FilmG, the national Gaelic Short Film Competition got off to a fantastic start yesterday when renowned Scottish and Gaelic actor David Walker visited Dunoon Grammar School for the first of this year’s schools workshops.
FilmG, which has gained in popularity amongst youngsters and teachers since its inception seven years, has become one of the most credible ways for young film-makers to take their first step into the media world. Running in parallel with the competition are the FilmG workshops where professionals form the industry deliver workshops to school pupils to help facilitate the film-making process.
First out of the blocks this year for a story development workshop were pupils from Dunoon Grammar School and David Walker, who appears in the new TV drama, Bannan, airing tonight on BBC ALBA, was on hand to lend his expert advice on how to script and plan a short film.
David Walker discusses ideas with the pupils
He said: “It gives me enormous satisfaction to be able to help youngsters with their Gaelic short films and this workshop was a great way of helping to bring their ideas to fruition. Hopefully it will also encourage some into a career of this nature whether behind or in front of camera.”
Dunoon Grammar pupils are not unfamiliar with the competition. They had success with FilmG last year when they entered two shorts, one was shortlisted for the Best Music Video and pupil Alison Johnson also won a commendation for her acting skills for their other film.
Laura Howitt, Gaelic Teacher at Dunoon Grammar is raring to go with this year’s competition, she said: “We regard FilmG as a fabulous experience for our pupils and to have someone as experienced as David coming to help out really gives us a boost. FilmG is an excellent opportunity for youngsters to learn more about film-making but it does much more than that. It creates a natural environment for them to use and improve their creative skills, all through the medium of Gaelic. This is not something that children in traditionally non-Gaelic speaking areas like ours would have otherwise.”
This year’s theme for the competition is “Gealladh” (Vow/Promise/Pledge), and it is hoped that this very topical theme will inspire schools and youngster to get involved and to embrace the opportunity to showcase their creative and linguistic talents.
Muriel Urquhart from the FilmG Team is looking forward to this year's films
FilmG Training Manager Muriel Urquhart is delighted to have this year’s workshops underway, she said: “Over the course of the next few months our team of tutors will visit over twenty schools throughout the whole of Scotland and I’m in no doubt that they’ll help pupils make some excellent films. Each year we’ve seen the standard of entries improving as young people really get to grips with using new technology, we’re excited to see what they come up with.”
FilmG is now open for entries to both adults and young people. Entrants are asked to submit Gaelic films which are three to five minutes in length. The project culminates in a fabulous awards ceremony with many celebrities from the world of film and TV present. A selection of the best entries to FilmG will be shown at various events over the coming months. Please visit the FilmG website (http://www.filmg.co.uk) or the FilmG Alba Facebook page for further details.
Pupils from Dunoon Grammar School had a great session with David Walker