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Stars of the Big screen turn out to present National Gaelic Film Awards

BestYoung Filmmaker - Ross McKenzieStars of the big screen turned out in Glasgow on Friday 19th February to present a number of awards at the annual National Gaelic Film Awards ceremony. 

MG ALBA, the Gaelic Media Service, was celebrating another successful FilmG competition, its prestigious Gaelic screen talent awards, which this year were streamed live for the first time ever. 

The award ceremony was held at The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow and hosted by Fiona MacKenzie, face of BBC ALBA, and Niall Iain Macdonald, TV & radio presenter.

Guest presenters at the event included renowned Scottish actor Dawn Steele, who plays River City’s GP, Dr Annie Jandhu and previously vet Alice Trevanion in ITV drama series Wild at Heart, whilst others may remember her as Lexie in BBC drama Monarch of the Glen, and popular actor Sanjeev Kohli best known for playing Navid in the much-loved Still Game sitcom.   

Also presenting awards were BAFTA award winning director Don Coutts (for Katie Morag), Scottish screenwriter Sergio Casci best known for The Caller and American Cousins, much-loved Scottish broadcaster Cathy MacDonald, Donnie ‘Dotaman’ Macleod, BBC Scotland/ ALBA weather presenter Anne Lundon, River City star Jordan Young, rugby legend Chris Paterson and Scottish Government Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan.

Actress, Dawn Steele, said: “This is the first time I’ve been at the FilmG Awards and it’s fantastic to be part of such a young and vibrant event. All aspects of Scottish culture are important and I hope FilmG gives young people the confidence they need to continue with their Gaelic studies, as well as making more great films. Well done to everyone who took part.”

Actor, Sanjeev Kohli, said: “It’s great to be back at the ‘sgoinneil’ (fantastic) FilmG Awards and see this year’s batch of Gaelic talent accept their awards. I haven’t been practicing my Gaelic much since last year so this is the push I need to get the textbooks out again, can’t have these capable young’uns  getting in ahead of me! Seriously, well done to everyone involved, I’ve had a great night.”

This year’s competition theme was’Cliù’ (Fame / Reputation) which inspired an array of filmmakers in both the Youth Category (aged 12 – 17) and the Open Category (aged over 18), with a total of 78 films being submitted.

Up-and-coming traditional Scottish music band, The League of Highland Gentlemen provided entertainment on the night and enjoyed more of the limelight when they scooped the top award for the Best Comedy Film.Best Comedy Film - The League of Highland Gentlemen

Seonaidh MacIntyre, Ross Wilson, Ewen Henderson and Alec Dalglish of the League of Highland Gentlemen often create funny and entertaining videos to go with their music and this time made a hilarious short film for FilmG.  Their film ‘Seachdain gun Seòladh’ (A Week without Sailing), is a parody based on the new West Coast ferry route between Mallaig to Lochboisdale. The film follows the ferry, the ‘Loch Never’, as it travels between Mallaig Street and Uist Street in Glasgow but for various reasons never makes it to its final destination. 

The competition continues to inspire a new generation to get involved in creating digital video content for online platforms and judges were particularly impressed with the quality of films in the Youth Category which received a record 54 entries. There was also surge in the number of young filmmakers producing films on their own using their mobile phones and highlighting the competition’s accessibility and interactive nature  

School pupils from all across Scotland took part with Greenfaulds High school, James Gillespie’s High School, Dingwall Academy and Tain Royal Academy all taking home top awards.

Winning ‘Best Young Filmmaker’ was Ross McKenzie (14) from Skye, a third year pupil at Portree High School. Ross’ film, which he wrote, directed and starred in all by himself, was of an extremely high standard and was a gangster movie shot mostly at night and with only a little help from his dad, who was his “tripod” for some of the scenes. 

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages said: “Film-making has a huge role to play in achieving the shared aim of creating a secure future for Gaelic, by bringing the language to new audiences. I have been very impressed by the skill, commitment and imagination that has gone into the Gaelic film making in this competition. As this year’s nominees demonstrate, Gaelic film-making continues to go from strength to strength.

“I congratulate MG ALBA, Cànan, supporters, sponsors and everyone else involved in making this possible. I am proud that the Scottish Government continues to work with MG ALBA as a sponsor of these awards.”

Donald Campbell, Chief Executive of MG ALBA, said: “The aim of FilmG is to encourage people of all ages to create new digital content in Gaelic and we have been delighted yet again with the level of entries received across the board. The competition is all about having fun whilst at the same time offering a platform for aspiring filmmakers to get recognised and benefit from potential opportunities available in the Gaelic media and creative industries.

Award for Gaelic - James Gillespie’s High School“The competition has grown significantly over its eight year history becoming increasingly interactive and more relevant with younger generations through online channels. This year’s objective in particularly was to inspire young Gaelic speakers to go-it-alone and make their own film and Ross, who won Best Young Filmmaker, is a fine example of the talent we want to nurture over the years to come.

“We’d like to congratulate those who scooped an award at this year’s FilmG as well as offer our praise to everyone who took part in the competition as it continues to unearth an array of creative Gaelic talent.”

All 2016 winners are listed below, with every film entered in this year’s FilmG competition available to view online at

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