About us

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) is one of the UK’s leading festivals for new cinema and artists’ moving image.

Based in England’s most northerly town, BFMAF is a dynamic forum where fresh artistic voices develop and audiences hungry for complex and challenging art are nurtured.

Increasingly recognised for its innovative programme and critical engagement, BFMAF presents artists’ and filmmakers’ work in the cinema as well as expanded formats of exhibition and performance. It seeks to empower people and provide a generous place for the exploration of ideas and new perspectives, testing the boundaries of what a festival can be.

A town like Berwick, with its independent, edge of England mindset, is a good place for a festival that eschews the easy route when the awkward one looks so much more interesting.

Chris Sharratt, A-N news, 2015

It is a cliche to call a festival that is off the beaten circuit ambitious, but under the stewardship of Taylor over the past two years Berwick has become more than ambitious, it has become an important event. Berwick shows how art remains vital to public debate and the tattered public sphere, and more importantly still it demonstrates the way in which a small community with real intent can educate, provoke and resist.

John Douglas Millar, Art Monthly, 2016

BFMAF 2016

In 2016 BFMAF's programme included a continuaiton of Berwick New Cinema, featuring films transgressing restraints of genre, capital and expectation. It also hosted an ambitious retrospective, entitled An Early Clue to the New Direction: Queer Cinema Before Stonewall, all the films of which (including the festival's opening gala, Sylvia Scarlett) screened from 35mm or 16mm prints.

Films screened included the UK Premieres of El futuro perfecto by Nele Wohlatz, fresh from its award-winning debut at the Locarno Film Festival; Maud Alpi's Gorge Cœur Ventre; and 2013 Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost's newest work, If It Was. World premieres of several films were also presented, including Molly Palmer's Some Shapes Without Edges, Jenny Perlin's Tender Not Approved and the digital version of Sophie Michael's The Watershow Extravaganza, the 16mm version of which also featured as an exhibition.

The newly-expanded Berwick New Cinema Competition Award was won by filmmaker Camilo Restrepo for his film Cilaos. In their award citation, the jury stated that Cilaos was 'absolutely located in a contemporary moment', praising the film's exhilarating 'visceral quality of both sound and image'.

BFMAF’s 2016 exhibition programme included works by Artists in Profile Claire Hooper and Deborah Stratman, alongside Festival commission Persuasion by Lucy Parker. Also included were new works by Ghislaine Leung, Jenny Brady and CIRCA Projects, who presented their live event, World Is Sudden: Part I.

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2016 ran from Wednesday 21st - Sunday 25th September 2016