CREATIVE couple Sarahjane Swan and Roger Simian have been shortlisted for a Scottish film-making Oscar.

The Galashiels artists, who are also well-known musicians and writers, are among the nominees in the running for the 2018 Margaret Tait Award.

Established in 2010, the annual award is presented each year in honour of the experimental Orcadian filmmaker, Margaret Tait, who died in 1999.

The Glasgow Film Festival commission, which is supported by Creative Scotland and LUX Scotland, celebrates innovative Scottish artists working with the moving image.

And the winner of the award each year is handed a £10,000 prize to create new work for future screening at the Glasgow Film Festival.

Sarahjane, who is fine arts sculpture graduate from Gray’s School of Art, is thrilled to be on the shortlist.

She told the Border Telegraph: "You could say that The Margaret Tait Award is the pinnacle that any experimental moving image artist in Scotland aspires towards.

"We really are honoured.”

A recent winner of The Margaret Tait Award is the Scottish video artist, Rachel MacLean, whose highly distinctive work led to her representing Scotland at this year’s Venice Biennale, as well as creating an iconic portrait of Billy Connolly for a recent BBC documentary.

Being shortlisted for the an award in honour of the legendary Orcadian film-maker holds additional significance for Roger, who has strong family links with the Orkney Islands.

The one time guitarist with Dawn Of The Replicants told us: “My Grandfather, Gerry Meyer, a journalist from London with Swiss-French parents, was stationed in Orkney during World War II.

"He helped to found one of the earliest forces newspaper, The Orkney Blast, married a local Stromness lass, Norah Hancox, and settled on the Islands, becoming editor of the Orcadian newspaper for many decades.

"My mum is from Stromness and older members of my family actually knew Margaret Tait, who was from Kirkwall, so we’ve been aware of her work right from the start of our first experiments with filmmaking.”

Being nominated for The Margaret Tait Award is the icing on the cake of an already exceptional year for Swan and Simian, whose eclectic mix of songs, film, art and writing have over the years earned them screenings throughout Scotland, London, Europe and North America, as well as radio play on BBC 6 Music.

The pair, who now create their experimental visual works under the banner Avant Kinema, enjoyed a Creative Scotland funded trip to the London Short Film Festival in January, were invited by fellow filmmakers Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais to screen in Porto, Portugal in February, and they also put on the Experimental Arts Event, Moon Moths, in collaboration with Fawcett and Pais in Galashiels.

They were awarded a grant from the South of Scotland VACMA this year to progress their work, and they screened films in Poland and Bulgaria with Station to Station.

Sarahjane added: "The Margaret Tait Award nomination brings 2017 to a fantastic end .

"Now we can start properly looking to the future.

"In 2018 we plan to develop our work even further, expand our ideas and hopefully work on our own first feature-length film project."