CURRENT and aspiring Gaelic media industry professionals are being offered the chance to apply for MG ALBA’s coveted bursary scheme, as it launches its Celtic Media Festival scholarship for 2017.
A total of five places at this year Celtic Media Festival are up for grabs for candidates demonstrating a keen interest in pursuing a career in Gaelic screen media, or for individuals who already work either as a freelancer or with an independent production company producing Gaelic programmes for BBC ALBA.
This year, the Celtic Media Festival is taking place in Douglas on the Isle of Man from 3rd – 5th May.
It is an annual three-day celebration acknowledging excellence in broadcasting and film talent throughout the Celtic countries of Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.
Iseabail Mactaggart, director of Strategy and Partnerships at MG ALBA, said: “The Celtic Media Festival is a key event, both for networking and for understanding the trends that affect how viewers are watching and using media content.
“Our bursary scheme has been extremely popular and is testament to the level of enthusiasm from young talented individuals seeking a career in Gaelic media to grasp every opportunity available.
“Our aim is to support and encourage the next generation of Gaelic media professionals, and to have the opportunity to learn from events such as this one will help in providing insight into the industry as well as offering an understanding of the importance of an international outlook for indigenous productions and channel content.”
Among the successful applicants last year were writer and script editor, Laura MacLennan, and PhD ‘Television and Language Policy in Families’ student, Carrie MacNeil.
Reflecting on her attendance at the Celtic Media Festival last year, Laura said: “The bursary from MG ALBA was really helpful for my own professional development as I met many people who all work in different areas within the media, in all the Celtic corners.
“This was especially helpful when it came to attending drama sessions, hearing first-hand from experts who have been creating continuous drama in other Celtic areas and how they have not only established a voice on their own channels but internationally as well.
“The festival gave me a lot of encouragement in my own line of work and renewed vigour in creating more interesting and appealing content using our Gaelic identity. I now firmly believe there is a platform for our own stories to be told and that we should be rightly proud of them.”
Carrie, whose PhD research examines the role that children’s television has in the use of Gaelic in the home, said: “It’s a great scheme, which gives people the opportunity to network with those in the media sector, from Ireland and even to Norway!
“It’s important that those from the academic world see how the industry works from a practical stance, and that we observe and think about it from a wider perspective.
“At the festival, there were opportunities to ask experts questions and gain information regarding the context of other minority languages. It also gave me opportunities to speak with those who work at MG ALBA, which was very useful for my own research studies.”
Given the level of engagement in Gaelic digital media, MG ALBA is requesting a short two to four minute video in Gaelic to accompany all online applications, providing the opportunity for each applicant to showcase their skills, talent and creativity as well as outlining their desire to attend the festival.
MG ALBA are offering a full support package covering the entry fee, travel and accommodation.
Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 31st March.
About MG ALBA
MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). MG ALBA works in partnership with the BBC to deliver BBC ALBA.
BBC ALBA is available on the following platforms:
- Sky 142 (UK)
- Freeview / You View 7 (Scotland only)
- Virgin Media 161 (UK)
- Freesat 109 (UK)
- BBC iPlayer
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