BFMAF 2019

The 15th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place between the 19 – 22 September 2019.

Programme highlights included the Berwick New Cinema Features with UK Premieres from Lav Diaz, Narimane Mari and Angela Schanelec. BFMAF 2019 Essential Cinema, a retrospective series that screened fresh looks at classic works and overlooked masterpieces from Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Christian Ghazi, Lionel Soukaz and Djibril Diop Mambéty.

The 2019 Berwick New Cinema Competition screened 23 works by a total of 27 artists across five screening programmes and screened some of the most distinctive and unexpected works of new cinema and artist’s moving image being made around the world.

The winning film the names have changed, including my own and truths have been altered by Onyeka Igwe was selected by the competition jurors Callum Hill (winner of the 2018 Berwick New Cinema Award); Hyun Jin Cho (film curator, Korean Cultural Centre UK); and Julian Ross (programmer, Locarno Film Festival & International Film Festival Rotterdam).

Alongside the Cinema programmes, BFMAF 2019 also featured 12 Exhibitions that rein-habited Berwick’s town walls, animated historic buildings and re-wilded its town centre.

BFMAF 2019 Exhibition highlights include Animistic Apparatus, a curatorial project initiated by May Adadol Ingawanij with Julian Ross (University of Westminster) which drew on inspirations from Southeast Asia’s ritualistic genealogy of artistic expression, exhibiting Camera Trap by Chris Chong Chan Fui, Fireworks (Archives) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Double Ghosts by George Clark.

Alongside Lav Diaz’s UK Premiere of The Halt, which included an introduction from the filmmaker, Animistic Apparatus presented an overnight screening of Diaz’s epic film A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery – running at 485 minutes, projected outdoors continuously that ended at sunrise.

BFMAF 2019 Artist in Profile Marwa Arsanios presented her moving image work in two screenings and led a seminar that explored the different stages of building a work, from research to writing, through performance and film.

The Fantastika film series examined the many innovative ways filmmakers have utilised fairytales, folktales and fables in their work over the past sixty years. Curated by BFMAF Associate Programmer Herb Shellenberger, the series is international in scope, with films from Colombia, Georgia, Niger, Yugoslavia and more.

Elena Gorfinkel (Kings College, London) curated the Kira Muratova retrospective, the critically acclaimed titan of Russian language cinema and presented a programme of her poetic, eccentric and astonishing films.

The Propositions strand included a presentation of Aura Satz’s new body of work, curator Steffanie Ling presented a survey of the 16mm films of Canadian artist and Berwick New Cinema Award winner Julia Feyrer, Holly Argent’s lecture performance and Rabz Lansiquot presenting a dialogue between the works of Black British artists Zinzi Minott and Judah Attille.

BFMAF 2018 Take a look back at BFMAF 2018 with this Festival Film shot and edited by Christo Wallers.

The 14th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place between the 20-23 of September 2018.

Programme highlights included the Berwick New Cinema Competition that featured 14 films, all produced after 1 January 2017. The first major Uk retrospective of filmmakers Shireen Seno and John Torres, whose studio, film laboratory, library and platform Los Otros is based in Manila, Philippines. A new programme strand Propositions presented the work of Jessica Sarah Rinland, Sky Hopinka, Morgan Quaintance and Giles Bailey.

The 'Screening the Forest' programme was curated by Dr. Graiwoot Chulphongsathorn. A series that took nature as its point of departure and presented films from Japan, Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

BFMAF 2018 Artist in Profile was Sophia Al-Maria who presented a screening of her films in the cinema programme alongside an exhibitionThe Magical Stateat the Magazine.

BFMAF 2018 also presented Essential Cinema. A retrospective series that took a fresh look at classic works of cinema and overlooked masterpieces. It featured the first screening in 40 years of Tales of the Dumpster Kid by Edgar Reitz & Ula Stöckl, Lips of Blood by Jean Rollin, Some Interviews on Personal Matters by Lana Gogoberidze, the African cinema classic Hyenas by Djibril Diop Mambéty and TERROR NULLIUS by artistic duo Soda_ Jerk.

Alongside the Cinema programmes BFMAF 2018 also featured 11 Exhibitions situated within the town of Berwick in various historic and former commercial buildings. This included Solvent Magazine an exhibition by Berwick Artists' Moving Image Resident Lucy Clout at the Gymnasium Gallery.

The opening film of BFMAF 2018 was Empty Metal by Adam Khalil & Bayley Sweitzer. The festival closed to the joint UK premiere of Shireen Seno's Nervous Translation.

You can view the the full festival catalogue here

BFMAF 2017

Postcards from BFMAF 2017 from BFMAF on Vimeo.

The 13th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place from 20 - 25 September 2017.

The Festival featured artists’ work commissioned for Berwick, exhibitions in non-gallery spaces, brand new cinema, special programmes and retrospectives, in-depth talks with Festival artists, and activities for families and young people.

Cinema screenings included the first ever UK retrospective of Uzbek master Ali Khamraev plus the Berwick New Cinema Competition, with every film a UK, European, International or World premiere. Many congratulations to Sky Hopinka for Dislocation Blues, the 2017 competition award winner.

Another focal point for BFMAF 2017 was Ultramarine: The Sea as Political Space, a dynamic selection of films that reimagined our complex relationship with the sea. Margaret Salmon’s new commission Mm celebrating the 50th season of the Berwick Bandits and with a soundtrack from Sacred Paws was another particularly rock and roll highlight.

View the full 2017 programme here

BFMAF 2016

BFMAF TRAILER 2016 from BFMAF on Vimeo.

In 2016 BFMAF's hosted Thomas Beard's ambitious retrospective, An Early Clue to the New Direction: Queer Cinema Before Stonewall, all the films of which (including the festival's opening gala, Sylvia Scarlett) screened from 35mm or 16mm prints.

The Berwick New Cinema programme featured UK Premieres of El futuro perfecto by Nele Wohlatz, fresh from its award-winning debut at the Locarno Film Festival; Maud Alpi's Gorge Cœur Ventre; and 2013 Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost's newest work, If It Was. World premieres of several films were also presented, including Molly Palmer's Some Shapes Without Edges, Jenny Perlin's Tender Not Approvedand the digital version of Sophie Michael's The Watershow Extravaganza, the 16mm version of which also featured as an exhibition.

The Berwick New Cinema Competition was won by filmmaker Camilo Restrepo for his film Cilaos. In their award citation, the jury stated that Cilaos was 'absolutely located in a contemporary moment', praising the film's exhilarating 'visceral quality of both sound and image'.

BFMAF’s 2016 exhibition programme included works by Artists in Profile Claire Hooper and Deborah Stratman, alongside Festival commission Persuasion by Lucy Parker. Also included were new works by Ghislaine Leung, Jenny Brady and CIRCA Projects, who presented their live event, World Is Sudden: Part I.

View the full 2016 programme here

BFMAF 2015

The 11th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival programme theme was ‘Fact or Fiction’ and turned a curious eye to the grey areas between fact and fantasy, documentary and narrative, journalism and propaganda.

The programme featured an expanded roster of moving image installations and screenings. From Moshen Makhmalbaf’s rarely seen Iranian masterpiece Salam Cinema on 35mm to Giff-Gaff, a commissioned series of live events curated by CIRCA Projects.

Artists in profile where Deimantas Narkevičius who was featured in Once in the XX Century, an exhibition of the artists oeuvre to date and Seamus Harahan, who presented his newly commissioned ‘Fucking Finland’. A series of films that explored cultural chinks, links and aberrations on the periphery of Europe.

View the full 2015 programme here

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