Young filmmakers in the Western Isles took part in the annual Gaelic Short Film Competition, FilmG, which had a record-breaking number of entries this year, and their films are now available to watch online.
A massive 103 entries were submitted in total, including 23 films to the open category, 75 films made by young people aged 5-18, and five scripts.
The competition is now well-established in schools and with Gaelic speakers and filmmakers across the country.
Voting for The People’s Choice Award is open until the end of January.
Shortlists chosen by a panel of media professionals will be announced in January and their winners will be unveiled at the Awards Ceremony on February 14th.
Each year, FilmG encourages aspiring filmmakers to show off their talent and creativity. This year filmmakers were tasked with making films relating to the theme “Treòraich,” which means guide or lead.
In the Western Isles, there were two entries from both Castlebay High School, Isle of Barra, and the Nicolson Institute, Stornoway.
Castlebay pupils made a documentary about the wrecked ship, the Annie Jane, and a drama film about the impact of mental health.
The Nicolson Institute went for comedies this year, one based in Stornoway’s answer to Fawlty Towers and another based on island musical sensations Peat & Diesel!
Sir E Scott School made a drama film looking at the issue of drug abuse and Sgoil Lionacleit’s An Cogar (The Whisper), made with support from Comunn na Gàidhlig and the Community Education department, follows Màiri, a girl who is helped to face her fears by a mysterious whisper.
In the primary age category, a mix of school classes, community projects, and after school clubs entered.
Comunn Eachdraidh Nis earlier in the year set up a film club, where a group of children from different schools got together to present the highlights of the area on film.
Castlebay Primary also made a documentary, showing their support for Greta Thunberg and her environmental campaign. Other groups from Laxdale, Sgoil an Rubha, Sir E. Scott, and Comunn na Gàidhlig’s Dealanaich made drama films.
The open category also saw good representation from Lewis, with Rachel Kate MacLeod who is studying in Glasgow making a comedy-drama about life in the city and Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn making documentary An-Dràsta (Now) with young people from all over the Western Isles.
Eilidh Rankin, FilmG Project Manager, said: “It’s been a joy to go through this year’s entries. We are delighted to see numbers growing year on year – a sign that the competition is increasing in popularity.
“It’s also really exciting to see such a breadth of topics and genres being covered, and the overall quality of the films is so high.
“It’s great to see familiar faces returning to our screens, as well as new talent coming to the fore.”
Project Funders MG ALBA were also delighted at the standard of entries, Communications Manager Murdo MacSween said: “It’s great that FilmG continues to grow and it’s really inspiring to see funny, dramatic, fascinating content made in Gaelic with such enthusiasm!
“FilmG is a fantastic route to get noticed and to lay a marker for the future and as an industry it’s encouraging to see so many come through FilmG to a career in Gaelic media.”
Visit www.filmg.co.uk to see this year’s entries.