Just back from a return visit to Nordkapp Film Festival, the most northern film festival in the world, in the beautiful town of Honningsvåg, Norway. Even more stunning the second time around.

Went over to take part in the Fishernet programme again, and this year took a programme of contemporary films.

The Great Flood (2009) Marcelo de Oliveira

Expo – Water City (2010) Martin de Thurah

The Tourists (2007) Malcolm Sutherland

Gulp (2011) Sumo Science

Bubble (2010) Elliot Dear

Sea of Glass (2008) Sean Vicary

The Old Man and the Sea (2012) Marcel Schindler

Bottle (2010) Kirsten Lepore

Salty Dogs (2011) 18% Productions

The Guga Hunters Of Ness (2011) Mike Day

Me, Anette Horn, Tore Fosse.

On the opening night I was asked up on stage to say a few words, and the festival was opened by the Minister of Fishery and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, who mentioned Fishernet and Orkney in her speech.

Manuel Maria Paris Leston, Anette Horn, Mark Jenkins, Øyvind Sandberg

Fishernet was a whole day of film programmes, repeated the next day too. It was very well received and seems to be a positive direction for the future of Fishernet, with the original 3 year funding coming to an end. We even had a mention on the national evening news: here. Jump to 13:13 in the timeline.

The highlight of Fishernet for me had to be Øyvind Sandberg’s Coastal Lifea wonderful, delicately observed character study. It focuses on four locations along the north coast of Norway and while being informative about culture and traditions of the area it is also full of warm humour. This film is from 2002, and his latest film,  The People by the Fjordhas this year won the Amanda National Film Award  for Best Documentary. I look forward to seeing more of his films and hope that he will be able to bring his films to Orkney some time soon.

Me with Edelh Ingebrigsten

This year saw a new director of the festival, Edelh Ingebrigsten, and she did a great job with a good varied programme. Some of my highlights –  Jiro Dreams of Sushi in Japanese with Swedish subtitles (challenging but a very different viewing experience, though I look forward to seeing the English version too!), Capalbio Shorts, the powerful 5 Broken Cameras  and the warm and inspiring Sing Your Song (all together now: Day-O!).

This year there was a great new venue, Perleporten Kulturhus. Tore Fosse (festival director up until last year) and his wife Birgit Johansen (producer of the festival this year) have renovated this old chapel, and the name translates as Pearly Gates. It’s a beautiful venue – a concert/cinema area, small bar and lounge, and a balcony that we sat out on and watched the Northern Lights.

There’s also a gallery/shop below: Once Upon A Dream run by artist Erica Haugli (Erica from America). Tore and Birgit plan to open another larger gallery upstairs which will be able to accommodate artists in residence.

We watched a very interesting programmes of films about local Sami people, and on another night got the chance to see a concert of story and yoiking.

The rest of the festival was a delight, with such friendly, hospitable people, wonderful fish dishes in the restaurants and trips to the mountains to see shooting stars and the Northern Lights again (thanks Anette and Eskyl).

We visited Gjesvær again and Manuel got the important business done – getting his salt cod.

Manuel Maria Paris Leston, Sigurbjörg Árnadóttir, Rebecca Marr and Anette Horn.

You can find out more about Honningsvag and Nordkapp in my post last year.

A big thank you to Edelh and Anette for inviting me again. I hope I can return next year too, and look forward to the Northern Lights, the King Crab, great films and wonderful hospitality that is Nordkapp. Hope to see you there too.

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