BBC ALBA has earned seven nominations at this year’s Royal Television Society (RTS) Scotland awards, at this prestigious industry event. The RTS Scotland Awards are the gold standard of achievement in the television industry, recognising excellence across a of programme making and broadcasting skills.
Last year, BBC ALBA celebrated its 10th anniversary and the nominations in seven different categories including comedy, children’s and animation acknowledge the range and excellence of the programming available on the channel.
Iseabail Mactaggart, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at MG ALBA, which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC, said:
“All of us at BBC ALBA are proud to have the quality of the channel’s programming recognised with this number of nominations. We’re proud too to work with such rich, creative talent within the Gaelic media supply sector – all of whom, those nominated and those not – constantly work to deliver the very best for BBC ALBA’s audiences. That commitment and creativity is at the heart of what makes BBC ALBA a success.”
Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg leads the way for BBC ALBA with three nominations, including for Documentary and Specialist Factual: Science and Natural History. MacTV’s documentary has already seen success in the past year with a prize at the Chicago International Television Festival and its shortlisting for a Grierson award.
The superb craft skills which contribute to the channel’s output have also been recognised, with MacTV’s Niall Campbell and Daibhidh Martin shortlisted in the Director and Camera categories for their work on Sùlaisgeir.
Seumas Mactaggart, Head of Production and Development at MacTV, said: “Daibhidh and Niall were embedded with the group of men who were harvesting the young gannets on the isolated island of Sùlaisgeir and had to carefully plan the logistics of filming. Powering their cameras and preserving their footage proved particularly challenging. Over the two weeks they became part of the team, sleeping in the bothy and taking their turn to cook. This resulted in a unique and revealing portrait.”
Sketch comedy was a new addition to the BBC ALBA schedule last year with the new show, FUNC, from the award winning Still Game director Michael Hines. With the help of the BBC Writer’s Room to source new writing talent over one hundred new Gaelic sketches were produced for the show which proved an instant hit with the BBC ALBA audience, both on TV and on social media.
Michael Hines, from The Woven Thread, said: “I’m extremely proud that we’ve been nominated. We have a wonderful young cast, great crew and some brilliant writing. There aren’t many channels that show so much trust in programme-makers and so much commitment to up-and-coming talent and I think the show reflects that trust.”
In the Animations & VFX category, a commission commemorating the Iolaire disaster is BBC ALBA’s debut nomination for this award. Tha thu air Aigeann m’Inntinn from Am Bocsa productions is animator Catriona Black’s beautifully poignant interpretation of Britain’s worst peacetime naval disaster set to the eponymous poem by Iain Crichton Smith.
Catriona Black said: “I made the film for the people of Lewis and Harris and it was warmly received by them but it’s great to see the film being recognised on a wider scale like this.”
Buidheagain by Sobier Productions is BBC ALBA’s debut nomination in the Children’s Category. Made as part of a European Broadcasting Union initiative it sees a family of travellers struggling to protect their way of life from a nasty farmer and his egg business.
BBC ALBA has had a great track record in the Sports category, and this year purpleTV have again received a nomination, this time for their biographical documentary about the Celtic football legend Tommy Burns.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on the 12th of June