About us

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) is an international celebration of the art of film.

 

With ambitious programming including film premieres, moving image installations and live performance, the annual Festival spans 12 locations across its walled, border-town home of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Established in 2005, the Festival is an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation.

Inaugurated with the vision to forever enrich lives through the power of film, BFMAF develops new territories in which to flex our emotional and intellectual muscles. Commissioning and exhibiting filmmakers and visual artists’ work, initiating collaboration and providing a resource to local communities, BFMAF is a festival sans frontières.

 

"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, September 2015

 

The 2016 festival theme was X.

The 12th festival programme saw the continuation of the Berwick New Cinema strand, 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.

The Festival is produced by Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival Ltd. which is governed by a Board of 12 Trustees: Prof. Huw Davies (Chair of the Board & co-founder), Menelaos Gkartzios, Samm Haillay, Chris Hardie, Joe Lang, Kelly Ling, Wendy Law, Andrew Ormston, Dr Venda Pollock, Laura Simpson, Matt Stokes and Scott Sherrard. 

The Festival Director is Peter Taylor