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.
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
~FACAL AN ÙGHDAR~
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.
CAST & CREW
EWAN JAMES ARMSTRONG
MARCAS MAC AN TUAIRNEIR
Writer / Director
Cinematographer / Director
1st Assistant Camera
1st AD / Drone Op
~MU AR DEIDHINN~
Elspeth Turner | Writer - Director
Elspeth Turner is originally from Fife, and a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has worked with various theatre companies in the UK and North America, including NTS, Magnetic North, and Eastern Angles. She can be seen in the forthcoming feature film, Riptide from Lyre Productions. Her new play, Savage Nation / Buaireas anns an Uisge, explores the legacy of Scotland’s role in Transatlantic Slave Trade, and is currently in development.
More information can be found at www.elspethturner.com
Robbie Jones | Cinematographer - Director
Originally from Manchester, Robbie studied photography and film at Screen Academy Scotland for four years, leaving with a 1st class Honours degree and an ambition to become a DP. He has since shot several short films, music videos and promos, creating online content for BBC Proms, BBC Radio 3, Edinburgh International Festival, BAFTA Guru, Decca Records and the NHS. He shot the pilot episode of web series 'Last Exit To Ricklesburgh' which was nominated for Scottish BAFTA New Talent, and provided additional camera work on five feature films, most recently Zebra Girl, directed by Stephanie Zari. His debut feature film as cinematographer is Riptide, directed by Tim Barrow for Lyre Productions. It is a love story, road movie exploring the relationship between two people with schizophrenia. Filmed in countless beautiful Scottish landscapes, it is due for release this year.
More information can be found at www.robbietjones.com
We heartily believe in the potential power of this film. Firstly because it is vital to the survival of indigenous, minority languages that we use them to tell compelling, contemporary stories around characters you can recognize. Secondly, we believe we can contribute in a positive way to conversations around LGBTQ+ narratives.
By getting involved with us, you will be supporting our belief that stories like this do need to be told in this way, and that there is an audience out there passionate about watching them. We have successfully completed principle photography for this movie and so we are so excited and proud of what we've achieved so far, but the journey is not over yet...
We are now raising money for the critical post production stage and for festival submissions to bring it to the audience it deserves. We are immensely grateful for any contributions.