A record number of promising and talented filmmakers have submitted entries to FilmG – the national Gaelic short film competition.
This is the ninth year of MG ALBA’s competition - and more young filmmakers and school groups are going it alone, without the help of FilmG tutors, than ever before.
Overall, there were an amazing 105 entries, including 56 film entries in the Youth section and 25 in the Open category. Newly introduced prizes for Best Sports Commentary and Best Script also attracted exciting entries on top of the films, and the organisers predict that judges will have some tough decisions to make over the coming couple of weeks. It is also hoped that this year’s People’s Choice award will attract the usual stir and that last year’s record number of votes can be beaten.
All film entries can be viewed online from Tuesday 20th December and voting for films is now open until February – before the winners are announced at FilmG’s glamorous annual awards ceremony, at The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on February 17, 2017.
Year on year, the FilmG competition theme inspires budding filmmakers of all ages to try their hand making a short film. This year’s is no exception with the theme ‘Strì’, which means to endeavour or conflict, motivating a wide variety of interpretations such as Oban High School’s comedy take on Masterchef and the Bake-off, ‘Croutons is Cardamom’ with the hilarious Ollaidh Oraindsear (Orange Ollie) played by Calum McLuckie at the helm.
It seems FilmG 9 is the year of the spoof, with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s TV Course students giving us their own take on well-known Gaelic shows and Ardnamurchan High School and community group Tàirneanaich, from the West Side of Lewis, giving BBC ALBA the Gogglebox treatment!
This year’s theme prompted a number of documentaries too, such as Plockton High School’s film which follows the incredible work of Highland Hospice and their own efforts to raise funds for the charity. Especially moving is Kerr Gibb’s documentary ‘Taobh Eile Duilghe’ (Through the Hardship) which follows the work of Italian charity, Operazione Colomba, as they support Syrian refugees in north Lebanon.
After last year saw the introduction of a prize for Best Mobile Short, this year sees mobile entries go from strength to strength with community group Cearcall Fighe Dhùn Èideann (Edinburgh’s Gaelic Knitting Group) documenting the laughs at their weekly meeting in aptly-named ‘Nar Lùban’ (In Stitches) and 12 year-old budding animator Ruairidh Alexander of Gairloch using his phone to create ‘Falach-Fead,’ an entertaining stop-motion about a game of hide and seek.
There has also been a strong response to the newest award for Best Sports Commentary, including from Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula, with 7 of their pupils covering the Billy MacNeil Cup Final following a taster workshop with sports broadcaster Alex O’ Henley.
Iseabail Mactaggart, Director of Strategy and Partnership at MG ALBA, said:
“This is a significant increase in FilmG entries overall and that is incredibly exciting. New categories like sports commentary have been particularly successful, and that is good news too. We want to see more Gaelic speaking talent creating more Gaelic digital content – this demonstrates that FilmG is an effective way to nurture that.
“We’re now looking forward to the judges sitting down to view the films. They’ll have some very tough choices to make when deciding which entries make the final shortlists.”
Project Manager Moira Pugh was extremely pleased to see such a number and such a variety of entries:
"There really has been a tremendous level of engagement with this year's competition. We are delighted to see filmmakers of all ages making all sorts of films, from historical dramas to mobile phone comedies to sports commentaries that will have fans on the edge of their seats!"
All films can be viewed online at www.filmg.co.uk on the evening of Tuesday 20th December. The judges announce their shortlists in the middle of January, with the winners being announced at the awards ceremony taking place on Friday the 17th of February.