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Nordlys Film and Arts Festival returns to the Bailey

Nordlys Film and Arts Festival returns to the Bailey

Festival will feature films from around the world, live music and special events

The Nordlys Film and Arts Festival is a hidden gem in the Camrose community featuring an eclectic scope of international and local films with a line-up of local performers providing musical interludes. Now in its ninth year at the Bailey theatre, the festival will take place Feb. 16-18.

“It’s always been in the spirit of finding hidden gems from around the world and having a marathon over the course of one weekend,” said Hans Olson, chair of film selection committee.  

“Nordlys”, meaning northern lights in Norwegian, started in the Olson family basement in the early 2000s. It is now a volunteer-driven annual project that garners an audience of 200-300 people every year and has the support of many local sponsors.

Olson said that there are a lot of highlights at the festival this year. “We have more special guests than ever before. On opening night we have our first international filmmaker, Dagur Kári, coming from Iceland.”

Internationally recognized screenwriter and filmmaker Kári will take part in a Q&A session, and audiences will have the chance to view two of his films (Virgin Mountain and The Good Heart) throughout the weekend. Kári’s film, Virgin Mountain, played at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, winning three top awards including Best World Narrative Film, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay.

“There will also be a collection of Alberta short films at the festival, and all four of the Albertan filmmakers will be in attendance,” said Olson. “This year is unique because we have three Edmonton filmmakers and then one from Bashaw—both fairly close to Camrose.”

The Saturday night concert will feature a performance from Edmonton folk-rock and soulful pop-rock artists Colleen Brown and Major Love.

Olson said that the festival is a unique chance to be exposed to films that you may never see otherwise. “Especially to do it with a really enthusiastic audience makes it a very rich experience.”

The festival runs from Friday evening, Feb. 16, to Sunday evening, Feb. 18. Tickets can be purchased at the Bailey Theatre Box Office or on the Nordlys website: A weekend pass covers all films, the opening reception, and the Saturday night concert.

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