9th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival


Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

25-29 September 2013


* ‘Living Cinema’ in Walled Border Town & Historic Military Garrison

Installations in the Town Hall Gaol, Ice Houses, Barracks Gymnasium, gunpowder Magazine, Medieval Coxon’s Tower, and the Main Guard House

* North by Northeast Scandinavian Cinema Theme

Northumberland’s Nordic Connections Celebrated

* Field Music Perform New Score for Grierson’s Silent Drifters

Music by Mercury Prize-Nominees Who Reunite for Special Screening

The 9th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (25th – 29th September) returns to the walled coastal border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed turning it into a ‘living cinema’ as new video art and film commissions, UK Premieres, installations and events transform the former military garrison. Tickets are on sale from Thursday 15 August. www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com

Unusual spaces created into temporary screening venues and galleries include: Berwick Town Hall’s 18th century prison cells; the Bankhill and Shoregate Ice Houses, once used to store Norwegian ice to preserve Scottish salmon; medieval fortification, Coxon’s Tower; the garrison powder Magazine, built in 1749 to house gunpowder, and the Main Guard House, the only remaining gateway in the town’s Georgian walls to survive.

Mercury Prize-nominees and North East based musicians Field Music have written a specially composed new score for the pioneering Scottish filmmaker John Grierson’s classic 1929 silent documentary on North Sea herring fishermen Drifters. Field Music will reunite to perform the new score, their first live appearance in the original line-up since 2007.

The theme of this year’s Festival is North by Northeast, celebrating Northumberland’s Northern European coastal connections with screenings and installations of films and video art by Scandinavian filmmakers and artists.

Hemmed in by the North Sea on three sides, Berwick-upon-Tweed straddles the border with Scotland, and this year’s programme will explore the region’s historical, industrial, travel and trade links with Northern Europe – the Northeast has higher than average Nordic DNA – uniting filmmakers, artists and audiences from across the North Sea rim.

North by Northeast Nordic themed highlights include:

* Cecilia Stenbom – The Case, a new film commission from Swedish video artist Cecilia Stenbom, shot on location in Berwick, and inspired by ‘Nordic Noir’ and popular British TV crime drama. The Case draws on actual recorded conversations with residents of the town, bringing together scenarios from a fictitious police investigation. Produced as part of a residency with Berwick Visual Arts. Screened with Opening Night film, The Hidden Child (dir. Per Hanefjord, Sweden, 2013), the latest Nordic Noir feature based on a novel by best-selling Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg.

* Sidsel Christensen – World Premiere of new video commission, Study for Composition X, by Norwegian artist Sidsel Christensen, which features the backdrop of the Royal Tweed Bridge in Berwick; framing the Northeast coastline and facing back to the west coast of Norway, where her previous work was shot. Commissioned in partnership with NABROAD, with support from The Royal Norwegian Embassy.

* UK & World Premieres of Scandinavian Short Films: Three short film installations by Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson (Iceland/Netherlands, 2012 and 2013); A Tale of Two Ships (dir. Lars Harald Gathe, Norway, 2013); Archipelago Science Fiction (dir. Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Finland, 2012); The Hill (dir. ZimmerFrei, Denmark, 2011); Try to Do the Salmon Dance (dir. Sunniva Eir Tangvik Kveum, Norway, 2012); 13 Related Sewing Machines (dir. Anna Linder, Sweden, 2011); Mountain in Shadow (dir. Lois Paino, Spain/Iceland, 2012), and The Yoiking Hand (dir. Elle Sofe Henrikson, Norway, 2011).

* Previews and Special Screenings of Scandi Features: Moomins and The Comet Chase (dir. Maria Lindberg, Finland/UK/Poland, 2010), with an opening song by Björk; Avalon (dir. Axel Petersen, Sweden, 2011); The Great Bear (dir. Esben Toft Jacobsen, Denmark, 2011); 69.4 Degrees North (Eva Weber, UK/Finland), and Bravehearts (dir. Kari Anne Moe, Norway/Sweden, 2012), a moving documentary portraying the shocking events of the massacre of 77 members of the Workers Young League summer camp in July 2011. The screening of Bravehearts will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

* Other Screenings, Installations and Special Events: Closing Night film, For Those In Peril (dir, Paul Wright, UK, 2013), set in a remote Scottish fishing village; Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods (dir. Christian Ditter, Germany, 2011); The Fifth Season (dir. Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth, Belgium/Netherlands/ France, 2012); The Deflowering of Eva Van End (dir. Michiel ten Horn, Netherlands, 2012); Nation for Two (short animated film by Chaja Hertog & Nir Nadler, Netherlands, 2012); and The Last Frontier, world premiere of an installation by Kelly Richardson (UK, 2013), funded by Visual Arts in Rural Communities and installed with support from the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund.

Plus, Kauwboy (dir. Boudewijn Koole, Netherlands, 2012), winner of the Best First Feature Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and Dummy Jim (dir. Matt Hulse, UK, 2012) the true story of profoundly deaf Scotsman Jim Duthie, who in 1951 cycled solo to The Arctic. The screening of Dummy Jim is followed by Q&A with director Matt Hulse, and deaf lead actor Samuel Dore. There is also a separate triptych and interactive video installation, Better To Wear Our Shoes Than Sheets, by Matt Hulse in celebration of James Duthie (Gymnasium Gallery).


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