Berwick-upon-Tweed Film & Media Arts Festival
Once Upon a Time: Friday 23 – Sunday 25 September
Once Upon a Time… begins this week!
This week marks the opening of the 7th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, with an enchanting programme of film screenings, artists’ moving image installations, artist talks and hands-on activity as part of it’s Once Upon a Time programme.
The Festival begins with the switch on of the Artist Trail at 11am – a series of video projections and installations in locations around the town, including The Gymnasium Gallery, The Town Hall Prison Cells, Bankhill Ice House and Shoregate Ice House, which run until 5.30pm each evening over the Festival weekend.
The official opening film however takes place at 7pm at the Maltings theatre & Cinema, and marks the world premiere for North East England-Iranian co-production I Am Nasrine. Swept along by an incredible lead performance and powerful soundtrack, I Am Nasrine is an intimate coming-of-age story set to capture imaginations at film festivals the world over. The Festival were delighted to confirm recently that director Tina Gharavi, the film’s producers, and cast & crew, including the Micsha Sadeghi, the actress who plays Nasrine, would all be in attendance. The film was produced by Tina’s production company Bridge + Tunnel as part of a project in which local refugees’ voices were heard and their stories told. One of the young people involved in the project, Hadi Shokrolahy, will also be present.
Highlights for children, young people & their families over the weekend include The Ice Book, a beautiful miniature pop-up theatre show which is being projected in the Maltings Henry Travers Theatre on Saturday afternoon, while Sunday afternoon offers a workshop with the artists behind The Ice Book, allowing kids aged 10+ to see behind the scenes and to experiment themselves with green screen technology!
Meanwhile adults may want to check out the UK Premiere of Hello! How Are You? – a Romanian rom-com, and believed to be the first comedy from Romania in decades. The film features a middle aged couple whose stale relationship leads them each towards internet dating – only to find each other! – with hilarious consequences.
The story finishes where it started at the Maltings Theatre & Cinema at 7.30pm on Sunday with The Blue Bird, a magical tale of two poor children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, who are led by the fairy Berylune into various fantastical lands in the search for the blue bird of happiness.
This stunning silent movie from 1918, preserved with original tinting, will be accompanied by Carl Heslop, aged 19 from County Durham, whose Compton Organ was recently found abandoned in a barn in nearby Berwickshire and restored to its former glory with the help of friends at Star & Shadow Cinema in Newcastle.
Director Melanie Iredale said today “Screening rarely-seen silent films with live accompaniment is one of the things Berwick Film Fest does best, and we’re delighted to be closing the Festival with The Blue Bird, and with an improvised score from Carl. He discovered the organ abandoned in Berwickshire, and it’s almost like it’s come home for the evening!”
Tickets, as with all events, can be bought The Maltings Theatre & Cinema Box Office on 01289 330999 and from www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com.