2018-01-22 12:15 —
Omrop Fryslân sent a TV crew to film in the Basque Country.
The idea came from Bart Kingma, documentary film director and member of Other Words. After spending eight weeks in Donostia in the autumn of 2016, he decided that he would explore Bertsolaritza, i.e. the art of Basque improvised verse, further when he could find the time. He also said that he wanted to create some form of Frisian Bertsolaritza from scratch … And we knew he wasn't joking!
So, when he saw the opportunity of going back to some of the places and people he grew attached to during his creative stay, he wasted no time, and started organising every aspect of what he hoped would become a documentary in Frisian about Bertsolaritza.
Once he got the go ahead from Omrop Fryslân, his TV channel, he chose the protagonists, as follows:
Amets Arzallus, the champion bertsolari when Kingma met him in 2016, and up to the day of the next final, on Sunday the 17th of December, 2017.
Andoni Egaña, a four-time champion bertsolari, one of the best of his generation, and a very respected figure in his discipline.
Saroi Jauregi, the President of the Association of Bertsolaris in the province of Gipuzkoa.
Elmar Kuiper, a Frisian poet and musician.
Mirjam Vellinga, the director of the 'Home of Language' project of Leeuwarden Fryslân 2018, European Capital of Culture.
In cooperation with the Association Of Bertsolaris and Beste hitzak–Other Words, Bart Kingma completed a busy filming schedule that took him to 'Mintzola', the Centre for Oral Tradition, Bilbao Exhibition Centre, the venue of the four-yearly National Bertsolari Final, and several towns and villages in Northern and Southern Basque Country (San Sebastian, Irun, Hernani, Biriatou, Hendaye, Pasaia).
A truly memorable experience for all involved, the fruit of which we hope to be able to see in June 2018, when the documentary is launched on occasion of the Basque Week of Leeuwarden–Fryslân 2018.