Apostle, a new feature film starring acclaimed Welsh actor Michael Sheen and star of Beauty and the Beast Dan Stevens, is currently being filmed in South Wales.
US-based producers XYZ Films have linked up with Cardiff-based production company, Severn Screen, to produce the latest film from acclaimed Welsh director Gareth Evans, whose previous films The Raid and The Raid II were global hits.
Apostle was commissioned by Netflix and will debut exclusively on the streaming service worldwide in 2018.
Support from the Welsh Government has ensured that the entire shoot and all post-production work on Apostle will be undertaken in Wales, providing a £5m plus boost to the economy.
Economy Secretary Ken Skates described Apostle as a ground-breaking production for Welsh film.
“We are thrilled that Apostle will be distributed worldwide through Netflix and will provide a global platform for Welsh acting, directing, production and post production talent. I am delighted Welsh Government support was able to help secure the project for Wales.”
Wales Screen, part of the Welsh Government’s creative industries team, has been working with the producers since July 2016, to maximise the economic benefits for Wales. This has involved hosting site visits and identifying key locations for the film, including Margam Park where an elaborate village set has been built for the film.
Ed Talfan, head of Severn Screen, said:
“We are excited to be working with Gareth and the team at XYZ. From the outset they were keen to bring the project to Wales - it’s been a joy working with them to help make that happen. We look forward to bringing similarly ambitious projects to Wales in the future.”
Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films: said
“We’re thrilled to be working here in Wales. It has always been a dream of Gareth’s to make films in his home country, and the support of the Welsh government has helped us make that a reality.
“We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of our Welsh crew. We hope this film will serve as a foundation for many more productions in Wales.”
Set in 1905, Apostle tells the story of a man (Stevens) who travels to a mysterious island off the coast of the UK in search of his estranged sister. On arriving he encounters a community led by enigmatic preacher (Sheen) who harbours a deep and terrifying secret.
The film also stars Welsh actor Mark Lewis Jones, winner of the 2016 BAFTA Cymru Best Actor Award for his role in Severn Screen’s film Yr Ymadawiad (The Passing).
“The project is a great opportunity to champion Welsh crews, Welsh cast, Wales based facilities houses and Welsh locations.
“Severn Screen is committed to developing and supporting the sector in Wales, and this is an important step forward for us.”
Welsh facilities houses Cinematic and Bang are set to deliver post-production work on the film while local suppliers will also see spin-off benefits within the supply chain.