Stars of the big screen turned out in Glasgow tonight (Friday, 14th March) to present a number of awards at the sixth National Gaelic Film Awards ceremony.
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 renowned Scottish actor and comedian Greg Hemphill best known as Victor in the much loved Still Game sitcom and Glasgow born actor Gary Lewis who has starred on the big screen in films such as Billy Elliot and Gangs of New York as well as TV programmes including Silent Witness and the forthcoming HBO series, Outlander.
Also presenting awards were much loved Scottish broadcaster Cathy MacDonald, BBC Scotland news reporter, Catriona Shearer, ‘Dè a-nis?’ presenters Derek MacIntosh and Megan McLellan, director Michael Hines, producer and director Don Coutts, Debbie MacKay star of BBC ALBA’s new drama Bannan, award winning Gaelic band Mànran and Dr Alasdair Allan who presented the People’s Choice award.
This year’s competition theme was ‘Rùn’ (Love/Secret/Intention) which inspired an array of ideas for filmmakers in both the 12-17 age-group and the adult category, with a total of 76 films being submitted.
Judges were particularly impressed with the quality of films in the 12-17 category with 46 entries being received and school pupils taking part from all across Scotland including Ullapool High School, Glasgow Gaelic School, Oban High School, Dingwall Academy and Castlebay High School.
Actor, Greg Hemphill, said: “I had a fantastic evening at the FilmG awards ceremony. I attended back in 2009 when it was held in Inverness and amazed to see how it has gone from strength to strength in this time. I’d like to congratulate all the prize winners and I hope that they are able to use FilmG as a springboard into a career in the media.”
Announcing ongoing Scottish Government support for FilmG, Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages said: "The FilmG awards offer a unique opportunity to combine a love of film making with the chance to develop Gaelic language skills. The competition's growing popularity shows how successful it is in sharing our heritage with a talented and creative audience.
"I am delighted to confirm our ongoing support, with £25,000 over the next year, and look forward to FilmG's continued success."
Maggie Cunningham, Chair of MG ALBA, said: “We are delighted that FilmG’s success has continued to grow from strength to strength since the inaugural awards in 2009. The competition received 76 films this year and we have been greatly impressed once again by the level of film-making from grassroots level with many repeat entries having greatly improved on previous years as a result of the workshop training and resources provided by industry professionals as part of the FilmG competition. In addition, some hopeful newcomers were encouraged to take part this year.
“The FilmG project helps build confidence in both media and language skills and supports the Curriculum for Excellence. The Scottish Government continues to recognise the good work of FilmG and has once again offered us their support for which everyone involved with the project is extremely grateful.
“This year’s winners were all of a very high standard and we’d like to congratulate those who took home a top award, as well as praise everyone for taking part and encourage those who may be interested in participating to have fun with Gaelic and make a short film for next year’s FilmG.”
FilmG has unearthed a wealth of creative talent within the Gaelic community since it was established six years ago, and was named Best Cultural Event at the 2012 Scottish Event Awards.
Providing entertainment on the night was up-and-coming Irish band ‘Seo Linn’ who became an internet sensation last year when they collaborated with Irish summer school ‘Coláiste Lurgan’ to produce a Gaelige music video of Avicci’s ‘Wake Me Up’.
Dariusz Sipowski, originally from Poland and living in Glasgow, for his film ‘Bean A' Chotain Ruaidh’ (The Woman in the Red Coat)