es | eu | en
Film Festival
of Navarra
Film Festival
of Navarra

home  |   previous editions  |   2013 edition  |  special sessions  |  a spell to ward off the darkness. ben russell & ben rivers  |  a spell to ward off the darkness (work in progress)
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (Work in Progress)

Country: France, Estonia
Year: 2013
Direction: Ben Rivers, Ben Russell

Camera: Ben Rivers, Ben Russell
Steadycam: Chris Fawcett
Sound: Chu Li Shewring, Philippe Ciompi
Sound editing: Nicolas Becker, Philippe Ciompi
Sound mixing : Gérard Lamps
Main Character: Robert A.A. Lowe
Production: Julie Gayet & Nadia Turincev ROUGE INTERNATIONAL (France), Indrek Kasela BLACK HAND (Estonia)


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.


Ben Rivers, Ben Russell


Ben Russell (USA, 1976)

Ben Russell (b.1976) is a media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances have been presented in spaces ranging from 14th Century Belgian monasteries to 17th Century East India Trading Co. buildings, police station basements to outdoor punk squats, Japanese cinematheques to Parisian storefronts, and Chicago bathtubs to Viennese boats. He has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Modern Art. Until 2011 he worked as assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago..His film Let Each One Go Where He May won in 2010 the Punto de Vista Prize for the best film.

Recent Filmography:

  • River Rites (2011)
  • Trypps #7 (Badlands) (2010)
  • Let Each One Go Where He May (2009)
  • Trypps #6 (Malobi) (2008)
  • Workers Leaving the Factory (Dubai) (2008)

Ben Rivers (UK, 1972)

Ben Riverswas born in Somerset, UK, in 1972. After studying Art at Falmouth School, he took his first steps in filmmaking in 1999. He now lives and works in London. His films have screened in many international film festivals and received several awards. His most recent prizes are the Fipresci Award, Best Film Orizzonti and International Critics’ Week, 68th Venice Film Festival and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in 2010.

His latest exhibitions include Phantoms of a Libertine (Kate MacGarry, 2012); Ben Rivers (Hepworth Wakefield, 2011); Sack Barrow (Hayward Project Space, London); Slow Action (Picture This, Bristol 2010 and Matt’s Gallery, London 2011). He also screened at 55th BFI London Film Festival, IndieLisboa and Punto de Vista in 2009. In July and August 2008, he went on a tour in Australia and New Zealand to present the joint exhibition We Can Not Exist in This World Alone with American filmmaker Ben Rusell.

Recent filmography

  • Two Years at Sea (2011)
  • Slow Action (2010)
  • I Know Where I’m Going (2009)
  • May Tomorrow Shine The Brightest Of All Your Many Days As It Will Be Your Last (2009)
Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes AudiovisualesAcción Cultural EspañolaPlan de Recuperación, Transformación y ResilienciaFinanciado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU
With the support of
Ayuntamiento de PamplonaCentro de Arte Contemporáneo de HuarteFundación Caja NavarraGoethe InstitutCanadá InternationalCasa ÁrabeCineteca MadridAsociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios AudiovisualesInstitut FrançaisEmbajada de Portugal en MadridCamões - Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua Portugal
Member of
PantallaIberofestLa MestaThe Red Balloon
Filmoteca de Navarra
Museo Oteiza
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola
Festival de Cine Africano FCAT
Festival Scope
Centre Cinématographique Marocain
Hotel Tres Reyes
Hotel Maisonave
Cineteca Bologna
The Film Foundation
World Cinema Project
Cinemateca Portuguesa
Radio 3
Filmoteca Española
Festivals in Navarre
Punto de Vista
NIFF - Navarra International Film Festival
Navarra, tierra de cine
Ópera Prima
CTL 59
#LabMeCrazy! Science Film Festival
Festival de Cine y Dentistas
Horror Online Art
FICBE (Festival Internacional de Cortos de Berriozar)
FAN, Festival de Anime de Navarra
Lo que viene
Muestra de cine español
Filmmaking for social change
Muestra Internacional de Cine y Mujeres de Pamplona

We use our own and third-party cookies for the following purposes:

Necessary cookies help make a website page usable by enabling basic functions. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

Analytics cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user.

To change the cookies settings that are installed on your computer, check or uncheck the different options and then click the "Save preferences" button
By clicking the "Accept all cookies" option, you consent to the installation of all cookies.
Likewise, by clicking the "Reject cookies" option, you reject the use of all of them.
Click HERE to obtain more information about our cookies policy.