MG Alba's Gaelic Short Film Competition, FilmG, has announced the shortlists for this year’s competition as judges praise the ‘ambition’ of this year’s entries.
Now in its tenth year, FilmG has seen entries from budding young filmmakers, community groups and school groups from across the country.
The jury panels comprised a variety of directors, producers and scriptwriters currently working in the industry.
One of the judges, Calum McConnell, who currently works on Radio Scotland comedy sketch show ‘Breaking the News’, said: “We watched over 60 films in this year’s youth category, which is the highest number of entries to date, and it was an honour and privilege to do so. I can speak for the whole panel when I say how excited we were at the ambition shown by both school groups and individual young film-makers.
“They are no longer satisfied filming simple stories within their school complex, they are out and about, in woodlands, the top of a mountain, and even in a prison, making their films look more exciting and engaging.
“I would genuinely encourage all the entrants to continue making short films in Gaelic and I’d like to congratulate all those that have been shortlisted.”
Schools like James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh certainly made an impact however, with three of their films making the final cut. An Sgròla was shortlisted for ‘Best Script’, pupil Sheena was shortlisted for her performance in the film Peigi an Eagle. Alongside film Eòghan Beag: Latha Mòr being shortlisted not only for the ‘Best Film’ but also Eòghan’s standout performance in the film gave him a place on the ‘Best Performance’ shortlist.
Sheena Shines as Peigi the Eagle!
A number of Highland Schools also prevailed, with Gairloch High School, Tain Royal Academy, Portree High School, Alness Academy, Nairn Academy and Milburn Academy all making the final cut with films ranging from mental impact cyber bullying can have on a person, to an adaptation of popular Gaelic short story ‘Bùrn’ by renowned Scottish author Iain Crichton Smith.
It wasn’t just school pupils who showcased their talent for filmmaking. The Open category, which is for aspiring filmmakers over the age of seventeen, also included some real gems. Napier University student, Lana Pheutan’s powerful film – Còig Puing a’ Trì about a transgender woman and the challenges she faces in her relationships with family members has been shortlisted for ‘Best Drama’, ‘Best Student Film’ and ‘Most Promising New Director’ and her acting abilities has seen her shortlisted for ‘Best Performance’.
Also shortlisted for a number of awards is the heart-warming film by Glasgow School of Art Student, Danielle MacLeod, Bho Clach gu Clach. This documentary follows Martin ‘Swannie’ MacDonald, a headstone maker on the Isle of Lewis as he engraves and erects stones with his colleague John. The film celebrates the hard graft of two invisible craftsmen—whose life’s work is to honour our dead. This film has been shortlisted for ‘Best Heritage Film’, ‘Most Promising Young Director and the ‘Best Student Film’.
On a lighter note a young duo from the North of Skye, Iain Wilson and Ally ‘C’ MacLeod, have seen their caravan capers in the film CeumDub shortlisted for ‘Best Drama/Comedy’, ‘Best Performance’ and ‘Best Mobile Short’. The highlight of this film sees Ally ‘C’ rapping whilst sheep surfing… a must watch!
The full shortlists are now available online on the FilmG website, along with all of this year’s entries.
Winners will be announced at a glittering FilmG awards ceremony taking place at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Friday 9 February. BBC ALBA will broadcast highlights from the event, on Sunday 11 January.