Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

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

Berwick New Cinema: ♦

This programme contains 4 films.

In-Person screening

Maltings Main House
20 September 2018, 14:00 – 15:17
No

Shine bright. Portraits of a nomadic musician and an animatedly-perverse single father butt up against a simulacrum of the Middle East and a tactile inquiry into the natural world. Taken together, expressions of personal, political, spiritual, mystical and sexual agency provide powerful statements of either resistance to or complicity in an increasingly commodified world.

Date: 2022-05-19 10:17:06
ID: 5185
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Who’s the Daddy

:< A Tinder tragedy.

:0 An unexpected child.

;( A journey finding my root of shame.

Drawing its name and inspiration from a popular Chinese nursery rhyme, Who’s the Daddy tells the tale of a disgraceful man who has unexpectedly stumbled across the path of child-rearing. The viewer follows the man’s dating app trial as he attempts to evaluate potential partners’ political beliefs by analysing their profile photos. His eventual ‘match’ with a strictly religious woman, and their ensuing relationship, reveals the man’s shameful satisfaction with subjugation, a fetish that is further explored by a juxtaposition of references to his childhood memories. Through a combination of the man’s contemptible powerlessness and the woman’s tenuous religious beliefs, the protagonist ultimately takes on the merciless role of a single father.

Ultimately though, Wong Ping’s animations are not meant to be discouraging. They are happy, in a darkly twisted yet realistic manner. Through their rawness, his works provide a sense of uncharacteristic comfort in that even our deepest and most private sentiments or acts are shared by others. In this way, Wong Ping’s work is liberating and perversely honest—a cathartic twist on the trials rooted in daily life.

Filmography

Drawing its name and inspiration from a popular Chinese nursery rhyme, Who’s the Daddy tells the tale of a disgraceful man who has unexpectedly stumbled across the path of child-rearing. The viewer follows the man’s dating app trial as he attempts to evaluate potential partners’ political beliefs by analysing their profile photos. His eventual ‘match’ with a strictly religious woman, and their ensuing relationship, reveals the man’s shameful satisfaction with subjugation, a fetish that is further explored by a juxtaposition of references to his childhood memories. Through a combination of the man’s contemptible powerlessness and the woman’s tenuous religious beliefs, the protagonist ultimately takes on the merciless role of a single father.

Ultimately though, Wong Ping’s animations are not meant to be discouraging. They are happy, in a darkly twisted yet realistic manner. Through their rawness, his works provide a sense of uncharacteristic comfort in that even our deepest and most private sentiments or acts are shared by others. In this way, Wong Ping’s work is liberating and perversely honest—a cathartic twist on the trials rooted in daily life.

Director

Wong Ping

European Premiere

Production Country

Hong Kong

Production Year

2017

Duration

9 mins

Dialogue Language

Chinese

Subtitle Language

English

Print Contact

Wong Ping

Date: 2022-05-19 10:17:07
ID: 5186
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Punky Eye

Luis Arnías’ enigmatic 16mm film Punky Eye (Ojo Malcriado) is structured into seven different chapters, though any hope of parsing a narrative cohesion from this structure is quickly dashed. A sneaker stepping on a ketchup packet, a mouse running frantically in a metal wheel, seeds being popped out of the head of a flower: sensual and sensory moments build upon one another, with tension and release doled out at unexpected moments. There are scenes of great beauty: a bird with very tired eyes blinks while a recording of Spanish-language absurdist poetry is heard; or a slow motion close-up of a powerful waterfall roars. Other moments show absolute absurdity: a man is forced to stop reading the newspaper when it’s become completely engulfed in flames; a breakfast of Fruit Loops cereal is poured out into a lake, milk and all. Arnías’ sequence of stunningly-shot and surprisingly-edited vignettes results in a strange and alluring film that builds to an ambiguous— but no less affecting—conclusion. —Herb Shellenberger

Filmography

This Must Be the Place (2011), Like (2010), The Fall (2009), A La Deriva (2008)

Director

Luis Arnías

World Premiere

Production Countries

United States Venezuela

Production Year

2018

Duration

15 mins

Subtitle Language

English

Print Contact

Luis Arnías

Date: 2022-05-19 10:17:07
ID: 5187
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Confusion Is Next

In Confusion is Next, filmmaker Mont Tesprateep focuses his lens on nomadic musician Thom Assajan-Jakgawan, who appears as a fictionalised version of himself. Living in a fragile state, a collapsed country, Thom solitarily confines himself in a bare room filled with tree branches hovering above a leaf-covered ground. Through meditative exploration—and the loops and layers of his sounds—he creates a powerful mantra of protection.

The ‘real’ Thom Assajan-Jakgawan was— along with Tesprateep—a member of the Thai underground band Assajan Jakgawan. Formed more than a decade ago, the band members have since gone their separate ways, one bandmate sadly passing away. But Thom continues to make music under the name Thom AJ Madson, utilising guitar, mics, loop machines and other objects in his two current projects: Sap (‘bewitched’) and Vimutti, which means ‘liberation’ in the Pali language.

A continuation of Tesprateep’s unique body of surreal, black-and-white 16mm films depicting subjects at the fringes of Thai society, Confusion is Next is inspired by Endel Tulving’s hypothesis on ‘mental time travel’, in which mechanisms of memory can evoke the future. The film’s raw atmosphere, along with its confrontation of different selves and personas, leads toward an ambiguous but still threatening finale. —Herb Shellenberger & Peter Taylor

Filmography

A portrait of a nomadic musician Thom Assajan-Jakgawan. In the film, he appears as a fictionalized version of himself living in a fragile state, a collapsed country. He solitarily confines himself in an unoccupied room, continuing the meditative rhythms of his music. 

The word ‘mare lu ze=i’ is not a real word. Thom accidentally heard it from the repetitive layers of the loop of his sounds. It slips out of nowhere and makes its own sound, in his head, which he then utters, a mantra for protection transporting him into a meditative trance. This is all part of his project, Sap (bewitched). 

After getting together to make music since they were young, the bandmates of Bangkok rock band Assajan Jakgawan took a break and went different directions. One of the bandmates also passed away. But Thom, one of the members, continues to make music through his personal projects and live performances under Thom AJ Madson. His performances, with marvelous rhythms and melody, utilize guitars, a microphone, a loop, delayed pedal, and sometimes objects. Currently, Thom is working on the project Sap (‘bewitched’) and another project Vimutti (‘liberation’ in the Pali language). 

Director

Pathompon Mont Tesprateep

UK Premiere

Production Country

Thailand

Production Year

2018

Duration

22 mins

Producer

Nuttaphan Yamkhaekhai

Print Contact

Pathompon Mont Tesprateep

Date: 2022-05-19 10:17:07
ID: 5188
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Medina Wasl: Connecting Town

Medina Wasl: Connecting Town focuses on the role of fiction and simulacrum in the United States Military training sites of the War on Terror. This quasi-documentary connects the current day militarized landscape of the Mojave Desert with that of Shatt al-Arab, a river that was a key military target for the US Military in Iraq. The film shows the perspective of the artist/documentarian/actor, dressed as a teenage Iranian soldier in the war with Iraq and enacting embodied experiences of remembering in the desert.

Not only do the US and its allies continue to dominate, exploit the resources of, and occupy the Middle East, the US practices its strategies in the simulacrum of the Middle East built on stolen Indigenous land in the Mojave Desert. The way the Middle East is constructed here ‘at home’ as a conflation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan—as a malleable placeholder for whatever country we are officially at war with—has its roots in the obvious relationship Timothy Mitchell establishes in Orientalism and The Exhibitionary Order: ‘The nineteenth- century image of the Orient was constructed not just in Oriental studies, romantic novels, and colonial administrations, but in all the new procedures with which Europeans began to organize the representation of the world, from museums and world exhibitions to architecture, schooling, tourism, the fashion industry, and the commodification of everyday life’.

In the context of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the series of world fairs that followed ‘what Arab writers found in the West’, Mitchell argues, ‘were not just exhibitions and representations of the world, but the world itself being ordered up as an endless exhibition. This world-as-exhibition was a place where the artificial, the model, and the plan were employed to generate an unprecedented effect of order and certainty’.

Filmography

Medina Wasl: Connecting Town focuses on the role of fiction and simulacrum in the United States Military training sites of the War on Terror. This quasi-documentary connects the current day militarized landscape of the Mojave Desert with that of Shatt al-Arab, a river that was a key military target for the US Military in Iraq. The film shows the perspective of the artist/documentarian/actor, dressed as a teenage Iranian soldier in the war with Iraq and enacting embodied experiences of remembering in the desert.

Not only do the US and its allies continue to dominate, exploit the resources of, and occupy the Middle East, the US practices its strategies in the simulacrum of the Middle East built on stolen Indigenous land in the Mojave Desert. The way the Middle East is constructed here “at home” as a conflation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan—as a malleable placeholder for whatever country we are officially at war with—has its roots in the obvious relationship Timothy Mitchell establishes in Orientalism and The Exhibitionary Order:

“The nineteenth-century image of the Orient was constructed not just in Oriental studies, romantic novels, and colonial administrations, but in all the new procedures with which Europeans began to organize the representation of the world, from museums and world exhibitions to architecture, schooling, tourism, the fashion industry, and the commodification of everyday life.”

In the context of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the series of world fairs that followed “what Arab writers found in the West,” Mitchell argues, “were not just exhibitions and representations of the world, but the world itself being ordered up as an endless exhibition. This world-as-exhibition was a place where the artificial, the model, and the plan were employed to generate an unprecedented effect of order and certainty.”

Director

Gelare Khoshgozaran

World Festival Premiere

Production Countries

Iran United States

Production Year

2018

Duration

31 mins

Print Contact

Gelare Khoshgozaran