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.
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.
For this year’s Propositions strand, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is dedicating a focus to the diverse practice of Hong Kong writer, artist and filmmaker Tiffany Sia. Though the centre of this presentation is Never Rest/Unrest, Sia’s directorial debut and an urgent work that functions as creative reportage of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, the full range of work on view includes writing, collage and performance documentation, as well as a livestream discussion with Sia.