Island youngsters head to FILMG awards ceremony

Mark Smith, with friends Alex John Morrison and Lauren Anne MacLean, are Glasgow bound this weekend.
Mark Smith, with friends Alex John Morrison and Lauren Anne MacLean, are Glasgow bound this weekend.

A GROUP from Comunn na Gàidhlig’s West Side of Lewis Gaelic Initiative will this weekend be making their way to Glasgow FilmG 2013 awards ceremony.

This is the second time that the Initiative have reached the final stages of this prestigious competition, this year with the short film they produced, ‘Developing Gaelic in the Community’, which is on the shortlist for the best community project of the year.

The film outlines the work of the Initiative in the area and it can be viewed on the Shawbost Gaelic Forum website, at

Mark Smith (16), from Shawbost, embarked on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme in the summer of 2012 and he grasped the opportunity to develop his Gaelic as part of the skills required to gain the award through spending time with the Shawbost Open Group which are supported by the Initiative.

With additional assistance from Stephen MacLeod, who was working as part of Comunn na Gàidhlig’s Summer Placement scheme within the Multimedia Unit of the Comhairle’s Education and Children’s Services Department, Mark produced a short film about the Gaelic development work which is taking place in the area.

It was only at the turn of the year that Mark approached the Initiative’s Officer, Marina Murray, to express his interest in entering the competition.

As Marina explained: “Mark did a great job of the film and when we saw that ‘Desire’ was one of the topics featured in this year’s competition we thought it fitted in nicely to what Mark had produced.

“And we were absolutely over the moon when we found out Mark had been shortlisted – in the adult’s competition!”

The Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday evening (22nd March) at the Arches in Glasgow and joining Mark going to Glasgow will be Alex John Morrison and Lauren Anne MacLean, who were also involved in the project.

Mark commented: “I would like to thank the West Side of Lewis Gaelic Initiative and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for the support given to me and for the loan of the recording equipment.

“I would also like to thank Kenny Stewart at Moja Limited who undertook the editing of the film. I am really looking forward to going to Glasgow and especially to the awards ceremony.”

The film – and other entries – can also be viewed through FilmG’s own website at