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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


    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.

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    Participants (8)

    Production and distribution (5)

    Executive Producer :

    Rouge International

    Foreign production company :

    Must Käsi (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



    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