Through the FAODAIL | FOUND archive film project, a fascinating collection of previously unseen Kodachrome 8mm archive film of everyday life on the Isle of Berneray, in the Sound of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland through the 60s and 70s was digitised earlier this year.
The collection of over 5 hours of film reveals a poignant reminder of the need for islanders, especially women, to have to leave the island of their birth to get an education, work, and live. On the cusp of a period of huge change in island life, the effects of this outward migration over generations can be seen in the resultant cultural and linguistic loss.
UistFilm, part of Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, is hoping to produce a documentary feature on this subject using the archive film with interviews of those who left, those who stayed and those who yearn to return.
Dr Andrew Jennings is based in Lerwick, Shetland’s capital. He enjoys everything about life in this beautiful archipelago, from rowing in the local yoal team and taking part in the Fire Festival, to walking the dog and experiencing the wild Shetland weather. Living in Scotland’s most northerly islands, with their Nordic cultural inheritance, inspires his research and his teaching. He is the programme leader on the MLitt Viking Studies, Island Studies, Orkney and Shetland Studies and Highlands and Islands Lliterature.
Andy Mackinnon has worked in creative & collaborative film and contemporary art since the late 80’s, and lives on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. He was director/cinematographer/producer of the Scottish BAFTA nominated £300k budget feature documentary TRANSITION, the first Scottish documentary to make the official selection at IDFA in 2000. In 2000 he worked with Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre to make the participatory documentary feature Passing Places – The Real Outer Hebrides. He is passionate about environmental issues and the islands where he now lives.
UistFilm, based in North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, was formed in 2013 by Andy Mackinnon within Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust, and produces a wide range of media content. Andy produced and directed UistFilm’s first broadcast documentary commission, the widely acclaimed An Dotair Mòr (2014) and recently collaborated with Joshua Bonnetta, whose Uist-shot feature An Dà Sheallach | The Two Sights premiered at Berlinale FORUM in 2020. The FAODAIL | FOUND Outer Hebrides Archive Film project seeks to digitise and disseminate indigenous archive film of the islands as currently all of the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive relating to the Outer Hebrides is from outsider perspectives.