Sea Change Film Festival on the Island of Tiree announces full programme for 2023 festival

Sea Change Film Festival on the Island of Tiree announces full programme for 2023 festival

Scotland’s only annual film festival dedicated to female filmmaking talent will run at locations across the beautiful Hebridean island from Friday 22 – Sunday 24 September

Programme highlights include a celebration of 100 years of 16mm film, sneak previews of Typist Artist Pirate King and Smoke Sauna Sisterhood, a focus on landscape, ecology and place, a look at contemporary Irish Celtic cinema, the chance to see some recent hit films directed by women including Women Talking and Cocaine Bear, plus sea swims, beach exploration walks, workshops and family activities

Talent visiting the island for the festival includes directors Carol Morley, Mairéad McClean and Lisa Julia Parks

Sea Change Film Festival has announced the full programme for its 2023 festival, which will run at locations across the beautiful Hebridean island of Tiree from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 September.

Showcasing a range of feature films, documentaries and animation – all directed by women – Sea Change is Scotland’s only annual film festival dedicated to female talent behind the camera. 

The festival hosts a packed weekend of films, workshops, family activities and special guests. Local venues open their doors to filmmakers, film students and film lovers of all ages as they come together to watch, talk, walk, swim, make and share.

Guests attending the festival in person include renowned director Carol Morley and 16mm filmmakers Mairead McLean and Julia Parks, with other filmmakers joining in from across the world for live digital Q&As. 

Highlights from this year’s festival programme include:

  • A special opening screening of Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, Nina Menkes’ acclaimed examination of Hollywood’s male gaze in the era of #MeToo
  • A look at Celtic cinema with a focus on Ireland including Lyra, Alison Millar’s powerful documentary on the life of young Belfast investigative journalist Lyra McKee with a live digital Q&A with Alison and Cá a ndeachaigh mé? / Where Am I Going?, an experimental 16mm film delving into how emigration can transform our sense of self. 
  • A series of screenings and workshops celebrating 100 years of 16mm film – the medium that put cameras into the hands of home movie makers and artists, changing who could make films and how films were made. Julia Parks will present Seaweed, exploring the folklore, ecology, and history of seaweed in north Scotland, artist Mairéad McClean will introduce her short 16mm films (including 2 x shot on Uist) and lead a masterclass on 16mm filmmaking, French filmmaker Carmen Leroi will discuss her new 16mm drama No Regrets live via Zoom artists Joanna Byrne and Lucy Bergman present hands-on workshops on working with 16mm film for both adults and families and Cardiff Animation Festival present a family-friendly programme of work by female animators on 16mm. 
  • Artist Lisa Selby’s deeply personal story of a life touched by addiction Blue Bag Life, directed by Rebecca Lloyd-Evans. 
  • Films reflecting on the landscape and ecologies of islands including Geographies of Solitude, following naturalist Zoe Lucas who has spent 40 years living on the remote Sable Island (some 4000KM across the Atlantic from Tiree) and The Oil Machine, focusing on Scotland’s long economic and emotional entanglement with the oil industry.
  • Special preview screenings of some top upcoming feature films ahead of their UK cinema releases, including Kelly Macdonald and Monica Dolan in Carol Morley’s Typist Artist Pirate King and Anna Hints Sundance award-winning documentary Smoke Sauna Sisterhood.
  • Unique outdoor activities including regular morning swims at Crossapol beach with the Tiree Polar Bears, shore walks with Tiree Ranger Hayley which will reflect on the content of some of the films at the festival and a big beach clean.
  • The chance to see recent female-directed blockbusters including Polite Society, Women TalkingCocaine Bear, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Well’s Oscar-nominated Aftersun on the big screen
  • A closing night screening of French drama More Than Ever starrings Vicky Krieps, with a live digital Q&A with director Emily Atef and afterparty. 

Sea Change’s regular Development Lab, which invites upcoming and established female professionals in the film industry to the island for mentoring, skill-sharing and discussion, will run sessions throughout the festival, aimed at those working in the film and creative industries at any stage in their career. Highlights include discussions and guidance on Creative Coaching, getting your first feature made and working on 16mm film. 

Sea Change takes place on the island of Tiree, the most Westerly island in the Inner Hebrides. The island is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide with a year-round population of 700 people, which rises to 2000 with tourists over the summer. The island is nearly 4 hours from the nearest permanent cinema by boat. Sea Change Festival screenings and events take place at An Talla community hall, at Hynish Heritage Centre and at the Tyree Gin distillery in Balephuil. Following the festival on Tiree we will have an online programme, and touring programme for rural audiences working within our network of community cinemas and venues in Argyll and the Isles, including the Isles of Luing, Jura, Mull, Eigg and Barra.

Sea Change Artistic Director Jen Skinner says:

“We are so excited to bring people back to the Isle of Tiree, for this year’s Sea Change. We are celebrating 100 years since the invention of 16mm film by screening a range of brilliant films shot on the format, from artists films to family-friendly animations.

The programme includes a special Celtic connection this year with a variety of films and sessions from Irish filmmakers including “Cá a ndeachaigh mé?” I Know Where I am Going and our opening night film, Lyra, which tells the story of an inspirational young woman, from Northern Ireland, followed by a Q&A from the film’s director, Alison Millar.

The 2023 festival programme will also focus on the landscape, the sea and what we find between the tides, with a range of films inspired by their island settings. 

For this year’s festival we have embedded some of our regular development lab sessions over the weekend, for women working across the film industry. We want to work together to bring change, to support women in the industry to find their voice, to give us the opportunity to see ourselves on screen and to widen the access to voices and experiences that are portrayed in cinema.

Throughout the three days there will be workshops, talks, walks, including one with the Tiree Ranger, lots of fantastic films and of course our daily swim! We have some amazing directors attending either in person or virtually. We are all about bringing communities together through film and I can’t wait to share cinema, connections and Tiree with audiences this year. See you there!”

Sea Change Festival is produced by Screen Argyll with funding from Argyll and Bute and (CHArts) Culture Heritage and Arts in Argyll and support from Tyree Gin and the Hynish Centre. 

Tickets to individual events are on sale from today at Early Bird festival passes giving access to all films and events are available until 31st July, priced at £55 / £40 students and concessions. 

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