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STARS OF THE BIG SCREEN TURNED OUT TO PRESENT NATIONAL GAELIC FILM AWARDS INCLUDING JAYD JOHNSON AND LAURA McMONAGLE

Stars of the big screen turned out in Glasgow last night (Friday, 22nd March) to present a number of awards at the fifth National Gaelic Film Awards ceremony.

MG ALBA, the Gaelic Media Service, was celebrating another successful FilmG competition, its prestigious Gaelic screen talent awards, which were held at The Arches, Glasgow.

Guest presenters at the event included renowned Scottish actors, Jayd Johnson, BAFTA winner 2012 for Field of Blood and former River City star, and Laura McMonagle who starred in ‘Ae fond Kiss’ and ‘The Wee Man’ this year alongside Martin Compston.

Also presenting awards were TV producer, presenter and actor, Tony Kearney, Sally Howitt of River City, Shane O’ Meara and Kirstie Steele, both of Waterloo Road, and acclaimed Director Michael Hines. A host of faces and voices from BBC ALBA were also in attendance, including Reporting Scotland presenter Alasdair Fraser and weather girl Kirsteen Macdonald. 

Hosts on the night were Fiona MacKenzie, face of BBC ALBA, and Niall Iain Macdonald, TV & radio presenter.

This year’s competition theme was ‘Acras/Miann’ (Hunger/Desire) which inspired an array of new ideas for filmmakers in both the 12-17 age-group and the adult category, with a total of 62 films being submitted. Judges were particularly impressed with the quality of films in the 12-17 category with 42 entries being received and school pupils taking part from all across Scotland including Alness Academy and Dunoon Grammar School submitting films for the first time this year. 

Actress Laura McMonagle said: “It was a great honour to attend and support the FilmG Awards this year. My boyfriend is a film director and it’s encouraging to see so much new talent being presented from up and coming generations. It’s very refreshing to see the Gaelic language and those learning it showcase their work in such a professional and creative style – it’s great for Scottish media and even better for Gaelic and its culture.”

Michael Hines, director and FilmG judge, said: “I am delighted to have been a judge for this year’s FilmG competition and it’s a great honour to present the People’s Choice Award at such a wonderful event, because after all - the people are the real judges of our work.”

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Scotland’s Languages, said: “The quality of films this year has been incredible and it really shows the growing confidence and skill of those taking part. FilmG not only showcases the talent of young film makers, it offers those who have grown up speaking Gaelic and those learning the language the opportunity to work together to learn new skills that will allow them to challenge and express themselves.

“FilmG forms part of our investment in a range of projects that help keep the Gaelic language a sustainable and vibrant part of our culture. I am delighted to be a part of the awards once again and congratulate all of those who took part.”

Donald Campbell, Chief Executive of MG ALBA said: “This year’s FilmG has been very exciting with a number of budding film-makers and schools taking part for the first time. The quality of films continues to impress our judging panel year on y

ear and we are encouraged by the enthusiasm for FilmG and the level of creative talent that it uncovers.

“We congratulate all award winners but would also like to extend our praise to everyone who took the time and effort to produce a short film for FilmG 2013. The calibre of entries was extremely high this year and we very much look forward to next year’s FilmG.”

FilmG has unearthed a wealth of creative talent since it was established five years ago, and was named Best Cultural Event at the 2012 Scottish Event Awards.

Entertainment on the night was provided by ‘Macanta’, offering an all original blend of Gaelic American and folk music with all songs being written by Dòl Eòin Mackinnon from the Isle of Harris who also took home three of the evening’s awards for his Music Video entry.