Film-mak­ers flock to Gaelic movie project

The Oban Times - - News - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­times.co.uk

A RECORD num­ber of promis­ing and tal­ented film-mak­ers have sub­mit­ted en­tries to FilmG, the na­tional Gaelic short film com­pe­ti­tion.

This is the ninth year of MG ALBA’s com­pe­ti­tion – and more young film­mak­ers and school groups are go­ing it alone, with­out the help of FilmG tu­tors, than ever be­fore.

Over­all there were 105 en­tries, in­clud­ing 56 film en­tries in the Youth sec­tion and 25 in the Open cat­e­gory.

Newly in­tro­duced prizes for Best Sports Com­men­tary and Best Script also at­tracted ex­cit­ing en­tries on top of the films, and the or­gan­is­ers pre­dict that judges will have some tough de­ci­sions to make over the com­ing cou­ple of weeks.

It is also hoped this year’s Peo­ple’s Choice award will at­tract the usual stir and last year’s record num­ber of votes can be beaten.

All film en­tries can be viewed on­line and vot­ing for films is now open un­til Fe­bru­ary – be­fore the win­ners are an­nounced at FilmG’s an­nual awards cer­e­mony, at The Old Fruit­mar­ket in Glas­gow on Fe­bru­ary 17.

Year on year, the FilmG com­pe­ti­tion theme in­spires bud­ding film­mak­ers of all ages to try their hand mak­ing a short film. This year’s theme ‘Strì’, which means to en­deav­our or con­flict, is mo­ti­vat­ing a wide va­ri­ety of in­ter­pre­ta­tions such as Oban High School’s com­edy take on Masterchef and the Bake- off, ‘Crou­tons is Car­damom’ with the hi­lar­i­ous Ol­laidh Oraind­sear (Orange Ol­lie) played by Calum McLuckie at the helm.

It seems FilmG 9 is the year of the spoof, with Sab­hal Mòr Os­taig’s TV Course stu­dents giv­ing us their own take on well-known Gaelic shows and Ard­na­mur­chan High School and com­mu­nity group Tàirneanaich, from the West Side of Lewis, giv­ing BBC ALBA the Gog­gle­box treat­ment.

This year’s theme prompted a num­ber of doc­u­men­taries too, such as Plock­ton High School’s film which fol­lows the in­cred­i­ble work of High­land Hos­pice and their own ef­forts to raise funds for the char­ity. Es­pe­cially mov­ing is Kerr Gibb’s doc­u­men­tary ‘Taobh Eile Duil­ghe’ (Through the Hard­ship) which fol­lows the work of Ital­ian char­ity, Oper­azione Colomba, as they sup­port Syr­ian refugees in north Le­banon.

There has been a strong re­sponse to the new­est award for Best Sports Com­men­tary, in­clud­ing from Sgoil Liona­cleit in Ben­bec­ula, with seven of their pupils cov­er­ing the Billy MacNeil Cup Fi­nal fol­low­ing a taster work­shop with sports broad­caster Alex O’ Hen­ley.

Iseabail Mac­tag­gart, di­rec­tor of strat­egy and part­ner­ship at MG ALBA, said: ‘This is a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in FilmG en­tries over­all and that is in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing. New cat­e­gories like sports com­men­tary have been par­tic­u­larly suc­cess­ful, and that is good news too. We want to see more Gaelic speak­ing tal­ent cre­at­ing more Gaelic dig­i­tal con­tent – this demon­strates that FilmG is an ef­fec­tive way to nur­ture that.

‘We’re now look­ing for­ward to the judges sit­ting down to view the films. They’ll have some very tough choices to make when de­cid­ing which en­tries make the fi­nal short­lists.’

Project Man­ager Moira Pugh was ex­tremely pleased to see such a num­ber and such a va­ri­ety of en­tries: ‘There re­ally has been a tremen­dous level of en­gage­ment with this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

‘ We are de­lighted to see film­mak­ers of all ages mak­ing all sorts of films, from his­tor­i­cal dra­mas to mo­bile phone come­dies to sports com­men­taries that will have fans on the edge of their seats.’

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