Big wins for the Highlands at the FilmG Awards
Issued by FilmG / MG ALBA
Stars of the big screen turned out in Glasgow on Friday night ( 27th March) to present a number of awards at the seventh National Gaelic Film Awards ceremony where film-makers from the Highlands took home many of the top awards.
MG ALBA, the Gaelic Media Service, was celebrating another successful FilmG competition, its prestigious Gaelic screen talent awards, which were held at The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow and hosted by Fiona MacKenzie, face of BBC ALBA, and Niall Iain Macdonald, TV & radio presenter.
Guest presenters at the event included Scottish actor and comedian Sanjeev Kohli, best known as Navid in the much loved Still Game sitcom. Also in attendance was Ken Stott, whose recent big screen credits include The Hobbit and Chronicles of Narnia, although he is best known for his role as Inspector Rebus in the adaptations of the Ian Rankin books.
Also presenting awards were Cailtin MacNeil from Colonsay and Alana MacInnes South Uist, the girls behind the #thedress phenomenon which trended throughout the world in February and had stars Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian getting involved in the online discussions.
The night was extremely exciting particularly for two schools from the Highlands who took home prizes on the night. Portree High School’s film ‘An Gèam’ (The Game) won the Best Production prize no doubt because of the effort the pupils went to with the sets, props and costumes in this period thriller. Lochaber High School took home the prize for Best Performance for Fergus Munro’s acting abilities in their film, ‘An Agallamh’ (The Interview), judges were impressed by the films challenging subject matter and as well as Munro’s powerful performance.
A Highland Dance Group from the North of Skye, Dannsairean an Eilein Sgitheanach did particularly well in the Open category when their film which the made with the support of filmmaking tutor Phill Todd managed to scoop three prizes. This music video of the traditional Gaelic song ‘Siuthad a Sheonaid’ explored the at times dramatic relationship between a husband, wife and their seven children! The group run by Karen Campbell from Kilmaluag won Best Community Film, Best Music Video and the People’s Choice Award.
Students from the Gaelic college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig also fared well. ‘Crìsdean Cunnartach’, a film made by students on Television Diploma course, is a hilarious parody of Danny MacAskill’s film ‘The Ridge’ and it took home the prize for the Best Student Film. Another student at the college, Keir Greatorex, who is originally from Edinburgh and has taken part in FilmG every year since it began in 2009 won the Best Documentary award for his film ‘Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh’ (Portree’s Gaelic School).
Renowned actor Ken Stott presented the award for the Best Student Film to the winning Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Students, he said: “I spend a great deal of time on the Isle of Skye where I often meet students from the Gaelic College, so I was very happy to be able to present the award for the Best Student Film to students from the college. It’s been a really great night and I’d like wish the entrants all the best for their future careers, hopefully in the broadcast industry”.
Actor, Sanjeev Kohli who has himself recently been learning Gaelic, said: “My evening at the FilmG awards ceremony has been, frankly, "sgoinneil", especially as I’ve been able to put into context some of what I’ve been learning at my Gaelic lessons. It’s also been great to see the work of these talented young people on the big screen. Unfortunately they have now become my competition as I am now a major playa in the Gaelic media! Congratulations and best of luck to all the talent in the future – well, except when they’re up against me for the next big role!”
Donald Campbell, MG ALBA Chief Executive, said: “FilmG received a record number of submissions this year, with 79 films entered across the youth and adult competitions. We are delighted to see FilmG continue to grow and the quality of films continue to impress our judging panel. These films have been entered by both Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers and we are pleased that the competition can promote Gaelic so well whilst remaining so accessible to all.
“We are encouraged by the enthusiasm for FilmG and the level of creative talent that it uncovers, as was demonstrated by the nomination of Latha Eile, Saoghal Eile – one of last year’s films – for the Best Short Drama at Celtic Media Festival 2015. We are certain that this year’s participants can enjoy similar success in the creative industries and we wish them well as they put some of the skills and confidence they have gained during FilmG to good use.”
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group who sponsor the Community Award category of the FilmG Competition said: “I’d like to congratulate all the winners on their success, especially the winners from the Highlands. It is wonderful to realise how much creative talent exists in communities across Scotland, particularly within the younger generation. The organisers should also be congratulated for providing this wonderful opportunity for those studying Gaelic to showcase their work so professionally, and also to recognise the rich value of our Gaelic heritage within the creative industries.
“Promoting the Arts, Media and Heritage is one of the strategic aims of our Councils Gaelic Language Plan as we recognise they add value and strengthen linguistic development across all ages and generations in our communities. I am sure people taking part feel inspired and look forward to next year’s event.”
FilmG has unearthed a wealth of creative talent since it was established seven years ago, and was named Best Cultural Event at the 2012 Scottish Event Awards. This year’s competition was the most successful yet with a record 79 entries and many were inspired by this year’s theme, ‘Gealladh’ (Promise/Vow/Intention). All 2015 winners are listed below, with every film entered in this year’s FilmG competition available to view online at http://www.filmg.co.uk/.