Filmhouse Creative Scotland Transgressive North

Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network

Folk Fim Gathering Tradfest Logo FFG 2019 POSTER

TRANSGRESSIVE NORTH are proud to present the fifth edition of the world’s first festival of folk cinema, in partnership with Filmhouse Edinburgh.


The 2019 Folk Film Gathering revolves around a theme of storytelling, exploring some of the many instances in which Scottish and world cinemas have sought to invoke the qualities of folk tale and oral tradition. From Seachd’s celebration of the Gaelic oral tradition and BeDevil’s uncanny mix of folklore and urban legend among Australian aboriginal communities, to adaptations of master storytellers John Berger, Alan Garner and Neil Gunn, our programme this year looks at how diverse traditions of storytelling intersect with world cinema.


As in previous years, most of our screenings this year incorporate an element of live, traditional arts performance.


Tickets are available from the Filmhouse Cinema:

£11 (£9 Concessions)


Filmhouse Cinema | 0131 228 2688 



Timothy Neat  |  UK  |  1993  |  15


Friday 26th April



After Play Me Something, Timothy Neat collaborated again with John Berger on Walk Me Home, a film that has not been seen in Edinburgh since 1993, which will screen here from a newly digitized version. Shot in Hamburg and Inchkenneth, and starring Berger with an appearance from the late, great Norman Maclean, Walk Me Home is about love, imagination and comradeship, serving here as a timely celebration of Scotland’s connections with Europe.


The screening will be introduced with traditional songs from Arthur Watson and followed by an audience discussion led by TRACS’ Donald Smith and University of Edinburgh’s Fraser MacDonald.

George Schneevoigt  |  Norway  |  1929  |  PG


Saturday 27th April



Perhaps the greatest achievement of Norway’s silent cinema, Laila is an epic love story following the fortunes of a young woman who finds herself torn between divided loyalties to Norway’s indigenous Sami community and the culture of her birth parents. Laila is presented here with a newly commissioned score from rising stars of the Scottish folk scene, Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält.


Presented in partnership with Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.


Clarence Elder  |  UK  |  1947  |  PG


Saturday 27th April



A rare opportunity to see the 1947 adaption of Neil Gunn’s Scots literary classic on the big screen in 16mm. Chronicling the hardships experienced by Highland communities in the wake of the clearances, The Silver Darlings explores the life and loves of Catrine and her family and their changing fortunes as they are forced into the brutal herring fishing industry. A powerful tale of struggle and dispossession.


Introduced with live traditional music from Rona Wilkie and Marit Falt.


Enrico Cocozza  |  UK  |  12A


Sunday 28th April



Join us for the Folk Film Gathering’s annual film ceilidh, where we’ll be screening some of the short  films of Wishaw’s under-sung queer, avant-garde pioneer Enrico Cocozza. Interspersed with newly composed music from Alun Woodward (Lord Cut Glass), and stories and reminiscences from Cocozza’s friend Professor Joe Farrell (University of Strathclyde), join us for a magical-mystery tour through the imagination of one of Scotland’s most imaginative filmmakers, from the ghostly visitations of The White Lady to the punk, working-class provocations of Chick’s Day.


Hosted by TRACS’ Donald Smith.


Pier Paolo Pasolini  |  Italy/France/West Germany   |  1971  |  18


Monday 29th April



The  first in Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life, Pasolini’s The Decameron weaves together a handful of tales by Giovanni Boccaccio into a dizzying, rhapsodic and bawdy celebration of humanity in all its contradiction and complexity. At turns erotic and playfully irreverent, The Decameron tells the story of thieves, nuns, dimwitted husbands, murderers, martyrs and saints with verve, humour and Pasolini’s incomparable sense of cinematic poetry.


The film will be introduced with live music from Simone Caffari and followed by a discussion led by University of Edinburgh’s Pasquale Iannone.


Charles Burnett  |  USA  |  1990  |  15


Wednesday 1st May



To Sleep With Anger is a powerful mix of the mundane and the magical from one of America’s most underappreciated filmmakers. Gideon and Suzie are initially happy to see their old friend Harry when he turns up on their doorstep. They soon regret their offer of hospitality, however, when Harry’s arrival begins to exercise a strange, almost supernatural presence in the house. What exactly has Harry brought into the house with him, and will Suzie’s family survive it intact?


The film will be introduced with live music from Scots-Jamaican singer Brina.


John Mackenzie  |  UK  |  1978  |  PG


Thursday 2nd May



An adaptation of Alan Garner’s novel, Red Shift explores uncanny resonances between three different time periods in English history: following a group of Roman invaders in the 2nd century, a siege during the English Civil War, and the story of young lovers in the present day. Based on the ballad of Tam Lin, Red Shift tells three separate stories which all converge around Mow Cop castle in Cheshire.


This screening will feature a special mini-concert from celebrated folk musician Alastair Roberts.


Rainer Sarnet  |  Estonia  |  2017  |   15


Friday 3rd May



A magical, blackly-comic story tinged with horror and superstition, November tells the story of the unrequited love between Liina who yearns for Hans, and Hans who yearns for Luise. Will the dark powers of Estonia’s old ways give them both what they want? Or are some things best left alone? Werewolves, the Black Death and the Devil himself all appear in this visionary treatment of Estonian folktales that mixes the rhapsodic cinematic poetry of Sergei Parajanov with the deadpan absurdity of Roy Andersson.



Alexander Dovzhenko  |  USSR  |  1927  |  PG


Saturday 4th May



An extra special event at the 2019 Folk Film Gathering: a one-time opportunity to see Alexander Dovzhenko’s magical Zvenigora with a newly- commissioned score from Folklore Tapes, performed live for one performance only. Dovzhenko’s silent masterpiece follows an old man obsessively searching for the buried treasure of Zvenigora whilst his two grandsons find themselves on opposite sides of a bitter civil war. Folklore Tapes' score, commissioned specially for the Folk Film Gathering, will explore some of the many resonances between Scottish and Ukranian folk culture.


Presented in partnership with Dovzhenko Centre, tickets


£12/£10 concession.


Simon Miller  |  Britain  |  2007  |  PG


Sunday 5th May



One of the first films to be made in the Gaelic language, Seachd stars celebrated figures within Scotland’s Gaelic community in a tale about the passing down of stories from one generation to another. When Angus’ parents are killed trying to climb Skye’s Inaccessable Pinnacle, he is brought up by his grandfather, amongst the magical stories of the Gaidhealtachd: of the water horse, buried gold, of poisoned lovers. When his grandfather falls ill, Angus must confront what is just a story, and what is true.


This screening will feature a special mini-concert from celebrated folk musician Rachel Newton.


Amber Production Team  |  UK  |  1987  |  PG


Monday 6th May



The Amber Collective present T Dan Smith, an experimental biopic of the infamous Newcastle City Council leader - a visionary,  flawed and controversial politician, convicted of corruption in 1974. Showcasing the verve and social commitment that has made Amber one of the most significant forces in British cinema over the past 40 years, T Dan Smith is

a compelling fusion of drama and documentary.


The screening will be introduced with live folk songs from Sean Paul Newman, and followed by a Q&A with Amber’s Ellin Hare, Peter Roberts, and Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen.


Presented in partnership with Bella Caledonia.


Tracey Moffatt  |  Australia  |  1993  |  12A


Tuesday 7th May



The first film to be made by a female, indigenous filmmaker in Australia, Tracey Moffatt’s BeDevil is a beguiling mix of folklore and personal experience from within Australia’s aboriginal community. Moffatt’s singular vision weaves together stories of invisible trains, the ghosts of American GIs and pot-luck picnics, set against a backdrop of colonisation and discrimination. A celebration of storytelling that explores the mysterious place of the past within the present.


The screening will be introduced with stories from Australian storyteller Judy Paterson.



Itandehui Jansen  |  Mexico  |  2018  |  12A


Tuesday 30th April



Traditional healer Soledad is bringing up her grandson Jose in a rural village whilst her daughter tries to find work in Mexico City. When her daughter makes plans to marry, Soledad is faced with a difficult choice: should Jose stay with her, or should he join his mother in the city? In Times of Rain is a powerful story about women finding themselves caught between different experiences of life.


The screening will be introduced with traditional Mexican songs from Carmen Moore and followed by a Q&A session with the director, Itandehui Jansen.


Presented in partnership with Bella Caledonia.



Monday 6th May

50 years of Amber: blurring the boundaries between drama & documentary

Scottish Documentary Institute, Hunter Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art

2.00pm – 4.30pm

Free to attend


Join founding members of the Amber Collective – Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen, Peter Roberts and Ellin Hare – as they reflect upon 50 years of filmmaking and photography in Newcastle and the wider Tyneside area. Hosted by Professor Noe Mendelle






Tickets are available from the Filmhouse Cinema

unless otherwise stated on listings


£11 (£9 Concessions)


• Buy three or more tickets and get 15% off

• Buy six or more tickets and get 25% off

• Buy nine or more tickets and get 35% off


The tickets must all be bought for the same season and at the same time for the discount to apply. The offer is available online, in person, and on the phone, on both full price and concession tickets.


Filmhouse Cinema | 0131 228 2688



Erik Blomberg  |  Finland  |  1952  |  12A


Wednesday 8th May



Winning Best Fairy Tale Film from Jean Cocteau’s jury at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, The White Reindeer is a dark, magical tale set within Scandinavia’s Sami community. Pirita, a young bride, grows lonely when her new husband Aslak is taken far away from home, overseeing his reindeer herd. Visiting the local shaman in the hopes of changing her fortunes, Pirita finds herself instead turned into a vampyric, shapeshifting white reindeer. Can she keep her secret from her community, or will she risk destroying the very things she loves the most?


The film will be introduced with live Scandinavian folk music from Marit Falt.


Konstantin Ershov, Georgiy Kropachyov

Soviet Union  |  1967  |  12A


Thursday 9th May



Based on a short story by Gogol (itself based upon a Ukranian folk tale), Viy tells the playfully macabre tale of Khoma, a young anti-hero studying to be a philosopher within the local seminary. After a night of misadventure, Khoma finds himself forced to keep vigil for three nights by the body of a local witch

he has wronged. Will he manage to keep his sanity (and his soul) as more terrifying apparitions appear each night? And can he survive an encounter with the fearsome Viy - whose mere name makes lesser demons tremble with fear? Reminiscent of the work of Sergei Parajanov and Sam Raimi, Viy is a dizzying, rhapsodic trip through Ukranian folklore.


Peter Plummer (ITV)  |  England  |  1969


Saturday 11th May

6.30pm – 10pm


This will be screened at the

Scottish Storytelling Centre

Tickets are available here

£10 (£8)


A rare opportunity to see all 8 episodes of the seminal ITV adaption of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service on the big screen. Mixing folk tale, social commentary and young adult drama with a strong commitment to place, The Owl Service follows Alison and her stepbrother Roger during their parents’ honeymoon in Wales. Together with Gwyn, the housekeeper’s son, Roger and Alison slowly find themselves drawn into the ancient Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd, Gronw and Lleu. Can the three manage to disentangle themselves before it’s too late, or is history doomed to repeat itself?


The screening will be introduced with traditional harp music from Elinor Evans.