FilmG last week closed for entries as the team reported another annual increase in the number of films submitted. The competition, that has grown steadily in popularity over the years, encourages young people across the country to create Gaelic language short films.
All film entries can be viewed online from Thursday 20th December and voting for films is now open until the end of January – before the winners are announced at FilmG’s glamorous annual awards ceremony, at The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on February 8, 2019.
Year on year, the FilmG competition inspires budding filmmakers of all ages to try their hand making a short film. This year’s is no exception with the theme ‘Ann am Priobadh na Sula’, which means ‘In the Blink of an Eye’, motivating a wide variety of interpretations from a across the country.
The traditional Gaelic heartland of the Western Isles have once again produced a number of heart-warming stories, particularly for the Dùthchas (Heritage) Film award. This year saw particularly encouraging take up of this relatively new category, with subjects including the place-names of a long-abandoned village on the Isle of Eriskay and the story of a traditional boat sailing club on the West-side of Lewis. Another Dùthchas entry sees an intergenerational film about the tragic story of the Iolaire, the ship which sank meters from the port of Stornoway a hundred years ago, carrying soldiers who had survived the Great War, only to meet their fate with their homeland in sight.
A number of entries from the Isle of Skye have chosen to give comedy a go. ‘Draoidh a’ Bhuntàta’ (The Potato Wizard) by Harry Partridge and Lyes Oussaiden is about a wizard which turns an unsuspecting walker into a potato, then eats him! It also appears the ALL the children of Sleat Primary School in the South of Skye believe that Donald Trump is a Coca Cola addict who has a red button on his desk he presses when he is in need. This film, titled the ‘Neo-chiontas na h-Òige’ (The Innocence of Youth) sees the older children in the school asking the younger ones questions about the Queen, Brexit and the US President with hilarious results.
Many of high schools have chosen to tackle the theme of bullying which appears to be more relevant than ever. What makes these films so interesting is the different aspects of bullying that have been tackled, such as Milburn Academy’s hard-hitting film ‘Aineolas’ (Ignorance), which is about a young Muslim girl who is bullied for the colour of her skin and the headscarf that she wears. On the other hand, Bishopbriggs’ film ‘Cumhachdan’ (Powers) takes a more light-hearted approach where a girl uses her secret powers to get the upper hand on the bullies. Cyber dangers are also addressed in a number of films including Tobermory’s film ‘Catriona’ which warns against the dangers of catfishing, where youngsters are the target of dangerous individuals on the internet, disguised as young people their own age.
Floraidh Forrest, FilmG’s Project Manager is once again delighted with this year’s submissions, she said:
“The best part of my job is watching the films once they are submitted. It’s great to see how these young filmmakers have come on over the years and this year the films are better than ever with an exciting mix of genres, stories and emotions.
“Getting more short films than ever just shows you that the competition is more popular than ever, and I’m excited to say that the quality has once again improved, kids really know how to use camera and editing equipment, it has become second nature to them.”
MG ALBA – who fund the FilmG project – reflected their delight at the standard of entries, and the fact that the competition is now firmly established in the Gaelic media sector. Murdo MacSween, MG ALBA’s Communications Manager said:
“It’s great to see FilmG continue to grow and the throughflow into the Gaelic television industry is particularly encouraging for MG ALBA. FilmG promotes Gaelic content as exciting, aspirational and relevant in a way that is accessible and fun.”