Celtic Media Festival reveals nominees for 2015 awards

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Organisers of the Celtic Media Festival have today (Friday 6th March) revealed the nominees for the prestigious Torc Awards for Excellence. The winners are set to be revealed at the Festival in Inverness, over 22-24 April.  

118 nominees from 78 production companies and broadcasters will compete across 20 award categories, including animation, entertainment, sport, factual and feature length drama. Organisers were inundated with a record-breaking 500 entries for the 2015 Awards, exceeding 2013 entries by 28% and 2014 by 30%, demonstrating that the dedication to nurturing talent and creating outstanding productions on screen and in broadcasting across the Celtic nations and regions is consistently strong.  

2015 host nation Scotland has produced a wealth of entries including Factual Single nominee, The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth. The documentary traces the memories of the people who built the iconic Forth Road Bridge, the biggest of its kind in Europe at the time, and includes the first televised use of an amateur film shot across the entire six years of the build by a local man.  

2014 was a truly historic year for Scotland, with the country at the forefront of the global events stage thanks to hosting events including the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games. The legacy of these events produced sporting documentary Sir Chris Hoy: How To Win Gold, celebrating the most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time and his journey to success; BBC Radio Scotland’s celebration of the music of some of the nations taking part in the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Connections; and The Scots Who Took Golf to America, a 3 part documentary series on BBC Radio Scotland telling the story of the pioneering Scot John Reid and the lives of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Scots who followed in his wake and built the game in America.  

Cornwall, the festival’s home in 2014, received multiple nominations for productions including Mazed, an ambitious transmedia community project designed to invigorate traditional Droll Telling in South East Cornwall and reimagine it for the digital age. Nominated for the Kieran Hegarty Award for Innovation, the project aimed to remind people of the Cornish droll storytelling tradition using selected tales retold as animations, available free online, in an app and more. 

Always a particularly strong category in the Torc Awards for Excellence, Drama Series features six productions from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Galicia. Hailed by The Guardian as “a powerful and compelling show”, RTÉ One’s critically acclaimed crime drama Love/Hate revolves around the lives of fictional Dublin criminals in a world steeped in modern-day Irish culture. Ireland’s TG4/Magamedia’s Corp + Anam won the Spirit of the Festival award at Celtic Media Festival 2012, an award bestowed upon a film or television programme wholly or substantially in a Celtic language that encapsulates the spirit of the Festival each year. The show, broadcast on TG4, chronicles the difficult professional and intense personal life of a tenacious TV crime reporter. Gaelic drama Bannan tells the story of a young woman reluctantly returning to the island from which she escaped eight years previously. Created by Young Films, the independent film and television company behind the hit comedy The Inbetweeners, the first series aired on BBC ALBA in 2014. Also nominated for Drama Series is BBC/Hartwood Films’ Sherlock. Starring the Oscar nominated Benedict Cumberbatch and the Emmy-nominated Martin Freeman, it is Hartwood Films’ first Cardiff-based production and it’s been a successful one at that, garnering critical acclaim for it’s perfectly balanced amalgamation of previous big- and small-screen adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, as well as Conan Doyle’s original stories. 

Other nominated entries include Big John – The John Hartson Story, Avanti Media’s conversation with John Hartson that sees the Welsh sporting legend reflect on his remarkable career from his record signing to Arsenal as a teenager to his time at Celtic, and Five Fables, the enchanting animated series depicting Aesop's classic fables in a modern translation, written by Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer Seamus Heaney and narrated by Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor Billy Connolly. Created by Northern Irish animation studio FlickerPix the series is nominated in Animation and its accompanying app has gained a Best App nomination.  

The nominations for Radio Presenter/Personality span Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta’s Michelle Nic Grianna, BBC Radio Cymru’s Dei Tomos and BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway on the road to potentially winning a prestigious Torc Award for Excellence.  

Festival Producer, Catriona Logan said: “We’re thrilled to announce the nominees for this year’s Torc Awards for Excellence, and what a shortlist it is! This year’s record breaking amount of entries was whittled down by our dedicated National Juries who, in all, watched and listened to over 318 hours of top quality submissions from across the Celtic nations and regions. We’re absolutely delighted that Celtic Media Festival is just around the corner and we’re looking forward to revealing the winners at the Festival in Inverness in April” 

The 36th Celtic Media Festival, held at Eden Court Inverness from 22nd - 24th April 2015 and supported by The Highland Council, VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, Inverness Common Good Fund and Creative Scotland as well as broadcasters and broadcast authorities from the Celtic nations and regions, will see hundreds of delegates enjoy a packed festival programme in the Scottish city. The festival continually attracts some of the biggest names in the broadcasting and film world to celebrate the unique languages and cultures of the Celtic nations and regions.  

Organisers were delighted to reveal details of Sky Arts’ session, due to take place at the festival on Thursday 23rd April. Sky Arts Amplify, designed to encourage arts organisations and production companies to pitch collaboratively for up to £1million annually on new TV ideas, will host a “speed dating” session, allowing delegates the opportunity to meet with arts organisations, invited by Sky Arts, to brainstorm initial ideas.  

Delegate registration for Celtic Media Festival 2015 opens today – check out http://www.celticmediafestival.co.uk/ for more information. Further details on the Festival will be unveiled shortly, with the full festival programme set to be revealed soon.

6 Mar 2015
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