Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) is an artistically ambitious, accessible and inclusive organisation for new cinema and artists’ moving image.
Based in North Northumberland, the Festival leads through collaboration and research. With a resolute commitment to peer support, artistic production and community development, the Film Festival is recognised for its innovative programming and critical engagement.
As if to answer the question ‘what can moving images be and do in this disquieting moment?’, BFMAF suggests they can be time machines, maps, love letters, poems, ghosts, fever dreams, missives, manifestos. They can also explode.— Elena Gorfinkel, Art Monthly
The 17th edition of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place from Friday 10 – 12 September 2021 in Berwick-upon Tweed and then online until 30 September. The programme of screenings, live events, podcasts, commissioned essays and workshops were committed to the mutual support of the artists, filmmakers and industry professionals it works with, the accessibility of its audiences and the communities that it sits within locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
BFMAF’s annual Berwick New Cinema Awards champion filmmakers who transgress restraints of genre, capital and expectation. Rather than offering a single prize, chosen by a jury, since 2020 the award has been jointly shared by the selected filmmakers.
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival’s cinema and exhibitions programmes have presented profiles of Kira Muratova (Ukraine), Marwa Arsanios (Berlin/Lebanon), Shireen Seno & John Torres (Philippines), Sky Hopinka (USA), Ali Khamraev (Uzbekistan), Peggy Ahwesh (USA) and Sophia Al-Maria (Qatar/USA). Recent curated programmes have included Animistic Apparatus, Fantastika, An Early Clue to the New Direction: Queer Cinema before Stonewall and Screening the Forest.
Recurring Festival strands include Essential Cinema—a pluralist retrospective series presenting new restorations and a fresh look at classic works of cinema—and Propositions where filmmakers and curators illuminate new perspectives and complications which expand upon our experience of their work. Part screening, part talk or performance, Berwick audiences are invited to dive deep into new cinema.
BFMAF was like a potion that, once consumed, transformed the whole world into a cinema.— Christopher Small, MUBI Notebook
BFMAF is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and a registered charity.