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Welsh indies receive £500,000 from Europe

Sgrîn Cymru Wales have announced that three Welsh independent television production companies have secured almost £500,000 from the European Union's MEDIA Plus TV production fund.
Obtained by Cardiff-based companies Boomerang, Teledu Opus and Kirk Productions, the funding will support co-production partnerships between Welsh and European broadcasters, leading to the production of TV programmes for the international marketplace.
“The success of Welsh independents in attracting MEDIA Plus development funding is well established,” commented Gwion Owain, MEDIA Antenna Wales Co-ordinator at Sgrîn. “However, to succeed in attracting such a large contribution from production funds breaks new ground in Wales' relationship with the MEDIA Plus programme and serves as a testimony to the increasingly international outlook of the TV production industry in Wales."
Boomerang received £167,000 to fund an exciting new co-production with HTV Wales, Derwen and RTE in Ireland. 'The Chosen', a 12 part, supernatural series, is currently being filmed in Cardiff and Dublin.
Huw Eurig Davies, Managing Director of Boomerang and present chair of industry trade association, Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru, said: “MEDIA's financial support puts in place the final block of funding for this international production. The Chosen is an innovative series featuring a cast of new and exciting young Welsh and Irish talent, which will appear on screen in 2004.”
Caryl Ebenezer of Teledu Opus, who received £76,000 for their three-part documentary 'The Normans', said: “ We’re delighted to have been successful in securing funding for our new exciting documentary series, a co-production with UK History, France 5 and Teilifis Gaelige 4 in Ireland. The funding will enable us to further enhance the quality of this historical series, which will have broad international appeal. The direct impact of this collaboration with MEDIA Antenna at Sgrîn can only serve to strengthen our standing on the European stage.”
Penelope Middelboe, Director of Kirk Productions, added: “Putting together funding of £2m for an animated pre-school series has never been more difficult, but with MEDIA’s £208,000 we may even be able to retain some rights for ourselves!”
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