Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

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Welcome to the BFMAF website.

The 2022 Call for Entries has now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered their work. We look forward to viewing your films!

Exhibition

30 KG Shine

‘Around 1936, a rumour spread in Jerusalem’s old city, which kept inhabitants indoors while a ghost took hold of the city, wandering its dark streets and alleys at night.

80 years later, in the neighbourhood where that myth unfolded, a woman is trying to retrieve possessions that belonged to her family. Planning happens at night in her waking hours. Also in the dark and underneath the city, far from anyone’s eyes, a community of Palestinian workers employed in the construction of a one-of-a-kind Israeli underground burial site, are disputing work organisation and allegiances to the different project managers involved.

In a place where myth assigns the ephemeral to weight of fat, the object of the dead body becomes a tool for speculating on property.’

— Shadi Habib Allah

Exhibition

Allegro Largo Triste

In Allegro Largo Triste (2017), Froment films the polyphonic music of Franco Melis, a Sardinian musician and launeddas player, one of the most ancient musical instruments in Europe. Instruments consist of three reed pipes, with a five-note reed on each hand plus a drone. The player uses circular breathing, playing all three pipes simultaneously to accompany dancers or religious processions.

Exhibition

Blackest Sea / Falling Sky

“The Blackest Sea has a sweet poetry about its movement, with a very emotive and dramatic soundtrack, but as it develops through the various themes, I want it to feel strongly connected to current issues that we are dealing with today—the viability of the oceans, the man-made dilemmas of climate and the migrants who have cast their fate upon unforgiving waters. The sea in its unending flow and uncontrollable force is the subject of The Blackest Sea, and that trope is transposed in The Falling Sky to the wind and sky, the airwaves and the man-made data flow, the invisible force field that surrounds us when we work and we carry along in our handbags and coat pockets. The lyricism between the above and below, sky and sea becomes clear.”

—Peggy Ahwesh

Exhibition

Bye Bye Deutschland! Eine Lebensmelodie

Bye bye Deutschland! Eine Lebensmelodie follows the life of a couple of singers from Münster who became known for covering the most prominent voices of distinct eras of Schlager music. While Markus got recognition through youtube tributes to Udo Jürgens (known for introducing French Chanson in 1970s Schlager) Steffi often performs the repertoire of Helene Fischer, a contemporary Schlager icon who opened the genre to a Global Pop standard. Combining the conventions of direct Cinema and Musical, the film approaches the rebirth of an industry that, in the public image, is often associated to a collective day-dreaming of foreign lands, simple texts with nationalist imaginary or heavy duty sentimentalism. Schlager as a music genre is as hard to define as it is unproductive to simplify the contexts in which it has been produced over the last 50 years. Today it divides opinions and touches both those who love it and those who don’t.

Exhibition

Mediums

Mediums is a medium-length movie filmed exclusively in medium shots about a group of potential jurors gathered on a break who anticipate their involvement in the American legal system while channeling tips and advice to pass the day.

Exhibition

Shape

Surface tensions recur in O’Malley’s sculpture and drawings, evident through a haptic, agitated quality to edges and appearances. She is drawn to materials that display traces of their own making, labouring the surfaces of polished wood and graphite to the point of distraction. Shape is a video work in which O’Malley feigns the role of choreographer.

Exhibition

The Watchmen

In The Watchmen, pulsating orbs, panopticons, roadside rest stops, and subterranean labyrinths confront the scope of human consequences and the entanglement of our seeking bodies. Regressions in missing time, caught in the act of captivity, confined to the carceral and perpetuated by movie sets, television sets, and alien encounters at bay. The corporeal cycle of control revolves as steadily as the sight of those who watch from above.

“Rooted in histories of experimental film and ethnography, Fern Silva’s works are sensuous, polyvocal montages of people and places, the natural and unnatural worlds. Silva uses his own field recordings, clips from widely viewed films, and footage from obscure or pedestrian broadcast sources to upend the progressive linearity of conventional storytelling in a move toward narrative disorder; he does this by surfacing various historical moments within more contemporary ones and venturing into narratives of darkness, destruction, and the paranormal. Some of Silva’s films render specific geographical locations as speculative realities, blending fictitious and real aspects of their social and cultural histories, while others are atmospheric and surreal, foregrounding the playfulness and rigour of Silva’s associative strategies.”

— New Museum