Welsh broadcaster S4C has ordered a new live-action drama called Bex from local prodco Ceidiog, and it’s all about helping tweens and teens deal with mental health challenges.
Mental health became part of the elementary school curriculum in Wales this year, and this eight x 25-minute series follows along as a kind-hearted stranger teaches coping skills to kids who are experiencing things like grief, anxiety, phobias and OCD. Bex premiered on March 22 in the timeslot following S4C’s Stwnsh programming block for tween/teen viewers and their families.
Young Audiences Content Fund contributed 50% to the financing of the series. Ceidiog secured funding from the Welsh government to create Bex-branded educational resources, such as webinars for teachers and a podcast featuring kids talking about their experiences.
Tackling serious emotional topics with families has become something of a mission at S4C during the pandemic. In 2020, the broadcaster (along with BBC Alba in the UK and Ireland’s TG4) ordered Paper Owl Films’ 2D-animated short film Sol (28 minutes), whose story about a child’s journey to find the light missing from the world touches on themes around overcoming grief and loss. And last year, it picked up Paper Owl’s preschool series Happy (26 x seven minutes), featuring a hedgehog who has good and bad days and isn’t always happy. Both of those properties were also funded, in part, by the Young Audience Content Fund.