Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival


A new season and a new approach. After 18 years BFMAF is moving to a new date, 3 – 5th March 2023. Find out more here.

To better understand the reasons behind this date change please read our Festival Statement





The Propositions strand is a hybrid of discussion and online screenings that dive deep into new cinema and share discoveries encountered through artists’ and filmmakers’ research, experience and practice.

This year’s slate includes two newly-commissioned films, Renèe Helèna Browne’s personal exploration of the influence of paternal lines on bodily experiences of gender, and Zinzi Minott’s filmic manifestation of a body carrying the personal histories of her families and ancestral journey; Kat Anderson’s video works which enquire into representations of mental illness and trauma as experienced by or projected upon Black bodies in media; and Tiffany Sia’s experimental exploration of the potential for anti-colonial filmmaking, aiming towards an urgent, process-driven cinema while resisting dominant narratives of crisis pushed by news journalism.

Live Event — 1 October 2020, 20:00

Propositions: Renèe Helèna Browne in conversation

Renèe Helèna Browne discusses their new film Daddy’s Boy with poet and trans / queer activist Nat Raha as part of this year’s propositions strand. They will be joined by programme fellow Christina Demetriou. Daddy’s Boy was commissioned for the 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2020.

Live Event — 3 October 2020, 15:00

Propositions: Tiffany Sia in conversation

Join artist Tiffany Sia in conversation with critic and curator Ed Halter and BFMAF programmer Herb Shellenberger about her film Never Rest/Unrest that documents the recent protests in Hong Kong.


Kat Anderson: Restraint Restrained

Artist and filmmaker Kat Anderson presents the world festival premiere of ‘Restraint Restrained’. The programme features two films from Anderson’s first solo exhibition. The works draw on the experiences and narratives of the many mentally ill Black people who have met their deaths in police custody or mental health facilities, through excessive restraint holds and other violent and negligent behaviours. ‘Restraint Restrained’ references the central premise of Frantz Fanon’s essay ‘Concerning Violence’, in which he claims that in order for the decolonisation of indigenous land to happen, a total and violent purging of the colonisers by the indigenous people must occur. Anderson repurposes this idea to consider how the contemporary Black mind and body, as a ‘colonised space’, is processed through public health and police institutions; understanding such authorities as embodiments and enforcers of structural white supremacy.

‘Restraint Restrained’ was commissioned by Block336 and Black Cultural Archives and supported by Arts Council England, Elephant Trust, LUX and Spike Island.


Renèe Helèna Browne

In Daddy’s Boy, Renèe Helèna Browne creates an intimate portrait of their Irish homeland, documenting their father as he undertakes tasks around the house and on a rural farm. Browne’s voice-over draws the viewer in as a confidante, introducing elements of narrative from the 1990 sci-fi Jurassic Park and using the character of T-Rex to explore patriarchal dynamics, gender conformity and societal expectations.


Tiffany Sia: Never Rest/Unrest

Never Rest/Unrest is a hand-held short film by Tiffany Sia about the relentless political actions in Hong Kong, spanning early summer to late 2019. The experimental short is an adaptation of the artist’s practice of scaling oral history, of showing political crisis in Hong Kong as ephemeral stories on Instagram for the past year.


Zinzi Minott

Ancestral interference is the feeling of rage or anger bigger than your own rage, pain bigger than your own pain, it is the feeling of being tired of a fight you have only just begun. It is the feeling of being on the march forever, of screaming from a place deep inside that does not belong to you. It is the feeling of being frightened for your life, fighting for your life. It is standing on the edge of the sea and hearing screams, it is being begged by them not to give up. It is being on your portion of a walk that has been ablaze for centuries, and feeling the weight of every foot that has walked. It is being strengthened by the ability for your ancestors to lose everything, and build something, again, and again and again.