the second day of the Celtic Media Festival, saw Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton and iconic actor and film-maker Peter Mullan arrive in Stornoway to share their passion, knowledge and know-how with festival-goers who have travelled the globe to celebrate the very best of film, television, radio and digital media to emerge from within the Celtic nations within the last year.
Tilda Swinton’s 8½ Foundation brought world cinema to the island yesterday, offering local children the chance to experience the wider power of film. The Foundation aims to create a new birthday - a film birthday, at the age of 8 ½ - that celebrates cinema’s ability to expand children’s horizons. The project welcomes children into the wider world of movies, beyond what is normally available to them at the multiplex or on their TV screens.
Peter Mullan took to the stage in the afternoon for a masterclass that forms part of the Cultural Olympiad’s Film Nation: Shorts Project. He discussed his varied career on the silver screen, from Trainspotting to NEDS and everything in between as well as the projects he has written and directed.
Day two of the three day festival also saw the second batch of Bronze Torc Awards for Excellence awarded for: Feature Length Drama; Short Drama; Factual Entertainment; Kieran Hegarty Award for Interactivity; Marketing Campaign, Drama Series; Student Factual and Student Fiction, with the remaining awards announced on Friday.
The awards went to:
Irish drama Na Cloigne was awarded the Bronze Torc for Excellence in Drama, the three part Irish language drama for TG4, directed by Robert Quinn (Cré na Cille) and produced by Ciarán Ó Cofaigh at Galway based production company ROSG. The supernatural thriller tells the story of a young couple, Seán and Nuala, both ‘ordinary decent people’ who become embroiled in the horrible and gruesome murders of two young women.
· Best Feature Length Drama went to The Runway by Fastnet Films. This drama follows citizens of Ireland’s County Cork, who come to the aid of a South American pilot who has crash landed in their town.
· Factual Entertainment Award went to Na h-Òganich by BBC Gàidhlig / BBC ALBA. The programme charts the return of legendary Gaelic group Na h-Òganich to the recording studio to see if they can recapture their old magic.
Deep End Dance by Wildfire Films picked up the Award for Short Drama. Deep End Dance follows the story of a fully dressed man who is pushed into a swimming pool by his mother. He brushes himself off and starts dancing underwater, always aware that she’s watching. After a while she joins him, and they play out the story of their relationship through the underwater dance.
Other awards went to Umpires Haka Promo from S4C for Best Marketing Campaign. The Kieran Hegarty Award For Interactivity Award went to Split Thread by Must See Productions which was made by students at Dundalk Institute of Technology.
This year, 98 productions, companies and personalities have been shortlisted across the 19 Bronze Torc Awards for Excellence categories – including factual, arts, drama, entertainment, sport, current affairs, children and young people’s programmes, as well as radio station of the year and radio presenter - with a total of 450 entries having been submitted from across Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and Ireland.
The Festival boasts an action packed programme of events including workshops, panel discussions and daily screenings of shorts, documentaries and feature films, not to mention some very special guest contributors. Proceedings got well underway on Wednesday night with a screening of Upside Down: The Story of Creation Records, followed by a Q & A with Creation boss Alan McGee.
Also on the programme was a panel discussion on music programming with renowned Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, a TV presenting workshop led by Morag Stewart, a discussion on Celtic comedy chaired by comedienne Karen Dunbar, and a talk exploring the next format in television programming by Channel 4’s Stuart Cosgrove and the Executive Producer of Come Dine with Me.
Meanwhile, the festival will also be opened up to non-delegates with free public screenings around the Western Isles in Barra, Benbecula, Harris and North Uist, including an exclusive insight into how to transform the dangerous art of climbing into a television broadcast (5 Climbs, 5 Islands), and to top it all off, a traditional ceilidh.
Festival Director, Donald Campbell said: “The Festival has gotten off to a great start and we’re truly excited at the talent, creativity and innovation displayed throughout. We’re honoured that both Tilda and Peter were able to join us here, it is especially fitting that such prolific Scottish stars revisit their Celtic roots here in Stornoway.
“As ever, the award shortlist was especially strong, but the winners are a fantastic representation of the brilliant work which has emerged from the Celtic nations over the past year.”
For more information and to access the full festival programme, please go to www.celticmediafestival.co.uk.