Cecilia Stenbom film to be premiered at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival

A BORDER town has played host to a fictitious investigation for a new film.

A BORDER town has played host to a fictitious investigation for a new film.

Berwick, in Northumberland, welcomed the cameras for The Case, a film based on a set of extracted scenarios from a fictitious investigation.

The film is the work of Cecilia Stenbom, the first artist-in-residence at Berwick Visual Arts – an initiative developed by the town’s Maltings theatre to brings visual arts in Berwick under one banner.

Cecilia, who was appointed last year in partnership with Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, wrote and devised the story in the town.

The dialogue in The Case was developed entirely out of actual recorded conversations with Berwick residents on the topic of perception of crime, and of popular crime drama.

Inspired by British crime dramas and the increasingly popular “film noir” such as The Killing and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Swedish-born artist Cecilia’s work is in keeping with the festival’s theme North by Northeast, exploring the region’s cultural connections to Northern Europe.

Filming took place at the weekend using a professional cast and local extras with Berwick’s pier and port as a backdrop.

The team worked all weekend, including a late night shoot on the Saturday, and successfully wrapped the film up late on the Sunday afternoon. Cecilia said: “From the people of Berwick who contributed ideas and dialogue, through to the actors who have brought the script to life, this whole project has been brilliantly collaborative. My cast and crew did a great job, and I’m delighted with how it went.”

Cinematographer Minttu Maari Mäntynen, from Finland and based in Edinburgh, had filmed one of the festival’s previous commissions, Dancing Borders by Walker and Bromwich, which was shot on the town walls and was recently presented at BALTIC in Gateshead.

The Case will be premiered at the festival, which runs for the ninth time from September 25 to 29.

James Lowther, head of visual art for Berwick Visual Arts, said: “It’s wonderful to see the concepts and ideas of our first artist-in-residence come to life and it will be fascinating to see how Cecilia’s engagement with local people in Berwick has shaped the work, when it is premiered at the film festival later in the year.”

Melanie Iredale, director of the festival, said “This was a really special weekend for Berwick – bringing a professional cast and crew to the town together with using the talented actors we have on our doorstep. We look forward to inviting them all to the world premiere.”

Another work by Cecilia entitled The Rescue, also inspired by popular genre fiction, will be playing on a four minute continuous loop from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, June 8 at the Queens Hall Arts Centre in Hexham.

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