Berwick Film Festival: Preview


This weekend (Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th September) sees the Berwick Film and Arts Festival descend upon Berwick-Upon-Tweed in the North of England. Thanks to the nice people organising the event, and East Coast trainline*, I’ll be covering the festival for this very blog. This year’s theme is Once upon a Time, with films and events exploring storytelling, folklore and fairy tale. Here’s some of the highlights you can look forward to:

Friday night sees the premiere of I Am Nasrine, a film set in North-East England. It concerns the struggle of a brother and sister forced to flee their home in Tehran and make a new life for themselves in the UK. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Tina Gharavi.

Saturday brings a whole host of events and films. There’s a chance for attendees to see the brilliant new film from Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle) entitled Arriety, which is an animated Japanese reimagining of Mary Norton’s classic book The Borrowers.

In the evening, Hello! How Are You? puts a modern Romanian twist on Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”, as a married couple turn to internet dating only to find one another.

Finally, on Sunday the festival will close with Blue Bird, a silent film from 1918 all about two children who go in search of the blue bird of happiness. The film will be accompanied live by Carl Heslop on the organ.

Through out the festival, there will also be the chance to catch a large range of installations, projections and exhibitions as part of The Artist’s Trail. The trail is made up of seven different locations in Berwick, and all the pieces are based around this year’s fairy tale theme.

There are plenty more films and events happening at the festival, which you can find out about by visiting their website, or by reading my interview with the festival’s director, Melanie Iredale, for ReelScotland.

*My transport to the festival from Edinburgh to Berwick Upon Tweed was kindly provided by East Coast Trains: advance return fares, booked online, start from £10 Standard Class or £22.80 First Class: book via, call 08457 225225 or visit any staffed station.


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