Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival opens on 25 September and this year includes 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.
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. 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.
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.
Image: For Those In Peril, Paul Wright