Rise Up! celebrates black and POC creatives 

Rise Up! is a brand new event coming to Aberdeen this month. The weekend will highlight and amplify the voices of black and POC creatives from Aberdeen and throughout Scotland.

We Are Here Scotland has partnered with Aberdeen Performing Arts to curate the event. Performances, talks, workshops, and community spaces are all part of the festival, which runs from 13-14 May.

Here are some of the many exciting acts set to perform over the weekend's packed line-up.



Ica Headlam

We Are Here Scotland Director Ica Headlam told us: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts on Rise Up! We feel that it is a very important and unique opportunity to spotlight a variety of Black and PoC artists and performers from the North East of Scotland and further afield. With a variety of performances, free panels, and workshops, we hope these events bring new and diverse engagement for Aberdeen’s creative community.”

Friday 13

In Our Own Words is an evening of performance by artists of colour, exploring and celebrating themes of identity, culture and a sense of place in Scotland.

Poetry at Noon is a spoken word artist and poet who believes that art is an extremely powerful tool for personal and social transformation. In her performance poetry, she analyzes and discusses experiences of trauma, political upheaval, migration, and motherhood that she experienced while growing up in Sudan.

Aiysha is a singer-songwriter from Aberdeen. Many will remember her powerful performance at the Black Lives Matter Aberdeen protest in 2020. She also featured in a BBC documentary highlighting Aberdeen's RnB and Hip Hop scene. Aiysha is set to release her debut release as an artist later this year.

DIJA

Saturday 14

Known as a songwriter and sound smith, Kapil Seshasayee is both a polymath and a true original. Combining the influences of Scott Walker, Blood Orange, Arca, and Richard Dawson into a singular sound.

Rapper Chef has made waves not only because of his music career but also due to his contribution to the community. An ingrained part of his character is his desire to amplify the voices of those around him. He joins Danny Cliff on a lineup which also includes Glasgow based rapper Clarissa Woods and DJ and visual artist DIJA.

One Mississippi takes place at the Lemon Tree at 7 pm. Described as a hard-hitting play that explores how the impact of childhood experiences shapes men’s adult lives, One Mississippi blends humour and storytelling with powerful elements of physical theatre to create an uncompromising insight into what takes us to breaking point.

Danielle Jam

Focusing on Black and POC voices

The weekend will also feature a number of discussions focusing on the issue that black and POC creatives face in our white-dominated creative industries. A series of free talks and workshops taking place at the Music Hall Big Sky Studio on Saturday 14 May cover topics including representation within Scottish creative industries, climate narratives, knowing your worth, and culture and identity as an artistic influence among others.

Ica Headlam and Briana Pegado from We Are Here Scotland will host a talk about how Black and POC need to take the initiative to support their communities by building support structures and community organisations. While Tomiwa Folorunso will host a talk about how there needs to be a change in a predominantly white-dominated industry.

Rachel Thibbotumunuwe, learning manager at Aberdeen Archives, Art Gallery and Museums will discuss how North East Scotland can support Black and POC creatives and artists. There will also be a panel exploring the importance of representation in the industry, hosted by podcast producer Halina Rifai

And much more besides

This is just a small taste of what is on offer at Rise Up! See the Aberdeen Performing Art website for details on all the speakers and performers. Tickets are also available from APA.

https://postabdn.com/event/rise-up/

Aberdeen Performing Arts head Ben Torrie said: “Providing a stage for emerging talent and creating space for all voices to be heard is so important for a thriving artistic environment. Rise Up! is a hugely significant addition to Aberdeen’s cultural calendar this year. The sheer breadth of talent from the artists taking part is incredible. This festival is a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the diverse range of creatives here in the North East and beyond.

https://twitter.com/weareherescot/status/1513477179820105736?s=20&t=ifmUlcMVHx72D_jzr-Y8Zw

Nuart Aberdeen 2022

Everything you need to know about Aberdeen's street-art festival

Organisers of Aberdeen's street art festival Nuart Aberdeen have announced the full line-up for the 2022 event. 11 international artists will descend upon the city in early June. They'll aim to create art that will invoke connections between people and the city.

The first Nuart festival was staged in 2001 in Stavanger, Norway. Under the direction and curation of its founding director Martyn Reed. His mission is to bring art to the masses.



Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Reconnects

"RECONNECT" is the theme of Nuart Aberdeen 2022. Its a response to the disconnection and uncertainty that have characterized the past two years of social isolation and lockdown. Martyn hopes that Nuart Aberdeen 2022 will help to alleviate the stress that has become a part of our everyday lives.

He told us “We have connected with artists, academics and industry professionals from across the globe to explore and present the very best that this culture has to offer for Nuart Aberdeen.

“I think the theme of ‘Reconnect’, is pretty self-explanatory. We're aware of the connections we've stretched to the limit or lost during two years of pandemic and enforced isolation. If art presented in a festival format is good for anything, then it's making connections. Art to people, people to place, to the city, to each other, across borders, genders and race.

"At the very least, I'm hoping it inspires someone to pick up the phone and call their mum. I'd consider that a win.”

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Tours

Nuart Aberdeen has also announced the return of their popular street-art tours. Due to the large number of work now on display throughout the city, they have now split these into two separate tours. The west end tours and the east end tours will begin in late May.

Over the two-hour long tours, you'll hear about the artists behind the murals, and what inspired them. The expert tour guides will also share all the behind the scenes stories about how the works were created. Tickets can be bought on the day from the guides and also from the Eventbrite website.

Who are the artists?

So below is the full list of artists for Nuart Aberdeen 2022. We've included links to their websites and social media channels, so you can explore their work further. Enjoy!

Martin Whatson

Martin Whatson

Included in the lineup of inspiring national and international street artists is Norwegian street artist Martin Whatson. You may remember him as the artist who created a mural on Queen Street as part of the first-ever street art festival in 2017.  His mural, featuring a golfer was hugely popular with the crowds. A few locals were also given the opportunity to create their own graffiti tags as part of his creation.

James Klinge

James Klinge

Also in the artist lineup is Scottish stencil artist James Klinge. He was born in Glasgow, where he continues to live and work. His work is primarily figurative using intricate and detailed hand-cut stencils as the foundation of the process. Yet he describes the process of his paintings as controlled chaos. It is difficult to see that his paintings begin from stencils. His complimentary blend of intense detail with expressive strikes from his palette knife. He brings abstraction to his paintings by attacking the canvas.

Pejac

Pejac

The global appeal and influence of the festival is demonstrated by the inclusion of Spanish artist Pejac who will make a rare appearance as part of the event.  Pejac mainly paints with black to create silhouetted figures and shadows but sometimes uses splashes of colour to show them in a smart and poetic manner in both playful and serious scenes. His creations have enchanted audiences around the world and it’s a real coup to secure his place in the 2022 lineup.

Nuno Viegas

Nuno Viegas

Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas was originally on the artist lineup for the cancelled 2020 edition but secretly visited the city as part of a ‘lockdown edition’.  His clean and minimal work draws on traditional graffiti for inspiration.  Nuno is looking forward to returning to the city and told us “We are finally going to make it happen! 2020 was marked by the Lockdown Edition after covid ruined our plans and stopped us all from travelling. It feels great now to join the Nuart Aberdeen family in person once again for the Aberdeen jam!"

Jofre Oliveras

Jofre Oliveras

Explorer, landscaper, and activist. Jofre Oliveras uses art as a communication tool with a social focus. The main location for his work is in public space. His community-based and self-sufficient lifestyle led him to become part of Konvent, a cultural and artistic community organised residency space. He has produced works and organised events with an international trajectory in the muralism sector and as a realist painter.

Mohamed L'Ghacham

Mohamed L'Ghacham

Painter and muralist Mohamed L'Ghacham was born in Tangier (Morocco) and based in Mataró (Barcelona). Always interested in the Plastic Arts, he discovered the world of graffiti and years later he started to be attracted by Classical painters and the language they use. His work is mainly figurative with a realistic aspect and Impressionist touches. He creates scenes from everyday life happening around him.

Slim Safont

Slim Safont

Nil Safont was born in Berga (Barcelona) and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. He is a muralist and painter, mainly interested in urban art and interventions in public space. His works are large-format paintings that use the walls of the streets as canvases. He works on topics closely linked to the different daily lives he discovers in the social contexts where he works.

Erin Holly

Erin Holly

An artist who paints indoors on canvas and activates public spaces with her murals. She has also implemented and curated a DIY art venue called the Abacus and a street art project in Cardiff Wales called Empty Walls between 2013 and 2015. Erin seeks collaborations in and around the LGBTQ+ community and is an activist for trans rights. She lives and works in London, UK and studied at the City and Guilds School of Art, London.

Elisa Capdevila

Elisa Capdevila

Barcelona based muralist Elisa Capdevila began her artistic career began in 2014 when she studied painting and drawing in a traditional school in Barcelona. She started painting murals during that time, first as a mere exercise where the canvas was replaced by a wall, later realising its broader possibilities and deciding to focus her personal work around these larger-scale projects.

Jacoba Niepoort

JACOBA

Copenhagen-based muralist Jacoba Niepoort is a muralist who has been painting in the public space since 2009. Scale is a personal obsession, and the streets are often her playground because they are where everyday people move. JACOBA’s work is grounded in her belief that connectedness facilitates a better understanding of self and others, and is a powerful tool to address and change current social issues.

Miss.Printed

Miss.Printed

Norway based Miss.Printed is sure to delight and surprise with her delicate miniature paper collages which she will place in the streets. She photographs her collages on location under adverse conditions. She loves to combine paper elements and their predators: water, fire, snow, wind and sky. In an urban environment, she leaves her papercuts behind for others to reflect upon.

Transforming the streetscape

Brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, the multi-award-winning Nuart Aberdeen has transformed the streetscape of the Granite City. Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “At its heart, Nuart Aberdeen 2022 is all about connecting people with the city through the art that is created by the talented street artists which the festival draws.

“Nuart Aberdeen has helped put the city on the map in terms of its cultural offering and it has changed the face of the city since it first began in 2017. Over the years we have played host to groundbreaking street artists and delivered projects that have involved participants from all walks of life. We are excited to see what people make of this year's programme of events.

Aberdeen City Council is a key funding partner for the festival. Council Leader, Jenny Laing told us “The city is delighted to welcome back Nuart Aberdeen. I expect residents and the public at large will be excited by the announcement that the festival is back and the lineup of artists.”

When is Nuart Aberdeen 2022?

Nuart Aberdeen takes place from 9-12 June 2022. News on the UK’s leading Street Art symposium with creative professionals and academics from across the globe will be announced in the coming weeks. Also a few other very special announcements.

There will also be a full programme of public events and tours during the festival weekend.

https://postabdn.com/event/nuart-aberdeen-2022/

Aberdeen RNLI seeking volunteers

Aberdeen RNLI is on the lookout for volunteers. They need new team members to support its life-saving work off the Aberdeen coast and along the Dee and Don rivers. The RNLI relies primarily on volunteers. They account for 95% of its team in Aberdeen and throughout the UK and Ireland.

Aberdeen RNLI lifeboat station currently has 24 crew members and 12 onshore operations support volunteers. They are vital in maintaining 24-hour coverage for the lifeboat, 365 days a year. Volunteers come from all walks of life and receive comprehensive training.



It is essential that volunteer crews be relatively local to the station and have convenient transportation. This will enable them to respond quickly to pagers and work in a position that allows them to act when the pager sounds off.

Life as a crew member is anything but predictable

John Strathearn, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Aberdeen RNLI, said: “Life as a crew member is anything but predictable. You can be expected to be called away from family, your bed or work at any time, so it is a big commitment, but it is also incredibly rewarding. In return, we offer extensive training and support for our volunteers.

Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

“We speak to members of the public all the time who don’t realise that the lifeboat service is a charity and that our crew are volunteers. But they’re ready to drop everything to get into their kit and head to sea in all weathers to save lives at sea.

“Volunteering for the lifeboat station in Aberdeen is a great way to support the local community, learn new skills and volunteer alongside a fantastic crew of passionate people.”

Aberdeen's lifeboats, Bon Accord and Buoy Woody 85N, are operated by raising funds through local community and business events. Furthermore, these funds ensure that crews receive vital training and equipment, as well as that the station remains operational.

Fundraising roles are flexible to suit your lifestyle

Donald Montgomery, Chairperson of Aberdeen & District RNLI Lifeboat Fundraising Branch, commented: “We rely on the generosity of our supporters to help us meet operational running costs with the dedication of our fundraising volunteers to help raise these essential funds.

“Our fundraising roles are flexible to suit your lifestyle. If you’re looking to join a committed and fun group of people, learn new skills and give back to your local community, we want to hear from you.”

If you would like more information about volunteer crew positions, contact the lifeboat station at aberdeen@rnli.org.uk and for fundraising roles, contact rnli.aberdeen@gmail.com.


TEDxAberdeen date announced

TEDxAberdeen has announced that their big ideas event is back for 2022. Speakers will gather on Saturday 12th November at Aberdeen Arts Centre. This year's talks will be centred around the theme ‘Movement’.

The goal of TEDxAberdeen is to “inspire and ignite conversation through a lineup of captivating speakers, spark deep conversation, and create meaningful connections through the sharing of ideas.”



Despite a covid effected launch for 2021, the long-overdue event had arrived at a perfect time for Aberdeen. The TEDxAberdeen conference presented ten speakers, videos and Q&As for a day of connection and big ideas in the Aberdeen Arts Centre under the banner 'New ways of seeing old things.'

Many who attended last year's event found it inspiring. It challenged our individual languages around mental health, our life experiences and their impact on others, our jobs, careers, our land, and our neighbours. Its message was a reminder that each of us can make a difference, whether it is in the lives of those around us, or even in our own little world.

Applications for speakers are now open, with organisers asking to speak on the theme of Movement. And so the team at TEDxAberdeen has suggested talks on physically moving, change, progress, an action or strategic shift. But most importantly, what does the word mean to you. Does it “spark an idea worth sharing”?

You can apply to be a speaker on the TEDxAberdeen website, and also register your interest in attending this year’s event.

https://postabdn.com/event/tedxaberdeen-2022-movement/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZaE4-IZF6E

K:ART | Bringing Art Outdoors

Aberdeen’s Kekun art studio and Polka design studio have teamed up to create K:ART. They have designed this innovative mobile exhibition system to help artists easily display their work outdoors. They’ve developed a versatile design, aiming to support as many artists and art styles as possible.

The K:ARTs will be able to pop up in various public spaces around the city, either on their own or in groups. The units will become outdoor art spaces, enabling artists to create and transport installations, display works of art and sell their products. Quickly erecting art hubs for the public to visit and interact with.

The idea has been driven through funding that Elev8arts were awarded Creative Funding by Aberdeen City Council.



Breaking the reliance on indoor spaces

The team first set out to think of inventive ways to get around the challenges that the pandemic had caused artists during the pandemic. Particularly looking at their reliance on traditional shows in indoor spaces.

Online shows helped to some extent. But not enough was being done to make use of outdoor spaces. These provide a much-needed aspect of social interaction that's just not available in digital environments. At the same time, hospitality venues had quickly pivoted to outdoor spaces…even here in Aberdeen.

Circumstances are constantly changing as restrictions come to an end. But regardless of what happens in the future, the opportunities for such a model of engagement and display are endless.

Artists Mary Butterworth, Jon Reid and Jenny Hood are the team at Kekun Studio. They are excited about K:ARTs' potential to provide artists with freedom of expression and alternative methods of interaction with their communities.

K:ART model on display at The Anatomy Rooms

They explained: "We'd love to see K:ART being used in different ways with artists creating unique mini-exhibitions across the city. At this stage, we're trying to keep the feedback process open and inclusive so that we can make the design as adaptable to as many different artists' needs and practices as possible. We're excited to see the final prototype and where it might lead the project in the future."

Keeping K:ART simple makes it versatile

Callum Barrack from Polka design studio worked on the physical creation of K:ART. His recent work includes the design work at the Greyhope Bay Centre. He, along with the team at Kekun, recognised that the design of K:ART was hinged around keeping it light and versatile. This principle will allow artists the freedom to adapt to their imagination and needs.

Having gone through various design revisions. Design factors included display, versatility, and practicality, as well as materials, size, weight, storage, and manoeuvrability. Modifications to the base unit can lead to other variations. Larger two-person units, mini-units, or units with specific tailored purposes. And so it's adaptable as possible to give artists the freedom to explore their use of K:ART.

https://youtu.be/lwW0uYltCWY

We're excited to see what artists can make of K:ART, and can't wait to see them on the streets of the city. The potential to quickly and easily turn a park or a street corner into a pop-up art gallery is a fantastic prospect for Aberdeen.

The teams at Kekun and Polka are currently looking for input from artists in the city. If you think you might benefit from using a K:ART, please check out their project summary and fill in the short survey.

Feedback for the project is open until 21st April 2022.


Nuart Aberdeen 2022 announced

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 has been confirmed for this summer and will be held on 9-12 June. Once again, the city and its walls will serve as the canvas for world-class street artists.

The streetscape of Granite City has been transformed by Nuart Aberdeen over the last four years. More than thirty street artists, hailing from the USA, Europe, Australia, South America and the UK, painted stunning works of art. The city's walls, pavements, billboards and even potholes have transformed the city centre into an outdoor art exhibition featuring everything from golfers to leopards.



The event began with the production of the first mural by Herakut at the Green in 2017. It was an iconic piece and many people were heartbroken when developers tore it down over the past month. All the way up to the remarkable mural Helen Burr painted on the gable end of the Meridian building on Union Row last summer, portraying a couple and their baby. People are hugely attracted to the art and consider it part of the city. It's expected that the murals from Nuart Aberdeen 2022 will have an equally big impact.

It's been a rough couple of years

Martyn Reed directed and curated the first Nuart festival in Stavanger in 2001. His goal has always been to make art accessible to everyone.

Martyn commented, "It's been a rough couple of years. Having to cancel the 2020 edition a month before the launch was absolutely demoralising. The team had worked so hard getting plans into place with so many local businesses, partners and volunteers. But this paled into insignificance compared with the challenges we all faced individually and collectively as the reality of the pandemic became clear. I think many of us, cities included, became more insular. Siloed and focused on getting through a major global crisis.

“But even through all of this, we managed to stay connected to friends. Our extended family and network in Aberdeen, was always more than "business". Returning to "reconnect" was always a light at the end of the corona tunnel. I can't adequately express how happy we are to be back amongst those friends and family who kept things moving through 2020 and 2021.

Bring something special back to a city we regard as home

“We've asked the artists and guests to consider this theme of "Reconnect" for 2022. Reconnecting with each other, public space, dreams, and hope for the future. Hopefully, Nuart Aberdeen can help in easing some of the collective anxiety we've all been feeling these past few years. We can bring back a sense of community. I don't want to make any grand claims about art’s place in the grand scheme of things. We’d just like the people of Aberdeen to know we're going to do our best to bring something special back to a city we regard as home."

The festival weekend will feature a full line-up of street art productions. It' will be back with events, community workshops, creative spaces, talks, conference programmes, and tours. It’s shaping up to be the most exciting festival to date.

The city centre is expected to be flooded with thousands of people throughout the weekend. They'll be able take in the murals and installations created by the artists. And also enjoy all that is on offer as part of the festival experience.

The finest internationally acclaimed street artists

Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, of Aberdeen Inspired said “Nuart Aberdeen is a festival unlike any other seen in the city. It has a mass appeal and inspires people of all ages to enjoy art in their own way at their own pace.

“We are delighted to bring the festival back to the city centre this year. Locals and visitors can expect to see work from some of the finest internationally acclaimed street artists.

“Nuart Aberdeen has firmly placed Aberdeen on the global stage as a destination of choice for street art enthusiasts.  This coupled with our developing food scene, café culture, reopening of Union Terrace Gardens, superb theatres, clubs and pubs and other attractions all help to position Aberdeen as a great place to live, work and visit.”

Walls are critical to making Nuart Aberdeen 2022 a success.  Organisers at Aberdeen Inspired are appealing to property owners to become part of the event. They can put forward potential walls for artists to make their own during the festival. In particular, they are still on the hunt for a few big external city centre walls in good condition, visible to the public and not granite or listed.

To submit a wall, please send an email to callforwalls@aberdeeninspired.com with the following information: a photo of the wall, address and approximate dimensions of the wall.


Greyhope Bay Centre opens doors in Aberdeen

The Greyhope Bay Centre at Torry Battery opened its doors on Saturday 9th of April. This wonderful café space offers stunning views of Aberdeen city, the coast and the harbour. Because of this, it's one of the best places to see bottlenose dolphins in the world from land.

Using an exciting hybrid energy solution, circular rainwater treatment technology, and composting loos that operate on the power of sunlight and wind, the Greyhope Bay Center is the city's first and only completely off-grid café, community and education space. Surely giving green tea a whole new meaning!



Visitors can enjoy coffee and cake at the Greyhope Bay Center this weekend along with a breathtaking view. What's more, the centre will also be a community and educational space. The spring and summer programs will begin right away. Trading times for the centre over the launch weekend will be Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7_oQ3GTqEA

The Liberty Kitchen

Food truck favourites, The Liberty Kitchen, will operate the cafe. Normal café hours will be Wednesday through Sunday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visitors can take part in events throughout the week and also on some evenings.

As well as regular events such as community coffee mornings and beach clean meet-ups, the Greyhope Bay Centre also has a range of bookable workshops for adults and families available on their website. Visitors can book their place at events that include artist-led workshops. On top of this, the team will offer volunteer training for citizen science surveys of whales and dolphins.

Greyhope Bay Centre - Cake by the ocean

A big moment for Greyhope Bay Centre

Greyhope Bay Founder and Managing Director Fiona McIntyre said, “Opening is a big moment for Greyhope Bay and the team. It all started with a dream I had for Aberdeen almost 10 years ago to which there was a huge response. Each milestone was made possible by the belief, shared hope and determination of the Torry and Aberdeen community.”

Furthermore, Project Architect, Prof Gokay Deveci added, “The biggest impact of this project is to do with other people who have big dreams, people who want to achieve something, they can look at it and say, it can be done.”

Crew membership supports the charity’s work while offering great benefits, including 5 free coffees and discounts on events www.greyhopebay.com/crew


Filmmaker crowdfunds supernatural 'Nights'

Nights is a feature-length crime drama currently being filmed in Aberdeen. It explores addiction, broken relationships, and the supernatural. This passion project has been self-funded until this point, but writer/director Omid Farkhondeh is now crowdfunding the film, with hopes to complete it later this year.

Production is currently about halfway through. A bank, nightclub, and train are among the more expensive locations in the next half of the project. This is why the team are asking for help from the public. Donations will go towards paying the cast and crew, finding locations, and arranging travel.



Director Omid Omid Farkhondeh on the set of Nights

The importance of teamwork on Nights

Teamwork plays a big role in bringing Nights to life. Together with cinematographer Alex Thomson, producer Rachel Venturini, editor Matthew Lukowski and sound operator Colin Harris, the group has thrived since they attended the same college. They have collaborated on a number of projects over the years, but this is their biggest one yet. It’s hoped that Nights will kick-start their careers in the industry.

With Nights, the team hope to create something unique by combining aspects of genres we all know and love. It aims to be as moving as it is exciting in tackling topics that we all care about, from relationships to toxic masculinity to addiction.

In addition to donations from the public, the filming will be supported by Creative Scotland, which has teamed up with Crowdfunder to offer up to £80,000 in funding to 20 creative projects throughout the country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIm0oiOkipE

We loved hearing about this project. Our old friend Chef shared a post about it on Instagram. Intrigued, we reached out to ask a few questions.


The challenge of a project spanning several years

Making a feature film is a big bold undertaking. Who is Omid Farkhondeh and why have you embarked on this project?

I’m a filmmaker based in Aberdeen. Having studied a variety of media-related courses in Nescol and in there, found a strong passion for film. I quickly found I wanted to be a writer/director and I'm determined to make that a reality.

I find short films are a great way to tell short-form stories, enhance filmmaking skills and are quickly achievable (at least compared to a feature film), however, I find myself more attracted to feature-length stories where we can live through different experiences that our normal life may not offer - or on the flip side, it can be very personal, giving space to think more about deeper subjects.

One reason I'm making this film is it's less likely a career can thrive off of short films. Feature filmmaking can be employment potential for hundreds of people, depending on the size of production. I also enjoy the challenge of a project spanning several years, rather than weeks - the story I wrote in 2018 earned my commitment to see it as a finished film.

Crime, relationships and things that go bump in the night

Having watched the teaser trailer, we’re excited to see Nights once it’s finished. Without giving too much away, what is the film about?

It’s crime/drama with a supernatural twist. Crime, addiction, broken relationships and things that go bump in the night. Our protagonist, Adam, delves deeper into the world of crime to gain money in an attempt to save his girlfriend Sarah from her drug addiction. However, a sudden betrayal leads to supernatural consequences.

It's about a lot of different things that are important to me, relationships, what people do for love, mental health, addiction. It also has some more "fun" genre elements like supernatural and revenge thriller, but to me, it's a drama more than anything, supported by the other elements.

The process of making a film is by no means a smooth one. Can you tell us about the challenges you’ve encountered?

It has been a difficult project to keep alive, and moments, when it came to a stop, have been heartbreaking. Covid, recasting, struggling with finance to fund it and more have all been major challenges. But with the Crowdfunder, and finding a team as passionate as me, I'm confident we'll see it through to the best it can be.

I'm lucky to have found such talented, good people who are as passionate as me, so I want to give them their due and create something we're all proud of.  Definitely a team effort in getting over the hurdles though.

Something beautiful and personal

How has Aberdeen played a backdrop for this project?

Aberdeen has worked well as a backdrop for the film and will continue to add to the story. I treat it as a playground for us - a gothic "unknown" city in the film that could have all types of characters, but also something beautiful and personal comes with that - using places I've known for years as a fictional space has led to more creativity, not less.

You clearly have a lot of hopes and dreams attached to this project. What are your ambitions for the film?

I hope the film is something we're proud of as a team, but I do have hopes for it to succeed in film festivals across the world. We also plan to have the Nights premiere in a local cinema, that will be the day I can say "we've done it", although there will be more work in getting it to streaming services such as Amazon Prime.

https://youtu.be/riIJlM8zHy4

Showing support, and staying in touch

How can people help and get updates on the filming?

The Crowdfunder is the best way to support us. If you donate you'll have an option to receive updates we put out. However, following @Nightsfilm on Instagram, or UNRealityFilms on Facebook is another good way to keep up to date over the next few months.


Thanks very much to Omid for telling us all about Nights. It's a brilliant project and we can't wait to see it at the cinema. The team successfully achieved over double their initial target, but the Crowdfunder remains open until mid-April. Further donations will help the film reach its full potential, and it's a great way to be part of the project yourself.

Steph Poster

Rob Poster


Brighten up your winter nights at Belmont Filmhouse

As we make our way from Winter through to Spring, Aberdeen's Belmont Filmhouse cinema is a great way to brighten up a dark night or two. Their warm welcoming cinema screens have a wide range of films and seasons to enjoy.

We've taken a closer look at some of the screenings you can look forward to on top of their regular programming of new releases from the UK and around the world.



We see the head and shoulders of a woman with long blonde curly hair and a sun kissed complexion. She
Touched by collectives T A P E and Invisible Women

T A P E x Invisible Women Present: Touched | Sunday 13 Feb

Celebrate the diversity and fluidity of desire with Touched, an alternative early Valentine’s Day screening showcasing sensuous shorts by female and non-binary filmmakers. Co-curated by collectives T A P E and Invisible Women, this subversive and surprising programme connects filmmakers from across the decades, combining contemporary work with rarities from the archive.

Complemented by a Q&A, the result is a witty, intimate and unapologetically sexy selection of films that open up space for wider discussions about self-love, intimacy and longing. All short films and the Q&A are captioned.

https://youtu.be/UBUfCL_tvro

Boiling Point | from Fri 18 Feb

Back by Popular Demand is the now BAFTA nominated high pressure, one-take drama BOILING POINT starring the brilliant Stephen Graham. The Guardian called this brilliant 2021 dark comedy a "spicy nerve-jangler served with a chargrilled side order of jet-black gallows humour."

https://youtu.be/izIycj3j4Ow

Belle | from Tue 1 Mar

Suzu is a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters "U", a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally-beloved singer. A visionary new anime from acclaimed Studio Chizu, BELLE, burns bright on our screens.

https://youtu.be/dZRqB0JLizw

Death on the Nile | from Fri 11 Feb

While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this lavish, all-star new take on the Agatha Christie mystery classic DEATH ON THE NILE from the makers of Murder on the Orient Express. There will be a BSL screening on 27 Feb. Check the Belmont Filmhouse website for details on this and more BSL screenings.

https://youtu.be/IT1KnkyHSo4

Charlie Chaplin season

Also in February, alongside the new documentary THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, Belmont Filmhouse will screen some of the master’s great works including:

· Tues 22 Feb – The Kid & The Gold Rush
· Wed 23 Feb – The Gold Rush
· Thurs 24 Feb – City Lights
· Sat 26 Feb + Sun 27 Feb – The Great Dictator & Modern Times
· Mon 28 Feb - Limelight

https://youtu.be/n2igjYFojUo

Belmont Filmhouse Juniors

Films for a younger audience every Saturday and Sunday! Tickets cost £5 per person

· Sat 12 & Sun 13 Feb – The Jungle Book
· Sat 19 & Sun 20 Feb – The King and the Mockingbird
· Sat 26 & Sun 27 Feb – Fantastic Mr Fox

https://youtu.be/R4PkA26wEA0

For Crying Out Loud

Screenings for carers and their babies on Monday morning! Tickets are £5 per adult.

· Mon 14 Feb – Death on the Nile
· Mon 21 Feb – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
· Mon 28 Feb – The Duke

Find out more

Head to the Belmont Filmhouse website for more information and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Dark Nights Film Festival | from Bond to zombies

Dark Nights Film Festival

Aberdeen will play host to the Dark Nights Film Festival this March. The festival, brand new to the city, runs from 4-5 March and will share a dazzling array of Scottish screen stories from Bond to flesh eating zombies. The exciting programme of events will see writers, directors, editors and actors share their experience of the industry. It's expected to be a celebration of Scots and their silver screen stories.



A shrouded figure walks up a snow covered hill with and oddly shaped wooden lodge at the top. The sky is dark and forboding.
Dark Night Film Festival | 2019 Hammer horror, The Lodge

An intriguing line-up for genre movie fans

Dark Nights, which is open to all, includes a spine-tingling screenwriting workshop with Sergio Casci, the screenwriter perhaps best known for scripting the 2019 Hammer horror 'The Lodge'. What's more, zombie film fans will be herding their way to a special screening of Zombie Flesh Eaters where Scottish actor Ian McCulloch will share his thoughts about his role the controversial 1979 horror.

Diversity in the industry will play an important part in Dark Nights. A panel session featuring Alexandra Maria Colta from 50/50 Women Direct, Dr Clive Nwonka, lecturer in Film, Culture and Society, and also POST regular Ica Headlam, founder of We Are Here Scotland will take a critical look at gender and racial representation in the Scottish film industry.

Organised by the University of Aberdeen, Dark Nights is the first in a series of new festivals the University is hosting in 2022. UNI-Versal is part of the University’s commitment to supporting the city region’s recovery from Covid-19. Vice-Principle Professor Peter Edwards told us, “Scotland has a rich history in the cultural arts with its people, places and stories creating a vibrant creative sector whose influence resonates around the world.

“The University itself is a cultural focal point for the local community. We are a catalyst for creativity, nurturing new ideas and, through our wide range of engaging and interactive festivals and events, providing the forum for bringing people together, something we believe is hugely important to our role in the North-east."

Bond and Highlander

Designed to showcase Scotland’s stories and links to film with a curious slant, the festival also includes two events dedicated to the James Bond series and the Highlander mythology.

Edinburgh-based author Jonathan Melville will be answering audience questions after a screening of 'Highlander', with a focus on his epic book that also covers the entire production history of the Celtic sci-fi smash-hit.

A dashing young Sean Connery leans of the bonnet of his car, with his hands in his suit pocket. Mountain peaks are behind him.
Dark Nights Film Festival | Sean Connery on location as James Bond

Sean Connery's ongoing legacy and lineage as 007 meanwhile will be addressed by a panel of Bond franchise alumni including British film and television editor John Grover (Octopussy, The Living Daylights) and cinematographer Phil Méheux (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) for a talk about their cinematic undercover operations in the panel ‘Shaken Not Stirred - Bond: Past, Present and Future’

Organisers of the Darks Nights Film Festival will announce further events shortly. Details of the UNI-Versal series of festivals and the Dark Nights film festival programme can be found at on the University website.

Booking is required for both free and paid-for events.