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Success for community groups at film festival

By Kyle Ritchie

Two groups based in Portsoy’s Salmon Bothy were runners-up in the inaugural Doric Film Festival.

Hosted by broadcaster Frieda Morrison it was held in Aberdeen’s Belmont Theatre.

Along with more than 30 groups from around Aberdeenshire, Folk at the Salmon Bothy and the Bothy Knitters each produced five minute films on the theme What the North-east Means to Me.

The Bothy Knitters group at the Doric Film Festival. Picture: Dean Gray
The Bothy Knitters group at the Doric Film Festival. Picture: Dean Gray

The project was spearheaded by Scots Radio, and supported by Aberdeenshire Council, Robert Gordon University, the North East Scots Language Board and the Elphinstone Institute.

Chairwoman of the film festival, Frieda Morrison had encouraged Doric enthusiasts to create their own vision of the north-east.

At the awards ceremony she expressed her delight at the number of entries, the high quality of presentations and congratulated everyone on their passion for the language of the north-east

Lorna Summers, who is involved with both groups, said: "With commentary wholly in Doric, Folk at the Salmon Bothy told the intriguing story of the many historical ballads, bothy ballads and corn kisters which have their roots in this area.

"Focussing on place names such as Rettie (The Hearst o Rettie) and Tifty (Tifty’s Annie), director/producer Tom Spiers and narrator Doug Hay, with several guest musicians gave a fascinating picture of this unique aspect of our area.

"The Bothy Knitters captured the warmth, generosity and enterprise of north-east folk in their film, A Richt Gweed Yarn.

"In a beautiful series of clips moving from shearing sheep to all kinds of knitting, crochet and projects undertaken by the group, their emphasis was on the welcome given to all and donations made to national and local charities from the items created at the Bothy.

"Starring all the Bothy Knitters, the film was voiced over by several ladies reflecting the language and cadences of the north-east."

Neither group had any previous experience of film making, so their selection in the final four in the community section of the competition was particularly gratifying for them.

Bothy knitters chairwoman Gael Thomson said: “We are very grateful to Tom Spiers, who not only produced, filmed and edited his own entry, but helped us by collating all our clips of film and phasing in our voice overs.

"Without him we wouldn’t have been able to complete this project. We plan to thank him by presenting him with a fabulous pair of specially knitted socks.”

Winner of the schools’ category was Meethill Primary’s Oor Blue Toon, while Andrew Sunders’ Big Hoose and Erin Smith’s Fan we Gaed tae Keep Hoose at Hillies’ shared the individual film maker’s prize.

The overall winner of the community category was Torry Heritage Group’s A Future Shapit By the Past.

The prize for each category was £500, while runners up received a unique commemorative plaque.

All the winners and runners up entries can be seen at doricfilmfestival.com

Folk at the Salmon Bothy can also be seen at www.bothyfolk.org and A Richt Gweed Yarn on Portsoy Bothy Knitters Facebook page.

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