Berwick Film Festival

THE State of Berwick Festival starts tomorrow night with cinema, live music and a late night party at the Maltings.

The State of Berwick celebrations, which will take place throughout the entire weekend will offer a rare combination of spectacular light shows, film screenings live music and performance when Northumberland Lights and the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival join forces for this one off event.

The idea behind the weekend's entertainment is to celebrate the unique character of Berwick, its culture, its people and its unique heritage as a state not quite certain whether it wants to belong to either England or Scotland.

Huw Davies, co-director of the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, said: "This really will be a magical weekend not to be missed.

"We expect lots of visitors to Berwick, so there should be quite a buzz around the town centre. We are delighted to be working with Northumberland Lights this year, the State of Berwick event will be a tour de force in terms of bringing together two unique organisations, doubling the impact of what a festival can usually deliver alone."

The festival opens tomorrow night, Friday, with a special gala event at The Maltings.

'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari,' a cult film that influenced directors such as Tim Burton and David Cronenberg, accompanied with live music performed by Leeds based duo, In The Nursery, will set the mood for the evening.

Following this, there will be a post screening party with live music from Lizzie Bell and the Socialites.

Speaking about the opening film, Tamara Van Strijthem, film programmer, said: "We are delighted to bring this unique event to the people of Berwick.

"Classic silent films with live accompaniment have been very popular with audiences in previous years and we hope that this event will be equally exciting."

As well as a full programme of film screenings and events occurring at The Maltings throughout the weekend, several locations around the town centre will be the focus for architectural illuminations, sound and music.

Highlights include the Saturday morning screening of the Thief of Baghdad, a rare chance to see this luscious family adventure in glorious 1940s Technicolor on the big screen.

The Lemon Tree, not yet released in cinemas across the UK, is also a stunning film to look out for.

Meanwhile, residents and visitors alike will be encouraged to explore a series of town centre installations, both in the streets and undercover.

The Tongues of Fire will fill the parade ground at the Barracks with their unique sound a riot of reeds, brass and percussion for a series of 45-minute shows.

The Bank Hill Ice House will also cocoon a cosy screening of local archive film from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Live music, traditional to modern, performed by local musicians will also accompany this rare glimpse at Berwick's past.

For more information about the State of Berwick visit www.northumberlandlights.com. For information about the Inner States Film & Media Arts programme visit www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com.