Y Streic A Fi, fully subtitled, 9pm S4C Sat 21st Feb, then Tues 24th Feb, plus subsequently on BBC I Player
So interesting things happen when a 300 page novel gets condensed down to a 90 minute film. Storylines get edited out, characters disappear or morph into different characters representing same theme, and graphic elements, like violent sex, may disappear. But there may be more gain than loss:
In my story, there’s a fashion show where the miners wives and daughters raise money. This got taken out early on in making the screenplay and I was disappointed. It was important to me to show resourceful the characters were – and how much glamour can matter when you’re feeling mariginalized, frightened and possibly en route to becoming down and out.
I kept schtum about my disappointment, as others more fitted than I were developing the screenplay and I was appropriately at a distance. My baby had gone. So I was thrilled when during filming, this scene reappeared…
I was very lucky in that Ashley Way, director, totally got my story and themes. And masterful Gwyneth Lewis- who is a pretty grand fromage globally as a poet – doing her first screenplay, dug out all the most powerful story turns. Owen Powell, formerly of Catatonia, who did the music, created a beautiful, elegaic soundtrack. And the actors really went for it.
Before becoming totally luvvie, I’ll shut up here, and for you, my readers, here are the distinctive elements that I think leapt out of this novel, yelling ‘ Film me, please, film me!’
And if you watch the film, please enjoy and have hankies to the ready.