Sun 4 March 2012 – Thu 29 March 2012

Our film programme ran throughout the Festival with five screenings each week, plus two special weekends with visiting guest filmmakers.

During the Opening Weekend we welcomed leading American filmmakers James Benning and Sharon Lockhart to introduce their work in person.

The Slow Cinema Weekend focused on the work of four filmmakers: Fred Kelemen, one of the boldest German filmmakers of the last twenty-years; Lav Diaz internationally celebrated as the ideological father of the New Philippine Cinema; Lisandro Alonso one of the most accomplished and original Argentine artists working today; and the distinctive UK filmmaker Ben Rivers.

The film programme featured the work of forty international filmmakers from 21 different countries. This included sixteen UK premieres and twenty regional premieres, with the majority rarely seen and undistributed.

Highlights included: the eight-hour screening of Lav Diaz’s Melancholia and discussions with the filmmaker at Star and Shadow Cinema; the UK premiere of James Benning’s new film Nightfall, plus the slow cinema panel discussion.

James Benning: Nightfall

Sat 3 March 2012, 3.50–6pm

Tyneside Cinema

Widely acclaimed for his great 16mm durational films about the American landscape, James Benning has been making new work in digital HD since 2009. We were... more

Lav Diaz: Melancholia

Sat 10 March 2012, 1pm-11pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Three strangers arrive in rural Sagada. Past revolutionaries, they adopt different identities to manage their trauma. Exploring the legacy of failed revolution...more

Ben Rivers: Two Years At Sea

Sun 11 March 2012, 11am-12.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Ben Rivers’ first feature-length film documents the solitary existence of Jake, who lives in isolation in a remote Scottish forest... more

Slow Cinema Discussion

Fri 9 March 2012, 11am-12.30pm

Tyneside Cinema

A panel of filmmakers and critics discussed their work and current trends within contemporary cinema, including: Lav Diaz... more

Ben Russell: Let Each One Go Where He May

Thu 29 March 2012, 7.30pm-9.45pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Ben Russell’s stunning feature debut is an epic road movie drawing from documentary and...more


Wed 28 March 2012, 7.30pm-10pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Fleeing the American invasion of the Philippines in the early 20th Century, a mother and her son retreat into the jungle. Ingeniously... more

Rirkrit Tiravanija: Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours

Wed 21 March 2012, 7.30pm-10pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

This debut feature by visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is a portrait of the slow passage of... more

Richard Fenwick: Exhaustion

Sun 11 March 2012, 6.30-8pm

Tyneside Cinema

The UK premiere of this newly commissioned film chronicles a professional athlete’s journey from rest, to exhaustion, and recovery. Exhaustion... more

Sharon Lockhart: Double Tide

Sun 4 March 2012, 4–6pm

Tyneside Cinema

Double Tide documents a female clam digger in the mudflats of coastal Maine, as she wades slowly through the water. Filmed on the rare occasion in which... more

Lav Diaz: Century of Birthing

Sun 11 March 2012, 1pm-7.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Stories about a Christian religious cult and a self-involved filmmaker, are brilliantly intertwined in Lav Diaz's newest film, premiered... more

Lav Diaz: Heremias Book II

Fri 9 March 2012, 9.30pm-11pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Heremias Book II introduces one of Lav Diaz's principle characters, the timid yet resolute craftsman and vendor Heremias. The film cuts between the story of...more

Lav Diaz: Butterflies Have No Memories

Wed 28 March 2012, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

In a formerly prosperous, remote mining village, unemployed workers live in economic oppression... more

Ben Rivers: Slow Action

Sat 10 March 2012, 11am-12pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Slow Action is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film, operating between documentary, ethnography and fiction. Filmed at different islands across... more

Fred Kelemen: Fate / Verhaengnis

Thu 8 March 2012, 6pm-7.45pm

Tyneside Cinema

Fate is a remarkable debut film, admired by critic Susan Sontag as “a visionary, one-of-a-kind achievement”. Taking place...more

Fred Kelemen: Frost

Thu 8 March 2012, 8.30pm-12am

Star and Shadow Cinema

Frost is a landmark European film, cementing Fred Kelemen as an inheritor of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner... more

Fred Kelemen: Nightfall / Abendland

Fri 9 March 2012, 6pm-8.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Fred Kelemen’s third feature is a devastating, tender and sublime masterpiece. Expanding the location to Portugal integrates... more

Bela Tarr: The Turin Horse

Sat 10 March 2012, 7.45pm-11pm

Tyneside Cinema

This preview of Bela Tarr’s last ever work, filmed in collaboration with Fred Kelemen, depicts six days in the life of a father, daughter ...more

Lisandro Alonso: La Libertad / Liberty

Fri 9 March 2012, 1.45pm-3.20pm

Tyneside Cinema

Lisandro Alonso’s brilliant debut film follows a day in the life of Misael, a migrant woodcutter... more

Lisandro Alonso: Los Muertos / The Dead

Fri 9 March 2012, 3.30pm-5.15pm

Tyneside Cinema

Lisandro Alonso’s second feature is the enigmatic journey of released convict Vargas... more

Lisandro Alonso: Liverpool

Sun 11 March 2012, 9pm-11pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Evoking Ulysses, Lisandro Alonso’s latest film follows estranged seaman Ferrel on a journey home to his family. Filmed in snowy Tierra del Fuego, the world’s most... more

Fergus Daly & Katherine Waugh: The Art of Time

Sat 3 March 2012, 1.30-3.20pm

Tyneside Cinema

The Art of Time explores how leading artists and thinkers are inventing new and radical notions of time, contesting the idea that... more

Andrei Tarkovsky: Stalker

Sun 4 March 2012, 9pm-12am

Star and Shadow Cinema

One of the most enigmatic films ever made about time, Stalker depicts an expedition led by the Stalker, an outlaw able to safely navigate the decayed... more

Alexander Sokurov: Russian Ark

Mon 5 March 2012, 5.45pm-7.45pm

Tyneside Cinema

Russian Ark is a unique journey through time and Russian history. Filmed entirely in the Hermitage Museum, Sokurov’s... more

Cristi Puiu: Aurora

Tue 6 March 2012, 7.45pm-11pm

Tyneside Cinema

Aurora is the story of the fall of an ordinary man, set in contemporary post-Communist Romania. We follow protagonist Viorel... more 

Abbas Kiarostami: Five

Wed 7 March 2012, 7.30pm-8.50pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

This radically minimalist film features five extended, seemingly single-take sequences, shot on a hand-held DV camera along the shores... more

Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Mon 12 March 2012, 8pm-11pm

Tyneside Cinema

Winning the Grand Prix at Cannes 2011, Ceylan’s hypnotising crime film follows the search by police, prosecutors, a doctor... more

Bruno Dumont: Hors Satan

Tue 13 March 2012, 5.45pm-8pm

Tyneside Cinema

Hors Satan is a mesmerising and brutal drama set in the sparse grandeur of Northern France’s Opal Coast. A nameless outsider... more

Pedro Costa: Colossal Youth

Wed 14 March 2012, 7.30pm-10.15pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Hailed as the Beckett of cinema, Costa has produced a staggering trilogy observing the demolition of the Fontainhas housing... more

Albert Serra: Honor of the Knights

Thu 15 March 2012, 7.30pm-9.15pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Serra’s striking, controversial adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote... more

Jia Zhang-ke: Still Life

Thu 22 March 2012, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Still Life is set in Fengjie, 150 miles from the Three Gorges Dam, the hydroelectric project on the Yangtze River that submerged... more

Sivaroj Kongsakul: Eternity

Sun 25 March 2012, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

This debut feature won the prestigious Tiger Award at Rotterdam 2011. Evoking the traditional Thai belief... more

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Syndromes and a Century

Mon 26 March 2012, 5.45pm-7.50pm

Tyneside Cinema

Described as a hospital comedy with a metaphysical bent, Syndromes and a Century is inspired... more

Kim Ki Duk: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring

Tue 27 March 2012, 5.45pm-7.50pm

Tyneside Cinema

This simple and serene film shows the life of a Buddhist monk as he passes through the... more

Sergio Caballero: Finisterrae

Sun 18 March 2012, 7.30pm-9pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Two Russian-speaking ghosts leave the Sonar Music Festival, along the pilgrim path to Santiago de Compostela then on... more

Pablo Giorgelli: Las Acacias

Mon 19 March 2012, 5.45pm-7.35pm

Tyneside Cinema

Winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes 2011, this slow paced road movie tells the story of a long distance truck driver, who agrees... more

Carlos Reygadas: Silent Light

Tue 20 March 2012, 5.45pm-8.20pm

Tyneside Cinema

Sublimely shot entirely on location in the Mexican Mennonite community near Chihuahua, Silent Light opens and closes with slowly... more