GAELIC films have made great progress since the language first appeared on screen in the 1935 film ‘Eriskay – A Poem of Remote Lives’.
The reasons behind the development in Gaelic film have been similar to the rest of the film world – cheaper and more accessible technology giving more opportunities to inspiring film-makers.
Since 2008, Gaelic films have had a very specific outlet giving film makers of all ages the chance to creatively tell their own stories on screen – in the form of the FilmG competition.
It is open to factual and drama films between three to five minutes, with adult and youth categories/
This annual competition has gone from strength to strength, with 76 films entered in 2011 – the highest number received since the competition began; and BBC ALBA’s Trusadh documentary, ‘FilmG’, follows four groups as they set out for success at FilmG.
Twenty-one year old Alison MacIntosh, a media studies student based in Glasgow, along with a group of friends, is making a spoof of a James Bond inspired film for FilmG and she sees it as a great opportunity to enhance her CV.
She says: “This is my first FilmG. I’m making it because I absolutely adore film and I would love to be able to make my own, and just for a bit of a laugh.”
In Back School on the Isle of Lewis, a small group of secondary school pupils are getting ready to take part.
Having entered in past years, they have a really strong incentive this year, with pupils stating: “This is our last opportunity to enter as our secondary school is closing. So we want to win!”
Another group of media students based at Sabhal Mòr Òstaig in Skye are entering the competition to develop their newly acquired film making skills.
Hestor Levack, Ramsay MacMahon and William MacDonald are working with Director / Producer Cristin MacKenzie, and Ramsay is looking forward to working with him: “He’s always enthusiastic and fun and very supportive to the whole crew.”
Meanwhile in the new Community section of the competition, an amateur drama group, Sgioba Dràma Uibhist (Uist Drama Group) who have been in existence for over 20 years, are exploring new drama opportunities and are trying to make a film for the first time.
Nanac Skivington from the group explains: “We had a very successful Mod this year so we then decided to try something other than drama on stage. So a few of us got together and wrote a script that will hopefully become a film.”
Without much money or resources, or experience, and battling the Scottish winter, how will each group deal with each hurdle to deliver a finished film?
Will they make it to the glitzy heights of the final awards ceremony, and indeed, go home with a prize?
Trusadh: FilmG follows these inspiring filmmakers on their journey of creativity and search for recognition.
Produced by MacTV for BBC ALBA, Trusadh: FilmG will be broadcast on Monday 28th May at 9pm.