Scottish Film Events: May 2024

We look ahead to three film festivals coming your way in May: Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, The Edinburgh Folk Film Gathering and the inaugural edition of Falastin Film Festival

Feature by Jamie Dunn | 01 May 2024
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Three film festivals – two old favourites, one mint fresh – should keep Scottish film fans occupied throughout May. 

Over the month’s first bank holiday weekend, we’d urge you to make a pilgrimage to Hawick in the Borders for the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (2-5 May). As ever, Alchemy blends an imaginatively curated programme of internationally celebrated moving image work with experimental films made closer to home. Highlights look to be Empedocles Syndrome, a new performance from Glasgow-based artist and Alchemy regular George Finlay Ramsay, described as “a lecture on the joyously dense entanglements between volcanoes, the pre-Socratics and early cinema,” and a trio of films from Palestinian artist Noor Abed exploring imagined histories, myths and folktales of her besieged nation. There are also moving-image installations to take in at your leisure at venues around town, plus a ridiculously fun ceilidh.

The Edinburgh Folk Film Gathering (3-12 May) celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with a lively programme featuring international folk cinema (films from Finland, South Africa and Ireland to name a few), most screenings of which will have some sort of live musical or spoken word dimension. The festival kicks off with a rare showing of 1993’s As An Eilean (3 May, Cameo), one of the first Gaelic language feature films. Wilma Kennedy, one of the film’s stars, will perform some songs on the night. Among the must-attend events is Alexander Dovzhenko’s lyrical 1930 film Earth (11 May, Cameo), which screens with a brand new soundtrack by Scottish musician Luke Sutherland. We also love the sound of Itu Ninu from Edinburgh-based Mexican director Itandehui Jansen (6 May, Cameo), which is described as an imaginative work of indigenous science-fiction shot in the Scottish capital.

The new festival on the block is the Falastin Film Festival from a collective dedicated to bringing Palestinian art to Scotland. “We strive to highlight Palestinian steadfast resistance, cultural preservation, stories of love, and in the words of poet Rafeef Ziadah, teachings of life,” they say. Screenings will take place in Oban and Mull between 8 and 12 May, before the festival heads to the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre from 24 to 26 May. The programme hasn’t been revealed yet (keep an eye on FFF’s Instagram for details), but for a taster, Falastin have teamed up with the Folk Film Gathering for their screening of Michel Khleifi’s wonderful Tale of the Three Jewels, which blends magic and folk tale to tell the story of two children growing up amid the brutality of the occupation in Gaza (9 May, Cameo).