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Ben Rivers wraps shoot for new documentary A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

The director of Two Years At Sea finishes latest film A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness co-directed with Ben Russell.

Documentarian Ben Rivers completed shooting of his latest film A Spell To Ward off The Darkness in Estonia yesterday.

Shooting featured in Finland and Norway as well as Estonia. Set in Norway, the film “depicts a single character at three disparate moments in his life.”

A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness has already announced itself on the festival circuit. It was the recipient of the Best Project Award at FidLab Marseille 2010 and the Jury Arte/Eurimages Special Award at CineMart in Rotterdam 2011. Funders include Rouge International and Must Käsi.

Regarded as the one of the most distinctive young directors in England, Rivers uses near-antique cameras and hand develops the 16mm film, which shows all the evidence of the elements it has been exposed to.

After studying Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, Rivers received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists 2010 and was shortlisted for the Film Jarman Award 2010. He won A 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 Fipresci award recipient

His latest film Two Years At Sea, released by Soda Pictures in the UK earlier in the year, was his 19th project.

For A Spell To Ward off The Darkness, Rivers worked with co-director Ben Russell for the first time on his new film.

Russell’s film Let Each One Go Where He May won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2010.

“A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness is basically three propositions for ways of living,” Rivers told Screen. “We’d probably call them utopian ways of living, or at least attempts towards it. And they’re three very different modes of being. The film is carried by one person Robert AA Lowe, a musician who goes under the name Lychens. He’s kind of our model. In the beginning he’s living in solitude, in the second section he’s living in a commune and in the third section he’s playing in a black metal band. That’s the bare bones of it.”

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