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A short film that explores the Lochs tradition of psalm boats is being screened at An Lanntair, Stornoway, on Friday, December 9.

The movie Calman na Loch (The Dove of Lochs), which won an audience award at the 2022 Paris Short Film Festival, is the story of the Psalmboat Project.

This was a community initiative inspired by the traditional sailing boats that resounded with Gaelic psalm singing as people left church services in Keose to return to their villages dotted around Loch Erisort.

Much of the folklore for the short film was gathered from people who were in their youth when boats were the “Austins and Fords of their day”.

The short also features a re-enactment day at Crossbost in September 2015 with traditional boats.

The film explores how Gaelic psalm singing, a pre-Reformation legacy, has endured and how the present-day population of Lochs keep the spirit of the Celtic Church alive to this day. Calman na Loch is particularly well-timed as it coincides with 1500 years of St Columba’s influence over the Gàidhealtachd and further afield.

After the screening, there will be a Question and Answer session with the filmmaker, Déirdre ní mhathúna, the Lewis-based producer and local island participants.

You can view a trailer for the film on Vimeo

Tickets for An Lanntair’s screening are priced at £10/£8 for concessions.