Smext5[1]Small Islands Film Festival

Isle of Eriskay June 2007

The inaugural event of the  Small Island Film Festival (Feis Film nan Eileanan Beaga 2007) took place on the island of Eriskay over the weekend of 15-17 June 2007.  The Small Islands Film Trust, working in partnership with a number of agencies and sponsors hosted the 2007 event. 

Both the Screen Machine mobile cinema and Eriskay Community Hall provided the stage for a programme of film screenings and discussion. This 2007 festival provided an arena for both islanders and visitors to sample both the local film heritage as well as have the opportunity to view a range of Scottish and international films with specific and related island themes. Details of screenings, discussion sessions and events can be found here Feis Programme  2007.

 The Small Islands Film Trust would like to thank everyone who lent their support and who contributed of their time, energy and creativity to the event.  Both visitors and islanders alike came to the event on Eriskay and in the most brilliant of sunshine, took the time to head indoors to the Screen Machine: Take 2 and to Eriskay Community Hall to enjoy the sample of films and documentaries associated in some way with small islands both in Scotland and beyond.

Screenings included the work of Orcadian filmmaker Margaret Tait and Werner Kissling’s footage of Eriskay,  Doug Eadie’s Sorley MacLean’s Island (1974) and Moore and Shea’s Shepherds of Berneray (19981) as well as Calum Ferguson’s Am Posadh Hiortach (St Kilda Wedding). A number of Irish-Gaelic films were shown including Breton filmmaker Loic Jourdain’s Fear na nOileán, recipient of the Spirit of the Festival, Gold Torc Award of The Celtic Media Festival 2007. The festival also screened films from the Cheju island, South Korea including Red Hunt (Cho Sung Bong) 1998  and Grandmother in the white cotton scarf (Kim Dong-man).

Cultural resource and an island heritage  

The Festival aims to provide a platform on which the awareness of  Scotland’s island-related film and filmmakers can be promoted locally, nationally and internationally. This dedicated high quality film event enables Scotland’s small island communities to have access to a broad and diverse range of high quality films specifically relating to islands and island living. It provides an opportunity for this resource to be accessed within the island communities and the opportunity to discuss the films and for the audience from both the community and beyond to reflect on this rich cultural resource. 

Feis Film nan Eilean Beaga 2007 offered a unique opportunity for the island communities of the Uists and Barra to host an event that commemorating the vision of Irish President Mary Robinson in the Scottish islands a decade ago, by, ‘creating an island space for ourselves to celebrate what Scotland and Ireland share’.  It was developed to encourage Gàidhlig/Gaeilge-speaking islanders, film-makers, media students, friends and supporters alike to meet together and, through the medium of Gàidhlig/Gaeilge view, discuss, assess and celebrate over 70 years of film representation of the small Gàidhlig/Gaeilge-speaking island communities of Scotland and Ireland.  For almost a century the Gàidhlig/Gaeilge-speaking island communities of Scotland and Ireland have long been the subject of representation and documentation in film, resulting in an archive of moving images through which the islands and their Gàidhlig/Gaeilge culture has been presented and portrayed, often in conflicting and ambiguous ways.  Within the last decade the growth of Gàidhlig/Gaeilge film-making companies has enabled film-makers with roots in the islands to make films from a Gàidhlig/Gaeilge-speaking and island perspective.  The result has been that film has become both an important aspect of island heritage and of contemporary Gàidhlig/Gaeilge creative culture.

Highland Year of Culture/Oirbh do Ghàidhealtachd 2007: a bilingual focus   

The inaugural Festival, the 2007 Feis Film nan Eileanan Beaga formed part of Nan Eileanan Iar’s contribution to the celebration of Highland and Gaidhealtachd culture in Oirbh do Ghàidhealtachd 2007. As appropriate to its setting in a Gaelic-speaking community, programme notes and audience and panel discussions for the inaugural 2007 Festival on Eriskay were in bilingual (Gaelic-English) format using simultaneous translation facilties.  A significant proportion of the screenings were Gaelic medium film (subtitled) and there was a major contribution to panel and audience discussions from Gaelic film makers.  Link here to Highland 2007: http://www.highland2007.com/eventsdetails.htm.EventID-56900

Read some press on the festival event:

Stornoway Gazette: http://www.stornowaygazette.co.uk/entertainment?articleid=2919449
Sunday Herald: http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.1429094.0.world 
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