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Stornoway’s Nicholson Institute had a starry night on Friday (8th February) after gaining the highest number of nominations in the youth category of the MG Alba FilmG Gaelic film awards,

A total of five nominations were made for their films, which won awards for best performance and the award for fluent Gaelic speakers – for their comedy piosmathduff.com – as well as best script for A-mach à Uchd a’ Bhàis, a documentary on the Iolaire disaster.

Sòlas was the winning production in the best drama and best performance categories. The powerful film about domestic violence by creator Lana Pheutan scooped the £1000 best drama prize with lead actor, Lewis-based Mairi MacLennan, picking up the £200 prize for best performance for her moving portrayal of domestic abuse victim Jenna.

Secondary 2 pupils had made the poignant documentary, A-Mach à Uchd a’ Bhàis, which tells the incredible story of Norman Mackenzie from Swainbost in Ness, who was on the Iolaire.

In the seniors’ comedy film, in which old women Peigi and Ceiteag try to find Peigi’s son Murchadh a match on a new island dating site, the group won the Gaelic award for fluent speakers and Katie Gillies, playing gossip Ceiteag, took home the best performance trophy.

In attendance on the evening was Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP, who said: “We recognise the cultural, economic, educational, health and social benefits that Gaelic language and culture brings to the whole of Scotland. That’s why we want to increase the number of users of the language while increasing opportunities to use it in everyday situation.

“Broadcasting Gaelic-speaking film and television is vital to ensure its continuation at the heart of our cultural identity.”

The pictures show the senior pupils behind piosmathduff.com and Katie Gillies, who won best performance, and Mairi Maclennan, who won best performance for her role in Sòlas, together with Steve Cree, star of Outlaw King.