Lochaber pupils Venice bound for UNESCO film festival

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Two pupils from Lochaber High School will be attending the UNESCO CIAK JUNIOR International Film Festival at the end of May, in an opportunity of a lifetime.

Lochaber High School will be representing Scotland at the Italian festival, with their Gaelic short film Origami, which won the Best Youth Film at the 2019 FilmG Awards.

The powerful and stylistic film focuses on bullying, but unusually gives the viewer a look at life from the bully’s perspective and culminates in an unexpected and uplifting twist. The school pupils wrote, starred and directed the film with support from independent filmmaker, Dòmhnall Eòghainn MacKinnon, originally from Scalpay in the Western Isles.

Pupils Floraidh Stevenson and Faye MacKinnon will travel to Venice to attend the festival. Due to an illness, Floraidh was not able to attend the FilmG Awards so is delighted to have been chosen for this trip.

She said: ‘Making Origami was such a fun and creative experience for all of us. I got to direct the film and also had a small part in it, but unfortunately couldn’t make it to the awards ceremony, so this is a great consolation prize! I can’t wait to see the entries from other countries and hopefully meet some other young filmmakers.’

FilmG’s project manager, Flòraidh Forrest will also travel to Venice with the group. She said: ‘We are thrilled to be given this opportunity and are proud to be taking such a meaningful and creative film with us to represent Scotland on this international platform. When young people have the opportunity to travel and see other cultures it can help in developing creativity and offers them the opportunity to gain a stronger sense of their own identity, language and culture. Something we are keen to encourage in young Gaelic speakers today.’

Funding this trip are MG ALBA who see the potential for the CIAK JUNIOR competition to be incorporated within the FilmG competition.

Communications manager Murdo MacSween said: ‘Seeing Gaelic content, made by young filmmakers, appear at an international festival like this is hugely inspiring. It proves again that FilmG is a fantastic opportunity and that Gaelic can lead to amazing experiences.’

The festival takes place in Venice on May 24 and 25.

Follow FilmG social media channel’s for regular photographs and video updates. And to watch Lochaber’s film Origami, visit the FilmG Website.