With XX Commonwealth Games (Glasgow), Shetland Arts Development Agency and Shetland Heritage Association.

Ebb Tide was a filmmaking project produced by Shetland Film Archive and Shetland Arts Development Agency as part of the cultural programme accompanying the XX Commonwealth Games with funding from Creative Scotland. Eight artists and filmmakers produced six short films inspired by an artefact or story with a link to both a Commonwealth country and Shetland. Shetlanders have always travelled widely, and many returned to Shetland with exciting tales and wondrous artefacts. The films built on this history and developed contemporary responses to these stories and artefacts.

The films were premiered on board the Tall Ship 'Glenlea.' berthed on the Clyde in Glasgow, as part of the cultural programme surrounding the Commonwealth Games from 19-24 July 2014. Following this, the films were screened at Screenplay, Shetland's annual film festival, in September 2014; and subsequently toured a number of venues across the islands.

Participating artists and filmmakers, and their films:

'A Portrait – in landscape' by Simon Thompson & Ria Moncrieff

This short-film features poetry by Bruce Eunson and music by London John. It explores emigration and the subsequent balancing of emotions such journeys evoked for those who left and, more particularly, those who were left behind to make a decision. The pair were given a diary of Burra man, William Inkster's, voyage from Shetland to Australia in 1909 as their item. Ria is an English Literature and teacher training graduate from the village of Scalloway in Shetland. She has recently been developing her passion and skills in visual art by exploring ideas through photography and collaborating in film projects. Simon owns and operates Ronas Media, a television production company based in Vidlin, Shetland and makes documentaries, corporate videos and adverts for the Shetland market and beyond.

'Da Old Rock'll Do Me' by Robert Gear

Inspired by the lifeboat from the Canberra and stories of people who were left behind in Shetland when others left, emigrating to the New World and unlikely ever to return. Robert is a historian and media artist who has been making films for the past five years. Robert has completed a PhD, where his doctoral project looked at the development of the pelagic fishing industry between 1945 and 2000. Robert has also restored a fishing lodge in South Nesting and completed a moving image portrayal of its restoration.

'The Butterfly Effect' by Tirval Scott

Inspired by a valuable box with butterfly-wing iridescent finish, his visually stunning, light-hearted film mixes footage and after-effects to magical and at times hilarious effect. Tirval has experience in producing videos to accompany music projects and has had work shown at Shetland's annual film festival Screenplay. He enjoys working with public domain footage and reworking it into something new and admits that he has a fondness for the unusual.

'Fierce Work' by Floortje Robertson & Harry Whitham

Harry and Floortje's film explores how some Shetlanders left in search of gold in the "gold rushes" in America, inspired by gold nuggets and a set of scales held at the Shetland Museum and Archives. They are artists born and raised in Shetland, both ever inspired by their home islands. They are driven to experiment with new forms of art-making and creative media to best convey the themes they want to investigate. Harry Whitham is an artist and performance designer working between Shetland and London whose work always strives to make emotional connections with an audience. Floortje Robertson is a photographer and performer living in Shetland and working around the world, exploring situations and stories through picture taking and theatre making.

'Flotsam' by Clint Watt

Clint chose an unusual artefact in the form of a witch's bowl, and with its impressive cast of actors and atmospheric treatment his film is visually and historically fascinating. Clint has been producing short films in Shetland for five years and often incorporates Shetland's rich history and imagery into his work. He believes that digital filmmaking allows the flexibility to film in ways that would not have been possible previously, allowing historical relics to be understood through new eyes.

'Elysia' by Greg McCarron

Inspired by the story of a Sandwick man, Cecil Smith, who was torpedoed during the second world war, took to a lifeboat and ultimately made his way back to Shetland to his family, with his ships flag still in hand. Greg mixes filmed material with animation to wonderful effect, and the story is brought to life by the Cecil's granddaughter and her husband, clothed in some beautifully appropriate 1940s clothes. Greg is a freelance film-maker and has been producing video projects since he was fifteen. He has produced promotional videos for the Shetland College UHI website and material on the Learning School as well as short films using animation techniques.

Read Louise Thomason’s review of the films for Shetland News

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