Alchemy Film Festival back on Hawick’s screens

Over a dozen films made by Scottish artists are on show as part of the sixth Hawick’s Alchemy Film and Moving Images Festival.

Exhibited works include Su Grierson and Kyra Clegg’s five-screen installation No Place Like; Jason Moyes’ Red Cap Emma Dove and Mark Lyken’s The Terrestrial Sea, Roger Simian and Sarah Jane Swan’s video-art installation Alfonso’s Jaw.

And multi-media artist Kerry Jones’ End of Film will premiere at the festival.

Featuring 124 films from 26 countries, the international festival of experimental film and artists’ moving image is run in partnership by Alchemy Film and Arts and Heart of Hawick is this year marking its sixth edition.

Fife and Perth-based artists Su Grierson and Kyra Clegg said: “We are delighted to have our work included in this year’s Alchemy Film festival, this time as an installation. Alchemy is one of the few events in Scotland that specifically supports Artists Video, a genre of work that lacks clarity and definition at the moment. There needs to be a better understanding of how Artists video fits generally into the contemporary arts arena, as well as its relationship to the world of short film.”

Sarah Jane Swan said: “We love watching as much as we can of the main film programme, which is always beautifully programmed and eclectic, but we can’t think of any other festival which offers a wide selection of cutting edge artists from around the World the opportunity to create in spaces throughout a town. The fact that these are free to view helps bring in many local visitors who are curious about the festival in amongst an international cast of film makers and culture hounds.”

Rosie Crerar, screen officer at Creative Scotland said: “Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is a unique international film festival with experimentation at its core. Making a significant contribution to the Scottish artist moving image landscape, Alchemy showcases an international programme of experimental film and artists’ moving image in Hawick. The programme features innovative national and international film, alongside community filmmaking initiatives.”

Alchemy runs until Sunday, including 13 Scottish productions, several international feature premieres, experimental shorts, video art, and live cinema performances.

The festival will launch with an Artist’s Filmmaking Symposium with discussion from industry experts including Helen de Witt, head of cinemas at BFI, Steven Bode, director at Film and Video Umbrella, the commissioning agency for artist’s film and Brian Konefsky, artistic director of Experiments in Cinema.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Altered State’. Alchemy artistic director, Richard Ashrowan explained: “The Altered State is the positing of a set of alternative possibilities, both vivid and subtle, for living, thinking and feeling. We hope the festival might stimulate discussion around these themes, encouraging shifts, transitions in thinking and being.”