North by Northeast welcomes Nordic film invasion

15/08/2013

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival today announces an ambitious lineup, bringing a programme of film premieres, installations and special guests to transform the seaside town of Berwick-upon-Tweed into one big cinema screen for this year’s action packed Festival!

Opening the Festival in gala style is the international premiere of The Hidden Child – the latest in a wave of incredible crime thrillers to come out of Scandinavia, building on the success of films such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and TV series such as Wallander, The Bridge and The Killing. The Hidden Child, based on a novel by best-selling crime writer Camilla Läckberg, will be introduced by the film’s director Per Hanefjord, producer Helena Danielsson and lead actress Claudia Galli, and screened alongside The Case by Cecilia Stenbom, the world premiere of a short film shot in Berwick, playing on the ‘Nordic Noir’ genre.

Huw Davies, the Chair of the Festival Board said today “As well as the international premiere of The Hidden Child, the Festival is delighted to be bringing an unprecedented 13 World Premieres and 12 UK Premieres to Berwick!”

Many of the films competing for the Festival’s inaugural Inntravel Award for Best Short Film are UK Premieres, selected from hundreds of short film and artist video entries, to be presented as part of a gala screening. The Festival are delighted to announce the eight films shortlisted for the Award as follows: Beyond the Scars – Chris McClean (UK), The Devil’s Ballroom (UK Premiere) – Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken (Norway); i-D Iceland (World Premiere) – Klaus Thymann (Iceland), Motor (UK Premiere) – Simone Bennett (The Netherlands); One (UK Premiere) – Magnus Renfors (Sweden); Premature – Gunhild Enger (Norway); Suddenly Last Summer (UK Premiere) – Juha Mäki-Jussila (Finland) and Tumult – Johnny Barrington (UK).

The winner will be awarded a cash prize of £500 on the night, sponsored by Inntravel, and awarded by a high profile Jury: Sight & Sound editor Nick James, German filmmaker Eva Weber, and artist-curator Anna Linder from Sweden.

Many of the World Premieres are new Festival commissions, specially created for Berwick, including:
• Cecilia Stenbom’s The Case – a short film shot in Berwick and commissioned in partnership with Berwick Visual Arts residency programme;
• Sidsel Christensen’s Study for Composition X – a new video work produced in Berwick in an ambitious film shoot in which the artist performed suspended from the Royal Tweed Bridge, and commissioned in partnership with NABROAD – the Norwegian Collaborative Organisation for Contemporary Art Abroad;
• Matt Hulse’s Better to Wear Out Shoes than Sheets – an installation to accompany a screening of his highly acclaimed feature, Dummy Jim; and
• Field Music’s newly composed score for Drifters, which sees the original lineup of the band reunite for Berwick for the first time in 6 years, as part of a live event sponsored by Simpsons Malt.

The theme of this year’s Festival is North by Northeast, celebrating North East England and Scotland’s connections to Northern Europe and to the North Sea. Festival Director Melanie Iredale explains “The theme of “Northernness” is one that’s very close to my heart, and one that feels so very apt for Berwick – an ancient Nordic settlement, which lies in the heart of a coast shaped by its North Sea links. The region boasts a higher than average level of Nordic descendants, and we’re delighted to be uniting filmmakers, artists and audiences from around the North Sea rim, here in Berwick.“

The Festival’s line up travels from Western Sweden for the opening film, to Denmark for a retrospective screening of Festen – a film which has proved hugely influential to the current generation of Scandinavian – and British – cinema. Festen will be introduced by Hollywood Reporter film critic Neil Young. From there the programme goes to The Netherlands for The Fifth Season – a visually arresting fable, sponsored by Yellow Book, to the coast of Iceland for The Deep – an adventure on the open sea, presented by the Berwick Film Society, and as far as the Arctic Circle, by bicycle, with Dummy Jim, presented with the support of the Community Foundation.

Says Melanie Iredale, Festival Director:
“Since many of the best films for children and young people come from Northern Europe we had an abundance of fantastic films to choose from and found it really difficult to make a selection - hence our youth programme is bigger than ever! We hope that as many people as possible will come to Berwick to see some of the most outstanding cinema for young people in the Northern Hemisphere here on their own doorstep.”

This year’s youth programme includes:
• Moomins and the Comet Chase – for little ones, as well as for those old enough to remember our Finnish friends from the first time around!;
• Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods – a comedy action adventure, by longboat! Sponsored by Simpsons Malt;
• Bravehearts – a tale of teenagers from Norway standing up for what they believe in, with an extended introduction by director Kari Anne Moe;
• The annual Young Filmmakers Showcase – presenting short films made BY young people FOR young people – and a £200 cash prize up for grabs! Sponsored by the National Youth Film Academy, with the prize donated by Hollywood blockbuster filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson.

The Festival closes with a film from closer to home – For Those In Peril – a powerful drama from the Scottish Highlands, and one of only two UK features to go to Cannes this year. The film will be followed by a Q&A with lead actor and rising star George MacKay.

With all this and much more going on, be sure to secure your long weekend of great film entertainment by checking out our website – tickets are on sale from today and Early Bird Festival Passes available until 25th August.

Tickets and full programme information now available from the Festival website on http://www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com or from The Maltings Theatre & Cinema Box Office, in person or by calling 01289 330999.

Early Bird Festival Passes £30/£25 concessions available now http://www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com/festival-pass until 25th August, when the price increases to £35/£30. Passes offer great value for money, allowing entrance to all films and events.

With last year’s Festival resulting in Berwick’s B&B’s “selling out,” Festival organisers recommend visitors book early. Please go to http://berwickfilm-artsfest.com/staying-in-berwick for information on local accommodation, or call Berwick Tourist Information Centre on +44 (0)1289 301780.

Ends

Media contact:

Nicky Harrison, White Hot Communications
Email: nicky@whitehotcomms.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 191 280 8020 / +44 (0) 7824 390 826

Images can be downloaded from the Festival websitet:
http://berwickfilm-artsfest.com/media-library

 


Notes to Editors

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is an international celebration of the art of film, set in the historic border town of Berwick upon Tweed and looking out onto the North Sea. The inaugural Festival took place in September 2005, with a vision to transform Berwick into one big moving image installation – a visual and cultural spectacle – and the celebration has taken place every year since.

With eight editions under its belt, the Festival has established a reputation for being imaginatively and ambitiously curated - producing a screening programme, a promenade of installation works, a number of new commissions, and a lively selection of special events, artist talks and hands-on workshops across a number of Berwick’s venues and heritage sites.

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2013: North by Northeast
Set in the far North of England, and straddling the border with Scotland, this year’s programme will explore our region’s historical, industrial, travel and trade links with Northern Europe, uniting filmmakers, artists and audiences from around the North Sea rim. The 9th edition takes place Wednesday 25th – Sunday 29th September 2013. For more info on the Festival, go to www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com

Key Partners

Project Funders & Sponsors
Community Foundation // PRS for Music Foundation // Simpsons Malt // Inntravel // Northumberland Coast AONB Sustainable Development Fund // National Youth Film Academy // The Co-operative Membership // Bridge North East // Arch: The Northumberland Development Company // The Royal Norwegian Embassy // Queens Hall Arts // General Mills // Yellow Book // Northumberland County Council // Berwick Town Council // Martins the Printers

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