Welsh film industry comes of age, says advisor

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Media captionWriter David S Goyer has also written scripts for Batman, Blade and Superman movies

New US blockbuster Da Vinci's Demons - filmed in Swansea with support from the Welsh government - is preparing to hold its UK premiere in south Wales.

The historical fantasy written by Dark Knight co-writer David S Goyer will be broadcast on TV on Friday.

It was mainly shot at a specially-built studio on an old car plant with some filming in castles and monuments.

The Welsh government say they fought off competition from rival locations in Canada and Eastern Europe.

Government advisor Ron Jones said producers of the series, which will be shown in 200 countries, have made a long-term commitment that will provide an economic kickback for the Welsh film industry.

But then there was a firm Welsh influence from the very start.

Cardiff-born Julie Gardner, credited as the creating force behind the revival of Doctor Who, is executive producer.

"We looked all over the world for possible locations but it was the creativity and experience of the production talent that made Wales the obvious choice," she said.

"It's less a case of bringing Hollywood to south Wales and more truthful that to say that Wales has shown Hollywood how high the bar can be raised in television production."

Mr Jones added that Wales' proximity to Heathrow was another advantage and the technical skills of people on offer in Wales made it easier to sell the country internationally.

Image caption The show is due to be launched in the UK on the Fox digital channel on Friday

In the audience at the premiere being held at Neath's Gwyn Hall will be some of the thousands of local businesses, students, craftspeople, organisations and individuals who helped with the making of the show.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart, who is also due to attend the event, said she was delighted that Wales was hosting the UK premiere, following in the footsteps of Florence and Cannes where it was also premiered.

"Da Vinci's Demons has provided a great boost for Wales and our creative industries sector as well as providing great exposure for the Swansea Bay area specifically," she said.

"Its success will reflect on the expertise and capability in Wales and the abundant talent we have here."

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