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PROGRAMME ANNOUNCEMENT: ALCHEMY FILM AND MOVING IMAGE 2023
Jump cut, spring forward: you are invited to Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, 27 – 30 April 2023
The thirteenth edition of Scotland’s festival of experimental film returns to Hawick, the Scottish Borders home of Alchemy Film & Arts, for an international programme of cinema screenings, moving-image exhibitions, live performances—and a Festival Ceilidh!
Join us across four days for what’s been called ‘a festival unlike any other in Scotland’: a go-to gathering just 90 minutes from Edinburgh and Newcastle and two hours from Glasgow, delivered with that renowned and irreproducible Alchemy brand of warmth, charm and humour. Whether you’re visiting for a day, staying overnight or just passing through, this is something you’ll want to catch.
The line-up of Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2023 includes the world premiere of a new commission by Natasha Thembiso Ruwona; a suite of new films by Alchemy artist in residence Julia Parks; and live performances from Maxime Jean-Baptiste and Alchemy residents Jules Horne and Miwa Nagato-Apthorp.
Our cinema screenings include new work by Oreet Ashery, Irineu Destourelles and current Margaret Tait Award nominees Rhona Mühlebach and George Finlay Ramsay; a focus on artist Jessie Growden; and a screening-performance dedicated to the relationship between Scotland and Puerto Rico.
This year’s installations include new work from Maybelle Peters and Markeith Jamar Chavous and several films produced as part of Film Town, Alchemy’s award-winning community filmmaking and creative learning programme. A celebration of moving-image work made across Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective is threaded throughout this year’s programme.
Alchemy artist in residence Jules Horne opens our thirteenth edition with an assemblage of tall tales, an expanded cinema journey through film and literary archives of Scottish Borders gothic, feminist correctives, the relationship between ‘Ay Been’ and Heinz Beans, geological tremors along the Scottish-English border, and more – told with foot-tapping, cello-strumming, pedal-looping wonder.
Maxime Jean-Baptiste presents a new performance in darkness. Not just any darkness, but that of the cinema, when the lights go out just before the film begins, when the projection screen doesn’t yet exist, when bodies are audible but not visible, when voices start to speak, shout, from the outside: tired, in pain, this violence accumulated for centuries. When we yield to the darkness.
Alchemy’s recent musician in residence Miwa Nagato-Apthorp performs new commissions responding to Scottish Borders history, including a speculative song about bondagers – women engaged by tenant farmers to do agricultural labour for landowners in the nineteenth century the hawthorn bush from which Hawick reportedly took its name. Followed by our Festival Ceilidh.
The world premiere of four new films made by Alchemy artist in residence Julia Parks investigating the histories of people, plants, industry and textiles along the Teviot and Tweed Rivers.
Artist filmmaker and Alchemy favourite Jessie Growden returns for a retrospective of work, including new films, exploring forests, bodies, and selfhood through song, structure, portraiture and play.
FILM WITH LIVE READING
CALLIGRAPHIC LANDSCAPES: LETTERS ACROSS WIND AND WATER
An exploration of the continuities and discontinuities of Scotland and Puerto Rico as a conversation between the Global North and South – including films by Emilia Beatriz and Sofía Gallisá Muriente – guest-curated by Dr Jessica Gordon-Burroughs.
CERTAIN AND TRUE IT IS
A double bill homing in on the complex ways in which fact and myth are bound together.
EXCEPT FOR CARESSES
Seven films burn, fizz and contort with gestures of connection and desire.
IN THE LIFESPAN OF STARS
As one world ends and another begins, seven films interrogate the meaning of extinction, survival and community.
MUSIC ON A FARM WAS A RARE THING
Seven films probe the constructs of image-making in relation to ownership, authorship, framing and power.
STATUES SING SILENCE
Eight films reflect on the architectures, uncertainties and possibilities of labour in its extractive, everyday and speculative forms.
TAKE ARMS AGAINST A SEA
From ocean to moon, six films wrestle with nothing less than life, death and birth and self-expression.
THEREAFTER, FOREVER, ONCE UPON
A double bill presents untold prehistories and redefines the storytelling potentials of Scottish towns and forests.
UP, DOWN AND SIDE TO SIDE
Exploring the bricks and mortar of encounter, eight films unlock new memories, sensory environments and modes of being.
WELCOME TO THE DAILY CALM
Ten films negotiate and navigate life’s cluttered desktops, its crowded frames, and the quiet chaos of its everyday routines.
Hadrian Creatives, Khadea Santi, Alchemy Film & Arts
CITY OF HOMES
Marta Adamowicz, Robert Motyka
Alchemy Film Town participants, Julia Parks
Emily Beaney, Cherrie Beaney
THE WAVES AND THE MANTRAM, PART 1
Markeith Jamar Chavous
WHAT IS HELD (BETWEEN WATERS)
Natasha Thembiso Ruwona
WHAT LIES IN FRONT OF US
Moving Images Caravan
7 x 7
Hawick Primary Schools, Alchemy Film & Arts
VOLUNTEER WITH US
We are currently seeking volunteers to support the delivery of this year’s festival. Taking pride in the hospitality, solidarity and inclusivity for which our flagship event is known, we offer a range of volunteering opportunities – from ushering and invigilation to tech and front-of-house support.
Please see our Volunteer page for more information about the roles and how to register your interest in volunteering.
Banner image: Tell Me About the Burryman, Julia Parks, 2023