My name is Gerald Lewis and I am a Welshman now living in Portland Oregon. I grew up near Llantrisant, a small town 10 miles outside of Cardiff. After attending Grammar school in Cowbridge I went on to Swansea College of Art, studying photography and film.
Graduating college I was taken on by BBC Wales, where I worked in their film department, starting as an assistant film cameraman and working my way up to Lighting Cameraman.
During this time I worked on many documentaries – some of which have won awards in different film festivals across Europe and Scandinavia.
After several years traveling and working in Europe, (HTV, S4C, Swedish Television) I accepted a position in Saudi Arabia as a documentary producer. It was there I met my American wife and moved to Portland.
I am currently working on the production of a documentary – which will examine small cultures living inside of larger, dominant ones, one that will document Wales and the Welsh.
With the oldest language still in use in Europe and a literary tradition alive since the 6th century, the Celts of Wales have inhabited this corner of Europe since before the Pyramids were built.
The language and the history of Wales is one of a culture that has survived where many fell to the colonist powers of the recent centuries. Speaking Welsh was extremely restricted for many years, and children found speaking it in school were severely punished.
Despite this Wales has retained it's culture and it's language, to the extent that schools are now actively teaching Welsh, the people of Wales now have their own parliament, there are dual language (English and Welsh) on all road signs and official documents and there is now Welsh language Television and Radio broadcasting.
What is it about Wales and the Welsh that has allowed them to flourish where so many other cultures in a similar position have been absorbed into the larger more dominant one?
I intend to examine the influence of the mountainous, sometimes formidable landscape of Wales and it's influence in shaping the Welsh Character.
It will be a look at the people, concentrating on those that work closest to the land together with the artists and musicians whose work is inspired by their environment. Through interviews and samples of the artists work, overlaid with video depicting the landscape in all it's beauty and splendor, I intend to explore this link.
Support the project here:- http://kck.st/dNouLw