Ahead of announcing its full programme next week, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival organisers are delighted to announce news of their opening film: the UK Premiere of Mamarosh on Wednesday, 17 September at 7pm.
Call it a buddy movie, a road movie, a war movie, and you'd be right. Mamarosh, which is Serbian for “mummy’s boy”, is a love story, too - a crazy escapade played out between the river Danube of Eastern Europe and the Delaware Rivers on America’s east coast. It’s a high-stakes journey with horrendous twists and hilarious turns.
Middle-aged cinephile and film projectionist Pera still lives with his mother - and best friend - Mara, in Belgrade. It's 1999 and when NATO bombs start raining down on Serbia, the two of them become refugees. After a surreal journey, they end up in New York, where Pera realizes that he can no longer do the old job he loved so much. While he and Mara were struggling to survive in war-torn Eastern Europe, the world adopted new-age digital projection.
Then Pera stumbles upon some discarded projectors and his new mission in life becomes clear: he will eschew modernity and technology and will instead travel the country, showing people the magic of “real cinema” - the magic that can only be created by celluloid, mechanical projectors, the silver screen and flickering light.
Director Momcilo Mrdakovic said: “I am very pleased that Mamarosh will open the 10th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival. It is very hard to make comedy, and I hope it will make audiences in the UK laugh. I look forward to attending the UK Premiere of my film and to meeting audiences in Berwick-upon-Tweed.”
The film responds to the Festival’s theme of Border Crossing – which, coinciding with the referendum for an independent Scotland, and taking Berwick’s position as a border town as a starting point, seeks to explore border lands and border identities all over the world. Mamarosh does that and “combines a warm humanism with incisive characterizations and wonderful sly humour” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film is co-produced by Fatih Akin, the renowned German-Turkish director known for such border crossing work as Head-On, The Edge of Heaven and Crossing the Bridge: The Sounds of Istanbul.
Momcilo himself will be there to present his film as part of the Festival’s prestigious Opening Gala and celebration, alongside key partners Mitie, who have supported the Festival in delivering its 10th anniversary edition.
The opening film will be followed by a preview of newly commissioned work The Twilight State, by artist-filmmaker Ben Russell. Currently in production as part of a co-commission with Northern Film & Media, with the support of Arts Council Grants for the Arts, The Twilight State will explore the culture, nature, society and existence within a unique landscape; the space between Swaziland and South Africa.
Tickets are available from www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com and from The Maltings Box Office on +44 (0)1289 330999 priced at £8 / £7 / £4.
The entire Festival programme of film premieres, live events, and site-specific installations will be revealed on Wednesday 13 August and those looking to save some pennies can still get a five day Festival pass for just £25 until 13 August.
Visit www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com for more details.