Film, Writing

Torc nomination for #JimmyJohnstone

I was delighted to learn this week that Jimmy Johnstone, the feature-length documentary film that I wrote, produced and directed with my company and talented team at purpleTV, has been nominated for a Celtic Media Festival award. Did I say delighted? Well, that and more!

The festival brings the Celtic nations’ creative film and television talent together annually, in the heartland of one of the nations and regions, to celebrate broadcasting, television and film, as well as culture and language. The awards are decided by an international jury, a group whose task it is to judge the shortlisted entries put forward by each nation. Individual ceremonies are held throughout the festival period and it is at these award events that we nominees anxiously wait our fate.

Jimmy Johnstone is the only shortlisted entry from Scotland in the sport documentary category. There are lots of other Scottish entries in other categories so we’ll be flying the flag for those too. Congratulations to everyone involved.

This year, the event is being held in the Isle of Man. I’ve never been to the island before and I’m very much looking forward to visiting it and the festival.

Whilst I’ve been incredibly fortunate (and delighted!) to win Royal Television Society Scotland awards for the last two years (and secure another three shortlisted nominations) this is the first time one of my purple documentaries has been within touching distance of a bronze torc. The torcs are also stunning trophies so you can maybe see why I would like to get my hands on one of these as well as the gorgeous RTS awards!


The Jimmy Johnstone film, broadcast on BBC ALBA, has been shortlisted along with two other entries. Crash and Burn, produced by RTE, BBC NI and the Irish Film Board; and Merci Cymru, produced by BBC Wales.  Well done to our fellow shortlistees too!

The film was made with a small budget and a lot of love and attention, as well as immeasurable support from the hugely talented purpleTV team and the contributors who so willingly shared so much of themselves. It’s amazing to see the film share a platform with mainstream broadcasters, illustrating the point that really fantastic stories travel, giving them an international resonance that makes them relevant wherever they are consumed.

You can view the full list of nominees here.

Whilst wishing all the other fantastic programme makers all the best, I’ll obviously be rooting for my brilliant production team, the fantastic commissioners at BBC ALBA who had so much faith in the film from its inception, and of course me!

The winner will be announced on the 3rd of May. We’re a really small team at purple and we’d love to win but it is an incredible recognition to get this far and for that I’ll always be really chuffed, even if ‘Jimmy Johnstone’ isn’t the name read out on the night. (no, I’m not thinking about the Oscars here.. 😀)

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