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2023 Festival Programme is now live!



24 January 2023

2023 Festival Programme is now live!

Terror Has no Shape | Dir. Luis Arnías |  US, Venezuela | 2021


Join us for the 18th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) taking place in Berwick-upon-Tweed from Friday 3 March to Sunday 5 March 2023.

The festival is a place for audiences and filmmakers to come together, and a moment to explore both cinema and Berwick-upon-Tweed from a fresh and fun perspective. There are screenings, talks, free exhibitions and club nights taking place all across our historic home town. We hope you enjoy delving into the programme and look forward to welcoming you at our 18th Festival!



Programme strands include New Cinema Awards, celebrating some of the most distinctive works of new cinema and artists’ moving image; the Essential Cinema retrospective series, proposing a revisionist view of what might be considered major works of cinema; and Propositions, where filmmakers and critics offer first-hand perspectives and interesting complications, expanding their work and contextualising aspects of their research and practice.

We could not be more excited to welcome audiences back to our fully in-person festival this March. As our new Spring festival dates promise, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival has a new energy and a new lease of life. Every single film screening, exhibition and event is a highlight for us, and growing anticipation for the Festival weekend in March is already almost too much to bear. Many many thanks to all of the artists and filmmakers who shared their work with us in the past year. You make the festival!

Peter Taylor, Festival Director

The BFMAF 2023 programme was researched and selected by the Festival’s programming team: Dan Guthrie, Alice Miller, Myriam Mouflih, Herb Shellenberger, Peter Taylor and Ilinca Vanau.


This year’s Opening Night film will be the UK premiere of Anerca, Breath of Life (2022) by Filmmaker in Focus Markku Lehmuskallio & his son Johannes Lehmuskallio. Shot over several decades with the indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle, Anerca, Breath of life is a beautifully expansive film centred on performance and the importance of song.

The Closing Film is the UK premiere of the smart, funny and razor-sharp satire Arnold is a Model Student (2022). Inspired by the Bad Student movement calling for educational reform in Thailand, the film follows the titular protagonist as he joins forces with an underground syndicate of misfits helping students cheat on their exams. This subversive debut feature from Sorayos Prapapan moves deftly between moments of absurdist humour and heartfelt, urgent gestures of cinematic protest.



Celebrating some of the most distinctive works of new cinema being made around the world today. The 25 New Cinema Award winners were selected by our team of 6 programmers from 918 films researched and entered via an open call. What all New Cinema Award Winners hold in common is that their films push against boundaries of genre, form, and convention, disarming expectations and enlivening our relationship with cinema.

Rather than a single winner chosen by a jury, since 2021 all filmmakers receive an award. 2023’s New Cinema Award Winners are:

A Mother’s Love For Her Baby | Dir. Éiméar McClay & Cat McClay | UK | 2022 | 17 mins | World Premiere

AQUERONTE | Dir. Manuel Muñoz Rivas | Spain | 2023 | 25 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Arnold is a Model Student | Dir. Sorayos Prapapan |Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, The Netherlands, France | 2022 | 85 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Being in Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait | Dir. Luke Fowler | UK | 2022 | 59 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Bigger on the Inside | Dir. Angelo Madsen Minax | US | 2022 | 12 mins | European Premiere

Cabbage | Dir. Holly Márie Parnell | United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada | 2023 | 28 mins | World Premiere

F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now | Dir. Fox Maxy | US | 2022 | 17 mins | European Premiere

False Wife | Dir. Jamie Crewe | United Kingdom | 2022 | 16 mins | UK Festival Premiere

FEARDEATHLOVEDEATH | Dir. Basim Magdy | Switzerland | 2022 | 17 mins | World Premiere

Hello Dankness | Dirs. Soda Jerk | Australia | 2022 | 69 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Home Invasion | Dir. Graeme Arnfield | United Kingdom | 2022 | 92 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Is it a knife because… | Dir. Eitan Efrat& Sirah Foighel Brutmann |  | Belgium | 2022 | 25 mins | International Premiere

Last Things | Dir. Deborah Stratman | France, Portugal, United States | 2023 | 50 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Let Us Flow | Dir. Sophio Medoidze | UK | 2022 | 63 mins | World Premiere

Life on the Caps | Dir. Meriem Bennani | US | 2007 | 75 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Love & Revenge | Dir. Anhar Salem | France, Saudi Arabia | 2021 | 30 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Maid | Dir. Lucrecia Martel | Argentina, Mexico | 2022 | 12 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Maputo Nakuzandza | Dir. Ariadine Zampaulo |  Brazil, Mozambique | 2021 | 60 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Music for Solo Performer | Dir. Jenny Brady | Ireland | 2022 | 20 mins | World Premiere

Signal to Noise | Dirs. Anya Tsyrlina & Sid Iandovka | USSR, Switzerland | 2023 | 35 mins | World Premiere

10 mins | International Premiere

Ungentle | Dirs. Huw Lemmey & Onyeka Igwe | UK | 2022 | 37 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Who Is Afraid of Ideology? Part 4: Reverse Shot | Dir. Marwa Arsanios | Germany, Lebanon | 2022 | 34 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Wisdom Gone Wild | Dir. Rea Tajiri | United States | 2022 | 84 mins | UK Festival Premiere

Wolf and Dog | Dir. Cláudia Varejão | Portugal, France | 2022 | 111 mins | UK Festival Premiere



Presenting the first UK retrospective of acclaimed filmmaking duo Markku Lehmuskallio (born 1938, Rauma, Finland) & Anastasia Lapsui (Nenets, born 1944, Yamal Peninsula, USSR). Their narrative and documentary features made across four decades centre people, stories and perspectives indigenous to the Arctic Circle, particularly the Nenets, a nomadic tribe living for centuries in regions of the Extreme North.

Nedarma | Dirs. Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio | Finland | 2007 | 82 mins | New Film Restoration

Anerca, Breath of Life | Dirs. Markku Lehmuskallio & Johannes Lehmuskallio | Finland | 2022 | 87 mins | New Film Restoration

The Blue Mammy | Dir. Markku Lehmuskallio | Finland, Sweden | 1985 | 99 mins | New Film Restoration

Seven Songs from the Tundra | Dirs. Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio | Finland | 2000 | 90 mins | New Film Restoration

In Focus: Markku Lehmuskallio & Anastasia Lapsui (open discussion with the filmmakers) | 60 mins



A discursive setting – a screening, a discussion, or performance. Filmmakers and critics offer first-hand perspectives and interesting complications, expanding their work and contextualising aspects of their research and practice.

The Pleasures of Unbelonging | Dir. Christopher Ulutupu | New Zealand, UK | 2023 | 11 mins | World Premiere

Code Names, a screening-performance | Artist Maryam Tafakory | Iran, United Kingdom | 2022 | 60 mins | European Premiere



Creating productive frictions inspired by buildings’ current and historic use, artists present new moving image works in Berwick’s Gymnasium Gallery, Town Hall, Visitor Centre, an 18th century ammunition store and a former Thorntons shop on Marygate.

Paradiso, XXXI, 108 | Dir. Kamal Aljafari | Germany, Palestine | 2022 | 18 mins | UK Premiere

tempo | Dir. Yu Araki | Japan | 2022 | 20 mins

Hidden Amongst Clouds | Dir. Christopher Ulutupu | New Zealand | 2021 | 13 mins

culture | Dir. Fairuz Ghammam | Belgium | 2022 | 15 mins | World Premiere

SCREENTIME – In10ded Ten: The Fate of the Middle Place | Pr. Kimberley O’Neill | UK | 2021 | 7 mins

SCREENTIME – Everyday Apocalypse | Pr. Kimberley O’Neill | UK | 2020 | 8 mins

SCREENTIME is the filmmaking and cinema programming strand with and for young people. If you are interested in participating in future Berwick. SCREENTIME projects, get in touch at


The FESTIVAL CLUB at the Magdalene Fields Golf Club (Friday & Saturday nights) then gives everyone the chance to cut loose on the dancefloor with DJs Miss Mobile Disco and noodle. And we’ll see out the festival with a social get together on Sunday evening, around the corner from the cinema at the Barrels Ale House.

The principal supporters of the 18th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival are Arts Council England, North of Tyne Combined Authority, the BFI Audience Fund, awarding funds from the National Lottery, Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Northumberland County Council, and project funders the Sir James Knott Trust and Simpsons Malt.