Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival
Setting a genuinely high standard (so high that it was recently named by MovieMaker as one of the Top 25 coolest film festivals in the world) the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) has gone from strength to strength during its 15 year history; wowing visitors with both the size and breadth of its diverse programmes.
Switching to an online festival for the 16th edition of its festival, in an attempt to maintain the event’s status whilst trying to provide solutions to the challenges from Covid, the BFMAF have curated a superb programme for 2020 in a move designed to maintain their reputation as being both a fun and ground breaking cultural initiative.
Continuing the festivals ambition to focus heavily on new cinema and artists’ moving image, this year’s BFMAF looks to increase the opportunities for visitor participation by surrounding the work of featured artists’ and filmmakers’ with conversation, new writing and podcasts; giving audiences a chance to interact with artistic endeavours through a rich programme of films, talks and new writing which they can explore in their own time.
Although mindful that a change to the festival’s structure might impact some of its core strenghts, Festival Director Peter Taylor is convinced that the event’s new format will remain world-class and full of the type of inspiring art it has become known for; “Over the last months we have needed to reimagine what Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival might be. Not just for now, but the future too. As ever, that is a work in progress and exciting to share.”
Still ironing out the final details and timetable of its festival, at the time of going to press the BFMAF have confirmed that their traditional fan-favourite categories ‘The Filmmakers in Focus’ and ‘New Artists Commissions’ would both continue, with the final programme to be announced on Tuesday 1 September including newly-commissioned artists’ work, a remodelled New Cinema Competition, and BFMAF’s New Cinema Competition selection.
Particular highlights of note in this years ‘Filmmakers in Focus’ category includes work by Ayo Akingbade (UK), Izza Génini (France/Morocco), Payal Kapadia (India) and Angelo Madsen Minax (US) who bring a uniquely varying and very specific practices across narrative and documentary film, text, media, sound and installation. Similarly the ‘New Artist’s Commissions’ commission for 2020 also looks particularly strong with recently announced, newly commissioned works, by artists Renèe Helèna Browne (Daddy’s Boy ) and Zinzi Minott (Fi Dem III) being showcased.
It may online, but it’s still going to be cool.
The 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival will take place from Thursday 17 September to Sunday
11 October 2020, and the complete festival programme will be announced on Tuesday 1 September
with online passes available to purchase on the same day. Access to the Festival will be on a pay what you can basis in the UK with professional accreditation available worldwide.