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Berwick-upon-Tweed Film & Media Arts Festival highlights

Once Upon a Time: Friday 23 – Sunday 25 September...

The 7th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is set to return, to celebrate the art of film over one action-packed weekend, Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th Sep.

Using Berwick-upon-Tweed as a unique backdrop, and The Maltings Theatre & Cinema as a hub, the Festival invites you to join the adventure in various locations across the town, with new venues including Café Curio on Bridge Street and the recently restored Dewar’s Lane Granary.

Once Upon a Time

Today the Festival announces it’s full programme, in line with it’s theme – Once Upon a Time – as it explores the enchantment of fairy tales on film, from one of the very first examples of the genre, Alice in Wonderland (1903) through to the modern day, through its opening film, the World Premiere of I Am Nasrine (2011).
The programme ventures into fantasy worlds with the likes of The Blue Bird (1918), which closes the Festival as part of a live event. Meanwhile Mastering Bambi (2010), which screens as an installation, represents a darker re-mastering of an original Disney tale.

The event also features work inspired by local folklore through the Festival’s specially commissioned 3D animated projection, Penumbra (2011) by Gareth Hudson & Jack Burton, and through Mare (2011), the World Premiere of a short performance film by Faroese artists, Marianna Mørkøre & Rannvá Káradóttir, commissioned by Northumberland County Council and shot on the nearby coastline.

Another Festival commission supported by Arts Council England entitled Maria, by Darren Johnston, sees a hologram projection in Bankhill Ice House depicting a flamenco dancer as she slowly emerges from the darkness to reveal an unexpected other world.

The event invites you to watch the magic unfold through a series of feature film screenings, short film programmes, artists’ video installations, live events and specially commissioned pieces. It also encourage you to take part - to meet the storytellers and tell your own stories - with something for everyone, from the very young to the young at heart.

The Festival opens with a World Premiere!

The Festival is set to open with the World Premiere of I Am Nasrine – a “love song to the North East.”

Directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Tina Gharavi and produced in the North East by her Newcastle-based production company Bridge + Tunnel, I Am Nasrine is the latest feature film to come out of the region – and set to tour film festivals world-wide!

The film is an intimate coming-of-age story following Nasrine and her brother Ali, as they flee their home in Tehran and set out to make another in the North East of England. Swept along by a dynamic soundtrack and a captivating performance by newcomer Micsha Sadeghi as the title character, I Am Nasrine is a startlingly beautiful and profound telling of the modern day refugee experience. Supporting cast includes first-time actress Nichole Hall from the North East and Harry Potter’s Christian Coulson.

Sir Ben Kingsley has championed the film personally, claiming I Am Nasrine to be “an important and much needed film.”

Director Tina Gharavi, producers James Baillie and Gerry Maguire, as well as the film’s cast and crew will be present to introduce the film on stage at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema, on Friday 23rd September at 7pm.

Another feature film being premiered that weekend is Hello! How Are You? From Romania and fresh from screening at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. A bittersweet romance of the modern age, Hello! How Are You? features a middle aged couple whose stale relationship leads each of them into the world of internet dating – only to find each other. With humour provided by the couple’s libidinous teenage son, Hello! How Are You? is being talked about as Romania’s first comedy in years.

And for all the family…

The Festival offers a whole host of activities for children, young people and their families on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema.

Highlights on Saturday 24th September include Moomins and the Midsummer Madness (2009), where the Finnish fuzzy felt animated family are back for a

new magical adventure based on Tove Jansson's well-loved books. Alternatively, come see Arrietty (2010), the latest tale from Studio Ghibli and based on Mary Norton’s ‘The Borrowers’.  Or get creative - by drawing, painting and scratching directly onto 16mm cells along with Unravel: the Longest Hand-Painted Film in Britain, which is free, and open to everyone. 

The Festival will also showcase the works of children and young people as part of the Chris Anderson Award – a competition for young filmmakers based in North East England and the Scottish Borders, with an opportunity to win a cash prize towards their next film as well as a guaranteed screening at Leeds Young People’s Film Festival – one of the largest young people’s film festivals in the UK!

On Sunday 25th, led by commissioned video artist, Gareth Hudson, the Festival offers a stop-motion Animation Workshop designed to let your imaginations run wild! 

Booking Info:

Tickets will be available to purchase from Tuesday 30th September, from and from the Maltings Theatre & Cinema’s Box Office: Eastern Lane, Berwick-upon-tweed, Northumberland, TD15 1AJ, UK.

Box Office: 01289 330999

Tickets are priced as shown, and are subject to a 50p online booking fee.
The Festival Pass, priced at £20 / £15 concessions, offers entry to all films (excluding The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and workshops). Entry to the Artists’ Trail is free, with no need to book.

Travel Info:

To find out about getting to Berwick, including special coaches running directly to the Festival from Newcastle Central Station, and back again, for only £5, go to



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