Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thrilling Start to Digital Festival

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thrilling Start to Digital Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Wonfor, Emily Nash and Rhodri Phillips

It all started on Saturday night when Newcastle's former Odeon cinema was re-opened for the launch of the AV Festival in spectacular style. More than 1,000 people packed into the historic building to see the main feature, the silent 1929 classic, Man With A Movie Camera - with a mind-blowing live accompaniment from The Cinematic Orchestra.

Jazz musicians and DJs from London's Ninja Tune record label thrilled the audience with their specially commissioned score for the Dziga Vertov film - in its penultimate ever performance.

The 1936 Art Deco building, which hosted The Beatles and The Who in its heyday, closed in November 2002 with the James Bond film Die Another Day.

Tyneside Cinema chief Mark Dobson, who is organising the festival, said: "It was such an amazing sight. The cinema hadn't been that full since the original Star Wars film opened."

The two-week festival, which is aiming to celebrate all things digital, has been organised in partnership with the Sage Gateshead, Teesside University and Sunderland and Newcastle city councils.

It has also been produced in association with the established onedotzero festival, which has built a reputation for being the world's largest digital film festival.

And AV seems to be already building a reputation for itself with a host of premieres and unique events - some of which have come and gone, but many of which are still to come.

An exclusive premiere of a second North-East offering from the acclaimed digital artists, The Lightsurgeons will grace the screen at Middlesbrough's Empire tomorrow night at 9pm.

The Chimera Project: Middlesbrough was an experimental documentary portrait celebrating the life and people of Teesside, by the people of the region.

It followed on from a similar film made last year on Tyneside in which the Lightsurgeons, along with the Tyneside public, explored "the buzz" of Newcastle-Gateshead.

For television viewers, the Tyneside film will be screened on BBC2 at 10pm tonight with its Teesside counterpart being broadcast at the same time next Friday. …

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