The Perfect Pitch – a daytime caravanning show voiced by Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page – which we part-funded.
After securing the commission for the first 20 episodes, Afanti brought in just under £800,000 of production to Wales on that project alone. The series was a success, and they’re now gearing up for a second due to be released this year. Securing this second series means the company can continue to hire highly skilled and creative talent in Wales.
Another production we’re financially supporting is One Moonlit Night Un Nos Ola Leuad –based on one of Wales’ most famous novels. The co-production with S4C is set to be the first Welsh-language opera ever to be translated on Channel 4.
Alongside Afanti’s impressive roster of TV productions is an equally impressive list of events and outside broadcasts, including the MOBOs and 6 Music Festival, which was held in Cardiff in April 2022. The company also organised the popular Full Ponty Festival where they brought international bands such as Paramore to Pontypridd – as well as showcasing homegrown talent such as Feeder and Funeral for a Friend.
Back in 2000, the company took over the Pop Factory in Porth, Rhondda and transformed it into a renowned valleys music venue. Welsh legend Sir Tom Jones – who is a shareholder in the company – famously opened the Pop Factory for Afanti by smashing a bottle of dandelion and burdock against the former drinks factory walls.
A lot has changed since then, and 2022 is set to be a big year for Afanti – for a start, it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary. After selling to Sky in 2018, the family bought back their business two years later.
A recent change in name from Avanti to Afanti was a clear sign to the industry that the business was evolving. There was also a shake up within the team, with Emyr and Mair handing over the legacy to their daughter and son, Naomi and Osian, who are ready to take Afanti through the next 25 years.
What does that mean for the brand and business? Afanti is focusing on innovating and progressing. They want to sell their products worldwide and continue to build a successful ecosystem for film and TV in Wales. With fresh faces at the helm and the reclaiming of their identity and business, the company is set on making sure Wales gets the respect and recognition it believes it deserves in the global film and TV industry.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Afanti, here are some projects you should check out:
- The Perfect Pitch – the second series of the Channel 4 hit that follows families as they search for the best campsites in the UK
- One Moonlit Night Un Nos Ola Leuad – a noisy, passionate homegrown Welsh opera set in Bethesda, North Wales. Directed by Mark Evans of Manhunt and The Pembrokeshire Murders, the production will be broadcast on Channel 4
- Wales Screen Summit – Held in June, the summit offered the chance for industry professionals to come together and discuss the industry in Wales