16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

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Online from Thursday 17 September to Sunday 11 October 2020, all access digital Festival passes cost £7.50. Be sure to check the Festival’s evolving calendar of live-streamed free access events, podcasts and essays.

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Available online

17 September – 11 October, 2020

This programme contains 3 films.

Akingbade’s trilogy of films act as an ode to her cinematic project on social housing, tied together through an interweaving of archive, fiction, 16mm film, digital, activism and dreams.

In this Programme:

Tower XYZ

(Ayo Akingbade, 2016, 3 mins)

Street 66

(Ayo Akingbade, 2018, 13 mins)

Dear Babylon

(Ayo Akingbade, 2019, 21 mins)

Introduction

No News Today

An introduction from filmmaker Ayo Akingbade

Tower XYZ

(2016, 3 mins)

Tower XYZ demonstrates self-actualisation in
the capital, where the protagonists wander
around one of London’s iconic social housing
tower blocks and contemplate the future. Here, Akingbade’s use of 16mm film captures their performance so viscerally that the setting is transmuted into a Labyrinthian dreamscape. —Naomi Gessesse

Ayo Akingbade (UK) is an artist and film director based in London. Her works draw on notions of urbanism, power and stance. Her 2016 film Tower XYZ received a Special Mention Award at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and won the inaugural Sonja Savić Award at Alternative Film/Video Festival (Belgrade). She is a recipient of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship and exhibited in ‘New Contemporaries’. Akingbade is a graduate of London College of Communication and is currently studying at Royal Academy Schools. 

Filmography

Claudette’s Star (2019), So They Say (2019), Dear Babylon (2019), A is for Artist (2018), Street 66 (2018), Tower XYZ (2016), In Ur Eye (2015)

Director

Ayo Akingbade

Production Country

United Kingdom

Production Year

2016

Duration

3 mins

Dialogue Language

English

Subtitle Language

English

Distributor

LUX

Print Contact

Alice Lea

Street 66

(2018, 13 mins)

Street 66 is a vibrant commemoration of
Ghanaian-born Dr. Theodora Boatemah MBE,
who led the campaign to organise tenants and
demanded better housing on her Angell Town
estate. In this film, archival footage blends with
Akingbade’s own filmmaking style; photographs of Boatemah complement the living room, as
well as testimonials of the tenants who organised activism with her. Focusing closely on
one person’s quietly epic life of work, Street
66
creates a sense of scope that interrogates
the socio-economic webbing of the UK. —Naomi Gessesse

Ayo Akingbade (UK) is an artist and film director based in London. Her works draw on notions of urbanism, power and stance. Her 2016 film Tower XYZ received a Special Mention Award at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and won the inaugural Sonja Savić Award at Alternative Film/Video Festival (Belgrade). She is a recipient of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship and exhibited in ‘New Contemporaries’. Akingbade is a graduate of London College of Communication and is currently studying at Royal Academy Schools. 

Filmography

Claudette’s Star (2019), So They Say (2019), Dear Babylon (2019), A is for Artist (2018), Street 66 (2018), Tower XYZ (2016), In Ur Eye (2015)

Director

Ayo Akingbade

Production Country

United Kingdom

Production Year

2018

Duration

13 mins

Distributor

LUX

Print Contact

Alice Lea

Dear Babylon

(2019, 21 mins)

The final of the trilogy, Dear Babylon
begins with the introduction of the fictional
“AC30 Housing Bill”, which states that London
tenants renting from a housing association must pay a flat fee of £18,000 to their landlords to continue their tenancy.

This provocation sets the narrative in motion: we’re transported to a gauzy, neon-coloured house party, a disco ball swirling lights around the sound of lovers rock. When news comes down about the bill passing, our trio of protagonists—Ada, Jazz and Rooney—mobilise to interview their neighbours and create a film on the situation. (Though Jazz asks: “How is a film going to change public opinion? I prefer my riot idea…’). Thus, with Dear Babylon, Akingbade narrativized her own project. The beautifully shot film is anything but a standard take on gentrification, and makes the viewer encouraged that the artist will continue to find new forms to further continue working on the important topics which her work has sustained time and again.

—Herb Shellenberger

Ayo Akingbade (UK) is an artist and film director based in London. Her works draw on notions of urbanism, power and stance. Her 2016 film Tower XYZ received a Special Mention Award at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and won the inaugural Sonja Savić Award at Alternative Film/Video Festival (Belgrade). She is a recipient of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship and exhibited in ‘New Contemporaries’. Akingbade is a graduate of London College of Communication and is currently studying at Royal Academy Schools. 

Filmography

Claudette’s Star (2019), So They Say (2019), Dear Babylon (2019), A is for Artist (2018), Street 66 (2018), Tower XYZ (2016), In Ur Eye (2015)

Director

Ayo Akingbade

World Festival Premiere

Production Country

United Kingdom

Production Year

2019

Duration

21 mins

Dialogue Language

English

Distributor

LUX

Print Contact

Alice Lea