Leading Welsh indie Wildflame Productions has been commissioned to make the 14-part series Evacuees / Efaciwis (w/t) for S4C. The landmark series will explore the  civilian evacuations to Wales during World War Two.

Evacuees / Efaciwis (w/t) will comprise a 4 x 60 minute factual living history format for the main channel; an 8 x 30 minute children’s series on the S4C kids brand Stwnsh; and two 60-minute documentaries.

A language and social experiment, the Evacuees / Efaciwis (w/t) four-part living history format, co-hosted by Good Morning Britain’s Sean Fletcher and news broadcaster and presenter Sian Lloyd, will recreate wartime Britain in the remote rolling hills of North Wales. Taking non-Welsh speaking children from the UK’s largest cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester, the series will see its contributors living the 1940s evacuee experience in rural Wales.

The programming was commissioned by Sioned Wyn Roberts and Llinos Wynne for S4C. The Executive Producer for Wildflame Productions is Llinos Griffin-Williams and the series will be produced by Sioned Geraint and directed by Iwan England.

“None of the cast will speak any Welsh and most have never been to Wales before,” says Llinos Griffin-Williams, Creative Director, Wildflame. “Transported back in time to the 1940s rural North Wales, they will have to face the same social and language challenges that their counterparts faced 80 years ago. We will draw on a range of experts and personal testimonies from real evacuees who lived through the experience to unpack the themes of wartime Britain and give a new context to the experiences young people faced at the time.”

The four-part living history format will be accompanied by a children’s series. Using actuality shot from the main family four hours, as well as pop art graphic effects packaging, testimonial and historical take-outs, this series is designed as a fun and informative look at the evacuees’ experience.

Wildflame will also make two additional hour-long documentaries. The first will contextualise the role of Wales in WW2. The second hour-long documentary looks at how Wales still offers shelter to those in need today, meeting modern-day refugees who have made a home for themselves across Wales and examining the challenges they face, just like their counterparts in the 1940s.

Amanda Rees, S4C Director of Creative Content said: “This commission will be one of our key upcoming campaigns with a range of specialist formats for children, insightful documentaries and digital supplementary content too.”

The series is made in partnership with the National Library of Wales. Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian of the National Library of Wales, adds: “Empowering learning and research is a key strategic objective of The National Library of Wales and collaborations of this kind enable us to be part of innovative and creative projects that bring Welsh history to life.”

Jon Creamer

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