Published on: 13 November 2019 in Industry

Remembering Paul Turner

Reading time: 1 minutes and 27 seconds

A still from <i>Hedd Wyn</i>. Source: BFI Player.
A still from Hedd Wyn. Source: BFI Player.

We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Paul Turner, an Oscar-nominated director of Welsh-language film and TV.

Though he was born in Devon in 1945, Paul learned Welsh while working at the BBC as a film editor. In the late eighties, Turner directed the Welsh-language TV movies There’s Always Two (1987) and Becca (1988). However, it was in 1992 that directed Hedd Wyn, for which he was best known. 

Hedd Wyn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film — and was the first Welsh Language film to be nominated for an Academy Award. The film also won the RTS Award for Best Single Drama, and several BAFTA Cymru Awards. 

He would continue to direct Welsh-language work throughout the 90s, including My Pretty Valley (1993), Wild Justice (1994) and the TV drama Pork Pie (1998).

S4C director Amanda Rees described Turner as “a man with vision and a fire in his heart for all things Welsh and the Welsh language and his desire to portray that on film.” 

Paul Turner passed away on 1 November 2019, at the age of 73. 

Hedd Wyn is available to watch for free on BFI Player. 

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