17th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2021

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The 17th edition of the Festival has now finished. Thank you to everyone who joined us both in Berwick and online. We are so pleased and humbled by the support and enthusiasm for the programme and it has been wonderful to be able to connect with audiences this year.

Although the Festival is over there is plenty left to do. You can watch back all past online events, listen to filmmakers discuss their work on our podcasts series and read insightful essays that explore the programme in more depth.

Finally, complete our audience survey to be in with a chance of winning a BFMAF goodie bag.

bit.ly/BFMAFSURVEY

 

 

Exhibitions

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

Exhibition

Preemptive Listening

Aura Satz’s Preemptive Listening project focuses on sonic obedience and disobedience through the trope of the siren. The Fork in the Road comprises trumpet improvisor Mazen Kerbaj’s composition of a new siren sound using circular breathing, and actor/activist Khalid Abdalla speaking on the siren as the emblematic sound of resistance, oppression and lost futures during the Arab Spring. Following the film, a sound installa- tion proposes a speculative re-imagining of emergency signals.

Exhibition

O’ Pierrot

O’ Pierrot treads the stock, pantomime narrative of Pierrot the Clown, told this time from a lesbian, mixed-race, British perspective. The quest for British identity, so often played out in too-real grey-scale is here translated in glowing colour via 8mm stock.

Exhibition

Douma Underground

‘With the barrel bombs falling on Ghouta, the Eastern suburbs of Damascus, civilians sought shelter in the basements of their homes. I was one of them, holding on to my camera. I tried to film what I couldn’t express in words.’

Exhibition

Now, at Last!

Ben Rivers’ magnificent film of a sloth doesn’t encourage lazy viewing. Rather, it’s an active, engaging and engrossing experience. Cherry the sloth clambers up her favourite tree in the Costa Rican forest, hangs from it, and in turn the time we experience as viewers becomes suspended as each breath, every movement becomes a theatrical drama unfolding before our eyes. Perhaps implicitly poking fun at the term ‘slow cinema’, Rivers instead gives us an exquisite example of ‘sloth cinema’.

Exhibition

Cinématon

Cinématon is a major film work composed by Gérard Courant since 1978. The film consists of silent, three-and-a-half minute portraits of artistic and cultural personalities, numbering over 3,000 to date. The person being filmed can do whatever she/he wants. Taken together, they constitute an archive of international art, film, theatre and entertainment scenes of the past four decades. Jean-Luc Godard, Julie Delpy, Terry Gilliam, Babette Mangolte and Sergei Parajanov star alongside a cast of thousands. —Gérard Courant

Exhibition

Bugs and Beasts Before the Law

Bugs and Beasts Before the Law explores the history and legacy of the “animal trials” that took place in medieval Europe, in which animals—and other non-humans, such as insects and inanimate objects—were put on trial for various crimes and offenses, ranging from trespassing and thievery, to assault and murder. This history of colonial law-making forged political and sometimes profane relationships between humans and animals. Bambitchell’s essayistic film reimagines common perceptions of legal history and, in doing so, produces a world where past and present, fiction and non-fiction, human and animal fuse. —Bambitchell

Exhibition

Beyond the Field

In Beyond the Field, Matt Stokes uses folk instruments to create the sounds produced by fauna present in the landscape of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the mid-1700s. This was during the Agricultural Revolution when the flower-rich meadowlands described by writers surveying the Tweed Valley were being drained and replaced with crops. The shift in farming practices altered local biodiversity, affecting the plants, insects, birds and mammals present in the area.