This is a truly magical setting and is completely unique since Pentre Bach was actually created to be a film set for a TV series commissioned by S4C written by Ifana, based on the well known children’s character Sali Mali. 80 programmes were filmed in all.
Pentre Bach can be described as a soap opera for young children – it follows the lives of Sali Mali and her friends.
Following the success of S4C’s Caffi Sali Mali written by Ifana during the 1990s and the subsequent animation series ‘Sali Mali’ which has sold to over 15 different countries, Ifana was commissioned to write a 80 episode series called ‘Pentre Bach’. The magical location of the series is in the quiet hamlet of Blaenpennal, near Aberystwyth.
Mererid Hopwood (a very distinguished poet and Children’s Poet Laureate Wales 2005) described Pentre Bach as :- A small village, a city’s imagination.
All 80 episodes were filmed in Blaenpennal and created all sorts of opportunities for local people and actors and also local businesses.
Blaenpennal was a hub of activity with a cast and crew of around 30 people arriving on site every morning before 8 o clock and the actors could be spotted frequently walking along the quiet lanes learning their lines.
The subtitled television programmes, 80 episodes in all are repeated regulary on S4C www.s4c.co.uk .
The success of the TV series has created other resources.
- DVDs of the first 30 episodes produced by Sain are on sale.
- The popular singer Gwenda Owen and her daughter Geinor released two CDs of songs based on Pentre Bach and the characters.
- Hwb (NGfL Cymru) have online resource packs written by Ifana.
- Gomer Press was commissioned by the Welsh Government to produce a 80 book reading series written by Ifana. Gomer Press have also an extensive range of books based on Sali Mali and her friends. New titles are added yearly.
- Merchandise which includes Sali Mali and Jac y Jwc dolls can be seen on gwales: www.gwales.co.uk
- Pentre Bach sell a variety of items e.g. t shirts, hoodies, pencils, pens etc.