Taking place in Hawick each spring, our flagship event is the biggest film festival of its kind in Scotland, screening a diverse range of experimental film and artists’ moving image in a warm, intimate and inclusive setting.

Including cinema screenings, discussions, communal meals and moving-image exhibitions in venues around town, the event is known for the openness, solidarity, humour and non-competitive nature with which it is delivered.

The thirteenth edition of Alchemy Film and Moving Image will take place 27 – 30 April 2023 and submissions are open until 1 November 2022.

In delivering our flagship event we are committed to the following:

  • all selected artists are paid a screening fee
  • submission fees are tiered on a ‘pay what you can’ basis
  • full fee waivers provided on a ‘no questions asked’ basis
  • admission to screenings and events during the festival are offered on a ‘pay what you can’ basis; all exhibitions are free to enter
  • descriptive captions are provided for all digital presentations

We strongly advise you read our Terms & Conditions, included below, before entering your work for consideration.



We offer two deadlines, an earlybird deadline for discounted submissions and a regular deadline:

  • Earlybird: 1 September 2022
  • Regular: 1 November 2022

We ask that filmmakers submit their work on a ‘pay what you can’ basis. We do not ask for proof of circumstances, but ask that you are honest to allow us to keep fees as low as possible.

  • Earlybird £9 / Regular £11: For those who are easily able to meet their basic needs and have expendable income.
  • Earlybird £7 / Regular £9: For those who can usually meet their basic needs and have some expendable income.
  • Earlybird £5 / Regular £7: For those who often struggle to meet their basic needs and do not have expendable income.


  • We are happy to offer fee waivers to any artist in need of one. Get in touch at – no questions asked!
  • We also waive fees for anyone who lives in the Scottish Borders. Get in touch if you are a Scottish Borders resident.


  • If you are submitting a multi-channel installation, please give as much detail as possible, including documentation (if available) and essential needs in terms of space and tech. Alchemy will provide dedicated technical support during install and de-install.


We have no restrictions on the premiere status of a film, though prefer not to screen work that has already been widely shown in Scotland. We will also favour work completed after 1 January 2022.


All work selected from submissions will receive:

  • £100 per short or medium-length film (less than 60 minutes);
  • £200 per feature-length film (more than 60 minutes);
  • All payments will be made via PayPal after the Festival.


  • We screen films from DCP and 16mm, and can accept most other common digital formats.
  • We provide all films with descriptive captions/Subtitles for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences (SDH), in the event captions/SDH are not already available.


  • All notifications of selection will be sent out in February 2023 if not before.
  • Final screening copies should be received by us within 4 weeks of notification.
  • In the case of digital files, we prefer to receive final screening copies electronically – i.e., via Dropbox, WeTransfer or download link.
  • We hold ourselves to the highest standards when it comes to communication and the screening of your work; we test all digital files and work closely with our partners and screening venues to ensure your work is shown in the highest standard possible. For this reason we ask that all selected films are transferred to us in advance of test screenings. So as not to impact other selected filmmakers, failure to meet these deadlines may result in your film being withdrawn from our programme.
  • We take a great deal of care each year to curate a meaningful and critically engaging programme. Once a film is selected and invitation is accepted, a filmmaker may not withdraw their film from the programme.TICKE


All entries must be received via our FilmFreeway portal. We cannot accept submissions sent to our team direct.


A film festival unlike any other in Scotland, with a distinctive focus on unusual, experimental filmmaking that blurs the boundary between cinema and visual arts.

Experimentation is no more than a style if it doesn’t change the structures we participate in… If the current film industry specialises in the extraction and exploitation of human resources, then Alchemy is an exercise in radical imagination… A space of mutual aid, solidarity, a care network for both the people and the land…

It was really inspiring how you held the festival, the care and attention, and to see the way that relations are building in and around Alchemy in Hawick. I am already looking forward to next year!

Alchemy is a true flagship for inclusion.

Really had a wonderful time screening with Alchemy! The communication was impeccable and it is clear they love filmmakers.

Wonderful curation, beautiful festival, a dream for experimental filmmakers!

A truly wonderful film festival, run by people who are professional and passionate about experimental film. Both of these traits shine consistently through every step of the process.

One of the best festivals out there.

Photos: Oliver Benton