Today (Tuesday 10 September 2013) representatives from the Scottish government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Highland Council visited Inverness Royal Academy to see first-hand some of the exceptional work being done by FilmG in high schools around the country.

FilmG, the National Gaelic Short Film Competition, runs a training scheme in parallel with its competition to gives adults and young people interested in film-making the skills needed to make their own short film in Gaelic. The 2014 training programme got under way with a story development class delivered by FilmG workshop co-ordinator and tutor Muireall Urquhart, she said: “we are very excited to be starting this year’s workshop programme and particularly happy to be here at Inverness Royal Academy, a school which has been very supportive of FilmG since it started.”

Muireall who previously worked as a television and radio presenter also commented: “I am thrilled to be working on such a creative project which could lead many young people to a career in the media, having had similar encouragement myself as a teenager I feel privileged to now be in a position where I can encourage others into this sphere of work”

Over the coming four months, Muireall and her team of media tutors will visit around 25 high schools throughout the country and will help pupils make Gaelic films. Involvement in the project gives teenagers an excellent platform for showcasing their talents as well as dovetailing with the new Curriculum for Excellence.

Principal Teacher of Gaelic at Inverness Royal Academy, Catriona Johnson said: “Pupils find FilmG a very enjoyable experience and we are very fortunate to have tutors who are experienced in working in the industry coming into the classroom to help them produce their films.”

Thanks to funding from a variety of bodies including the Scottish government Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Highland Council, Cànan who run the FilmG training Scheme, have been able to purchase 3 new camera kits specifically for the FilmG training programme.  Also funded by the Scottish Government and being screened for the first time at the launch are a series of 5 Gaelic training videos that have been produced exclusively for the project.    

Dr Alasdair Allan MSP said “FilmG has been a great success since it started in 2008 and we are very happy to be able to support it.  It is good to see young people participating in a project that is fun and engaging through the medium of Gaelic.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig are also very encouraged by FilmG’s continuing success. John Angus Mackay the Board’s Chief Executive said: “We are thrilled to be able to help facilitate this venture. This is a fabulous opportunity for youngsters and community groups to showcase their talents.”

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of the Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said, “We believe it is important that we provide assistance where possible in developing opportunities for young people to engage with Gaelic especially relating to innovative projects for young people to use their linguistic skills in a creative manner”.  He continued, “This is highlighted in the Council’s Gaelic Language Plan and FilmG is an excellent example of a project which is able to produce and deliver this for our young people, I wish FilmG every success and look forward to seeing the films which the young people will produce with guidance and support from experienced Gaelic speaking professionals in the Creative Industries sector”.

FilmG is now open for entries to both adults and young people.  Entrants are asked to submit Gaelic films which are three to five minutes in length.  The project culminates in a fabulous awards ceremony with many celebrities from the world of film and TV present.  A selection of the best entries to FilmG will be shown at various events over the coming months, please visit the FilmG website or the FilmG Alba Facebook page for further details.