The fifteenth edition of Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, the UK’s festival of experimental film and the flagship event of Alchemy Film & Arts, will take place 1 – 4 May 2025 in Hawick, Scotland.

Across an international programme of cinema screenings, moving-image exhibitions and live performances, the festival is known for the openness, solidarity, humour and non-competitive nature with which it is delivered.

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

  • all selected artists are paid a screening fee
  • entry fees are tiered on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis
  • admission to screenings and events during the festival is offered on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis; all exhibitions are free to enter
  • descriptive subtitles are provided for all cinema screenings

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 entries and a regular deadline:

  • Earlybird: 1 August 2024
  • Regular: 1 November 2024

We ask that filmmakers submit their work on a ‘pay what you can afford’ 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 £12 / Regular £14: For those who are easily able to meet their basic needs and have expendable income.
  • Earlybird £10 / Regular £12: For those who can usually meet their basic needs and have some expendable income.
  • Earlybird £8 / Regular £10: For those who often struggle to meet their basic needs and do not have expendable income.


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 selected artists are remunerated for their work.
  • 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 subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing audiences (SDH), in the event descriptive subtitles are not already available.


  • All notifications of selection will be sent out in February 2024 if not before.
  • Final screening copies should be received by us within 1 week 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, and we would appreciate it if you communicated any updates to us following your submission as to any other planned screenings.


All entries must be received via our FilmFreeway portal. We cannot accept entries sent to our team directly and/or over email.


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.

With their focus on community, education and inclusivity and their year-round events and programmes, Alchemy are showing how film festivals can be more than transitory parties for cinephiles and industry types. They’re building a lasting legacy for their community.

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.

All 171 films were captioned, and many had audio descriptions too, demonstrating that the festival team’s verbal commitments to questions of access and the democratisation of experimental film are not merely theoretical.

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.

It is clearly impacting the community and nurturing creativity for all kinds of people be they from Hawick or international. I really can’t understate how brilliant a weekend it was.

Film festivals can sometimes feel airdropped into their surroundings. No such charge could be laid at the feet of Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. With every edition, it feels more integrated with its community.

Something special is happening in Hawick, and these four joyous days were only the tip of the iceberg.

Photos: Sanne Gault