Highland Filmmakers in running to scoop National Film Competition
James Campbell from DEAS’s (Skye Highland Dance Group) music video ‘Siuthad a Sheònaid’
FilmG, MG ALBA’s Gaelic Short Film Competition, has announced the shortlists for this year’s competition with budding filmmakers, community groups and school groups from the Highland region making the final cut.
This year’s FilmG theme, ‘Gealladh’ (Promise/Vow) inspired an array of new ideas and stories from filmmakers making it an exciting yet difficult job for the jury to pick out the best from this year’s entries.
The jury panels comprised of a variety of BBC ALBA and Freelance industry professionals, including Actor and Director Tony Kearny, TV Presenter Linda MacLeod, as well as BBC ALBA’s Head of Service Margaret Mary Murray.
Margaret Mary said: "It was a real pleasure judging this year’s FilmG Open categories and to see the next crop of film-making talent coming through. It is extremely important and very encouraging for the future of the Gaelic media industry. The films are all very different and cover a wide range of interests with something there for everyone! I’d like to wish all the shortlisted film-makers the very best of luck and I look forward to seeing them at the awards ceremony in March.”
In the Youth category schools in the Highlands are particularly well represented with Portree, Plockton, Mallaig, Milburn and Ardnamurchan all being Shortlisted. Most notable is Lochaber High School whose film ‘An Agallamh’ (The Interview), a powerful film about a school boy who self-harms has been shortlisted for ‘Best Film’ as well as the lead actor, Fergus Munro being shortlisted for his performance.
It wasn’t just school pupils who showed their talent for filmmaking. The Open category, which is for aspiring filmmakers over the age of seventeen and community groups, also included some real gems. The shortlist for the Best Community Film, which is sponsored by Highland Council, was dominated by films from the Highlands with three out of the four shortlisted being from the region. They were ‘Siuthad a’ Sheònaid’ by DEAS (Skye Highland Dance Group), ‘Féill na Nollaig’ (Christmas Fair) by the Broadford Youth Group and ‘Gealladh Dualchais’ (A Promise to our Heritage) by Gairloch Heritage Museum.
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said, “FilmG provides the opportunity for community groups, individuals and schools to develop innovative ways of integrating language, community, and the creative industries. The Council recognises FilmG’s unique value in encouraging the production of high quality, creative and inspirational short films, from people of all ages, these films are also a reflection of where the participants live, go to school, work and socialise.
He continued: “I’m delighted that there are such a large number of entries especially from the Highlands; as promoting the Arts, Media and Heritage is one of the strategic aims of The Highland Councils Gaelic Language Plan. FilmG is an excellent example of schools implementing the Curriculum for Excellence outcomes especially in the areas of Expressive Arts, Language and Technologies as these add value and strengthen the linguistic development across all ages and generations. I wish all the participants every success.”
All the shortlists are now available online on the FilmG website, where you can also view all entries in this year’s competition. The winners will be announced at the prestigious FilmG awards ceremony taking place at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Friday 27 March. Providing entertainment at this year’s ceremony will be Skipinnish, whose mix of authentic Highland traditional music and contemporary sounds, are bound to get the crowd on their feet. Keep an eye on social media for information about tickets.