Jersey is famous for its cows, its butter and its independent status and four years and counting, the Branchage Film Festival, is another Jersey gem. Our film, Cote’DAzur was screening in the Documentary Shorts programme.
We flew from Manchester and stayed at the Royal Yacht Hotel which was slap bang opposite the Festival’s Spiegel Tent. After getting our tickets and festival pass from the Festival office, we strolled around in the sunshine before heading to see the wonderfully bizarre Errol Morris documentary, Tabloid.
Ahead of our screening we wandered along the beach out to Elizabeth Castle which you can reach at low tide by walking across the beach. At the castle we loved Variable 4, an outdoor sound installation in which the weather along the jersey coastline is transformed into a sound composition.
We then enjoyed some Jersey icecream before our film screened at the Pomme D’Or Hotel.
On the last night of the festival we were enchanted by the closing film, The Great White Silence (1911) which charts Scott’s epic Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole on film. Pioneering cinematographer, Herbet Ponting was given a brief to capture penguins on film. A reworking of the footage into this documentary underscored by a classical composition poignantly tells the story of how Scott and his team were beaten by the Norwegians to the South pole and perished on their return to base. We were treated to seeing the film played alongside a live rendition of the music by the Elysian quartet.
We had a fantastic time in Jersey. Having a film in the festival was a great way to explore the island. We certainly hope we’ll have more films that take us back to this lovely place where we caught the last of the summer sunshine and came home with some Jersey black butter and a unique and memorable experience. Next stop Liverpool and the Andfestival!