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Family stories come to life with Hatch

Ffilm Cymru Wales has launched a new programme to support the development of live-action family films.

Ffilm Cymru’s ‘Hatch’ programme will develop up to four live-action family films based on existing IP, and will support filmmaker and venue understanding of how to cater for that audience. Targeted training events and activities that bring kids into the development process will provide filmmakers with a unique opportunity to gain feedback from their target audience and to benefit from the advice of experts in the field.

Hatch is a response to the relative scarcity of independent live-action family films currently in the market, which corresponds with a lack of culturally and socially diverse film stories for families and children to enjoy. A partnership with respected children’s publisher Chicken House Books, Ffilm Cymru’s programme is launched on the heels of their new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which identifies age as an area of focus, along with gender, sexuality, disability, race & ethnicity, socio-economic status and the Welsh language.

Ffilm Cymru’s Head of Creative Business Kimberley Warner comments: “The ability for children of all backgrounds to see stories and characters they relate to on the big screen is crucial for their social wellbeing and to their participation in the film industry throughout their life. Independent filmmakers have the potential to challenge and revitalise the film industry and we’re excited to see what they come up with in this often overlooked but most influential of genres.”

Chicken House founder Barry Cunningham comments: "Nothing is more exciting for authors than to see their stories take life on screen - and we love being part of such a great initiative enabling new talent!"

As with all of Ffilm Cymru’s film funding, feature length projects involving a wales born or based writer, director or producer will be prioritised. Projects with Welsh cultural value will also be considered. Hatch projects will also need to be based on existing IP, whether that be a book, game, stage play or other form of IP.

Writers or writer/producer teams interested in applying to take part in the programme can register to attend a free training event in Cardiff on the 29th May here.

This first Hatch training event will include panel sessions with industry experts covering subjects such as Genre in the Market, Book to Film Adaptations, Engaging Audiences, and Commercialising IP, and includes a free networking lunch. Speakers include Matthew Baker from Hanway, Tim Collins, The Brand Director, The Observer's Simran Hans, and Sam Missingham, founder of Lounge Books and previously Head of Audience Development at Harper Collins.

Writers or writer/producer teams wishing to take part in the Hatch programme should submit an Expression of Interest form by the 29th June at 17:30. We will then shortlist projects, inviting applicants to complete a full application form by the 3rd September at 17:30. Full guidelines and the application form for Ffilm Cymru’s Hatch programme can be found here.

Individuals interested in having their say about the current film provision for family audiences, can take part in Ffilm Cymru’s survey here. Film education practitioners and exhibitors in Wales interested in finding out how they can get involved with the Hatch programme should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ffilm Cymru’s Hatch programme will be followed by Fledgling: a programme orientated around films for the distinct young adult demographic, which they welcome partnership on.