Year of Young People 2018 was part of the Scottish Government’s themed years programme, which aims to highlight Scotland’s greatest assets. Alchemy Film & Arts dedicated much of its 2018 programming to investing in new and powerful ways of encouraging and platforming the creativity, skills and talents of young people.


Working with Harriet Warman (Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival producer 2015 – 17) and Kerry Jones (Alchemy Programmer), a core group of young people worked together over eight workshop sessions watching and critiquing film submissions from Alchemy’s Festival Programming Team, to select and curate a 60 minute programme of films which were then screened at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2018. Reality Makes You Sleep, Dreams Keep You Awake consisted of nine short films which the Young Alchemy Programmers described as, “a mood shifting selection of films connected by themes of environmental destruction, consumerism, hidden identity and perspectives of reality”.

The Young Alchemy Programmers introduced their screening at the 2018 festival, leading a Q&A with four of the selected filmmakers.


The Young Alchemy Moving Image Makers were a group of young people who took part in a programme of workshops and events, including sound workshops with artist Dawn Berry, installation workshops with Kerry Jones and Avant Kinema and a 16mm direct animation workshop with Screen Bandita.

The group, Lukca Best, Esmé Babineaux, Amelie Berry, Sophie Berry, Yasmin Watson, Skye Sommerville, Gavin Black, and Pippa Cuthbert, created a collaborative moving image installation on Hawick High Street for the 2018 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. The installation, titled Fr@gile, focused on themes of communication in the digital age and the everyday social barriers faced by young people.

See the film made during the Screen Bandita workshop here.


Partnering with Borders College, Alchemy led a series of seven Creative Industry Sessions, engaging 16 – 25 year olds in dialogue around the realities of working in the creative sector. Speakers included Flore Cosquer (Scottish Documentary Institute), Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman (Sanctuary Arts Lab), Harriet Warman, Walt Holland (Alchemy Installations Coordinator) and filmmakers The Bird and Monkey.