Successful local film and live music night
Maggie February 10, 2015

The weekly music and song gathering on Friday 6th February at the Retirement Centre in Bayhead, Stornoway included several new short films created in the islands since 2007.

From Uist there was the film Machair Life-A Dion Machraichean na h-Alba. Which demonstrated that traditional crofting practices, have a sustainable future. The film focused on the immensely important conservation value of the unique machair habitat on the west coast of the Hebrides.

Next up was A Gift for King George by Matheson Productions, a humorous look at crofting and island life in the early 1900s. Iain Baba Maciver of Uig played the main character a manic crofter, peat cutter and seaweed gatherer.

The Circle of Life was the subject of Leabhar na Beatha by Keith Stringer and Eric J MacDonald, filmed on the stunning Uig Sands. The film, set just before World War Two, included in the cast Sean Macleod, Eileen MacLennan and Deirdre MacDonald.

The tragedy of the 1st of January 1919 was represented in a five minute film Iolaire written and directed by Alasdair MacLeod of Aignish Riots, Niall Mason and April Maclean were the main characters with supporting actors, filmed at Arnol Blackhouse and aboard a fishing vessel in Glumaig Bay.

Am/Aite Time and Place had a theme of young love, emigration, inheritance and love rekindled in old age. Among the characters were Cristin MacKenzie and Donald John Macleod. The script by Eric J MacDonald was an Aignish Riots production.

With the exception of Machair Life, all the films were made with no budget. Scripts were written, filming schedules prepared, executed and edited, by creative islanders with a desire to see their own heritage represented visually for the enjoyment of others. Their dedication will be partially rewarded with regular planned screenings of locally made films.

The new, local short film evening, was very much enjoyed by the Friday teatime audience, young and old alike. There is a plan to show more of the locally made films at the Friday get together during March.

The films were interspersed with live music on melodeon, guitar and keyboard with songs in Gaelic, Irish country music and popular songs. The musicians and singers on Friday were Roddy MacDonald, Donnie Disco, Alan Farquarson, Tony, Dan and Hazel.

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