Murder mystery Gaelic drama series filmed on Skye to be shown in France

A Nordic Noir-style Gaelic drama made on the Isle of Skye is to be shown in France, after its producers clinched its first international sales deal.

New episodes of Bannan are being previewed at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this weekend.
New episodes of Bannan are being previewed at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this weekend.

Bannan, which has been made on the Hebridean island since 2013, will be shown in Breton dubbed versions and also subtitled in French.

The show, which has revolved around a murder mystery in a remote island community, is being sold around the world as Scotland’s answer to hit series like The Killing and the Bridge.

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The production is based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on Skye, with filming carried out on campus or on location within a few miles.

Six series of Bannan, the flagship drama series on BBC Alba, are set to be shown in France.

A seventh series of Bannan, which has seen a gripping murder mystery unfold in a remote island community, goes into production in the autumn. It was instigated by Scottish film and TV producer Chris Young, best known for his involvement in The Inbetweeners, when he relocated his company from London.

The show, broadcast on BBC Alba since 2014, has helped provide work for a new generation of writers, directors and actors.

Young also launched a new talent on school - inspired by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute - on Skye last year with the aim of bringing together experienced industry figures with up-and-talents from across Scotland.

Speaking ahead of a Bannan event at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Young said: “France is a brilliant territory in which to make our first international sale.

Bannan has been made in the Sleat area of Skye since 2013.

"It’s exciting to think French audiences will enjoy Bannan both in Breton dubbed versions and subtitled in French.

“This demonstrates that the show can perform in the global market place and I very much hope we will see more sales in other territories.

“With this kind of drama you need volume to break through internationally and as we move towards 15 completed hours it’s great to begin our international distribution.”

Emanuele Galloni, chief executive of Bannan’s international distributors Videoplugger, said: “Bannan is a TV drama that kept renewing itself successfully over the years, attracting different audiences for various reasons.

Bannan has been billed as Scotland's answer to Nordic Noir series like The Killing and The Bridge.

“Recently its ambience, style, and tone have taken the series closer to Nordic Noir and has attracted a younger audience.

“Still, Bannan does this with a very original approach to the genre that makes it stand out.

“We’re proud to have taken Bannan abroad and we’re looking forward to seeing more and more takers.”

Iseabail Mactaggart, director of strategy and partnerships at MG Alba, the operators of BBC Alba, said: “This is a significant announcement for Bannan and Young Films and it demonstrates that BBC ALBA’s content can also be used to drive the growth of our suppliers.

“International distribution is one of many examples of how we’re doing this, including co-production and co-financing deals - all with the intention to deliver new and innovative content for our audience.”