The Berwick Film and Media Festival is underway and this years’ theme is North by Northeast, celebrating North East England and Scotland’s connections to Northern Europe and to the North Sea.
The Opening Gala kicked off with the international premiere of The Hidden Child by Swedish filmmaker Per Hanefjord, based on a novel by best-selling crime writer Camilla Lackberg. Presented alongside was the world premiere screening of The Case by Swedish born Cecilia Stenbom whose short film inspired by Scandinavian crime thrillers was shot in Berwick upon Tweed, commissioned by the festival and the Berwick Visual Arts residency programme.
The evening also saw the opening of two new commissions by Sidsel Christensen and Matt Hulse at the Gymnasium Gallery.
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.
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 line-up of the band reunite for Berwick for the first time in six years, as part of a live event sponsored by Simpsons Malt.
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.
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival runs until 29th September 2013.
For further information on the Festival please click here.