During 2013 we held six artists’ moving image residencies in the Ettrick Valley, Scotland. There will be a screening at the 2014 festival of some of the works made during the residencies. We hope to run these residencies again in 2014 or 2015 , though this very much depends upon funding. Please do not send us speculative applications for future residencies. We will announce future residencies on our social media and on this website.

Each residency was four weeks in duration and was held from 1st to 29th October 2013.

Check back mid 2014 for details of future residencies.

2013 Residency details:

• For non-EU / international participants, travel expenses up to £500 were covered. For UK participants, a £500 fee was available.
• Accommodation, food and living covered.
• Free participation in six artists’ film and moving image master-classes.
• Free accommodation in the Scottish Borders, Scotland.
• Opportunity to show work at the 2014 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival.
• There was no application fee.

Travel to and from the residency location was the responsibility of the participant.

Participants were chosen by an independent jury. The jury included Kim Knowles (experimental film programmer for Edinburgh International Film Festival), Gareth Evans (film curator at Whitechapel Art Gallery), Richard Ashrowan (Creative Director of Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival), Keith Alexander (former BBC Arts producer) and Laura Simpson (Programme Manager at Hospitalfield Arts and assistant curator at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design).

The following information applied to the 2013 residency applicants:

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is dedicated to screening high profile experimental film and moving image works, related to an overarching theme exploring humankind’s relationship to nature in its broadest sense. Our theme for the next festival is ‘DreamLand.’ It will be held in Hawick, Scotland from 4th – 6th April 2014. The residencies will be supported by the Creative Director of the festival.

The Residencies

Our 2013 moving image residencies are aimed at stimulating production and developing talent specifically in non-narrative or experimental artists’ film. They are supported by Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures programme.

The residencies will take the form of single group residency for six artist-filmmakers, held in the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders countryside in October 2013.

A core component of the residency is the inclusion of several expert master-classes/Q&A seminars with artist filmmakers of international standing. The aim of these master-classes is primarily to stimulate new avenues of creative thought through the sharing of experience and skills. We aim for a residency culture of conceptual learning and development, personal reflection and experimentation. Screenings of work will precede the master-classes, and subjects covered may range from practical production techniques to conceptual development, to distribution and film festival promotion. Regular informal experimental film screenings and discussions will be held throughout the residency period.

There are no fixed expectations related to the production of work, though a screening opportunity at the next Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival will be available to residency participants who have completed work by April 2014. The residency is an opportunity to develop and reflect upon your practice, while simultaneously exploring the work and ideas of other practitioners. It will be an intensely focussed period of time in which we hope you will learn, experiment and have the freedom to take creative risks.

Residency dates and application timescales

The residencies will happen over 4 consecutive weeks in October 2013. If selected, you should plan to arrive on Tuesday 1st October and leave on Tuesday 29th October.

In applying, you must be in a position to take up the residency during these specific dates.

The deadline for entries is 20th July 2013. After final shortlisting we may conduct telephone / skype interviews in advance of offering of a place. Applicants will be notified of a final decision no later that 20th August 2013.

Who should apply?

We encourage applications from:

• Established and early career filmmakers / moving image artists based anywhere in the world.
• Artists working predominantly in another art form who possess basic skills in moving image making, but who wish to extend and enhance their moving image practice.
• All applicants must provide evidence of an established body of work, preferably containing at least some moving image work.
• All applicants are expected to provide their own camera/editing equipment and to possess at least a basic understanding of how to use them.
• You do not need to have an arts or film qualification to apply.
• In applying, you should try to highlight how your practice might benefit from this particular type of residency – its group situation, the exposure to the master-classes and its remote rural setting.

We are aiming for an equitable mix of international, Scottish national and regional participants. The strength of individual applications will take priority in determining the final mix, both geographically and in terms of experience. Participants will be chosen by an independent jury of established filmmaker-artists and arts professionals.


The Scottish Borders is a beautiful region of Scotland, approximately one and a half hours drive south of Edinburgh. It is a remote, exceptionally quiet and sparsely populated region, with a wide and open landscape dominated by hill farming (sheep), rivers and commercial forestry. It is a deeply historic area, once home to the infamous, lawless ‘Border Reivers’. The residencies will be situated in the remote Ettrick Valley. This valley has been a home and source of inspiration for several artists and writers – most notably the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’- James Hogg (1770 –1835). Hogg wrote the astonishing ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’, along with many other fine works. He was friendly with Walter Scott, who is also known to have visited the valley. In a more contemporary context, the abstract artist William Johnstone (1897–1981) lived and worked at the head of the Ettrick Valley. The painter Tom Scott (1854–1927) also lived and worked close by in the Yarrow Valley. The valley road is a dead-end road, with the wonderful Over Phawhope Bothy (pictured above) just beyond its end. This bothy has been used for several arts projects (even screenings) over the last few years.

The nearest towns/shops are Selkirk (40 minutes drive) and Hawick (also 40 minutes drive), both of which have strong historic connections to the woollen mill industry, plus a strong tradition of ‘Common Ridings’. There is a limited public transport service (see the timetable) between the Ettrick Valley and the local towns (once or twice a week), for shopping and supplies.

The nearest airport is Edinburgh. Glasgow and Newcastle airports are also within an accessible distance. The closest train stations are Carlisle or Edinburgh. There is a regular bus service to Hawick and Selkirk from both Carlisle and Edinburgh (2 hrs). We will coordinate pick-ups according to individual participant’s transport needs.

Participants should be aware that the Scottish weather is always unpredictable and while the October weather can be beautiful, it will also be cool (though unlikely to dip below freezing in the daytime). It is often wet. Wellington boots and good waterproofs are recommended.

Accommodation and Catering

The residencies will be held in self catering accommodation split across two traditional three-bedroom detached cottages approximately one mile apart. Both houses are situated in their own grounds within the stunning open countryside of the Ettrick Valley, ideal for walking. An independent shared studio/workspace may also be available at Ettrick School (a recently closed primary school which now houses exhibitions), a further mile away.

Cottage 1: Elspinhope on Cossarshill Farm
Cottage 2: Ettrick Cottage

Participants will each have their own private room and will live together in two groups of three, coming together regularly as a larger group of six over the four weeks. Bed linen and towels will be provided. Some group meals will be held (and there will be a welcome meal on the first night), but otherwise individuals will self-cater, or cook together as they wish. Participants will be responsible, collectively or individually, for buying their own food and organising their own catering.

Internet and telephone

These residencies are also an opportunity to escape the tyranny of permanent connectivity. Mobile phone signals are not available anywhere in the valley. Limited internet access may be available at one of the cottages, but it is slow, sporadic and unreliable. It is a 40 minute drive to the nearest town, should you require more reliable internet access.

Fees and expenses

International non-EU participants will receive reimbursement toward travel expenses of up to £500 on arrival. Living expenses, food and some materials will also be covered.

UK participants will receive a fixed fee of £500, plus £100 per week for catering and expenses (a total of £900). The accommodation and expert seminars are provided free of charge to participants. Limited additional financial support may be available to help complete projects for screening at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2014.


We are not able to supply cameras, special camera kit, lenses, lights, computers or editing equipment. We will try to help with equipment needs where possible, including directing you toward hire companies if needed. Participants are generally expected to bring their own equipment.

Participant requirements

It is important that participants are fully committed to developing their creative practice for the duration of the residency. Partners are not allowed to join participants on the residency. Very brief visits from friends, partners or family may be accepted, but only with the full agreement of the other residency participants after your arrival. We do try to discourage this, as it can break the creative dynamic of the residency experience, for yourself, and for others.

Participation in the six master-classes is an important and unique aspect of this residency and attendance at these is something we hope you will want to fully engage with. Some of these may be held over Skype, on once weekly trips to the local town of Hawick. Others may be in person. If you are not interested in participating in this aspect of the residency, then this residency is probably not right for you.

You can use the residency time to work together or independently. Working together with other participants is not a requirement and it is up to individual participants if they choose to engage in collaborative projects. Collaboration may naturally emerge within the group, but it is never forced. Participants are there to further their own individual creative practice and this must be respected at all times.

You will be expected to be fully ‘in residence’ on-site for the majority of the four weeks, at least for no less than 24 days of the 28 day residency period.

You will be expected to live harmoniously with two others, as part of a wider participant group of six. It is expected that you will respect the privacy and personal space of all other participants, while contributing your share to the tidiness and cleanliness of the house you are in. You will be expected to abide by the house rules, which include refraining from antisocial, threatening, rude, discriminatory or invasive behaviour.

How to apply

Applications are now closed. The deadline was 20th July 2013.

You will need:

• Why you would like to participate (up to 300 words).
• Any specific project ideas you would like to develop (up to 300 words).
• Summary information about your practice (up to 300 words).
• An up to date artist / filmmaker CV.
• Vimeo / online screener links to examples of your moving image work.
• A still image that represents yourself.
• A still image that represents your work.
• Contact details of two referees.

All offers of a place are conditional upon receiving satisfactory references. Your referees will not be contacted until after you have been offered and have accepted a place. Your referees will then be asked to provide a character reference on your suitability for this kind of group residency experience.

The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival Residencies are part of Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland talent development programme which aims to promote the professional development, capabilities, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland’s creative practitioners and organisations. Please see www.creativescotland.com and www.creativefutureshq.com for more information.

These residencies are kindly supported by:
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