Some good news from Scotland for our fellow Gaels as the Scottish government announces further funding for Scottish language film production:
‘First Minister Alex Salmond has announced funding of almost £40,000 to help train entrants to the 12-to-17-year-old category in this year’s FilmG competition.
FilmG is MG ALBA’s short film competition, which aims to uncover new talent for development on the Gaelic digital channel BBC ALBA and produce new Gaelic content for the web. It was launched in 2008.
The money will consist of a £25,000 grant from Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) and £14,100 direct Scottish Government support.
Speaking at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, Salmond said: “I’m pleased to visit Sabhal Mòr Ostaig again, to meet the Principal and senior management and to see firsthand the excellent work being undertaken at the college to enhance the place of Gaelic education and strengthen the status of the language across Scotland.
“It is also encouraging to hear about the positive impact which FilmG has had and the opportunities it has created in its first three years – inspiring many young people to consider careers in the screen industries. I am delighted to be able to confirm today that the Scottish Government and Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) will support the competition this year, by funding workshop sessions for 12-to-17 year olds.
“The workshops provide young people with many of the experiences and outcomes outlined in the Curriculum for Excellence, including enhanced skills in literacy, language, numeracy and the expressive arts. FilmG offers an opportunity to build confidence, social awareness and help realise individual talents.”’’
It is notable how the SNP has embraced the native Scottish language in recent years from what was for many decades a stance of indifference or even hostility. To paraphrase the famous axiom of Pádraig Mac Piarais, they have finally woken up to the fact that ‘a nation without a language is a nation without a soul’. Despite the strategic blurring of the edges around the SNP’s push for independence, many in the party realise that one of the greatest assets in separating Scottishness from Britishness, and furthering the cause of a free Scotland, is to be found in the area of language. By asserting Scotland’s national identity through its national language some in the independence movement are establishing a cultural nation in the minds of the Scottish people to match the political one they also wish to establish.
For a new generation of Scots a Gaelic identity is as much a part of who they are as any other component of Scottishness. For some the two concepts are one and the same. It could be the great irony of 20th and 21st century history that it is Scotland that emerges as the domestically and internationally recognised Gaelic nation, leaving Ireland as just another Anglo-American territory. Though not everyone would be saddened by that fact.
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