The Nordlys Film and Arts Festival is set to return to the Bailey Theatre on February 12 to 14, with a weekend full of award-winning films from around the world, opening night feature guests, live music, and a Poet in Residence.
The popular event kicks off on Friday, February 12, with its traditional black and white attire theme. Festival goers are encouraged to wear anything from tuxes to tees, so long as it’s black and white. As beer and wine will be permitted in the theatre this year, Nordlys is a no-minors event.
“This year’s film line-up is especially strong,” said Steven Hansen (BA Music ’05), a festival board member. “We have films from Israel, Estonia, New Zealand, and even right here in Alberta. We are as excited as ever for this year’s Saturday night feature concert, as well as our local musicians who will perform in the lobby between films.”
“Last year Nordlys had its first official sell-out, and even in spite of the cooler economic climate we expect we will be facing sell-out audiences again this year,” said Hansen.
Opening night will begin with a screening of Eadweard, a visually striking Canadian-made drama about 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who is considered by many to be the godfather of cinema thanks to his pioneering motion-capture techniques. The biopic centres around Muybridge’s struggles, both personal and professional, to continue his research in photography.
Eadweard has screened at film festivals around the world, receiving much critical acclaim along the way. In addition to winning five Leo Awards, it won audience awards at the Nashville Film Festival, Maui Film Festival and the Rhode Island Film Festival.
“We are delighted to be able to show Eadweard at Nordlys this year. Not only is it an award-winning and visually stunning film that was made in Canada, its subject matter fits perfectly with Nordlys’ vision of celebrating the beautiful and complex art of filmmaking,” said Hansen.
Kyle Rideout (director/writer) and Josh Epstien (producer/writer) will travel from Vancouver to present Eadweard to the Nordlys audience. Rideout and Epstein will participate in a Q&A session following the film. Hansen expects that the filmmakers, who share backgrounds as theatre actors, will be impressed by the Bailey’s vaudeville style.
“Having special guests like Kyle and Josh in attendance is what elevates Nordlys to the next level,” said Hansen. “Nordlys festival goers will not only have the rare opportunity to see a remarkable Canadian film that isn’t on the mainstream theatrical cinema circuit, but an opportunity to interact with the film’s director and producer after its screening.”
In 2014 Nordlys screened The Auctioneer, an NFB documentary by local filmmaker and director Hans Olson (BA Philosophy ’03). This year, Nordlys will showcase Olson’s first feature length dramatic work, Figurine.
Figurine, which is filmed in Olson’s distinctive observational-documentary style, has enjoyed screenings in Edmonton and Vermont, where it won the award for Best Feature Film at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. Most recently, it received Best Narrative Feature Film awards from online festivals in Lisbon and Miami.
A story about Karin, a woman who leads a quiet life in Edmonton working at a truck wash and ushering part-time at the hockey arena, Figurine was shot with natural light, real locations and a cast of first-time actors. Those who watch Figurine will recognize a number of prominent Edmonton locations, lending the film a quintessential Edmonton feel.
For Olson, being able to show Figurine at Nordlys is a special opportunity. “It’s an honour to come full circle and screen at Nordlys,” says Olson. “The festival has played such a huge role in sparking my love of film. I’m constantly inspired by the eagerness of the Camrose community to go on cinematic adventures around the world.”
Olson has recently accepted an invitation to participate in Berlinale Talents, a seminar program at the Berlin International Film Festival, and will unfortunately be unable to attend Nordlys this year. However, Kyle Armstrong, the film’s producer, will be in attendance.
Good For Grapes
This year, Surrey band Good For Grapes will perform during the Saturday night feature concert slot. The six piece band’s folk-stomping style has been energizing audiences from coast to coast since the release of their debut album Man on the Page in October 2013.
“Good For Grapes is definitely going to get the crowd energized this year,” said Hansen. “We are thrilled that they are making the trip here from Vancouver to participate in this year’s festival. Last year, Mandolin Orange from North Carolina was the festival’s musical headliner, and they were brilliant. This year, we are happy to put the spotlight on one of Canada’s up-and-coming musical groups.”
Nordlys, which means “northern lights” in Norwegian, has become a Family Day weekend tradition for many Camrose and area film lovers. Festival passes are available for this year’s event in person at the Bailey Theatre (cash or cheque only) or online at www.nordlysfestival.com
If you have been to the Nordlys Film and Arts Festival and loved the great selection of films, live music, and welcoming atmosphere you may also love volunteering to help our team: volunteering is a great way to discover the Festival as well!
This year’s festival begins on February 12th, the first weekend of Reading Week, and our final film is shown on Sunday night, February 14th. Come to experience a variety of films selected for this year’s festival which include Eadweard created by Kyle Rideout and Josh Epstein who will be our special guests from Vancouver, and Figurine created by Hans Olsen from Camrose.
Enjoy discussing and visiting between films as live music is performed by local musicians as part of Café Voltaire. Saturday night also features a concert by Good for Grapes – a folk rock band from Surrey, BC, who recently played at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
Nordlys Film and Arts Society is 100% volunteer run. Weekend positions include ushering (checking tickets and welcoming guests) and bar staff (serving beverages and selling merchandise). You can volunteer for a minimum of six hours (one shift) or volunteer for the whole weekend. Most volunteer duties take place around the films which allows you to still view and enjoy them.
Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering or have any questions. Email email@example.com or call Joelle at 780-524-0202.