New Sports Commentary Award

We are delighted to announce a new award for Sports Commentary this year!

The Voice of Shinty, Guinness PRO12 rugby commentator and sporting academic: BBC ALBA’s Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan, visited pupils at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh to get this year’s competition underway.  Joining Dr MacLennan were two FilmG success stories from years gone by: Alannah Beaton from the Isle of Skye and Keir Greatorex, a former pupil of James Gillespie’s High.

Since its inception in 2008, FilmG has inspired a host of talented filmmakers – both young and old – to pick up their cameras and create short films, with many using it as a springboard to go on and work in the creative sector.

This year’s theme is ‘Strì/Endeavour’ and it is hoped that this will trigger filmmakers’ imaginations with interesting stories and topics for documentaries, dramas, comedies and animated films.  FilmG is also on the lookout for talented writers with an interest in writing scripts for TV. The lucky winners of Best Script in both the Youth and Open categories will have the opportunity to shadow the script team on a Scottish drama production, as well as a place on a residential course for emerging Gaelic writers. 

On his visit to James Gillespie’s, Hugh Dan conducted a sports commentary workshop, sharing his wealth of experience commentating on various sports. Pupils tested their commentary skills using online sports clips with Hugh Dan by their side offering tips and pointers.  

For the new category, sports enthusiasts are asked to film and commentate on any local sporting event, be it shinty, football, rugby, athletics, dance, swimming, or even a school sports day, with the shortlisted candidates in the Open Category being invited to a live BBC ALBA sports broadcast in January 2017 to commentate alongside the professionals.  The winners from both the Youth (aged 12-17) and Open competition categories will win the chance to work alongside the heavyweights of Gaelic sports broadcasting on an exciting sports broadcast.  MG ALBA are keen to unearth the next great talents in Gaelic sports broadcasting.

Hugh Dan said: “I’m delighted to be part of the launch of FilmG this year and especially pleased to see the addition of the Sports Commentary Award.  Gaelic and sport have taken me to the far side of the world, to great venues and occasions.  I have been extremely fortunate to be involved in Gaelic broadcasting. I hope to see girls, boys, women and men all getting involved in this opportunity and bringing attention to their local sport of choice.  Although I have to say, after meeting and coaching some of the youngsters today, I am slightly worried about my job!”

Iseabail Mactaggart, MG ALBA’s Director of Development and Partnership, said: “Sports broadcasting is an important part of BBC ALBA’s output.  Sport brings new audiences to Gaelic broadcasting – increasing awareness of the channel and the language. 

“MG ALBA wants to inspire the next generation of sports enthusiasts to capture sporting activities in their local area with exciting, passionate and easy to follow Gaelic commentary.” 

Both Alannah Beaton and Keir Greatorex, who won multiple FilmG awards over the years, shared their FilmG experiences with the pupils and talked about how FilmG sparked their interest in media. After her FilmG success, Alannah went on to study Acting for Screen at Edinburgh’s Napier University, while Keir received a broadcast credit as a Documentary Producer on BBC ALBA and has worked as an Assistant Editor on programmes such as BBC ALBA’s Gaelic drama, Bannan, and Homes Under the Hammer.  Pupils were inspired by their stories and got the chance to partake in a drama workshop led by Alannah and a mobile filmmaking challenge led by Keir. 

Keir said: “I had a fantastic day at the FilmG launch and was glad to see some of Gillespie’s current pupils embracing the opportunity to get involved in Gaelic media just as I did 7 years ago.

“Most teenagers are lucky enough to have all the kit they need in their pocket to start making short films and I would encourage anyone with a story to tell or an idea for a film to get their phone out, practice and go for it.”

FilmG is now open for entries until Wednesday 14 December 2016.  All films must be in Scottish Gaelic and can be up to five minutes (Youth category) or up to 10 minutes (Open and Community categories).