A new telling of the cautionary tale of Ùisdean mac Ghilleasbuig Chlèirich has helped Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath to a shortlisting in the 15th anniversary FilmG competition.
Pupils from the school contributed to a record-breaking year for the Gaelic short-film festival, which saw 106 films entered, 82 of them in youth categories.
Filmmakers were this year tasked to create films less than five minutes long, based on the theme of ‘buidhe’ (yellow) and in any of the 17 categories.
The North Uist pupils worked with the archaeology project Uist Unearthed, and with language and technical support from Liam Crouse, Shona Masson, and Paul Burgess, to tell a story which originates from the history of the medieval hall at Dùn an Sticir, North Uist.
Ùisdean mac Ghilleasbuig Chlèirich is known locally as a dastardly villain, a member of the Sleat branch of the influential Clan Donald, who was granted factorship of North Uist around 1580 by his relative Donald Gorm, chief of the MacDonalds of Sleat.
The short animated film follows Ùisdean’s plot to overthrow his chief, an ambition which ended up going poorly for him.
Uist Unearthed announced on Friday (13 January): “Some good news today as we learn that the brilliant animation created by the pupils of Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath has been shortlisted in the film dùthchais category (culture award) for the FilmG awards!
“The pupils worked very hard on this and it is lovely to have their creative and storytelling talents recognised.”
Whether or not the film gains an award ultimately, it will feature in an augmented reality reconstruction of the iconic Iron Age broch and medieval hall, planned for this year.
You can watch and vote for the film here: https://www.filmg.co.uk/filmichean/uisdean-mac-ghilleasbaig-chleirich/
Shortlisted for youth awards in this year’s FilmG competition are projects including documentaries by pupils at Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil, Sgoil Shiaboist and Sir E Scott School in Harris.
The open competition has island-made films originating in Eriskay, Stornoway, North Uist and Skye.
The full shortlist, with opportunities to vote, is at https://www.filmg.co.uk/youth-shortlists/ and at https://www.filmg.co.uk/open-shortlists/
FilmG’s awards ceremony will be in the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Thursday, 16 February, a return to a live event for the first time in two years. A highlights programme is to be broadcast on BBC ALBA.
The pictures show one of the frames from Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath and the film-making group with their images (Uist Unearthed).