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A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

A Feature film by Ben Russell, Ben Rivers

Produced by Rouge International

Release in France : 18/03/2015

  • Contents

Participants (8)

Production and distribution (5)

Executive Producer :

Rouge International

Foreign production company :

Must Kasi (Black Hand)

French distribution :

Zootrope Films

Co-production :

Arte France

Film exports/foreign sales :

Rouge International

TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS follows a single character at three disparate moments in his life: alone in the wilderness of Northern Finland, as one member of a 15-person collective on a small Estonian island, and as the singer of a neo-pagan black metal band in Norway. Taken as a whole, these three moments signal a radical proposition for the creation of utopia in the present.

Starring musician Robert AA Lowe (LICHENS, OM) and co-directed by artists Ben Rivers (UK) and Ben Russell (USA), A SPELL lies somewhere between fiction and non-fiction - it is at once a record of experience and an experience unto itself, an inquiry into transcendence that envisions the cinema as a site for profound transformation.



Since August 2013 :

  • Festival del Film Locarno -Opening film Fuori Concorso
  • Toronto International Film Festival -Wavelengths program
  • Vancouver International Film Festival –Arts & Letters
  • Valdivia Festival Internacional de Ciné - Disidencias
  • Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal -FNC Lab
  • BFI London Film Festival -Experimenta-
  • Cork Film Festival
  • Cinecity - The Brighton Film Festival
  • Vienna International Film Festival
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival-Open horizons
  • AFI FEST Los Angeles-New Auteurs
  • CPH : DOX - Winner of the New Vision Award
  • Mar de Plata International Film Festival -Panorama
  • Torino International Film Festival - Best International Documentary
  • Filmmaker Milan-Concorso
  • REC Festival Internacional de Cinema de Tarragona-Opera Prima         
  • Madeira Micro International Film Festival


2014 (bookings 04.04.2014) :


  • Ambulante Documentary Film Festival
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam -Bright future
  • DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival
  • Glasgow Film Festival
  • Göteborg International Film Festival
  • !F Istanbul International Independent Film Festival –Dark & Edgy
  • New Directors/New Films MoMA
  • Gaîté Lyrique (The Happy show)
  • Cinéma du Réel, Paris
  • International House Philadelphia
  • Crossroads Film Festival – San Francisco
  • Harn museum of Art
  • Hong Kong Film Festival–The avant garde
  • Images Forum, Tokyo
  • Jeonju International Film Festival–Expanded Cinema
  • Courtisane festival – Belgique
  • Live Arts Week III - Bologna
  • FICUNAM - Festival Internacional de Cine Unam–Senderos
  • Era New Horizon
  • Gene Siskel Film Center (European Union Film Festival)
  • MOMA New Directors / New Films
  • Dokfilmwoche Hamburg
  • Harvard Film Archive
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival
  • Wisconsin Film Festival
  • Sight Unseen
  • Northwest Film Center
  • Nashville Film Festival
  • Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center NYC
  • Squeeky Wheel - Buffalo, NY
  • The Basilica in Hudson, NY
  • NWFILMFORUM - Portland, OR
  • Cinefamily - LOS ANGELES, CA
  • Belacourt in Nashville
  • The Trylon, Minneapolis,
  • Austin FIlm Society
  • The Cinematheque in Vancouver Canada
  • Lima Independiente Festival Internacional de Cine
  • Sonar, Barcelona’s International festival of advanced Music and New Media Art
  • Karlovy Vary International film festival
  • Dokufest (Kosovo)
  • Olhar de Cinema – Festival internacional de Curitiba


Photos (12)

Full credits (10)

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Production language :


Coproducer countries :

Estonia, France

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (Estonia, France)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 38 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Approval :

Color type :


Aspect ratio :


Audio format :

Digital 5.1