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The film's co-star Nia Roberts
"Members of the Academy have been up to us personally and said how much they enjoyed the film"
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Monday, 27 March, 2000, 11:19 GMT
Welsh movie misses Oscar glory
Ioan Gruffudd and Nia Roberts in Solomon and Gaenor
Ioan Gruffudd and Nia Roberts in Solomon and Gaenor
A Welsh-produced movie starring Hollywood hot property Ioan Gruffudd has missed out on Oscar glory.

Solomon and Gaenor was beaten in the best foreign language film category by the Spanish film, All About My Mother.

We didn't win this time, but we're here so - in a way - we won

The film's leading lady Nia Roberts
But according to the film's leading lady Nia Roberts, the movie was well-received by the judges.

"Members of the Academy have been up to us personally and said how much they enjoyed the film," she said at the Oscars ceremony.

"We didn't win this time, but we're here so - in a way - we won."

Solomon and Gaenor was recorded in three languages - Welsh, English and Yiddish - and is a classic tale of forbidden love.

It tells the story of a Jewish pedlar (Gruffudd) masquerading as a middle-class Protestant.

He falls in love with the daughter of a miner in an early 20th Century south Wales mining community bedevilled by anti-semitic sentiment.

Before the winner was announced, Gruffudd said: "I'm over the moon and thrilled for Paul Morrison who wrote and directed the film.

"It was brilliantly translated into the Welsh language. It's great to again show the world what Wales has to offer."

Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd: Hot property
The S4C-produced movie follows in the footsteps of the Welsh-language World War I film Hedd Wyn - nominated in the same category five years ago.

Both stars of the film were warmly congratulated at the National Assembly following confirmation that Solomon and Gaenor had been nominated.

New First Secretary Rhodri Morgan described it as "a huge achievement" which would raise the profile of Wales, particularly among young people.

Transatlantic success

"It will also have a dramatic effect in helping us build up the media industry in Wales," he added.

Gruffudd has enjoyed immense success across the Atlantic in the past few years.

After his debut as a schoolboy in the longest-running BBC soap opera Pobol y Cwm, Gruffudd's career really took off when he played the title role in the TV series Hornblower.

He is the latest British actor being tipped to make it big in the US.

The success of the 26-year-old Cardiff-born actor comes hot on the heels of the Hollywood success of Swansea's Catherine Zeta Jones.

Ms Zeta Jones, star of blockbusters The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment, has put her homeland on the Hollywood map.

S4C chief executive Huw Jones said: "International recognition such as this is beneficial to Wales in all sorts of ways."

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See also:

17 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
Wising up to Solomon
15 Feb 00 | Entertainment
American Beauty leads Oscars field
15 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Mendes: 'I'll stay in UK'
15 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Oscar nominees in full
19 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Ioan battles for Wales
15 Nov 99 | Wales
Welsh, sexy and in New York
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