Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

Menu

A new season and a new approach. After 18 years BFMAF is moving to a new date, 3 – 5th March 2023. Find out more here.

Ahead of its 18th edition, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival has created four new job roles which will help shape the Festival. For further details on each role or to make an application, please visit our Opportunities page.

 

 

 

10 September – 12 September, 2021

Festival 2021

Festival 2021

Welcome to the BFMAF website. Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming Call for Entries and Job Opportunities news!

Anti-Archive

Since its founding in 2014, the Cambodian film production company Anti-Archive has emerged as a formidable platform through which the new generation of filmmakers in Cambodia can develop their artistic visions, realise ambitious productions and collaborate with others internationally.

Still from Sunrise in My Mind. Wideshot of a beauty salon in Cambodia. On the right, a Cambodian women wearing a mask is getting her hair washed in a basin by another Cambodian woman who is standing up. The customer is lying back with her hair in the basin and she's on her phone.

Berwick Young Filmmakers

Intended Ten: The Fate of The Middle Place is a collaborative film made by Berwick Young Filmmakers (a group of local 12–14 year olds). The film was produced over five days of workshops led by artist Kimberley O’Neill, which introduced the group to digital filmmaking and documentary techniques.

​In10ded Ten: The Fate of The Middle Place

Essential Cinema

Essential Cinema is our pluralist retrospective series that provides a revisionist view of what might be considered canonical works of cinema. The 2021 selection brings new restorations and digitisations that evoke connections between political and spiritual awakenings, taking in projects from India, Cuba, USA and Palestine.

Back Inside Ourselves — workshop

New Cinema Awards

The Berwick New Cinema Competition becomes the Berwick New Cinema Awards—a non competitive prize that is shared between the filmmakers. The strand encompasses a selection of work that has most spoken to our group of programmers this year and includes what we feel is some of the most distinctive works of new cinema and artists’ moving image being made around the world today.

Film still from El Planeta. Black and white wideshot of two white women side by side at the hair salon, having their hair washed in separate basins. They both have wet hair, and are laying back with their heads in the basins, looking up to the ceiling.
El Planeta

Focus

Nguyễn Trinh Thi

Nguyễn Trinh Thi is one of Vietnam’s leading contemporary artists. Her moving image work engages with the ways in which memory, history and representation are part of broader structures of power, the legacies of colonialism and war, and the erasure of indigenous Vietnamese cultures.

Still from Fifth Cinema. The background is black, and in the centre near the bottom, there's small white letters with accents, words that aren't English. They read "'lẵn bộ tộc". Below this is the English translation "a tribal background" in small yellow writing. Above this writing, a young Vietnamese woman at 90 degrees counter clockwise. They're wearing roller skates, a blue and red sweater, and a green jumper tied around their waist.
Fifth Cinema

Online Exhibitions

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival’s 2021 Online Exhibitions take the place of its usual physical ones in Berwick. Here you’ll find places of radical world building, virtual spaces to gather and to contemplate.

Back Inside Ourselves

Propositions

Propositions is the Festival’s hybrid of discussion and online screenings, interactive games and performances. The artists in this strand share discoveries encountered through their research, experience and practice.

Still from Hair Is A Piece of Body. The background is made up of forestry and outlines of hills. The subject is a white person wearing a white cardigan and pink skirt, although the rest of their outfit and body is cut off at the hip. Their side profile is facing the camera, and their dark hair is being swept by wind, blowing upwards. It appears they are standing on a hill or the edge of one.
Hair Is A Piece of Body

Focus

Rajee Samarasinghe

Rajee Samarasinghe’s body of work tackles contemporary sociopolitical conditions in Sri Lanka through the scope of his own identity and the deconstruction of ethnographic practices. BFMAF 2021 presents a series of Samarasinghe’s 12 short films shot over a decade—an archive of images navigating the terrain of migration, memory, and impermanence.

Still from Show Me Other Places. Shot of a forearm and hand reaching and grabbing someone else's wrist. The person grabbing the other person's wrist is wearing a watch. The background is a beige white.

SPS Community Media

BFMAF is pleased to present two recent films by SPS Community Media which provide a clarifying backdrop to urgent news stories such as the ongoing Farmer’s Protests in India, rooted in the experiences of individuals and families living in Madhya Pradesh, one of the most populous states in India.

Still from Hailstorm. Wide landscape shot of a golden white wheat field, on the left hand side, a young Indian boy, and in the middle, another young Indian boy. They're walking through the field. The background is trees and a dull blue sky.
Hailstorm

Work in Progress

Returning for a second edition, Work in Progress is a Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival programme strand highlighting forthcoming feature-length films. For 2021’s Work in Progress, we will focus on Congolese director and visual artist Nelson Makengo’s Rising Up at Night (2022) his feature film debut currently in production.

Rising Up at Night: Work in Progress

17 September – 11 October, 2020

Festival 2020

Festival 2020

The 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place from Thursday 17 September to Sunday 11 October online. BFMAF 2020 featured a new online platform where artists’ and filmmakers’ work were expanded through conversation, new writing and podcasts over three weeks.

Focus

Angelo Madsen Minax

US-born filmmaker and artist Madsen Minax crafts his short films and videos in various breaths—ever so often personal, experimental and transgressive ones. Within these breaths, Minax approaches and investigates queerness, trans identity and sexuality, mysticism and death, family bonds and social justice, in a many-layered approach to image-making.

Focus

Ayo Akingbade

In her own words, Ayo Akingbade’s work “addresses notions of urbanism, power and stance”. Characteristic of her films is a contemplation and celebration of the rhythms of everyday London life, as well as the histories and legacies that move through it.

Berwick Young Filmmakers

Berwick Young Filmmakers 2020

Enceindre

Essential Cinema

Our pluralist retrospective series that provides a revisionist view of what might be considered classic works of cinema.

Badnam Basti

Focus

Izza Génini

A pioneering woman in Moroccan cinema, Izza Génini’s practise sits solely within the realm of narrative documentary. As someone who was born in Morocco, grew up in France and returned there as an adult, her films grapple with themes such as diasporic identity and traditional Moroccan heritage, particularly focusing on the music of the country.

Return to Oulad Moumen
Vibrations in Upper Atlas
Rhythms of Marrakech
Aïta

New Cinema Competition

For the first time, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival’s New Cinema Competition includes Short, Medium and Feature length films. The strand encompasses the Festival’s view of some of the most distinctive works of new cinema and artists’ moving image being made around the world today.

At Those Terrifying Frontiers Where the Existence and Disappearance of People Fade Into Each Other

New Cinema Competition Features

A brand new remodelled New Cinema Competition, where all selected filmmakers share the Berwick New Cinema Award. For easy viewing the selection is presented in two screenings, one for short and medium length works, and the second for features.

Desterro

Focus

Payal Kapadia

Over the past decade, Mumbai-based filmmaker Payal Kapadia has built up a remarkable collection of short films. In particular, a trilogy of sorts made between 2015–18—The Last Mango Before the Monsoon, 2015; Afternoon Clouds, 2017; And What is Summer Saying, 2018—stands as a massive achievement and as a hybrid form of new cinema.

Previews

Previews is a new Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) programme strand highlighting forthcoming feature-length films. For its first edition BFMAF has invited artist filmmakers Tim Leyendekker (NL) and Fern Silva (US) to introduce their debut—work in progress—feature films.

Feast: Work in Progress

Propositions

The Propositions strand is a hybrid of discussion and online screenings that dive deep into new cinema and share discoveries encountered through artists’ and filmmakers’ research, experience and practice.

19 September – 22 September, 2019

Festival 2019

Festival 2019

The 15th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival took place from 19–22 September 2019. The programme included the Berwick New Cinema Competition that screened 23 works by a total of 27 artists across five screening programmes.

Thematic Programming

Animistic Apparatus

Berwick New Cinema Competition

The Berwick New Cinema Competition’s 23 selections comprise our view of some of the most distinctive and unexpected works of new cinema and artists’ moving image being made around the world. Disregarding boundaries of genre, form, filmic conventions and expectations, these are vital works, imbued with a sense of liveness and agency in their resolute visions.

Berwick New Cinema Competition ♚

Berwick New Cinema Features

For the 2019 festival, the Berwick New Cinema strand expands to incorporate feature and mid-length films which bring surprising perspectives and new forms into being. Five distinctive films comprise this year’s selection, shown in the UK for the first time, some fresh from top international festivals and others perhaps unjustly overlooked.

Closing Film: Rights of Man

Children and Young People

BFMAF presents a number of projects with, by and for young people. This includes Kaleidoscope, a drop-in bean bag cinema with hands-on making activity for families, a programme of screenings for school groups and work by young artists from Berwick Youth Project.

Essential Cinema

BFMAF’s essentially pluralist retrospective series provides a fresh look at classic works of cinema or a first view of overlooked masterpieces. Each film is all too rarely-seen and most are shown in new restorations for the first time in the UK.

A Hundred Faces for a Single Day

Events

Seminars, outdoor screenings, workshops and performances that provide occasions for discovery, exchange and fresh experiences of sound and the moving image.

Exhibition Opening: Double Ghosts & O’ Pierrot

Exhibitions

Artists present recent and newly commissioned moving image works, reinhabiting Berwick’s town walls, animating historic buildings and rewilding its town centre.

Beyond the Field

Fantastika

Fantastika examines 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 ranging between a number of genres and forms.

Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari

Festival Club

Miss World + DJ HTSHELL

Focus

Kira Muratova

Kira Muratova, a critically acclaimed titan of Russian-language cinema, made poetic, eccentric, astonishing films which have still too rarely been seen internationally. Muratova’s brilliantly trenchant imagination spans across twenty-two works, produced between 1961–2012.

Artist in Profile

Marwa Arsanios

Marwa Arsanios has built a distinctive body of work spanning installation, performance and moving image over the last decade. In her incisive interrogations of gendered labour, non-human ecologies and the histories of collectivism she uses research and collaboration to confound documentary’s formal conventions.

The labour of image making
Who is Afraid of Ideology?

Propositions

Part screening, part talk or performance, Propositions provides a discursive setting to dive deep into new cinema. Whether filmmakers expand on their work, demonstrating research and contexts, or curators illuminate new perspectives and complications, Propositions shares discoveries encountered through research and practice.

Aura Satz

Seminar

20 September – 23 September, 2018

Festival 2018

Festival 2018

Berwick New Cinema

Presenting the very best in artists’ moving image and new filmmaking, the Berwick New Cinema competition features resolutely contemporary films that transgress restraints of genre, capital and expectation.

Berwick New Cinema: ♠

Children & Young People

BFMAF presents a number of projects with, by and for young people: Kaleidoscope, a drop-in bean bag cinema with hands-on making activity for families, films for school groups, and The Hurt Goes On?, an analogue foray into a digital world by young people from Berwick Youth Project.

Kaleidoscope

Essential Cinema

BFMAF’s retrospective series provides a fresh look at classic works of cinema or a first view of overlooked masterpieces. Each film is rarely-seen and most are shown in new restorations for the first time in the UK.

Hyenas

Events

Enceindre

Exhibitions

Artists present new and recent moving image work in exhibitions around Berwick-upon-Tweed, taking over historic buildings, empty shops and hidden corners of the town.

of Violence

Films

High School Screening

Los Otros: John Torres & Shireen Seno

The first major UK retrospective of filmmakers Shireen Seno and John Torres, whose studio, film laboratory, library and platform Los Otros is one of the most invigorating forces in Philippine cinema today.

Big Boy

Propositions

Part screening, part talk or performance, Propositions provides a discursive setting for artists and filmmakers to expand on their work, demonstrating research, contexts and perspectives as a means to dig deeper into the questions, ideas and complications encountered through their artistic process.

Islanders
Jessica Sarah Rinland
Morgan Quaintance
River Walk with Jessica Sarah Rinland
Sky Hopinka

Screening the Forest

Curated by Dr. Graiwoot Chulphongsathorn, this series takes nature as its point of departure. ‘Screening the Forest’ weaves together forests from Japan, Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and the Philippines, understanding the forest to be a network of living beings where agency distributes beyond human forms of life.

Blood Amber

Seminar

BFMAF’s popular series of seminars provide an informal space of communication between artists and audience. Los Otros (John Torres and Shireen Seno), Lucy Clout and Sophia Al-Maria will participate in this year’s seminars, moderated by writer and curator Taylor Le Melle.

Seminar: Los Otros

Artist in Profile

Sophia Al-Maria

BFMAF 2018 Artist in Profile Sophia Al-Maria’s practice incorporates diverse forms of visual art, writing and filmmaking—as shown in her ‘Temporal Vertigo’ screening, The Magical State exhibition and beyond.

The Magical State
Sophia Al-Maria: Temporal Vertigo

Special Features (Opening & Closing)

Closing Film: Nervous Translation

20 September – 24 September, 2017

Festival 2017

Festival 2017

21 September – 25 September, 2016

Festival 2016

Festival 2016

23 September – 27 September, 2015

Festival 2015

Festival 2015