First Torc Award winners revealed at Celtic Media Festival 2015



Issued by Celtic Media Festival 

The 36th Celtic Media Festival is underway at Eden Court, Inverness, with 400 delegates arriving in the city today to experience the 3-day celebration of film, television, radio and digital media which promotes the unique languages and cultures of the Celtic nations and regions.

Scottish film-maker Don Coutts welcomed delegates to this afternoon’s opening ceremony, which saw the first of this year’s prestigious Torc Awards for Excellence presented. Winners were chosen from a record-breaking shortlist, with the number of entries for this year’s Awards 30% higher than 2014.

Festival organisers are thrilled to reveal the Celtic Media Festival 2015 Day 1 winners:


Winner                                                    Country                        Production Company/Broadcaster

Dolores Keane: A Storm in the Heart    Ireland                          RTÉ/Scratch Films Ltd

Irish singer Dolores Keane’s distinctive deep, soulful voice is loved the world over. But Dolores' life was overshadowed for many years as she battled with alcoholism, depression and more recently, breast cancer. Now she has re-emerged from the shadows to share her story. This landmark documentary by Scratch Films for RTÉ Arts pieces together in words, archive and classic song, the extraordinary story of one of Ireland’s best-loved cultural icons.

CATEGORY: ANIMATION                                                                       

Winner                                                            Country                        Production Company/Broadcaster

The Hunchback in the Park                         Wales                            BBC Cymru Wales

A beautiful animation of one of Dylan Thomas’s lesser known poems, produced for a season marking the centenary of his birth. Launched as an exclusive on BBC iPlayer on National Poetry Day, this short adaptation introduced his work to a new audience. To complement the reading by Michael Sheen we used photography, CG, graphics and stopframe to create a living collage with numerous layers to combine symbolic and literal elements and evoke a dreamlike, immersive feel. Produced by BBC Wales, the animation was made by Aardman and the soundtrack was composed by John Hardy Music and performed by BBC NOW.


Winner                                                            Country                        Production Company/Broadcaster

Katie Morag                                            Scotland                       Move on Up

Little Katie Morag is annoyed with her brother Liam. She jumps at the chance to go on a trek with her Dad across the Island to visit her reclusive uncle Matthew. There she sees her father (and his brother) in a new light and by the end of the episode she is thinking in a different way about her own little brother too.


Winner                                                            Country                        Production Company/Broadcaster

Dim Byd                                                 Wales                            S4C/Cwmni Da

Innovative comedy series Dim Byd (Nothing) gives us the opportunity to surf without guilt as it jumps from one programme spoof to another. Lost channels are discovered which introduce us to all kinds of surreal programmes. Actors aren’t used in this series. Those taking part are ordinary people but it must be said, they say and do some rather zany things!


Winner                                                            Country                        Production Company/Broadcaster

Arkle                                                      Ireland                          TG4/Touchline Media

The remarkable story of Arkle, the Irish horse named for a Scottish mountain that became the greatest steeplechaser in history. But for many Irish people, he was more than a horse. Arkle became a symbol, of glory and hope for a country that was going through hard times.


Winner                                                            Country                        Production Company/Broadcaster

Seamus Heaney: Five Fables                     Ireland                          Flickerpix / Touch Press

The 15th century Scottish poet Robert Henryson wrote a series of fables, classic morality tales, sourced from Aesop. Written in Lowland Scots, Seamus Heaney decided to translate them into modern English, infused with the sounds of his Co Derry upbringing. In what was to be Heaney's final TV project, Flickerpix, the animation studio of Waddell Media in Northern Ireland, has made animated television versions of five of Heaney's versions, with Billy Connolly narrating. This episode is The Two Mice, the classic tale of the town mouse and country mouse.

Over the next few days delegates will enjoy panel discussions and workshops from key industry figures including commissioners from national and regional broadcasters, with an extensive event strand also open to the public. Some of the most influential figures in the broadcasting and film industries will attend the Celtic Media Festival over 22nd – 24th April, including MSP Mike Russell (co-founder of Celtic Media Festival), Stuart Cosgrove (former head of Creative Diversity at Channel 4), David Harron (BBC Scotland’s Executive Producer for Commissioning), Stuart Millar (the Guardian’s Head of News), Ewen MacAskill (the Guardian’s Defence and Intelligence Correspondent), Luke Moody (Britdoc, distributor of Citizenfour), Michael Hines (award winning director), Sanjeev Kohli (writer/actor/broadcaster), Chris Young (founder, Young Films), and many more.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “It’s an honour to be at the welcoming reception of Celtic Media Festival. The festival was founded in Scotland in 1980 and I’m delighted to see it return to Inverness again, having previously being held here in 1987 and again in 1991. Over the coming days the city will see leading industry figures and international broadcasters unite, sharing their dedication to nurturing Celtic talent, and I’m sure they’ll be warmly welcomed.”

Festival Producer, Catriona Logan said: “We’re thrilled to launch the 36th Celtic Media Festival here in Inverness. Over the next three days we’ll hear from a brilliant line-up of industry figures, celebrating the best in Celtic media talent. The Torc Awards are always a great highlight of the festival and this year’s shortlist does not disappoint!”

Provost of Inverness, Alex Graham said: “The Highlands are at the heart of Gaelic culture, making Inverness the ideal place to host the Celtic Media Festival. A very warm welcome goes out to all the delegates from the Celtic nations and regions who are taking part and I am sure they will feel very welcome here throughout their stay.

“The Festival has been held in the City twice before in 1987 and 1991, and since then there have been tremendous changes as Inverness has grown and become a city. There have also been huge developments across the Highlands, in education, the creative industries, and economic development, which have promoted and enhanced the Gaelic and cultural heritage of the area.

“I am sure the 2015 Celtic Media Festival will be a great success and would invite delegates to take the opportunity to explore and enjoy the delights of the Highland Capital and the surrounding area. I wish to congratulate the Celtic Media Festival Committee on creating such an exciting and innovative festival programme, and thank them for their commitment to nurturing exciting new talent.”

22 Apr 2015