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 16th edition of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place from Thursday 17 September to Sunday 11 October 2020 online and delivered a programme of screenings, live events, podcasts, commissioned essays and workshops committed to the ongoing 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 Competition champions filmmakers who transgress restraints of genre, capital and expectation. The 2020 award was shared between all filmmakers selected in response to global circumstances. Previous Berwick New Cinema Award winners include Onyeka Igwe, Julia Feyrer & Tamara Henderson, Callum Hill, Sky Hopinka and Camillo Restrepo.
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.