News Story

Being able to communicate and tell stories in more than one language, we think, is a superpower.

In Petula, writer Daf James blends Welsh, English and a little French to create something that’s entirely unique (and there are always subtitles on hand to help out when you need them). It got us thinking about the power of language and storytelling, and how it can connect us.

So, with this in mind, we gave three young creatives from Cardiff University, all postgraduates on the MA Digital Documentaries course, the opportunity to create their own micro-docs exploring the theme of bilingualism. Here we reveal more about each filmmaker and share their work.

Dewi Morris from West Wales heads to Oasis in Cardiff - a charity for refugees and asylum seekers - to meet Joseph Gnagbo, a refugee from Ivory Coast who’s turned his language skills to teaching.

“I enjoy showcasing different subcultures through my documentaries. I wanted to interview Joseph to celebrate multilingualism, to bring people from different cultures together and to reinforce that refugees are welcome in Wales.

I think it’s important to show that it is possible to learn a second language (or third, or fourth!) and by doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of other cultures.”

Deio Jones from Anglesey explores the role that language plays in making music with classical singer Owain, from Llandeilo and Ifan, lead singer of band Gwilym, also from Anglesey.

“I’m an early-career filmmaker and am exploring different ways of making films - I haven’t found a definitive style yet and I really enjoy experimenting. I wanted to share this story to demonstrate the opportunities that become possible when you speak other languages. I’m a firm believer that it’s only ever going to benefit you in all areas of your life.

Interviewing both Owain and Ifan opened my eyes to thinking about the role that language plays when making music. Language becomes almost a science when you’re creating music in different languages.”

Rhiannon Jones from Maesteg takes her inspiration from Francesca Elena Sciarrillo, winner of the National Eisteddfod’s Welsh Language Learner of the Year award 2019. Francesca, from Ruthin, discusses the impact language has on her identity and sense of belonging.

“Sharing people’s stories and what makes them unique really interests me. Through this project, I wanted to discuss language in a personal way, which is why I chose to share Francesca’s story. I’d like to see Welsh-language learners represented more through the media and celebrating multilingualism is a great way to do that.

Through making this film I’ve been reminded that people’s relationships with languages are unique; this process made me think about my own relationship with both the Welsh and English language, and how they contribute to my identity. I'd like to help people realise that languages have a personal and emotional value, that you can't put a price on.”