1980s caravan to become solar-powered mobile cinema

Scotland is to get a solar-powered mobile cinema in the form of a converted 1980s holiday caravan which will head out on the road for screenings.

Audiences of up to eight will be able to watch films under plans to take the self-contained cinema to rural communities across the south of Scotland.

A crowdfunding campaign is underway to help kick-start the project ahead of a planned launch at the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick at the end of April.

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The Moving Images cinema is planned to visit village greens, town squares, community centres, youth groups and school playgrounds.

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It is expected to focus largely on free and low-cost screenings of “non-mainstream” work, including experimental shorts, films with a climate or social justice theme and video installations, as well as workshops.

The project has been instigated by Kerry Jones, a Galashiels-based multi-media artist, filmmaker and programmer.

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She was awarded funding last year by the organisation behind the film festival to research the viability of turning an old caravan she has had for the last decade into a workable cinema.

She is now spearheading a campaign aimed at raising up to £10,000 to help meet all the costs of getting it up and running within the next few weeks.

Kerry Jones is behind a project to turn a 1980 caravan into a solar-powered cinema which will tour the south of Scotland.

Jones said: “I've actually had this idea in my head for quite a long time.

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“I’ve been working with festivals for years and have always been interested in working things that are a bit out of the ordinary and can also go anywhere, so that it creates a different experience for people wherever it lands.

“My partner and I have lived in a static caravan at a caravan park in Galashiels for around 20 years.

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“We’ve had this really nice 1980s Swift Pirouette caravan in our garden for about 11 years, which we’ve used for many things, including as a junk space, a guest room and to take it to different festivals all over the place.

The converted caravan is expected to make its debut as the new solar-powered Moving Images cinema in Hawick in April.

“Everything has been ripped out of it and it’s getting new panelling installed inside, a re-sealed roof and a paint job.

“Then there’s cushioned seating, a projector and screen to be installed, so there’s a fair bit of work to be done.

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“It will be quite basic, simple and functional, but comfortable. I didn’t really want to try to mimic the feel of an old cinema.

“I really want to focus on the south of Scotland in the first year or so, and theme the programming around what people might be interested in, but I’d definitely be keen to take it wherever people want it elsewhere after that.”

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Scotland's new solar-powered cinema Moving Images is expected to make its debut in Hawick next month.

Moving Images is currently involved in Crowdmatch, a crowdfunding drive giving 20 projects around the country the chance to secure up to £10,000 from arts agency Creative Scotland based on what they raise from their own backers.

Other projects include the reopening of the former Royal High School in Edinburgh for the city’s Hidden Door Festival, a feature film crime drama with a supernatural twist, a new artwork to mark the 150-year history of the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh and a daily online dance class.

Jackie Stewart, creative industries officer at Creative Scotland said: “Crowdfunding offers creative individuals and businesses a viable way to generate income to grow and sustain productivity.”

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