There will be plenty of suspense in the air at the opening of this year’s Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival with a crime thriller chosen as this year’s curtain raiser.
The Scandinavian film ‘The Hidden Child’, will capitalise on the big screen and small screen success of the likes of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘The Killing’ and make its international premiere on Wednesday, September 25.
It will screen alongside ‘The Case’, directed by Cecilia Stenbom and shot a lot closer to home, in the streets of Berwick to be precise.
The theme for this year’s annual celebration of film and moving imagery is ‘North By North East’ and other offerings to look out for on The Maltings big screen include open sea adventure ‘The Deep’, Danish film ‘Fasten’, a big influence on modern Scandinavian and British cinema and the eight nominees for the festival’s best short film accolade- ‘Beyond the Scars’ by Chris McLean and ‘The Devil’s Balloon’ by Norwegian director Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken to name but two.
But as ever the film festival programme does not restrict itself to the cinema screen.
Its committee are once again on a mission to take over Berwick with a series of visual art commissions and amongst them will be one which will already be familiar to anyone who happened to take a walk along the old bridge in Berwick a few Fridays ago.
They would have seen Sidsel Christensen’ being suspended from the Royal Tweed Bridge in a hoop, shooting material for ‘Study for Composition X’ which will .
Another commission which the committee are very excited about will see the original line up of Mercury nominated Sunderland band Field Music reunite for the first time in six years to put music to silent film ‘Drifters’.
North east artist Kelly Richardson will transform Bankhill Ice House with ‘The Last Frontier’, presented in partnership with Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) through its Artists’ Projects Fund, with support from the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund.
This year’s itinerary also has plenty to fulfil youngster’s film appetites with highlights of the youth programme including Finnish favourites the Moomins in ‘The Moomins and the Comet Chase’; Norwegian teen adventure ‘Bravehearts’ and comedy action adventure ‘Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods’.
The curtain will come down on the 2013 spectacle with a screening of ‘For Those In Peril’ – a powerful drama from the Scottish Highlands, and one of only two UK features to go to the Cannes Film Festival this year. It will be followed by a Q&A with lead actor and rising star George MacKay.
Commenting on this year’s festival, director Melanie Iredale said: “The theme of “Northernness” is one that’s very close to my heart, and one that feels so very apt for Berwick – an ancient Nordic settlement, which lies in the heart of a coast shaped by its North Sea links.
“The region boasts a higher than average level of Nordic descendants, and we’re delighted to be uniting filmmakers, artists and audiences from around the North Sea rim, here in Berwick.“
Tickets, including Early Bird passes (available until August 25 for £30/25) and full programme information are now available from the Festival website on www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com or from The Maltings in person and on 01289 330999.