Biography of 'TAIT, Margaret'

Image 1 for 'TAIT, Margaret'

Film-maker, poet and author

Born: 1918, Kirkwall
Died: 1999, Kirkwall

Margaret Tait trained in Medicine, graduating from Edinburgh University in 1941. She was called up into Royal Army Medical Corps in 1943 serving overseas until 1946. By the late 1940’s her interest in film became to dominate. She enrolled at the Centro Sperimentale di Photographia in Rome studying there from 1950 to 1952.

Returning to Scotland she established Ancona Films in Edinburgh’s Rose St, completing her first film of the street in 1956 and a number of works on aspects of the city. She wrote poetry and produced several books. Tait moved to Orkney in the 1960’s making a series of films over the following decades inspired by the Orcadian landscape and culture.

All but three of her thirty two films, which she produced between 1952 and 1998 were self financed. There was no funding forthcoming for her type of films, which she would describe as film-poems. In the mid 1980’s she returned to a screenplay that had its inception in the 1940’s. The feature length Blue Black Permanent began shooting in 1992 with Margaret directing. Her final film Garden Pieces was completed in 1998.

For additional biographical and contextual information go to LUX at

Researcher: Janet McBain