Folk Film Gathering returns

Edinburgh-based event will run online

by Robert Munro

Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner, screening at this year's event
Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner, screening at this year's event

The annual Folk Film Gathering is returning for another year, with an exciting online programme featuring film, music and conversations between makers of the two, all wrapped around the theme of 'Solidarity'.

Run by Transgressive North's Mike Brogan and Jamie Chambers, whose film Blackbird was nominated for the Edinburgh International Film Festival's Michael Powell award in 2013, the festival retains its focus on, and championing of, folk culture from around the globe.

The 2021 edition, running between 25 June and 2 July, will be entirely online, and will feature live contributions from a series of world-leading filmmaking including John Sayles (US; Lone Star, Sunshine State, Silver City), Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil; Neighbouring Sounds, Bacurau), Gaston Kaboré (Burkina Faso; Wend Kuuni, Buud Yam), Zacharius Kunuk (Inuit community, Canadian Arctic; Atarnarjuat: The Fast Runner, One Day In The Life Of Noah Piugattuk), Pat Collins (Ireland; Silence, Song Of Granite), Michelangelo Frammartino (Italy; Il Dono, La Quattro Volte, Alberi), Amber Collective (England; Dream On, Eden Valley), Nadir Bouhmouch (Morocco; Amussu) and Elisa Cepedal (Spain; Work, Or To Whom Does The World Belong).

Exploring a theme of solidarity, the programme this year will revolve around a series of conversations between filmmakers in different parts of the world exploring both differences in experience, and what they might share in common. Alongside these conversations will be a selection of films by each director, available to screen, alongside live music from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (USA), Mairi Campbell (Scotland), Alasdair Roberts (Scotland) and Brían Mac Gloinn (Ireland).

Founder Jamie Chambers said: "I think, in many respects, it's our strongest programme to date. Being forced online by the pandemic has allowed us to reach out to filmmakers and communities that would have been otherwise beyond the reach of a small festival like ours. And - crucially - it is allowing us to explore our idea of a folk cinema with a rich, chorus of voices from world cinema. The work of directors like John Sayles, Zacharius Kunuk and Gaston Kaboré were part of what gave rise to our notion of a folk cinema in the first place, so to be able to continue our exploration of what a folk cinema is, has been, and might be in the future - in conversation with filmmakers of such global stature, - and for audiences to be able to take part in that conversation too - is thrilling."

There are three price points, operated on an honesty model, of £10, £20 or £30, to make the festival as accessible as possible. Tickets and further information are available from Eventbrite.

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