Award: Best Issue-Based Submission – £750

The Best Issue-Based Submission will be awarded to the best issue-based submission to Northern Lights.

The winner of this award is selected by award-winning journalist, commentator and broadcaster, Lesley Riddoch, and Northern Lights’ Creative Director, Nick Higgins.


Gillian Martin – Us vs Trump

Us and Trump has a fabulous, defiant piece to camera by Gillian at the end on the dunes near Trump’s new golf resort on the Menie Estate. I loved the idea of creating a direct message to The Donald (I don’t think he’ll be listening mind!) and the sentiment – these dunes don’t belong to you or me and they’ll still be there when we’re both dead! Sometimes land reform can seem very complicated. This made the issue very simple. Hands off land that is a natural resource not a personal possession of anyone. Nice one. Might have been good to focus the whole piece around this piece to camera which came at the end. Compared to the spirit of that the earlier voiceover was a wee bit stilted. I’d have liked Gillian on camera throughout! - Lesley Riddoch



Leo Saidenough & Noreen Real –  Noreen Trouble Real
Another feisty film made “on the hoof” and on the spot during a Refugees Support Demonstration in Glasgow. Noreen is quite evidently a character – the shots of her walking arm in arm with a young guy from a very different ethnic background and the shots of all the union banners supporting the event say a lot about the people and the event. I like films that “show don’t tell” like this. We gather quite a lot from just watching something unfold. Finally Noreen shoots from the hip – part of a long Glasgow tradition of passionate, articulate citizen public speakers. Since the film was recording a live one-off event there was no chance of a retake – so well done for capturing a powerful moment and deeply held Scottish views about human rights. - Lesley Riddoch


Oliver Peters –  Northern Lights Scottish Pride & Independence?
Almost all of Scotland is packed in this wee film and there’s not a single “suit” or usual suspect. Some folk clearly find it hard to focus on Scotland or its future – some are superficial and sloganizing (but that’s what we’re like) – others are thoughtful and theatrical (but that’s what we’re like too!) This feeling of authenticity says a lot about the filmmaker’s technique and shows almost everyone will offer an opinion if filmmakers get off their high horses and engage! For too many “official” filmmakers that’s a very big “if”! Intercutting interviews also gave variety and a feeling of progress – like interviewees were building upon one another’s contributions and being like mouthy Scots often are. Unable to stop once they’ve got going. I loved the wee digression onto plant-dyed tartans as well – what are we like? - Lesley Riddoch