MOVIE MAGIC: Big screen debut for film made by Isle of Skye school pupils

The pupils made and starred in the film

Budding movie makers at a Skye primary school are looking forward to a big screen premiere this weekend.

The primary six and seven pupils from Bun-sgoil Shlèite have themselves shot, directed and starred in ‘Cleachd i no caill i’ – a Gaelic superhero-themed short film with an important message about language use.

Sleat parents Beth Willis and Johnny Campbell – both of whom have a wealth of experience in TV and film production – helped drive the project, which was supported by Screen Scotland and involved some leading industry figures, who all volunteered their expertise.

Clapper-board man Cailean John Thomson

 “The children were more professional than the professionals,” said Beth. “They worked so hard on two very busy filming days and I’m so proud of what they achieved. From empty whiteboard to finished film, their creativity was a privilege to witness.”

The youngsters said they are looking forward to seeing their work on the big screen at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig at 6pm this Sunday (23rd April).

Primary 7 pupil Morag Stephen, who was part of the directing team, said: “The film was filmed locally at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and at Ostaig beach. I enjoyed being part of the directing team – organising people and telling them where to position themselves for each shot.”

On location in Sleat

Clapper board man Cailean John Thomson added: “We helped with the boom and the assistant director and behind the scenes. It was a lot of fun.”

Script supervisor Esmae Micski said: “I really enjoyed the project because you could actually see a film being made and we could be a part of it. People in class wrote the script. I wrote the scenes and decided if they were ok or not.”

Writer and actor Lily Campbell added: “It took three days of filming and there were eight acting roles. My favourite scene is from the ‘professor’s office’ – but I won’t give too much away about that until you see it!”

The pupils learned various aspects of film production

Composers Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly – currently on a Broadway production – are behind the film score, and Glasgow post production house Blazin Griffin did the sound and colour as well as holding a zoom workshop with the youngsters.

The P6/7 pupils who were involved

Closer to home Gaelic-speaking TV professionals Morag Stewart, Magnus Graham and Mairead Hamilton all had key involvement and the graphics team at Canan came up with the publicity artwork.

The film will be screened at 6pm on Sunday 23rd at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, with baking and refreshments from the Bunsgoil Shlèite parent council.

*With thanks to the pupils of Bunsgoil Shlèite who helped put this article together