IMG_Meeting Visiting Leeuwarden Eoin Butler Thornton (Galway Film Centre) formed a Tandem with Dorrit Jorritsma (Nachtkijkers Filmfestival) to work on Hidden Words, a cultural exchange between Galway and Leeuwarden, focusing on representations of minority languages in film. Eoin tells us more about his first visit to Leeuwarden. In August I journeyed to Leeuwarden in the north of the Netherlands to meet with Dorrit Jorritsima and Joris Hoebe as part of our Tandem Cultural Capitals exchange. This was the second part of our exchange as Dorrit and Joris had both already come to Galway to experience the Galway Film Fleadh in July. Now I was returning the favour and visiting them in their home during the Nachtkijkers Film Festival where I could learn more about their operations. This was my first time in the Netherlands and it was quite an experience! Upon landing in Amsterdam Schiphol I was greeted by both Dorrit and Joris who had driven down from Leeuwarden to collect me. On our way north we decided to drive across the Afsluitdijk which was really amazing to see. An engineering project on this scale is something I find very exciting and getting the chance to see how it works in the Netherlands was a highlight for me and a great way to start the trip. Photo by Eoin Butler Thornton After stopping for pizza in Pingjum, we continued on to Leeuwarden and they both dropped me off close to my accommodation (I was staying in a boat on the Emmakade). The next morning I was greeted by Dorrit (and her sore toe that she dropped a table on) who showed me all around Leeuwarden, including a climb up the leaning and curved tower of Oldehove. That evening we met for dinner and discussed many things, including our plans for the rest of the trip, our process of getting the project up-and-running, and what had been going on in our lives since we had last seen each other. Oldehove. Photo by Eoin Butler Thornton The following day I got to meet Joris’ colleague Anton, went to visit his offices in New Noardic Wave, and joined them for lunch. We then started our journey to Sneek to take part in the first day of Nachtkijkers, stopping first at the amazing Eise Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker before arriving at the campsite. Nachtkijkers Poster. Photo by Eoin Butler Thornton Dorrit and the rest of the Nachtkijkers team had done an amazing job putting together the campsite. There was vegan food, beer and snacks, a campfire, music and entertainment as well as two huge film screens and a collection of cardboard tents. Here I was able to meet with a lot of local filmmakers and enthusiasts, talk about our project, and get to know them a bit. I slept that night in a cardboard tent and after returning to Leeuwarden that night, I left the following day. The trip was amazing for me. I really loved the opportunity to go to a new country and to meet people there and be guided around by locals.