NEWS: WIDE SKIES FILM FESTIVAL | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Nosferatu

Wide Skies is a brand new independent and community-led film festival, which will take over towns in West Northumberland from Friday 10th until Sunday 19th June.

The Star & Shadow Cinema’s regular Losing The Plot film retreat will kick things off from Friday 10th until Sunday 12th June in suitably unorthodox style from a converted barn in Burnlaw, with a weekend of artistically motivated filmmaking. Of particular focus this year are films which look at the changing visions of Europe, with historical, avant-garde and activist documentaries screened on Friday by artist filmmakers John Smith and George Barber. The trilogy of Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights provides a particular highlight on Saturday, with breaks for meals and country walks; while on the Sunday, enjoy Werner Herzog’s documentary film about faith and superstition in Russia, Bells From The Deep, alongside The Russian Woodpecker, a documentary which follows a performance artist in his effort to shed light on the disaster at Chernobyl. Add to this plenty of communal camping, reading, walking and eating; it sounds like a perfect weekend to us!

The rest of the festival – which has been developed in partnership with Hexham’s Forum Cinema, Queen’s Hall Arts, Hexham Book Festival and the Star & Shadow, along with a host of film clubs and community organisations around the Northumberland area – will see festival screenings of world cinema from Japan, Brazil, France and Italy taking place in Tarset, Slaley, Haydon Bridge and Hexham. Of particular note are screenings of a documentary on photographer Annie Leibovitz (Forum Cinema, Friday 17th); silent horror masterpiece Nosferatu gets an atmospheric live piano accompaniment at Hexham Abbey (Friday 17th); documentary The Divide tells the story of seven individuals striving for a better life, with a Q&A from Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level, on which the film is based, following the screening (Queen’s Hall, Saturday 18th); another Q&A, this time with Harry Pearson and following a screening of Ken Loach’s Kes, takes place at Queen’s Hall on the same day.

The Forum Cinema also provide an accompanying programme of screenings on Tuesday mornings which include documentaries and foreign language films. With many of the festival’s screenings priced at just £5, there’s even more reason to head along.

Wide Skies Film Festival takes place at various locations from Friday 10th until Sunday 19th June.

 

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