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N.S. crew set to release Gaelic short film
Last updated May 8 2006 03:48 PM ADT
CBC News
A Cape Breton team is producing what may be Canada's first-ever Gaelic film.

The Wake of Calum MacLeod is a six-minute film set to premiere in Cape Breton this summer.

"Calum MacLeod is a very traditional Gaelic speaker who basically loses his family to the modern world because he is sticking with the old ways," Angus MacLeod, a Gaelic expert who stars in the title role, told CBC News.

The film is being produced as part of an Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative project promoting emerging filmmakers.

Director Marc Almon and producer Nona MacDermid dreamed up the idea for the film after they began taking Gaelic language lessons.

"What we would like to do is see Gaelic become a living language again by having those normal everyday things happen," MacDermid said.

Since Gaelic has "only a few hundred speakers in Canada and maybe a few thousand in Scotland," Almon said, the film will include English subtitles.

"It's a small market. But, for me, the really key thing is that this culture is so inspiring," he added.

"The focus is on oral tradition, and there's a real focus on storytelling and singing songs." MacLeod says the production represents a major step in a renaissance of Gaelic culture by newer, younger generations.

"We're losing most of the very old, fluent speakers. But we are seeing a revived interest among a lot of age groups and we're seeing some children who are being brought up fluent in Gaelic and English," he said.

"It's a very interesting time, and it's hard to say where it's going, but there's hope."

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