Wildflame Productions has been commissioned to make the 14-part series Evacuees / Efaciwis for S4C. This landmark series will explore the full breadth of civilian evacuations to Wales during World War Two.
Evacuees / Efaciwis 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 unique language and social experiment; Efaciwis’ 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, this ambitious series will see its contributors living the 1940s evacuee experience in rural Wales.
“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. It will undoubtedly be a very powerful series.
“Wildflame has a proven track record of delivering big ambitious factual series and flagship shows. S4C has given us the opportunity, with this commission, to make a document of the evacuee experience here in Wales that is overarching by its very nature. Commissioned across Factual and Childrens, we are thrilled that S4C have entrusted us with making this comprehensive document of our Nation’s history and one that will aim to inform and entertain across a full spectrum of ages.”
The four-part living history format will be accompanied by a children’s series. Using actuality shots from the main family for four hours, as well as vibrant pop art graphic effects packaging, testimonial and historical take-outs, this series will be 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: “We are thrilled to commission this ground-breaking and diverse series. Efaciwis is an authentic experiment that combines elements of history and language. Our viewers will be able to follow the fascinating journey of eight children from English cities as they try to cope with Welsh life in pure Welsh communities. 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. We can’t wait to bring this unique collaboration to the screen this winter.”
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 added: “I’m very much looking forward to seeing the impact of this exciting new series. 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. A new generation of young people will be able to explore first hand the 1940s evacuee experience of many children from the UK’s largest cities and draw new perspectives on the civilian evacuations to rural Wales during World War Two.”
Evacuees / Efaciwis 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.
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