Getting movie gold by taking the lead

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THIS year’s Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick has been boosted by additional funding from Awards For All.

It means the event based at the Heart of Hawick from October 21 to October 23 has expanded its scope for 2011.

Richard Ashrowan, creative director, said: “Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is fast becoming a real cultural highlight for the Borders, attracting local, national and international filmmakers and audiences.

“The Awards For All funding will allow us to take a leap forward, enabling us to expand the moving image art programme into empty shops and satellite spaces around the town.

“This year looks like an exciting year for the festival, with a great mix of feature film screenings, experimental short films and moving image installation projects, all themed around the four elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water.”

Confirmed highlights so far include Burning Ice, a feature film documentary introduced and discussed by producer David Buckland.

A very rare screening of 16mm films curated by experimental filmmaker Pip Chodorov will also be shown, while the desert expanses of Kazakhstan will be brought to the Borders by Ruth MacLennan’s film Anarcadia.

There is also a special preview of Louise Milne’s film on the druids of Somerset, introduced by the Edinburgh University doctor.

Ben Rivers’ science fiction piece Slow Action and award-winning Rivers and Tides featuring sculptor Andy Goldsworthy are also on the Alchemy Festival schedule.

The showcase made its debut last year, attracting capacity audiences for many of the screenings, with a number of significant international artists both screened and in attendance. This year sees youth and community screenings and educational workshops included in the line-up.

Richard Ashrowan added: “We are appealing to landlords to offer us their premises for use over the festival weekend and also for volunteers to help with staffing and organisation of the festival.

“In addition to the main screenings at Heart of Hawick, our 2011 programme of screenings and artist installations will use empty shops and industrial buildings around the town, while we are also working with local groups such as Hawick Film and Video Group and the Little Theatre Film Club.”

Anyone who wishes to volunteer or get in touch about an empty shop should email hannah@alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk