A YOUNG teenager is celebrating after his short film scooped three awards in a Gaelic film competition.

Parker Dawes, a 14-year-old pupil at Ardnamurchan High School in Strontian, West Lochaber, picked up prizes at FilmG 2022 for Best Young Filmmaker, Best Film Fluent Speakers and Best Production for his slapstick spy thriller Spies-R-Us.

Also among the winners, announced last night on BBC Alba, was 23-year-old Alina Burst, from Edinburgh, who won Best Film in the Open Category. Her animation, An Taigh Solais, was the first of its kind to win the award.

Many of the winners across the 17 categories were brought into the FilmG studio by video link to accept their award and chat with programme hosts and competition stalwarts Fiona MacKenzie and Niall Iain MacDonald. The specially created awards programme was screened on BBC Alba and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 30 days.

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Films followed this year’s competition theme Lorg, which means search, find or trace, and with more than 90 filmmakers entered.

After collecting his awards, Dawes said: “We chose the spy topic because it was opposite to the film we made last year which didn’t win any prizes.

“We were interested to see if an action film could get different results – and it worked! I created a storyboard and we had crash mats so everything was well planned. I’ve always loved filmmaking and I’ve always looked up to FilmG. I’m really happy to get these awards because my friends and I were so sad when we didn’t win last year. It was great to be on that podium as a winner.”

Brust’s animation An Taigh Solais meanwhile follows a shepherd who is trying to find a lost sheep and has to shelter with her flock in an abandoned lighthouse to escape a storm.

Due to the pandemic, Burst had no access to university facilities, so she made the entire film in her bedroom.

Burst said: “I’m inspired by the Scottish landscape and coastline, especially the lighthouse and the cliffs around St Abbs, one of my favourite places. And a lighthouse is a perfect setting for a weird and spooky story. Making this film was a great opportunity to combine my two passions of art and languages.

“I’m so grateful that all my hard work has paid off – as a Gaelic learner it feels like such a special achievement for me.”

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Taking the prize for Best Production – Under 12 was Coignear Air Chall (translated as 5 Lost Souls) by Sandbank Primary School in Dunoon. It follows five school friends as they take a spooky journey to one of the town’s historic landmarks.

A film about hillwalking and scrambling as a way to get a new perspective on the world from beyond the cold, dark glens and high above the clouds, Thar Nan Sgòth – Beinn Eighe (Above the Clouds – Beinn Eighe) by Anndra Cuimeanach, from Gairloch, secured the prize for Best Documentary for those ages 12 to 17.

In the Open category a short documentary called A’ Mhuir (The Sea) about wild swimming by the students at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the Isle of Skye who take part in the sport, picked up two separate awards – Film Duthchais and Best Director (Anna Garvin).

Emily Murray, 21, from Lewis, accepted the FilmG award on behalf of the class. She said: “Taking part in FilmG was a good opportunity to practice the skills we had learned in class, such as camera, sound and editing.”