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MARRAM

FILM GOIRID SA GHÀIDHLIG

A SHORT FILM IN GAELIC

BRÌGH NA SGEÒIL

Ann am Marram, tha stòiridh air innse mu theaghlach ann an eilean Innse Gall an Alba. Fad is a tha iad a‘ deanamh moran strì gu am mac gràdhach a thuigsinn is a bheothachadh, tha am muran a dh' fheumas iad airson mullach an taighe a chòmhdach, air fàs gann bho cnàmhadh talmhainn-a-chladaich.

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STORY

Marram tells the story of a family on a Scottish Hebridean island. While they are going to great lengths to understand and revive a beloved son, the marram grass they need to thatch the roof over their heads recedes from a gradually eroding coastline.

Directed by Elspeth Turner & Robbie Jones

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~FACAL AN ÙGHDAR~

WRITER'S STATEMENT

The idea of making a film on Berneray occurred to me in November 2015. My father is from the island, and I was there with my brothers, gathering marram grass out on the West side, for thatching the roof of our family cottage there. I was especially intrigued by the sounds I was party to whilst doing this work - which is sometimes quite meditative. I grew up spending summers on the island, and so I have always been in awe of the beauty of the landscape. However, I wasn’t prepared for the beguiling quality of the light, wildlife, and the land itself, which can be seen in the winter months, and I thought: I think this place will always be unravelling itself to me. So it occurred to me to make a film which might communicate this majestic and in some ways unknowable place to other people.

The characters then grew out of my love for and fascination with the place, and I knew I wanted to follow a family who were working with the marram – I think it’s interesting to watch modern characters carry out this very old practice. This is particularly interesting and important to explore these days, as coastal erosion and other environmental pressures mean that some areas of marram grass which must have once seemed plentiful, are now under threat.

I always wanted the story to be a modern story, complete with some very old beliefs, and to be told in Gaelic. It is very important to me that Gaelic be recognized as a living language, and therefore it’s important for me, as an artist, to show it as such. Therefore I hope we can make the film in such a way that the characters speaking Gaelic is not a big deal, but a matter of course.

After wanting to work with Ewan (James Armstrong) on film for a while, I wrote the character of Kevin around him. He is from the Isle of Lewis, and brought to the film a depth of perspective on what it is to be discovering a Queer identity when you live in an island community such as this. We talked a lot before and during the shoot about how we wanted to portray this character and where they might sit within LGBTQ+ and specifically drag culture. I hope the film will drift between a meditation on his withdrawal from the world around him, and also an intimate look at how his family is having to shift and change to cope, much like the coast surrounding them all.

I have done a bit of writing for screen before, but this is my first venture as a director of film. I ran towards the opportunity with a huge amount of excitement, partly because I’m getting the chance finally to collaborate with Robbie Jones. Robbie and I got to know eachother working on the feature film Riptide – a schizophrenia love story. As a DOP and co-director, Robbie is endlessly inventive and courageous, and it has been a joy to work with him in capturing these characters, and the landscape in the Outer Hebrides.

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~SGIOBA~

CAST & CREW

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DAIBHIDH WALKER

Seumas

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DOLINA MACLENNAN

Maragaidh

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EWAN JAMES ARMSTRONG

Kevin

MARCAS MAC AN TUAIRNEIR

Pat

ELSPETH TURNER

Writer / Director

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ROBBIE JONES

Cinematographer / Director

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ANA SANTOS

Production Designer

RODERICK TURNER

Location Coordinator

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ALLISON DECLERCQ-MATTHAS

Sound Recordist

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GILLIAN JOHNSTON

Makeup Designer

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STEPHANIE WARD

1st Assistant Camera

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EMMA DEMPSEY

Gaffer

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STEVEN COOK

Photographer

WHYTE

Composers

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ANNI ASIKAINEN

Producer

THOMAS HOGBEN

1st AD / Drone Op