2020 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival goes ahead online

The 10th annual Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival will go ahead from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 May 2020 in a free online format. Although the public elements of the festival have had to be cancelled, organisers have worked to ensure that as much of the festival’s content as possible can be delivered online.

“It's been a turbulent few weeks, and like many festivals and arts organisations we have been faced with some very difficult decisions,’’ says Michael Pattison, Creative Director of Alchemy Film & Arts.

“It became clear very quickly that we would have to cancel the public element of our 10th anniversary festival, but we wanted to make sure that we could continue to celebrate the many great filmmakers whose work we were planning to showcase.”

“The team here at Alchemy Film & Arts have been working hard to develop a creative response to this challenge and I’m delighted to announce the details of Alchemy Live, three days of online streaming featuring work by artists and filmmakers from across the globe. As we developed Alchemy Live we were guided by a commitment to retaining a sense of what Alchemy does and what it is: high quality curation, meaningful to audiences, and deliverable.”

“We are hugely grateful for the support from our featured artists and filmmakers who have agreed to be included in Alchemy Live, and we look forward to engaged discussion and debate through our associated social media channels. I'm also incredibly excited by what opportunities live streaming presents for us and other arts organisations like ours moving forward after all of this disruption settles."

A close up image of two people touching their own faces

Image by Felicity E Palma from Medusa and the Abyss

The first of two features to be screened at Alchemy Live (8pm – 9.15pm, 1 May) is Corporate Accountability in which Argentinian filmmaker, Jonathan Perel, traces, records and confronts the companies that colluded in the repression and disappearance of 30,000 workers and union delegates during Argentina’s military dictatorship (Spanish with English subtitles).

In the second feature, Phantom Ride (8pm – 9.15pm, 3 May) Canadian filmmaker, Stephen Broomer, has created an American road movie from home movies shot in the 1950s by Elwood F. Hoffmann, a hosiery mill owner in Pennsylvania.

The new Spotlight strand, introduced in Alchemy Live, will see screenings at 3pm on each day of the festival. On 1 May the Spotlight film will be 72 TREES, which follows the filmmakers Helena Doyle and Eduardo Cassina on their globe-trotting challenge to visit all 11 galleries exhibiting Damien Hirst’s ‘spot paintings’ in only 12 days; in South (2 May) Morgan Quaintance offers an expressionistic response to anti-racist and anti-authoritarian liberation movements in South London and Chicago’s South Side; in Autumn (3 May) Daria Elkonina presents a sparsely populated landscape in rural Russia which is haunted by memories of murder. The shorts, meanwhile, will be streamed in a number of one-hour slots spread across each day.

Mark Thomas from Screen Scotland said: "It is fantastic that Alchemy Film & Arts will continue to deliver their 2020 Film and Moving Image Festival as ‘Alchemy Live’ in these exceptional times. Michael, Rachael and the team at Alchemy provide an exemplary annual experimental film festival from Hawick, featuring indigenous, national and international artists. This year’s online platform will provide free access to their rich programme and encourage new audiences from across the globe."

To see the full Alchemy Live programme visit: www.alchemyfilmandarts.org.uk/festival-2020

Alchemy Film & Arts is supported by Screen Scotland, Live Borders, Esmée Fairbairn, Robertson Trust, Scottish Borders Council, Awards For All.

Header Image: Jessie Growden Photograph