On Sunday 5th July, we were at Ceòlas, the renowned Gaelic music and dance festival on South Uist, to launch our community filmmaking competition.
Each year, we offer an award for the Best Community Film and this year films will be accepted by community groups or by individuals if their film is about a particular aspect of community life. The prize of £1,000 will go to the winning community to use on an event or to go towards purchasing filming or editing equipment.
At the Ceòlas opening concert, we were given the opportunity to show two documentary films that had a strong connection with the Island. The first was ‘Dhèanainn Sùgradh ris an Nighean Dubh’ by Fergus Walker from Camuscross in Skye. This film tells the lovely story of how a boy from Grimsay turned his father’s boat that had gone to the rocks into his den. This was followed by ‘Beatha a’ Bhàird’ by Seonag Anderson originally from North Uist but now living in Inverness. This film tells the story of the filmmaker's Grandfather from Grenitote who was a local bard and wrote some excellent songs and poems in his lifetime.
Project manager, Floraidh Forrest, was delighted to be bringing these films to new audiences, she said:
“Over the years we’ve had some fantastic films entered into the competition and it’s great to be able to show them at this fantastic festival that brings the whole community together. We hope to get greater participation from communities in places like Uist who have a wealth of interesting stories that would make great documentaries or dramas. And you don’t need to be Stephen Spielberg to enter, as long as the film tells a good story, is watchable and includes plenty Gaelic.”
Ceòlas Gaelic Development Officer Liam Crouse is keen to get involved in this year’s competition:
“I think FilmG is a great trigger for people in communities like Uist to make short films like those shown to us tonight. It’s great to be able to record community life as it is now and we’re looking forward to working on a film with the community here over the coming months.”
FilmG is now open for entries until Wednesday 16 December and this year’s theme is ‘Cliù’ which translates to fame, prestige or reputation. All films must be in Scottish Gaelic and can be up to five minutes for youth category entrants or up to 10 minutes in length for open category entrants. If you’d like to make a film and want to know more about the competition, just drop us a line!