Film Festival 2023
From Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th September
Experience cinema in a spectacular scenic landscape.
Join us for a 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 we come together to watch, talk, walk, swim, make and share.
As ever, Sea Change celebrates women behind the camera – this year’s festival theme is sense of self and sense of place, with a special celebration of 100 years of 16mm film. We bring you a curated selection of UK, Irish and international feature films, documentaries, artist’s films and animation taking a look at seas, shores and how landscapes can shape lives.
The most westerly island in the Inner Hebrides, Tiree is the ideal place to ask what connects us? Through folklore, landscape and island ecologies, seaweed, memory, migration and identity, and Celtic filmmakers’ lenses, come and experience stories of the sea, scenes from shores near and far, and what we find between the tides.
Our opening night film will be Typist Artist Pirate King – a dark and funny road movie about the growing friendship between artist Audrey Amiss and her psychiatric nurse, starring Kelly Macdonald and Monica Dolan. We are thrilled that writer and director Carol Morley will be joining us in person for the screening.
Sea Change will end with our closing night screening of French drama on life and its end, More Than Ever (starring Vicky Krieps), a live digital Q&A with director Emily Atef, and an uplifting afterparty.
We are delighted to announce a special preview screening of Anna Hints’ Sundance award-winning Smoke Sauna Sisterhood, a documentary about the safe darkness of the smoke sauna and the space it creates for women in Estonia to share thoughts and secrets and regain their strength.
Sea Change will welcome film industry festival guests, including renowned director Carol Morley and 16mm artist filmmakers Mairead McClean and Julia Parks. We are also excited to be joined by amazing filmmakers from across the world in our live digital Q&As.
On offer for families are feature film and 16mm animation screenings, and workshops centred on seaside vegetation and views with artists Harriet and Maura from interference-art, as well as hands-on exploration of the magic of 16mm film led by artist filmmakers Lucy Bergman and Joanne Byrne.
Festival outdoor activities include regular morning swims at Crossapol beach, pilates on the beach, shore walks – and helping to take care of Tiree together with a big beach clean.
Take the chance to see recent female-directed blockbusters on the big screen in our unique island setting, including: Polite Society, Women Talking, Cocaine Bear and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, as well as Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Well’s Oscar-nominated Aftersun.
Exploring sense of self and sense of place, the programme includes a special Celtic connection this year with a variety of films and sessions from Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish filmmakers. “Cáa ndeachaigh mé?”- “Where am I Going?” an experimental 16mm film delves into how emigration can transform our sense of self, following a young couple’s emotional journey from the countryside of Donegal to Glasgow. Lyra, a powerful documentary which tells the story of an inspirational young investigative journalist from Northern Ireland, followed by a Q&A from the film’s director, Alison Millar.
Films reflecting on the landscape and ecologies of islands include 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.
Take a seat with us to celebrate the centenary of 16mm film! For 100 years, 16mm has put cameras into the hands of home movie makers and artists, changing who could make films and how films were made. Experience the ambience of this film format with range of brilliant films shot on 16mm – from artists’ films to family-friendly animations (where possible we will screen them on this format too). 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 films 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.
Sea Change is dedicated to powering women in film by profiling women behind the camera and placing voices and stories of women on screen. Taking place on Tiree’s big screen this year is Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, Nina Menkes’ acclaimed examination of Hollywood’s male gaze in the era of #MeToo.
Though Sea Change’s regular residential Development Lab takes a break this year, we will run sessions throughout the festival, continuing our mission to bring change to the film industry. We invite upcoming and established female professionals in the film industry to the island for mentoring, skill-sharing and discussion, working in the film and creative industries at any stage in their career. Highlights include discussions and guidance on creative coaching, micro budgets, getting your first feature made and working on 16mm film, and facilitated networking sessions.
Sea Change Festival is produced by Screen Argyll with funding from Argyll and Bute and Culture, Heritage & Arts Assembly, Argyll & Isles (CHARTS) and support from Tyree Gin and the Hynish Centre.
Video of Sea Change 2022 by Minttumaari Mäntynen
“A wonderful treat…delightful moments along with some spell binding films made for a truly unique weekend.”
“Discussions with amazing people…and therapeutic sea swims!”
“A break from the noise and an ideal setting to pause and reflect.”