AN award-winning film which was shot in the Elan and Claerwen Valleys in Mid Wales will be screened on BBC Two Wales tonight (Thursday, December 8).

Written and directed by previous Elan Valley artist-in-residence Zillah Bowes, ‘Staying’ (Aros Mae) features members of the local community as cast – including Stephen and Kerena Pugh who were chosen to play farmer Huw and his wife Megan.

The short fiction film is about Ruth, played by actor and singer Lisa Jên Brown, a newly divorced gallery manager selling her city home, who sees a video of a sheepdog for sale and visits Huw and Megan in the Radnorshire hills.


It will be shown on BBC Two Wales at 11.35pm, with people in Herefordshire able to watch on BBC iPlayer.

The film captures a way of life in the Elan Valley, near Rhayader, where neighbouring farmers come together to gather sheep on horseback and quad bikes in the remote and beautiful landscape.

Most of the filming took place at Marchnant Farm, managed by farmer Steven Lewis and his partner Chris. Their sheepdog Mick is a star of the film, which was screened for local people at the Lion Royal Hotel, in Rhayader, in August.

Hereford Times:  Ruth, played by actor and singer Lisa Jên Brown Ruth, played by actor and singer Lisa Jên Brown

Zillah lived in the Elan Valley for a year before shooting the film and got to know the tenant farmers and their way of life, while working on her long-term photography project Green Dark. She also spent time getting to know Stephen and Kerena to prepare them for the roles as Huw and Megan.

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Stephen and Kerena, who live in nearby Nantmel where they farm and run their Lȏn Lodges tourism business, were introduced to her by one of the film’s three executive producers, Peter Cox, another local.

“Zillah wanted to capture life today in the valley as authentically as possible,” said Stephen. “So much research went into the film and the onus was on us to do justice to the valley farmers.

“Credit goes to Steven and Chris Lewis because they gave up so much of their time.”


Staying (Aros Mae) has received widespread international recognition, winning awards at the BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying film festivals including the grand jury prize at the Premiers Plan Angers Film Festival and a special mention at the Encounters Film Festival.

The film was produced by Jack Thomas-O’Brien at Sixteen Films in conjunction with Ffilm Cymru Wales, BFI NETWORK Wales and BBC Cymru Wales.

Watch the film at