Hansel of Film

A ‘hansel’ is a Shetland dialect word meaning a gift that marks an event such as the launch of a new boat, the birth of a child or the creation of a new enterprise. John J Graham – The Shetland Dictionary.


Shetland Arts is taking a UK-wide part in the London 2012 Festival celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  ‘A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and Back’ is a relay of screenings of short films made by the public in each of the nations and many of the regions of the UK.

It will be launched in Shetland on 10th June with the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the isles as it reaches its UK most northerly point. The films will be relayed between participating venues by ‘runners’; that is, creative and energetic individuals who will employ whatever means of transport they can devise to get the right films to the right venue on time. This will culminate in a marathon screening of over 100 short films at Shetland's annual film festival, Screenplay 2012, between 4th and 9th September.

The project will take films made by Shetlanders and others to twenty one venues around the country and will form a celebration of ‘home made’ short films similar to that which takes place annually at Screenplay. 

Acclaimed film critic Mark Kermode and film historian Linda Ruth Williams, who are the curators of Screenplay, will be very active in promoting the project across the country, although they will not be able to attend all the events. They will be greeting the ‘runner’ at The Harbour Lights Cinema in Southampton at the project’s half-way point, and will visit some of the other participating venues in between.  

The Hansel Team is delighted to be launching this exciting, nationally inclusive film relay, spreading the spirit of the London 2012 Festival from Shetland in the north to Southampton in the south and back again, and taking in many points east and west along the way. We are looking forward to partnering up with cinemas, arts centres, film societies and film-makers across the UK who are as enthusiastic as we are about watching films, about people making their own films and about taking movies on the road.

The project also comes at a very exciting time for Shetland Arts in the opening year of Mareel, Shetland’s new £12.2m music, cinema and creative industries centre. We will be inviting representatives from the participating regions and nations to come and join us back in Shetland for Screenplay 2012, making it a truly celebratory event.

The London 2012 Festival is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.  Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

The relay

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