Cornish language drama to focus on Cornwall’s folk history and the challenges of domestic abuse
Recipients of the Cornish Language Office (CLO) 2019 FylmK award are set to produce their latest film this coming autumn. In a hard-hitting drama that deals with both the challenges of domestic abuse and Cornwall’s folk history, screenwriter Samuel Jay Chessell and director Jonny Dry’s Cornish language drama An Tarow (The Bull) is an ambitious film that looks to shed a light on the lesser seen areas of the county.
Set in the present day, the film is scheduled to be produced in October across inland and coastal Cornwall, including Camborne, Redruth and West Penwith. With early fundraising secured through the CLO, the production team are now looking for further crowdfunding from the Cornish community to support the production and help bring the Cornish language to the big screen. More information can be found here.
With a number of local crew and cast set to be involved, the production team is also utilising the support of local primary schools – some of whom have already developed successful Cornish language projects through the support of Golden Tree – to provide further opportunities for schools to witness the Cornish language being successfully used.
The FylmK fund is part of the on-going work by the Cornish Language Office to increase the use of Cornish across the county. Since 2011 the CLO has been working with schools, colleges, local organisations and the wider community to encourage engagement with the Cornish language. Other on-going projects include Radyo an Gernewegva, a Cornish online radio station; music and dance festival Lowender Peran; and two learning and communications projects to develop both social and technological engagement with the language.
To aid the funding of the production, the team behind An Tarow are turning to the wider Cornish community and beyond to help raise extra funds which will allow for the production to bring on extra resource for both production and post-production. They hope such an appeal will be of interest to anyone who has a passion for the Cornish landscape but also seeing the Cornish language represented on screen.
Speaking about the fundraising project, producer Ella Turner said, “we hope that this will be a real opportunity for local people to become directly involved with the production and take ownership over a grassroots project. Fundraising in this way, alongside what we’ve received from the Cornish Language Office, is a great way to reach out to a community of people early on and create a real relationship with those who want to see this project made.”
Speaking about the vision for the film itself, director Jonny Dry said “what really made this project so interesting was the balance that Sam’s script struck between a modern day setting with the more lyrical Cornish language and folk history. For me what this project about is twofold: making these important parts of the county’s culture and history relevant to a contemporary Cornwall; but also highlighting issues, and areas of the county, which often go under the radar in many depictions of Cornwall. Film is a great way of making this accessible for all; telling a powerful and emotional drama where the language feels part of the drama and enhances the issues the film is raising.”
Speaking about the up-coming production Mark Trevethan from the CLO said, “it was another strong year for submissions and we are excited to see how An Tarow comes alive on screen. FylmK is an annual competition to create new film in Kernewek, the Cornish language. The aim is to give opportunities for film makers in Cornwall to tell original stories in our language, and for audiences to hear Cornish being spoken.”
Cornwall Council continues to fund the Cornish language programme. This is intended to ensure the protection of our endangered language and support its continued use and contribution to economic and social life in Cornwall today. Cornwall Council provides strategic leadership for the programme, promotes official use of Cornish and puts in place core infrastructure to support the network of volunteers and community groups.
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