Watch Now & Next Round One Commissions on BBC Scotland

Part of Now & Next

Rhona Mühlebach, The Lousiest Spy Ever, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

We are excited to announce that six new short film commissions, made as part of the first round of Now & Next, are now available to watch on BBC Scotland.

The commissioned artists are Adam Castle, Juliana Capes, Lucas Chih-Peng Kao, Michael Lee Richardson, Rhona Foster, and Rhona Mühlebach.

Now & Next is a commissioning scheme, in partnership with BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland, that nurtures and showcases emerging creative voices, as well as offering established artists a chance to try something new, through a series of collaborative artists’ film commissions.

About the artists

Adam Castle

What do wolves, butterflies and Lady Gaga have in common? They are all associated with the illness lupus. Glasgow-based artist Adam Castle, 24, has the illness and wanted to find out more. He has created a musical film about lupus for Now & Next featuring a singing wolf and butterfly. As well making films, Adam has won an award for hosting a queer cabaret and founding a film festival.

Adam was diagnosed with the chronic health condition lupus when he was 12. Seen as a medical rarity due to his age, doctors took photos of him and gave a presentation about him at his hospital. One doctor told him, In 20 years I have never seen a boy with lupus… but never say never.” Yet he was always too scared to find out more, and over a decade later Adam knew little about lupus and had only Googled lupus once.

Due to its reputation as hard to diagnose, many people in Scotland only know lupus from Hugh Laurie’s catchphrase in the medical TV drama House: It’s never lupus.” For his Now & Next film, for the first time in his life, Adam researched his own medical condition and met a lupus expert, Dr. David Hunt. He then used what he discovered to make a musical film called Lupi Lupi Lu. Now, instead of being the subject of a one-line catchphrase, or a hospital medical presentation, Adam has put his personal take on lupus at the heart of an artwork.

Castle’s artworks have featured in screenings and exhibitions at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, alongside numerous galleries in USA.

Juliana Capes & Ruth Barrie

Juliana Capes is an award-winning multi-disciplinary visual artist who was born in Grimsby in 1974. Growing up in coastal Lincolnshire, she still lives by the sea in Portobello in Edinburgh. She has worked in the arts in Scotland for the last 23 years, exhibiting most recently at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, Royal Scottish Academy and Edinburgh Art Festival. Her artwork is influenced by her experiences of working as a visual describer in Scottish galleries and museums, by the beauty of the natural world and by the processes of feeling, seeing and believing.

Ruth Barrie is a filmmaker who was born in Glasgow in 1979. She grew up on the West Coast in and around the town of Helensburgh, where she developed a deep connection with nature. She studied Film & TV at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to play in folk-pop band Aberfeldy for 5 years. After this, her connections with musicians and artists led her to many interesting collaborations to create her film and moving image work, often rooted in Scottish landscape.

Lucas Chih-Peng Kao

Lucas Chih-Peng Kao is a filmmaker and artist, born in 1984 in Taiwan and based in Edinburgh since 2003, making it the longest city he ever lived. In 2010, his decision to settle in Scotland was reinforced after 44 friends wrote letters of support and he won his appeal against the Home Office.

Largely self-taught, he learns through workshops and collaboration with other artists. Started from filmmaking, moving onto dance films and later taking training in improvisational dance, physical theatre, Butoh and immersive sensory theatre, his artworks are often multidisciplinary and collaborative, crossing performance, dance, installation and photography.

His work aims to transform or subvert his autobiographical experience or feelings of being an immigrant and outsider into abstract and loose patterns, going beyond identity and representation. Now he is interested in making work that allows collaborators to play and explore with freedom. He is inspired by filmmakers and artists who challenge boundaries and the limit of the medium with their unique vision and asking interesting questions, like Apichatpong Weerasethakul, William Kentridge and Katie Duck. Or artists who make works with a beating heart that shines lights on the invisible people of the society like Hirokazu Kore-eda or Dardenne Brothers. In the past, he has worked professionally as script supervisor/​continuity on feature films and TV drama and before that he studied Biology.

Michael Lee Richardson & Garry Mac

Michael Lee Richardson is a writer, producer and community organiser from Glasgow. Michael’s first film My Loneliness is Killing Me — directed by Tim Courtney — debuted at EIFF in 2018 and won a Scottish BAFTA Award (Best Short Film). Michael is a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award winner and a member of BBC Scotland’s first Drama Writer’s Group. Michael has produced work for Pride House Glasgow and LGBT History Month Scotland, and – with Ryan Vance – edited We Were Always Here for 404 Ink.

Garry Mac is a queer writer and illustrator, known for Gonzo Cosmic, Tomorrow and Freak Out Squares. He is currently working on a semi-autobiographical graphic novel AION, which interweaves with his master’s dissertation, Time Bends: Queer Temporality in Comics, and follows that with a political queer comic series called Praxis. His foreword introduces the anthology of queer writing published by 404 Ink, We Were Always Here.

Mac and Richardson collaborated with AR Crow and Claricia Parinussa. AR Crow is a poet, performer and trainee psychiatrist. They like to explore the spaces in between. Claricia Parinussa holds a BA (Hons) Dance with her training including classical, contemporary and hip hop styles. She was awarded the Dance Base DEBS Bursary in 2010 under the mentorship of Christine Devaney and has since worked with companies including Cagoule, Jackin’ the Box and Freshmess, performing nationally and internationally.

Rhona Foster

Rhona Foster, 27, grew up in Edinburgh before moving to London for art school. She completed her BA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2017. Since graduating, her practice has become increasingly centred around filmmaking and writing. She is interested in creating fictional characters and developing narratives which she can use to explore political and societal topics. Moving to different places around the UK has led to an interest in how different geographic, economic and educational circumstances affect people’s political views and identities. alice_​_​alice playfully explores feelings of envy and inadequacy as triggered through social media. The film seeks to satirise the fictionality of other people’s lives as they are presented through social-media-perfect photographs and videos. Rhona’s favourite artists are Mike Kelly, Rachel Maclean, Bedwyr Williams and Ryan Trecartin.

Rhona Mühlebach

Rhona Mühlebach is an artist and filmmaker based in Glasgow. Influenced by nature and science documentaries, and how we discover the world through them, Rhona is fascinated by incorporating fiction into narration-based video works. Rhona comes from a cinema background and often manipulates the form and technical traditions of big-production movies and TV documentaries in her contemporary practice.

Rather than the passive observation of reality, Rhona aims to create room for alternative possible realities in her narrative-based films. The uncanny narratives she creates aim to distort reality and invite fiction as a mechanism for problem-solving.

Rhona was part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2017, and her work was exhibited at Art Basel as part of the Swiss Art Awards 2018. Her films have been shown at numerous international Film Festivals such as the Festival del Film Locarno, where her work was awarded several prizes.

Part of Now & Next

Now & Next was a talent development scheme in partnership with Creative Scotland and BBC Scotland that ran from 2019 to 2022.

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