Afanti Media were the winners of the 2023 Creative Business of the Year and the prestigious Cardiff Business of the Year award! We recently caught up with the team through a Q&A:

  • Why did you enter Cardiff Business Awards?

We saw a number of our peers being recognised over the years and felt the timing was right for us in 2023 and the fact that Cardiff is important to us as a city and is very much behind the reason why we started Wales Screen Summit. Any win in Cardiff’s thriving business sector is a significant achievement. In our case, it was two wins for the overall prize, Cardiff Business of the Year and Creative Business of the Year. Emyr Afan, our CEO, was finalist as Entrepreneur of the Year and I’m certain he will apply again this year.

  • How did you find the interview process?

The interview process was rigorous, challenging and above all, fair. I respected the judges and their achievements respectively and they understood what they were looking for perfectly.

  • What did winning mean for you or your business?

We rank winning these awards up there with our BAFTAs and they are proudly displayed in our foyer at Afanti HQ, sitting alongside our BAFTAs. Our most recent BAFTA for Luke Evans Showtime with Nicole Scherzinger, LeAnn Rimes, Olly Murs and Beverley Knight, is yet to be added to the cabinet but will sit alongside the two Cardiff Business Awards trophies as our main awards in 2023. It’s fair to say also that the founders, Emyr and Mair Afan, raised their four children in Cardiff with three of the children, Naomi, Osian and Gwion being involved in the day-to-day management of Afanti. Mair is a born and bred Cardiff girl and Emyr has lived here for over forty years. They love being part of the Cardiff Business community and broadcasting to the world from Cardiff. For many years, my daughter Naomi had to work from our London office to have any chance of securing a network series, but now can choose to be in Cardiff and raise our grandson Macsen here, because the opportunities have most definitely come to town.

  • What did you think of the awards ceremony?

We have attended many an awards ceremony over the years and we found this one slick, to the point and aptly business like. Jamie Owen’s delivery was warm, inclusive and funny.

  • What’s been a challenge for you or your business during the last year and how have you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for our business is not only the fallout from Brexit internationally, but the fall in advertising revenue in broadcasting generally. Channel 4 was a case in point with 240 job losses as a direct result of the slump in revenue. More locally, it has been challenging to witness such a key broadcaster as S4C going through their troubles, with the public sacking of the Chief Exec and the Head of Content. The disruption and the damage leading up to these decisions has definitely affected the supply chain of commissioning. When you add to this BBC Network having to seek 5 million pounds worth of savings this year across their portfolio, we believe only the most nimble and creative companies will survive. Afanti are taking steps to pivot in this period so that we can be there for the next 25 years also. Our core portfolio of work is safe for at least 3 years which is more than most companies can say.

  • What’s been a highlight for you or your business over the last year and why?

There is no doubt that our surprising win as Cardiff Business of the Year is up there with our most enduring memory of 2023. Only a month before, we won the BAFTA for Luke Evans Showtime and we felt that we were on a roll, but to win both awards in one evening was beyond our expectations. More recently, Emyr has been awarded by CEO Monthly, Most Influential CEO Wales (Media Production) and we are certain that the Cardiff Business Awards accolades, the BAFTA, our production successes has led to this recognition.

  • What are the goals for 2024?

The goals for 2024 are to put the foundations in place for succession planning within Afanti. We started the year with developing our own TV studio in the Bay and we want to draw more work to that and our outside broadcast facilities. We’re also chasing a large broadcast event that will be a worthy sequel to the Luke Evans spectacular.

  • What’s the best thing about running a business in Cardiff?

The best thing about running a business in Cardiff is that the city is not too big and packs a punch. You can get around it fairly quickly and in most places you can park vehicles for filming. It is fair to say that we feel supported by Cardiff Council in all our endeavours and that Creative Wales/Welsh Government play an active role in underpinning our most ambitious plans, from the Wales Screen Summit to the World’s Biggest Cruise Ship. Having been in business for 3 decades in Cardiff, only in the last few years have I seen the high levels of partnership and working together that is needed for our collective success. I am proud of the fact that my children want to work in Cardiff and enjoy the social aspects of the city also. It’s an exciting time to be a business in Cardiff and the awards are a beacon to recognise those achievements as they happen.


Thank you to Afanti for their responses and congratulations once again to the team on winning a category award and the overall Cardiff Business of the Year award!

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