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New board members, people on the move and regular deadline



24 March 2021

New board members, people on the move and regular deadline

We are delighted to welcome Dawn BothwellYvonne Smith and May Adadol Ingawanij as new members of the festival’s board. Dawn Bothwell, a curator, writer and musician, is co-director of CIRCA Projects and has curated an array of projects in Gateshead and Newcastle upon Tyne. Yvonne Smith is Head of Cinema Operations at Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), incorporating Edinburgh Filmhouse, Belmont Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival. May Adadol Ingawanij is a writer, curator and teacher, and Professor of Cinematic Arts at University of Westminster where she co-directs the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media.

The Early Career Critics workshop took place during the 16th BFMAF digital edition and we are pleased to present the writing online for the first time. Six young critics from different academic and professional backgrounds came together to discuss and write about the festival’s programme under the mentorship of critics and curators Tendai Mutambu, Dessane Lopez Cassel and Dennis Vetter. The 2020 young critics were: Eilidh CampbellAmy LeaJessica McGoffNatasha Thembiso RuwonaRen Scateni and Ilinca Vanau. Find their essays and bios on our website here.

Also accessible online is the retrospective series “BARBED WIRE LOVE: Artists and their North of Ireland troubles” co-curated by artist Myrid Carten and BFMAF’s Director Peter Taylor and currently screening at the Glasgow Short Film Festival. In a happy turn of events, GSFF’s programme also includes young critics Jessica McGoff’s video essay Screening Room and Natasha Thembiso Ruwona’s curated series Black Spatial Imaginaries.

While the festival is recruiting for a new Head of Programming position, BFMAF 2020 Associate Programmer Ana David has joined the newly founded Batalha Centro de Cinema in Porto, Portugal. This is an ambitious new film centre that will open in 2022. Ana’s experience greatly contributed to our reimagining of BFMAF during 2020 and we wish her the best of luck on this thrilling new mission.

In similar news, bricks and mortar development is taking place in Berwick-upon-Tweed too: BFMAF’s main location of its office year round, The Maltings, received funding for the construction of a new arts centre. The building will replace the existing venue in Berwick and will include a larger auditorium, a cinema, a destination restaurant and bar, a studio theatre and a flexible-use space. Planned for this year is a design competition, with works scheduled to begin in 2023.

More artists and films whom have participated in previous editions of the festival are travelling on to noteworthy international platforms, receiving the recognition they deserve. Fern Silva’s Rock Bottom Riser and Tim Leyendekker’s Feast have both recently received accolades, respectively for the Encounters Special Mention at Berlinale and Cinema du Réel’s Best Feature Debut award.

BFMAF alumni Luke Fowler’s Patrick, which celebrated its world premiere at the festival, as well as Elise Florenty and Marcel Türkowsky’s Don’t Rush are streaming at Doc Fortnight 2021, MoMA’s Festival of International Nonfiction Film and Media, where 2020 Filmmaker in Focus Ayo Akingbade will also present a new short film.

At Punto de Vista in Spain, 2018 selected artist Morgan Quaintance has been awarded with the Jean Vigo Prize for Best Director, while the Youth Prize for Best Film went to Mouaad el Salem’s This Day Won’t Last, which was presented in the festival’s 2020 New Cinema Competition.

Newly announced as part of Osnabrück’s EMAF programme is Renèe Helèna Browne’s Daddy’s Boy, one of the films commissioned by BFMAF for its 2020 Propositions series.

Lastly, the upcoming Essay Film Festival in London is dedicating focus programmes to Kevin Jerome Everson (whose collection of works was recently released in a Blu-Ray edition by Second Run) and Jenny Brady, both former BFMAF participating artists.

BFMAF looks forward to viewing and researching new works from equally forthright artists and filmmakers throughout 2021. Regular entries can be submitted by Friday 26th March. Late submissions will still be welcome before the final deadline which closes on April 16th. Submissions are accepted via the Festival’s portal on FilmChief or FilmFreeway. For further information about deadlines, fee, rules & regulations please check the submissions page.

We look forward to receiving your works!