Drama producer Bethan Jones and Lucasfilm’s Executive Vice President, Lynwen Brennan, revealed as 2019 Special Award recipients
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in Wales, BAFTA Cymru, has revealed the Special Award recipients for this year’s British Academy Cymru Awards, taking place on 13 October 2019, as announced at this evening’s BAFTA Cymru Nominees Party.
Drama producer Bethan Jones, whose credits include Les Miserables, Sherlock and War and Peace will become the 15th recipient of the Siân Phillips Award. The Award is sponsored by Bad Wolf.
After working first as an actor then freelance director in theatre and TV, Bethan joined BBC Wales in 2002 as the producer responsible for local drama output, producing Pobol Y Cwm and Baker Boys.
From 2005, as Executive Producer at BBC Wales Drama Department, Bethan worked on a number of award winning drama singles and series including Merlin, Sherlock, A Poet in New York, The Long Walk to Finchley, Room at The Top, Hamlet, War and Peace, Under Milkwood and Aberfan: The Green Hollow gaining Emmy and BAFTA nominations.
Since 2017 Bethan’s work as a freelance Producer/Executive Producer has included Mike Bartlett’s Press and Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Les Miserables with Lookoutpoint for BBC One. She has also worked with Cuba Pictures and is currently Executive Creative Director at Playground where she is working on series including Dangerous Liaisons for Lionsgate/Starz. Bethan is developing drama series and singles through a Wales based development hub set up earlier this year.
Bethan said “I’ve been admirer of Sian Phillips all my life and to be included in the esteemed list of recipients of this award which carries her name is a huge honour.”
The Siân Phillips Award, selected by the BAFTA Cymru Committee, has previously been awarded to costume designer Lindy Hemming, writer Abi Morgan, make-up artist Siân Grigg, director Euros Lyn, actor Rhys Ifans, writer Russel T Davies, actor Michael Sheen, actor Ioan Gruffudd, writer/actress/producer Ruth Jones, actor Rob Brydon, actor Matthew Rhys, actor Robert Pugh, producer Julie Gardner and journalist Jeremy Bowen.
The BAFTA Cymru Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television will be presented to General Manager and Executive Vice President of Lucasfilm, Lynwen Brennan. The Award is sponsored by Welsh Government.
As General Manager and EVP of Lucasfilm, Lynwen Brennan oversees all business operations for Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
Her career with Lucasfilm started in 1999 with her role as Technical Area Leader for the Computer Graphics Technical Directors in Lucasfilm’s storied visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic. She rose through the ranks to become President of ILM in 2009 and in February 2015 she was promoted to General Manager and EVP of Lucasfilm.
Prior to joining Lucasfilm, Brennan had 10 years’ experience in visual effects software development at companies such as Parallax Software, Avid Technology and Alias Wavefront.
Lynwen said, “It is both a tremendous honor and a bit surreal to be receiving such a prestigious award from BAFTA Cymru. I am incredibly proud to be Welsh, and never imagined that I would be so honored by the industry and country that I love so much. Having worked with such an amazingly talented group of professionals at Lucasfilm, ILM and Skywalker Sound for 20 years, it is truly a testament to their creativity, innovation and tenacity that I can accept this esteemed award on their behalf.”
Originally from Penally, Pembrokeshire, Lynwen regularly returns to Wales to visit family.
Hannah Raybould, Director of BAFTA Cymru, said: “The BAFTA Cymru Committee selects those individuals at the height of their international careers who are fantastic ambassadors for Wales and the creative industries as recipients of our Special Awards.
Once again this year we are celebrating the illustrious careers and contributions of two female practitioners who are highly-respected and hugely influential in their fields.
We are looking forward to presenting them with their special awards on 13 October.”
The BAFTA Cymru Nominees Party, at which the announcement was made, celebrates the nominees for the upcoming British Academy Cymru Awards across Welsh film, games and television production, craft and performance categories.
Individuals and companies representing the nominated productions gathered at the party, hosted at the Cornerstone venue and sponsored by Mad Dog 2020 Casting. Guests were treated to food from award-wining Spiros Fine Dining, and champagne from BAFTA partner Champagne Taittinger.
BAFTA Cymru Nominees Party Guests in attendance included actress Eiry Thomas (Enid a Lucy/Keeping Faith), actor Richard Elis (Pink Wall) writers Owen Sheers (The NHS: To Provide All People) and Fflur Dafydd (35 Awr/35 Diwrnod), Make Up Artists Claire Pritchard Jones (Keeping Faith) James Spinks (Morfydd/Doctor Who/ Atlantis) and Costume Designer Dawn Thomas Mondo (Hidden/Craith) and filmmakers Jamie Jones (Obey) and Jamie Adams (Pink Wall/Black Mountain Poets), nominated in the Breakthrough category and Film/TV Feature category respectively.
Director Lee Haven Jones (The Bay) also attended, as did production designers Catrin Meredydd (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) and James North (A Discovery of Witches) also attended to celebrate alongside the team behind feature documentary Anorac, which received 6 nominations this year.
Members of the public are invited to join nominees and special guests at this year’s awards. A limited number of tickets are still available for the Champagne reception, ceremony at St David’s Hall, Cardiff and after party at the Radisson Blu hotel - priced at £98.
Details of the nominees and guests attending the ceremony will be announced on 9 October.
The ceremony will be live streamed to BAFTA Cymru’s Facebook and Youtube channels once again this year, with a special viewing event being held by New York Welsh at the Liberty in Manhattan. For the third time, BAFTA will also be live-streaming from the red carpet where viewers will be able to hear from guests as they arrive.
Event sponsors and partners have been confirmed as AB Acoustics, Aberystwyth University, Audi UK, Bad Wolf, BBC Cymru Wales, Bluestone Brewery, Buzz Magazine, Capital Law, Cardiff Council, Champagne Taittinger, Channel 4, Clarins, Cuebox, Da Mhile Gin, Deloitte, DRESD, EE, Elstree Light and Power, Gorilla, Iceland, ITV Wales, Ken Picton Salon, Mad Dog 2020 Casting, Radisson Blu, San Pellegrino/Acqua Panna, S4C, St Davids Hall, Taylor Bloxham, The Social Club, Agency, Trosol, University of South Wales, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Villa Maria, Waterstone Homes, Welsh Government, Working Word and Yr Egin.
Tickets can be purchased from tickets.bafta.org
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.