That celluloid spirit

Submissions for the fifth Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival are now open

By Victoria Khroundina | September 2, 2014

Submissions are now invited for the next Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. The fifth edition of the festival, celebrating experimental film and moving-image art, will take place between April 16 and 19, 2015. This year’s theme is ‘Spiritus Mundi’, a historical term for ‘world soul’ or ‘spirit of the world’. The festival organisers say: ‘This is perhaps something we all unwittingly search for, denoting a spirit of inquiry into the deep nature of substance, of film, of luminosity and shadow, of meaning and life. It relates to a spirit of universality and internationalism – that which underlies both our common humanity and the structures of all natural phenomena. It means our cultural-political Zeitgeist too, the ‘spirit of the age’, and every bit as ghostly, mutable and ephemeral.’

The festival takes place in the former industrial mill town of Hawick in Scotland (where Cornucopia has one of its offices) and this year's edition included 12 features by emerging filmmakers and artists, a filmmaking symposium, short-film screenings, moving-image installations, a number of live performances, and the German director Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s film, Taşkafa: Stories of the Street – about the street dogs of Istanbul – made its UK debut. The festival had received over 600 entries of feature films, video art and installations and the director, Richard Ashrowan, told Tim Cornwell that they would like to see more Turkish work in future editions.

Submissions can be of short films, feature films, installations and expanded cinema events (both digital and 16/35mm) from anywhere around the world. The festival aims to celebrate a diverse range of works: from the visually experimental, quietly poetic, formally radical, psycho-geographical, politically activist, culturally subversive, psycho-spiritual, to the alchemically volatile, the underground and the bizarre. The festival’s website warns that conventional or commercial-style narrative dramas, animations and documentaries are less likely to be successful – unless truly original in form and content.

Closing date for submissions is November 30, 2014. Click here for the application form.

Main image shows the Quay Brothers film Unmistaken Hands, shown at this year's festival. 

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