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FAODAIL | FOUND – Outer Hebrides Film Archive

Up until as late as 1979, very little, if any, publicly disseminated moving image created in or about the Outer Hebrides was made from anything other than an outsiders’ perspective. This lack of an indigenous viewpoint and language led, at best, to an uninformed, and often romanticised or patronising, representation of island life.

We are developing a project with Outer Hebridean Comann Eachdraidhs (local history societies) to bring together all available archive film made in or about the Outer Hebrides.

Do you have old home movies of the Outer Hebrides in the cupboard?

The purpose is to make Outer Hebridean moving image archive available to a wider public in a curated online platform with access points in island museums, schools, libraries and Comann Eachdraidh, heritage and arts venues.

Faodail | FOUND will host public screenings, reminiscence events and generate new film projects using archive film sources, to reinterpret archive moving image from contemporary islanders perspective.

In 2019 we crowdfunded digitisation of a Super8 film collection of Annie (Chnoc na Luib) Macdonald which revealed fantastic gems of documentation of 1970’s and early 1980’s local crofting, natural history (including a flamingo on Loch Barvas!) and island life in general including footage of Kallin primary school field trips to the shores and subsequent classroom work. Here is a edit of some of the crofting footage with musical accompaniment by UHI music students.

We have now digitised a fantastic collection of 8mm film shot on Berneray from 1960 to 1978 bequeathed to Gloria MacKillop of Berneray. The film was shot by the Scott family, relatives of the MacKillops, during annual holidays in Berneray over two decades. It was great to be able to show Gloria footage of her wedding, Donald Alick (Splash) in 1968, which she had never sen before.

Faodail | FOUND will make digitised films accessible online and in venues across the Outer Hebrides. Screening events will present the films to a wide range of audiences to collect detailed information and reminisces from the era and locations relating to the films. This added context will be of immense value to future generations.

UistFilm hope to make, using the archive film footage, a feature length documentary Fàgail Bheàrnaraigh, which will be a poignant, touching and emotive exploration of what it meant, and still means, to people, especially women, to have to leave the island of their birth to get an education, work, and live.