by Dawn Renton
Jill rises to the challenges of promoting Doric
Some of the Doric TV Team proudly show off their plaque.
Doric TV recently won the Group category at the 2022 Doric Film Festival.
This year’s film festival was based around the theme ‘ A Sense O’ Time’. Jill McWilliam, of Doric Future, which incorporates the Doric TV domain, said: “This has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve undertaken. I think it helps to validate what the Doric Film Festival and indeed Doric TV is all about – giving ordinary folk the challenge to bring something new and cultural forward. There is a very real and heart-warming story to the short film which goes far beyond the five-minute production.
The film – entitled ‘Doric Future’ – came from the idea of focusing on the Doric dialect and presenting a timeline connecting part of the Doric culture from the past to the present and looking to the future.
Each of the team presented memories of their personal past, thoughts of what Doric means today, and how important it is to keep it alive for future generations.
Jill continued: “That being part of the Doric community with a strong sense of togetherness, at a very difficult time in my life, has given me great strength to overcome many challenges.” ’
‘There is a very real and heartwarming story to the short film which goes far beyond the five-minute production”
That sense of togetherness is global and Jill has been delighted to liaise online with folk from various countries of the world, interested in ‘The Doric’.
Arun Prabhune, from California, who connects with the work of Doric Future, I sent these comments about the film: “it is no wonder that you won the group category award for the film. it is beautifully done, including the clock animation, to give ‘A Sense o Time’ it is like I wanted to go and speak with each and every person in the film and find out more about The Doric.” Jill is doing a great service for this generation and especially future generations through her efforts and work.
A United Nations General Assembly Resolution proclaimed the period between 2022 and 2032 as the international decade of Indigenous languages. This is to draw global attention on the critical situation of many such languages and to mobilise stakeholders and resources for their preservation, revitalisation and promotion. And Jill has risen to that challenge.
Alan Hay, member of the Doric Board and chairman of the Royal Celtic Society, said: “As a member of the Doric Board I have the greatest respect for Jill’s unique initiatives on behalf of the Doric language. I applaud her role in protecting and preserving the broader cultural heritage of North East Scotland, something which stands apart from other parts of the country in its language. literature, poetry, music and history”.
While being a broad Doric speaker in her early years of growing up on a farm in the Parish of Slains, Jill confesses to having lost her ability to speak Doric in sentences but takes every opportunity to engage with others online to help her reconnect with those valuable words that sometimes get lost in the passing of time.
She has found that she lends herself best to being a spokesperson and connecting with others to give more exposure to the Doric.
Dame Evelyn Glennie, world famed percussionist and current chancellor of Robert Gordon University, supports Doric TV.
She said: “As the world becomes more generic, indigenous and minority language, dialects and cultures struggle to survive. Language is built on not only what is spoken but what is unspoken. The richness of the social structure, climate, landscape, industry, and many other aspects form the words we speak and more importantly how they are communicated. As a Doric speaker and a native of the North East, I feel privileged and unique, it’s an important lifeline to my homeland. It is also a fascination to the many people l meet during my global travels.”
Jill encourages Robert Gordon University students to embrace the Doric. Dr Fiona McKay, course leader in Journalism, said: “Doric TV is a wonderful platform to help students understand the Doric language and culture. The undergraduate journalism students created work for this during one of their modules and thoroughly embraced the challenge, creating some fantastic videos.”
This year also saw Jill launching into a new direction with Doric TV regarding her passion to promote mental and physical wellbeing.
Doric TV is always in search of ‘incredible people who do extraordinary things in Aberdeenshire’ and seeks to promote a diverse range of people and services especially promoting wellbeing. One such person is David Brown, Formartine area countryside ranger. He said: “I first met Jill on one of my cycling events which I do as part of my work for Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service, We got talking and realised we shared a common interest in Slains Castle.
“I soon realised Jill, a resident of Cruden Bay, had a wealth of information, and viewing her slide show on the subject I wanted to shamelessly plunder this knowledge for a future guided walk.
“Jill has helped me on guided walks covering the area’s connection to Bram Stoker and it’s wider history of Danish invasions, Spanish galleons and the Cold War early warning radio station on Ward Hill above Port Erroll. It’s great to meet people like her with a passion for where they live, a passion she has put into the series of videos she has produced.”
For further information, videos and more visit www.doricfuture.co.uk. Anyone interested in helping Doric TV, who has filming, editing, digital marketing/ PR skills contact [email protected]