FEW films have had the impact of Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster Barbie.

Not only did it gross well over $1 billion, but it was met with critical acclaim and made up half of the “Barbenheimer” sensation alongside Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.

Anybody who has seen the film will know every Barbie has some kind of role – whether that’s "Lawyer Barbie", "Doctor Barbie" or "President Barbie".

Now, two Scottish filmmakers are up for an award for giving Barbie a unique Gaelic twist with their new short film Barabal.

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Kirsty McBain, originally from Cumbernauld, and Cara Turner, from Carluke, are the minds behind Barabal – a new film inspired by the global blockbuster that follows two girls on a chaotic Gaelic adventure.

Getting inspired

Both women admit that they were inspired by Gerwig’s take on the classic toy and say that they wanted to put their spin on things.

“I absolutely loved the film. Me and Kirsty had done quite a girly film last year and so this just felt perfect,” Turner told The National.

The National: The new film puts a Gaelic twist on Barbie after the success of Greta Gerwig's blockbuster last year. 

“I just thought it would be so funny to translate it into Gaelic form. We were both on the same wavelength with it and wanted to make a Gaelic Barbie.”

The pair have picked up a nomination at this year’s FilmG awards which celebrate the best Gaelic storytellers and filmmakers in Scotland and beyond.

They’ve been nominated in the “Best Performance” category with the winners set to be announced at a ceremony next Friday.

McBain added: “Cara and I knew we wanted to do another FilmG and we had some success there last year. It was quite funny really, we were both thinking of different ideas and discovered that separately we had both written down Barbie.

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“Obviously the film came out this year so we wanted to make it work in Gaelic and celebrate the girliness of it all.”

Encouraging young people

Last year, both McBain and Turner picked up the award for Best Director for their film Gael Girls.

It focused on two women originally from the Highlands as they are “let loose” in Glasgow as McBain herself explains.

The National: Cara Turner (left) and Kirsty McBain (right) are the minds behind Barabal. 

With Barabal, they’re hoping it can help get more young people interested in learning the language.

“I sometimes feel Gaelic media can be a bit stereotypical,” McBain says.

“It might be crofts and old men and history which is fun but if you’re trying to engage more young people, especially young women, then this takes a different approach.

“I think it was refreshing. Last year we made Gael Girls and that was well received because it was a taste of something different.”

Turner added: “I think it’s great. There’s nothing wrong with the traditional culture, it’s great but we wanted to do something else.

“I don’t think there has been much in FilmG with that modern, girly vibe so we wanted to really push that.

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“I only started learning the language about four years ago but I hope the idea of a Gaelic Barbie becomes popular – imagine buying a doll and it could speak Gaelic."

‘We’ve already won’

The premise of the film itself is a simple one. Two Barbies go on a hike to try and find the best viewpoint in Scotland.

McBain jokes that she’s glad she and Turner have managed to pick up a nomination given Gerwig and lead actress Margot Robbie were snubbed in the Best Director and Actress categories respectively at this year’s Oscars.

“We’re very excited because obviously the film was snubbed a little but Cara and I have managed to sort one,” McBain says, laughing.  

“With the whole Barbie press tour, they were all in pink so we’ll be following that at the ceremony as well because I think that colour celebrates the whole film.”

Although they’re both looking forward to the awards, McBain says she feels like she’s already won already.

“My sister is a Gaelic teacher and she showed her class our film and the kids loved it,” she says.

“They normally get to watch something in their free time but they said they wanted to watch the Gaelic Barbies so we’ve already won to be honest if the six-year-olds love it.”