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Local pupils get behind the lens after major competition win

Aberdeenshire school film to be showcased at Scottish Modern Art Gallery

An Aberdeenshire high school has been announced as the winner of a national competition which will see them create a short film to be projected at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Kemnay Academy will receive £500 to create a film that showcases how a piece of land in the area has been transformed after being chosen as the winners of Scottish Land Commission’s ‘My Land, My Story’ film competition.

Pupils from the school’s Environmental Sciences and Media Studies classes will tell the story of Kemnay Quarry, a place where granite was quarried and used for famous structures such as the Forth Road Bridge, the Queen Victoria Memorial in London and the Scottish Parliament building.

The granite haven has since been transformed into a community space with an upcycled art installation, walk routes and recreational spaces – as well as continuing as an operational quarry.

The ‘My Land, My Story’ competition was launched by the Scottish Land Commission to raise awareness amongst the younger generations about the variety of positive ways land can be used around the country.

Sandra Buchan, Principal Teacher in the Science Faculty at Kemnay Academy said: “The land of Kemnay Quarry is of real historical importance to the area and wider community. It’s fantastic to be given the opportunity to get our pupils involved in showcasing and learning about the land use at the quarry while expressing themselves creatively.

“We’re now able to use this piece of land as an outdoor learning space, recreational area and a route for walking groups. It is a brilliant example of land that has a rich history and continues to be reinvented.

“Around 70% of people at the school don’t come from the Kemnay area, so it also gives us a great chance to promote it. Not only has this encouraged pupils to learn more about their local land but it is also an extremely proud moment to win the competition.”

There will be 25 Kemnay Academy pupils involved in creating the land history film, combining the school’s wealth of environmental knowledge with the media skills to bring it to life. 

Kemnay Academy pupils will travel to Edinburgh to the ‘My Land, My Story’ closing event on 1 December to see their film projected inside the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

The competition was launched in connection with Visit Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 in which young people are being encouraged to highlight how land local to them is owned, used and managed and how it impacts their everyday lives in Scotland now and in the future – the ‘My Land, My Story’ campaign was set up to highlight that.

Hamish Trench, Chief Executive at the Scottish Land Commission, said: “The film competition has not only given younger people in Scotland an opportunity to be creative with film, it has also highlighted examples of how land is used in Scotland to benefit everyone.

“The Kemnay Quarry is a prime example of land benefitting multiple groups and communities. Everyone at the Scottish Land Commission is looking forward to seeing the results of Kemnay Academy’s hard work next month.”

MyLand.Scot features a wide range of examples of how individuals and organisations have changed the land around them to transform their communities from social media savvy farmers to festival owners.

The Scottish Land Commission works to create a Scotland where everybody can benefit from the ownership and use of the nation’s land and buildings.

For more information on MyLand.Scot visit:

For more information on Visit Scotland’s ‘Year of Stories’ visit:

Kemnay Academy pupils filming at Kemnay Quarry. Courtesy Kemnay Academy.