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Reviews

News


Published

30 April 2024

Reviews

Take a look at some of the coverage of the 19th Berwick Film & Media Arts festival available to read for free online:

Corridor8

19th Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival

by Kate Liston

An ornate room with a chandelier, plush seats and a screen displaying a monument.

Image Credit: Amelia Read • Basma al-Sharif • Deep Sleep • 19th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival • 2024

” Questions prompted by contemporary image surplus (and its hauntings) run through my experience of the festival. In the days following, an image of white phosphorus plays starkly in my mind. It’s one I am familiar with from those circulated on social media during the current war on Gaza, often overlaid with facts detailing the weapon’s war crime status and the inhumane devastation it causes.”


Slant Magazine

The 2024 Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 

by David Robb

Three people sitting, having a conversation

Image Credit: Amelia Read • In Focus: Basma al-Sharif • 19th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival • 2024

“Whether directly related to the conflict or not, reversals, recurrence, and the limits of representation are preoccupations of Al-Sharif’s work. Throughout, vivid sunlit footage of scenic vistas, crashing waves, or opulent interiors is often played backwards for extended periods of time, enabling a more analytical or reflective attitude on events and settings that are so often predetermined by unrelenting outside forces. This defamiliarization technique is particularly effective in one of Ouroboros’s early sequences, which follows a Gaza-based domestic worker going about her daily routines from room to room, simultaneously restoring and undoing the order of a home that is under continual threat of extinction.”


Burlington Contemporary

Measuring Distance

by Nicolas Helm-Grovas

Two people holding up a green piece of material, in a field with a few trees.

We Began By Measuring Distance • Basma al-Sharif • Egypt • 2009

“Constellated together, images of the world – the distances and affinities between them perceptible and measurable – flash up on the cinema screen at a moment of danger, demanding to be seized, if we are willing and able.”


International Documentary Association

Instruments of Liberation: Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2024

by Ruairí McCann

Smartphone image featuring an American flag, indigenous person and aircraft.

Dau:añcut // Moving Along Image • Adam Piron • United States • 2023

“Its 2024 edition, which ran 7–10 March, felt like a festival whose program was not only deeply engaged with larger political struggles, but also open and malleable in a way that many festivals claim but rarely enact in the relations underpinning the screenings.”


“Reject the Labels”: Berwick’s Peter Taylor Discusses the Festival’s Recent Evolution

by Andrew Northrup

The BFMAF team lined up on stage in front of bright pink bear face

Image Credit: Amelia Read • 19th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival • 2024

” All those thinking processes, involving people, and the conversations with filmmakers, really inform the way the festival itself develops and all the organizational things. In the objectives in our business plan, one of our aims is to embody a work-in-progress mentality.”


The Quintessential Review

by WJ Quinn

“Diversity’s a tricky word.” – Peter Taylor talks BFMAF 2024

The backs of a crowd of people sat in The Maltings' cinema

Image Credit: Amelia Read • 19th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival • 2024

“The Festival’s outlook is more about recognising that many people are minoritised in very complex ways. I find the term “Global Majority” very constructive in de-centering my own perspectives on this. Festival programmes or the notes accompanying them often speak of “seldom seen films” or “voices from the margins”. However, this depends on where you’re looking from! I hope that in listening and learning and involving more people in our work, BFMAF can contribute something to flipping these perspectives on their head.”


Review: Yours, – BFMAF 2024

Collage of various images of landscapes, textures and one medium shot person with the word "yours"

yours, • Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat, Eva Giolo, Rebecca Jane Arthur, Katja Mater, Maaike Neuville • Belgium • 2023

“In a letter, written to Akerman, they outline their thesis of a land blighted by climate change and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Bedouins. Amidst the beauty Chantal found, they point to a scourge, and a solitary white donkey wandering the expanse. Is it, they wonder, the spirit of Akerman, or only an animal with which to discuss her absence?”


Review: Malqueridas – BFMAF 2024

Grainy medium-close up of a woman kissing a swaddled baby

Malqueridas • Tana Gilbert • Chile, Germany • 2023

“This BFMAF UK Premiere highlights the plight of mothers in the Chilean prison system. Created by, rather than about its subjects, Malqueridas relies entirely upon stills and video captured on elicit mobile phones. The film is scripted in the first person, with the experiences of over 20 former prisoners woven into rich, hard-hitting, tragic, but surprisingly warm testimonies.”