Press Release: International artists collective bring inspired cinematic experience to Middlesbrough

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An international art collective is bringing a unique work to Middlesbrough next month.

NCNC, based in Barcelona, have been working with local people on the unique film that will spill out onto the streets from Middlesbrough Town Hall on the weekend of November 25-26.

NCNC (Nuovo Cinema Neo Cinetico), is an international group of artists, screenwriters and actors from across the globe.

During 2023 they have immersed themselves in various groups in Middlesbrough including Erimus, International Centre and an array of music groups from Musinc such as the Community Choir.

Erimus Coordinator Tresor Bukasa who also works for the Red Cross said: “in Teesside, we have consistently strived to create an inclusive environment where individuals from all walks of life can come together to celebrate their shared heritage. This work is so meaningful, especially in the current world affairs climate. We've seen firsthand how cultural appreciation can overcome differences and bring people joyfully together. Their efforts remind us that culture can overcome division’.

The story, Legal Alien, follows the journey of two aliens who have been banished from their planet and have been living on Earth for a century. The film stars Spanish comic and actor Aduard Arnalot 'Dudu', who has performed all around the globe both with his solo shows as well as with the renowned Cirque de Soleil. His female counterpart is played by local actor and model Aisha Embalo originally from Guinea-Bissau but living in Middlesbrough for many years.

The script was developed after NCNC visited the town’s landmarks and communities. The Middlesbrough project is NCNC’s first foray into the UK after other cinematic experiences around Europe.

They first visited the town in March and also sampled Middlesbrough Art Weekend in September when they filmed scenes with professional actors and amateurs they had met on the previous visit.

The creators of the script Gary and Prisca said: “It is a story of resilience, inspired by the story of a town which seems to reinvent itself and be reborn.

“The decline of the iron and steel industries on which the town was built, the various financial crises it has gone through, the current difficulties of commerce on High Street. and so many other events which have scarred the town, but which have given way to a strong sense of belonging in what today is a growing digital industry, and an innovative artistic community”.

Eden Arts, the organisation overseeing the project, are delighted to see these ideas being realised as part of their wider ambition to bring excellent cultural activity to places along the A66 route as part of their #66 Project funded by Arts Council England. Last year this saw the WHALE project land on Redcar beach to great acclaim and engagement with tens of thousands of people.

Adrian Lochhead, Director of Eden Arts said: “We have been aware of the work of NCNC for a while and felt the community of Middlesbrough were the perfect fit for their immersive way of creating ‘film’.

“It has been both inspiring and moving seeing the local people step up to the roles of actors, extras and collaborators. Middlesbrough Council and Middlesbrough Art Week have been great supporters of the project, seeing the value in of bringing world class creators to the area. We can’t wait to see the finished piece - film like you’ve never seen it before”.

Cllr Philippa Storey, Executive member for Culture at Middlesbrough Council, said: NCNC have done brilliant things around Europe and it’s fantastic that their first UK project is based here in Middlesbrough. We have so much talent and creativity in our town – what a great experience for local people to be involved in.”

Tickets are on sale now with a suggested donation of £10. Screenings will take place at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Saturday November 25 and Sunday November 26.

This project was made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England and Middlesbrough Council.

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