New audio-visual project at this year's Glasgow Short Film Festival brings to light unseen footage of Scottish Highland folk song
The Glasgow Short Film Festival 2016 has commissioned a new audio-visual project incorporating footage of Scottish Highland folk singers filmed nearly 60 years ago by the Glasgow socialist film making collective Dawn Cine Group. Setting out to document the musical and cultural heritage of the Scottish Highlands through folk song and personal testimony, the collective started filming in July 1956. But the film, with its working title of Lost Treasure, was never completed. The Dawn Cine Group had managed to collect 40 minutes of footage, which will now be given a new lease of life by film maker Minttu Mäntynen and musicians Drew Wright (Wounded Knee) and Hamish Brown (Swimmer One), who have created an audio-visual accompaniment in response to the unfinished film. “With its unintentionally apt title, the abandoned film is in itself a reflection of the Scottish Highlands,” states Glasgow Short Film Festival, “much of it either neglected or exploited by absentee landlords, and its people, so many of whom have been forced off the land in one way or another. With land reform in Scotland as hotly topical now as it was in the 1950s, Lost Treasure has enduring relevance.”
GSFF Director Matt Lloyd adds, “After last year’s hugely successfully 30th anniversary screening of Clyde Film at GSFF, we wanted to look back even further, to the group who inspired the makers of Clyde Film. The Dawn Cine Group were way ahead of their time, socially committed and ambitious film makers. Lost Treasure was to be their biggest project, and in revisiting it on the 60th anniversary of its shoot, we’re paying tribute to some of Scotland’s unsung heroes of film in a unique way.”
You can listen to an excerpt from the soundtrack below:
The ninth annual Glasgow Short Film Festival will run from 16–20 March.