By Scott Begbie
A Doric dozen of fascinating films are now available online thanks to a unique film festival that showcases the language and culture of the north-east.
The Doric Film Festival – which was launched to great acclaim in 2019 – moved online this year and was flooded with creative ideas celebrating the area’s richness and diversity on the theme of “Jist Far I Bide”.
Now the 12 selected short films can be viewed online with introductions from festival organisers and celebrity supporters, including renowned playwright Morna Young and River City star Joyce Falconer, who is making a triumphant return to the BBC Scotland soap next week.
Joyce Falconer sent a special message to the Doric Film Festival from the set of River City. Festival director, Frieda Morrison, said she was delighted by the sheer quality and range of the films created by individuals, schools and community groups, despite the constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Testament to filmmakers tenacity “Lockdown kept hampering all the way throughout, the schools especially,” said Frieda, adding the festival had to extend its deadline three times.
Check out the 12 films selected by the Doric Film Festival 2021. “It was a testament to their tenacity that they got their films finished and we were delighted.”
Frieda said the festival this year has no winners, as such, due to the difficulties faced. Instead, 12 films, chosen from 27 entries are being showcased. The selection covers topics ranging from comedy to nostalgia and even celebration.
The selections offered include memories of the Alford community railway, a celebration of Aberdeen karate legend Ronnie Watt, and a look at Mary Webb who wrote The Northern Lights Of Old Aberdeen.
“There was a huge amount of hours spent by people honing their craft and getting it ready,” said Frieda, who created the film festival to celebrate the Doric language and cultural identity. The 12 films for 2021 each received a cash prize to continue and develop their filmmaking.
Where to see the Doric Film Festival entries
For its first outing in 2019, the Doric Film Festival held a red carpet event at the Belmont Filmhouse, but this year, it was an online affair.
There is, however, a plus side to the festival going digital. The final ceremony and the 12 selected films can be found online and potentially seen around the world.
Frieda said: “We were humbled, inspired and bolstered by the creative methods used by our filmmakers in getting their contributions complete.
“It was, therefore, imperative upon us to work hard to overcome hurdles and create this online showcase which will share the fruits of their labours with a potentially global audience thanks to its digital format.”
Not that the Doric Film Festival – which has attracted a range of sponsors including the P&J, Scots Radio, Scottish Government and The Grassic Gibbon Centre – is resting on its laurels. It already has an eye to 2022 – and next month will be asking for film-makers from across the north-east to enter again.
“Entries will be opening in mid-September, so look out for it then,” said Frieda.
To find out more about the Doric Film Festival visit doricfilmfestival.com