Best of Welsh Film & TV 2023

Best of Welsh Film & TV 2023

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas nearing and 2023 drawing to a close, we take a look back at some of the best art and cultural offerings to come out of Wales this year. Today, we’re reflecting on the best Welsh film & television of 2023.

We at Wales Arts Review have put our heads together to select our top recommendations for Welsh film and television of 2023; read on for the full list.

Anfamol (TV)

Meaning ‘Unmotherly’, Anfamol is the much-anticipated TV production of Rhiannon Boyle’s 2021 play. Widely acclaimed for its honesty about topics ranging from sex to IVF, and birth to postnatal depression, the show is primarily a monologue, centred on protagonist Ani (played by Bethan Ellis Owen), a forty-year-old woman who makes the decision to become a parent on her own by using a sperm donor. The TV adaptation brings these same topics to life, while still managing to capture the lightness and warmth of the original stage version, completely shattering the fourth wall as it does so. Read Emma Schofield’s take on Anfamol, here.

Dr Who (TV)

Back on our screens and back under the leadership of Russel T. Davies, Dr Who returned to our screens this autumn for the 60th anniversary specials. As David Tennant and Catherine Tate reprise their roles for one last spin around the universe, the series is gearing up for its new Dr in the form of Ncuti Gatwa who will take over the role from the Christmas special. Still being made by BBC Wales and Cardiff-based production company, Bad Wolf, the series continues to take the world of the Dr to a new audience of veiwers.

Samos on Fire: Songs in Asylum (Film)

In a refugee camp in Samos, Greece, a group of musicians from Africa and the Middle East meet up to make music. There is no stopping their sessions despite having to contend with fires, earthquakes, and worst of all… the bewildering asylum process. Samos on Fire, a short-documentary directed by Fareid Atta, follows these refugees and shows us that in a world that often seems divided and fractured, music has the power to bring us together, to remind us of our shared humanity, and to create a sense of belonging and connection that transcends borders and boundaries. Read more about Samos on Fire, here.

Yr Amgueddfa Series 2 (TV)

Returning for round two, Yr Amgueddfa picks up ten months on from when we last saw Della and Caleb. Art crime featured as one of the main plot lines in the first series, with Della working in the National Museum in Cardiff at the time that a Rembrandt mysteriously disappeared from the museum. In this second series, the crime takes something of a back seat. Investigations are underway into what happened with the Rembrandt, but the focus here is closer to home, on the ripple effect which the painting’s disappearance had on Della and her family. Engaging and eerie, with questions and intrigue hanging in the air, this is sure to entice you onto your sofa and click the telly on. Read the full review, here.

Wolf (TV)

Adapted from the international best-seller Mo Hayder detective novels, Wolf puts front and centre the fairy tale macabre that promises to serve the drama so well. Families – youngsters in particular – are in peril, hunted by whatever watches from the woods. Few here are who they pretend to be, and from the off viewers are made aware that nobody can be trusted, disguises will be shed, torn off, and innocence only really exists to be tarnished and despoiled.

Amleddau (Film)

Released earlier this year to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the BBC, Amleddau is an experimental film that explores the history of broadcasting in Wales through archive and soundscapes commissioned by BBC Radio Cymru. Read more about how John Meirion produced Amleddau, here.

Pren ar y Bryn (TV)

A new surreal drama from S4C. Change is on the horizon in Penwyllt and the folk who live there know that the town they once loved is about to disappear before their eyes. No one more than Margaret and Clive, who are shaken from their normal lives into the middle of a great mystery.

Steeltown Murders (TV)

At home in Wales, 70s hardman Londoner (in Life on Mars, at least) Philip Glenister has come over the Prince of Wales Bridge to don accent, overcoat, and moustache to give a turn as Paul Bethell, a police detective with the weight of the world on his shoulders. In Steeltown Murders we learn that weight is the result of a spate of unsolved murders from, as it happens, the 1970s, in the Port Talbot area. Read Gary Raymond’s full review, here.