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Winners light up FilmG awards

17 February 2023

FilmG, the Gaelic short film competition, celebrated its 15th year with a glitzy ceremony in Glasgow last night (Thursday 16 February).  

Parker Dawes from Ardnamurchan, who won three awards last year, picked up Best Film in the Youth Competition for Gàidhlig sa Chiste.  

Eilidh Johnson from Inverness, also a three-time winner in previous years, scooped up Best Film in the Open Competition with Bochd (Sick), made with her partner and fellow filmmaker Allan Crook. 

This year’s FilmG theme ‘Buidhe’ (Yellow) was interpreted in a variety of ways by filmmakers, and it wasn’t to be forgotten at the awards ceremony as yellow lights and signs lit up the venue. 

It was the first time since 2020 that the FilmG awards were back at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow, and BBC ALBA presenter Fiona MacKenzie and Radio nan Gàidheal host Niall Iain MacDonald took to the stage to celebrate the wealth of talent and creativity shown in this year’s competition. 

Fiona Mackenzie commented: “It’s great to be back in Glasgow and surrounded by such bright young talent.

“It was like looking onto a sea of yellow from the stage, and so lovely to see such delighted faces celebrating Gaelic creativity and storytelling.”

Eilidh Johnson (22) and Allan Crook’s film Bochd (Sick) was nominated across five different categories, winning two awards, for Best Film and Best Performance (Open) by Eilidh. 

The sinister short drama managed to incorporate this year’s theme following a young woman struck down by a mysterious yellow illness after a blind date.  

Parker Dawes (15) from Ardnamurchan created the animation Gàidhlig sa Chiste about the chaos that could ensue if every English word in the world turned to Gaelic.

The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow was packed out for the awards.

Parker, who has been taking animation courses with the British Film Institute alongside tutors from Aardman Animations, took home the prize for Best Film (Youth) and Best Script, while picking up nominations in a further two categories. 

Also in the Youth Competition, Finlay Morrison (14) from Glasgow Gaelic School had a successful evening, picking up two of the most prestigious individual awards.  

Finlay collected trophies for Best Performance (Youth) and the Rising Star Award for Ò, Nuair a Bha Mise Òg! (Oh, When I Was Young!) – a comedy he produced and acted in with his younger brother, Calum – adding to his collection of trophies from previous years. 

Murdo MacSween, FilmG Project Manager at Astar, who deliver the project, said: “Seeing winners like Finlay, Eilidh and Parker return to win even more awards is a testament to the success of FilmG.

“The development of FilmG filmmakers is a key aspect of why the competition exists and the high-quality films on show at the awards demonstrate the promising future of Gaelic media.”

With over 59,000 votes across both competitions, the FilmG Choice Awards were a hotly-fought contests.  

It was Broadford Primary School in the Isle of Skye who took home the prize in the Youth Competition with their MI5-inspired Misean a dh’ Astràlia (Mission to Australia). 

Glasgow-based artist Choirstaidh NicArtair (26) won the prize in the Open Competition with Priob, mixing her animation with her own performance of communicating with her late grandfather through radio waves. 

Other Youth Competition Winners

The Isle of Skye has been fertile ground for Gaelic filmmakers over the years, and this year was no exception with Portree High School and Staffin Primary School taking home prizes, adding to the FilmG Choice Award for Broadford Primary School. 

Portree High School put their own spin on the story behind the 19th century song Òganaich an Òr Fhuilt Bhuidhe in Eachdraidh Uabhasach whilst Staffin Primary School showed how easy it can be to mistake Maligar in Skye for Malaga in Spain in their film Teas aig Deas. 

The Gaelic Award was presented to Millburn Academy for their film Dath Falaichte (Hidden Colour) which was commended for its clever and innovative use of the language by the class of Gaelic learners. 

And the Best Documentary trophy will be returning to the Isle of Harris, with Sgoil Sir E Scott and Comunn na Gàidhlig’s documentary about the local lifeboat crew picked as the judge’s favourite. 

Other Open Competition Winners

Previous FilmG winner Innes MacLeòid (35) from the Isle of Lewis returned to collect the Industry Award, being praised for his camera work on Gàidheil Ùra, his documentary following the lives of fluent Gaelic learners. 

After being named the most influential Scottish TikToker at the end of last year, Calum MacLean (34) continued his winning streak picking up the Creativity Award with Snàmh, le Wes Anderson; inspired by the stylings of the Grand Budapest director.   

Kirsty McBain (24) and Cara Turner (22) together collected the award for Best Director for their film Na Caileagan Gàidhealach (The Gael Girls), a Kardashians-inspired Glasgow Gael film.  

Kirsty and Cara both already work in media, with hopes that this award can push them along on their own career paths. 

The Culture Award was won by The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group and pupils from the Nicolson Institute. Na Balaich highlighted the importance of the group as it marks 15 years of bringing men together to share their experience of having cancer.   

The schoolboys will be donating half of their £1000 prizemoney to The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group with the other £500 going towards future filmmaking endeavours. 

Sorley Johnston (20) collected the award for Best Student Film for his van-life documentary Air an Rathad.  

Sorley is a well-known Gaelic content creator who is the final months of his Sabhal Mòr Ostaig media course and who recently starred on BBC2’s Take A Hike.

Eilidh Johnson and Allan Crook winning Best Film (Open) (sponsored by Ricochet, a Warner Bros. International Television Production Company), with their film ‘Bochd’.

Alison Bruce, FilmG Project Executive from MG ALBA, said: “It’s been another fantastic year for entries, and we’re delighted to see such a wealth of talent coming through the competition year on year.

“The great effort and ambition shown by schools, community groups and individual filmmakers has certainly paid off. We look forward to seeing what’s next for all involved.”

Highlights of the awards ceremony will be shown on BBC ALBA and BBC iPlayer on Friday 24th February at 9pm.

The complete list of winners can be found on the FilmG website at

Follow FilmG on social media to stay up-to-date with next year’s competition.

FilmG Youth Competition Winners

FilmG Choice Award (Youth) 

Misean a dh’ Astràilia (Broadford Primary School, Isle of Skye)

Best Documentary 

Bòtannan Buidhe (CnaG & Sir E Scott School, Isle of Harris)

Rising Star Award 

Finlay Morrison – Ò, Nuair a Bha Mise Òg! (Glasgow)

Best Production Design 

Eachdraidh Uabhasach: Òganaich an Òr Fhuilt Bhuidhe (Portree High School, Isle of Skye)

Award for Gaelic 

Dath Falaichte (Millburn Academy, Inverness)

Best Youth Group

Teas aig Deas (Staffin Primary School, Isle of Skye)

Best Performance (Youth) 

Finlay Morrison – Ò, Nuair a Bha Mise Òg! (Glasgow)

Best Film (Youth) 

Gàidhlig sa Chiste (Parker Dawes, Ardnamurchan)

FilmG Open Competition Winners

FilmG Choice Award (Open) 

Priob (Choirstaidh NicArtair, Glasgow)

Culture Award 

Na Balaich (Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group & Nicolson Institute, Isle of Lewis)

Industry Award 

Innes MacLeod – Gàidheil Ùra (Isle of Lewis)

Creativity Award 

Snàmh, le Wes Anderson (Calum MacLean, Aberfeldy)

Best Director 

Kirsty McBain & Cara Turner – Na Caileagan Gàidhealach (Glasgow)

Best Performance (Open) 

Eilidh Johnson – Bochd (Inverness)

Best Film (Open) 

Bochd (Eilidh Johnson & Allan Crook, Inverness)

Other Awards

Best Script 

Gàidhlig sa Chiste (Parker Dawes, Ardnamurchan)

Best Student Film

Air an Rathad (Sorley Johnston, Glasgow)