Having spent our first two years together as collaborators making low budget DIY promotional music videos for our own songs - which we put out as The Bird and The Monkey - we soon began exploring the possibilities of working on experimental film. In 2011 we put together our first cinematic work, the psychedelic epic, Alchemikal Sundays. Seeing this more as a practice run or demo than a completed film, it was never officially released.
The following year we created In The Dark I Sat. This had its premier screenings at the 2012 editions of Portobello Film Festival in London and Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in the Scottish Borders.
Since then our short films have screened internationally - throughout the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, the USA, Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand - including an exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy and airings on several episodes of the American experimental cable access show, Here Comes Everybody, which broadcasts across numerous US states.
We have experimented widely with both digital and analogue technology, techniques and processes. Many of our films make use of vintage 16mm and Super 8 cameras, long-expired film-stock, home-processing using household ingredients and handcrafting by directly scratching, painting and manipulating the film itself.
We now create our interdisciplinary works under the name Avant Kinema, and have received arts grants and commissions from South of Scotland VACMA, the Hope Scott Trust, Creative Scotland and Imprints of the New Modernist Editing. We were the 2019 winners of the Pauline Fay Lazarus prize for work using the human form. We have also been shortlisted for the EIFF Short Film Challenge (2016), and nominated for the Margaret Tate Award (2018).
- Sarahjane Swan and Roger Simian