FilmG has announced the shortlists for this year’s competition with budding filmmakers, community groups and school groups from around the country making the final cut.
This year’s FilmG theme, ‘Cliù’ (Fame/Reputation) inspired an array of new ideas and stories from filmmakers making it an exciting yet difficult job for the jury to pick out the best from this year’s entries.
The jury panels comprised of a variety of directors, producers and scriptwriters currently working in the industry. They included Angus Mackay, Director of Corran Media Productions, based in Stornoway. Angus has previously been on the jury and was very impressed with this year’s films. He said:
"FilmG is a fantastic competition that’s fulfilling a very important function in encouraging both amateurs and young professionals to make more films in Gaelic. I was greatly encouraged by the rise in the overall quality of entries since I last served as a judge - that in itself is a great testament to FilmG’s success. This year’s entries show that we have young people in the industry with great development potential, but also that there are people in the wider Gaelic community that already have the talent to produce compelling content of their own. I would warmly encourage them to continue to use and develop these talents.”
With 54 films, we saw the largest entry yet in the Youth category and the jury found it very hard to narrow down their selections. A number of Highland Schools prevailed however, with Dingwall Academy, Gairloch High School, Tain Royal Academy, Lochaber High School, Mallaig High School and Ardnamurchan High School all making the final cut with films ranging from modern interpretations of historical myths to the classic ‘whodunit’ detective stories.
A new generation of budding actors from Glasgow Gaelic School have also made a real impression, with three actors from S1 making up half the shortlist for Best Performance. They are Somhairle Donald, Ruairidh MacLeod and Mia Weir. Also shortlisted for their performances are Adam Bradley from Dingwall Academy, Kate Biddulph from Mallaig High School and Ava MacKinnon from Greenfaulds High School.
Ava MacKinnon not only starred in but also wrote and directed in her own film and has been shortlisted for the Best Young Filmmaker and Best Mobile Short. She is not alone in her in being multitalented, Ross McKenzie from Skye also wrote, shot and starred in his own film, ‘An t-Sireadh’ (The Search) which includes references to classic films such as Bladerunner. He has been shortlisted for both Best Young Filmmaker and Best Mobile Short.
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 and community groups, also included some real gems.
The shortlist for the Best Community Film includes the film ‘Restore’ by the South Uist learning centre ‘Cothrom’, which is about their initiative of the same name that offers training opportunities to local people through restoring old furniture. Also shortlisted for this award as well as Best Mobile Short is Taigh na Gàidhlig (The Gaelic Flat), a group of Gaelic speaking Glasgow University students. They made a film called ‘Cliù nan Caorach’ (Superstar Sheep) in which the thriving young Gaelic community of Glasgow feature as members of a well-known clan of sheep.
Hotly contested this year will be the new award for the Best Comedy film. Two of the shortlisted films have already been popular on social media with many likes and shares. They are the hilarious mockumentary ‘Mach às mo Rathad’ by Darren MacLean that tells the story of a wannabe pop star who is desperate to be famous. The film includes a hilarious and catchy Gaelic pop song, with the dance moves to match! Up against them is trad music band ‘The League of Highland Gentlemen’ and their take on the Mallaig to Uist ferry route ‘Seachdain gun Seòladh’ (A Week without Sailing). The film tells the story of the Loch Never Ferry that travels between Mallaig Street and Uist Street in Glasgow but for various reasons never makes it to its final destination.
All the shortlists are now available online on the FilmG website, where you can also view all the entries in this year’s competition. The winners will be announced at the prestigious FilmG awards ceremony taking place at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Friday 19 February. Keep an eye on social media for information about tickets.