Western Isles film-makers in running to scoop National Short Film awards

Iomairt Ghaidhlig Iar Thuath Leodhais are shortlisted for thier hilarious entry 'A' Suirghe leis na Siaraich' (Courting on the Westside)
Iomairt Ghaidhlig Iar Thuath Leodhais are shortlisted for thier hilarious entry 'A' Suirghe leis na Siaraich' (Courting on the Westside)

FilmG, MG ALBA’s Gaelic Short Film Competition, has announced the shortlists for this year’s competition.

Budding filmmakers from the Western Isles, including pupils from all four High Schools, have been successful in making this year’s shortlists.

This year’s FilmG theme, ‘Rùn’ (Love/Secret/Intention) inspired an array of new ideas and stories from filmmakers making it an exciting yet difficult job for the jury to pick out the best from this year’s entries.

The jury panels comprised of a variety of BBC ALBA and Freelance industry professionals, including ‘Dè a-nis?’ presenter Derek MacIntosh and previous FilmG winner Elly Welch. 

Elly said: “It was a great experience judging this year’s batch of films. Having gone through this process myself I understand how important it is to encourage and recognise new talent, and there was certainly a lot to be excited about this year.

“Every film that has made it onto the shortlists is of a very high standard and I hope that as many people as possible enjoy watch the films.”

Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula has been shortlisted for three awards in the Youth category for their film ‘An Tòimhseachan’ (The Riddle).

These were Best Production, the FilmG Prize for Gaelic, and lead actor Kenny MacKillop was shortlisted for Best Performance.

Kenny plays a detective who finds himself at the centre of a crime scene. This very inventive film saw school pupils recreating a casino scene and a wedding scene in their school theatre!

Also in the running for the FilmG Prize for Gaelic is a group of six pupils from Sir E. Scott School for their documentary ‘Ceòl ann an Sgoil Sir E. Scott’ (Music in Sir E. Scott School), about music in their school which includes some beautiful singing from the pupils.

Castlebay High School is also shortlisted for their Gaelic and for the FilmG Theme Award for their black comedy ‘An Càirdeas Carach’ (The Fickle Friendship) which follows Sorcha, who seeks revenge when her friend starts seeing her ex-boyfriend.

This year’s competition saw the introduction of a new award for Best Music Video.

Successfully shortlisted for this prize are pupils from S3 in The Nicolson Institute in Stornoway with their own comical take on Mànran’s song ‘Latha Math’(Good Day) shot at various locations throughout the Isle of Lewis.

However, it wasn’t just school pupils who showed their talent for filmmaking this year.

The Open category which is for aspiring filmmakers over the age of seventeen and community groups also featured film entries from the area.

Benbecula music student Fiona MacAndrew’s music video ‘Gàidhlig Mo Rùn’ (Gaelic My Love) has been shortlisted for Best Music Video and Best Student Film. The stock animation film combines puppeteering, animation and local scenery with a beautiful Gaelic track of the same name to create a fantastic video. 

Dòmhnall Eòghainn MacKinnon from Scalpay has also made the shortlist with his moving documentary called ‘An Sgoil Bheag Mu Dheireadh’ (The Last Little School). 

This film is about the closure of the remote little school of Seilebost on the Isle of Harris which has clearly left a hole in the heart of the local community. 

Dòmhnall Eòghainn won the Best Music Video award in last year’s competition, but was keen to try something different this year.

Shortlisted for the Best Community Award is ‘Tàirneanaich’ from Shiabost in Lewis with their hilarious Lewis version of popular dating show ‘Take Me Out’ called ‘A’ Suirghe leis na Siaraich’ (Courting on the Westside).

Alex John Morrison who plays the lead role has been shortlisted for his charismatic and fun portrayal of Paddy McGuinness who presents the Saturday night show. 

Also from Lewis and making the shortlist for Best Drama Film is ‘Taigh a’ Mhuirt’ (Home Kill) by Keith Stringer and Eric MacDonald. This sinister film finds husband Ali spending a lot of time in his shed following the disappearance for an 18 year old girl. 

All the shortlists are now available online on the FilmG website www.filmg.co.uk, where you can also view all entries in this year’s competition.

The winners will be announced at the prestigious FilmG awards ceremony taking place at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Friday, March 14th, keep an eye on social media for information about tickets.

Providing entertainment at this year’s ceremony will be up-and-coming Irish band ‘Seo Linn’.

They became an internet sensation last year when they collaborated with Irish summer school ‘Coláiste Lurgan’ to produce a Gaelige music video of Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’. It received well over three million hits on YouTube and boosted interest in the language amongst teenagers in Ireland.