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BBC ALBA programme honoured at Chicago TV Festival

23 March 2018

BBC ALBA programme honoured at Chicago TV Festival

BBC ALBA documentary, Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg (The Hunt), last night received a Certificate of Merit in the non-fiction programme category at the 54th Chicago International Television Festival.

The festival attracts entrants from across the world, with each category awarding a small number of prizes, and Sùlaisgeir, the first ever Gaelic language programme to be considered for this festival, was congratulated as “exceptional work”.

Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg was produced by MacTV and first broadcast on for BBC ALBA on New Year’s Day, 2018. The programme followed the Guga Hunt, where men from Ness in the Isle of Lewis travel 40 miles north to the rocky outcrop of Sùlaisgeir to bring home their quota of young gannets, a salty delicacy and traditional food source for the islanders. The focus of the programme was Dods MacFarlane, the expedition leader, who was taking part in his last ever trip before passing the torch onto the next generation.

MacTV Producer, Màiri Smith, said: “We are delighted to see Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg sharing a platform with some of the best international television from around the globe, and for it to pick up a certificate of merit at this prestigious festival is just fantastic.

“MacTV were privileged to have the opportunity to tell the story of the Ness Guga Hunters from the inside, and share it with the wider world. The chance to collaborate with local communities and document their stories is fundamental to what we do, and we’re delighted with the success for our hard working production team and of course Dods and the boys from Ness who shared their story with us so openly.”

BBC ALBA’s Head of Service, Margaret Mary Murray, said: “BBC ALBA’s Head of Service, Margaret Mary Murray, said: “We are delighted that Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg has been given this prestigious industry recognition and we hope that this will lead to further international development and collaboration opportunities for MacTV and other BBC ALBA producers.

“This programme took many years to come to fruition and it demonstrates the dedication, tenacity and creative energy it takes to deliver outstanding storytelling which is deeply rooted in our culture. We are proud of MacTV and the entire team behind Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg.”

The Chicago International Television Festival, an offshoot of the long-running Chicago Film Festival, is a three-day festival celebrating the art of television productions and commercials from all around the world. Featuring premiere screenings, panel discussions, and an awards-night ceremony, the Festival honours the creativity and craft of Television’s brightest minds.

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