Festival celebrates 14th year of success
Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival is delighted to announce another very successful festival, with sellout screenings at The Maltings and record attendances at exhibitions around the town.
Festival visitors, artists and local businesses all commented on the exciting programme and great atmosphere over the event weekend, with the town buzzing with festival-goers and creative activity.
Visitors particularly enjoyed Sophia Al-Maria’s installation in the Magazine titled The Magical State. With a cinematic sound echoing around the old gunpowder store, and dramatic imagery framed by the stone and timber, this was a mesmerizing work that captured many people’s imagination.
Other exhibitions of particular note were Patrick Staff’s Bathing at Charlie’s Night Club, and Agnieszka Polska at Bankhill Ice House.
In addition to Staff’s work, Charlie’s was also the host of the Tales of the Dumpster Kid event, in which episodes from the life of Christine de Loup, were selected from a specially designed menu by the audience and presented by associate programmer Herb Shellenberger.
Berwick Youth Project’s The Hurt Goes On, presented in partnership with Berwick Visual Arts, also received special mention from visitors, and was, for many, a highlight of the festival, with interactive art works that explored our complex relationship with digital culture and technology.
In the cinema, both local people and visitors from outside Berwick queued to see an exciting range of new films and restored classics, many shown in Berwick as world or UK premieres.
The winner of the Berwick New Cinema Award was Callum Hill for her film Crowtrap, a fictional documentary that weaves together the lives of two men, drawing upon their individual dealings with fire to expand across themes such as pyromania, anarchy, radicalism and enlightenment.
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Another favourite was the work of Berwick New Cinema Award 2017 winner Sky Hopinka, who attended the festival from Milwaukee and exhibited his film Fainting Spells in Coxon’s Tower.
He also showed a selection of other films and gave a reading from his book Around the Edge of Encircling Lake, a collection of writings, essays, and calligrams framed behind movement through the Encircling Lake, a Ho-Chunk way of describing the boundaries of the earth.
Both festival artists (many of whom were visiting the UK for the first time) and visitors from outside Berwick, found their time in the town enjoyable, with great hospitality from hotels, guest houses and generous local people who hosted artists and filmmakers in their homes.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs also welcomed incoming visitors, offering excellent local produce and friendly service.
Particular mention was made by many visitors of the great volunteer team, which, as always, offered a friendly, helpful and professional welcome to the festival and to Berwick.
Festival organisers said they are particularly grateful to everyone in Berwick who went out of their way to help make BFMAF 2018 one of the best festivals yet, and look forward to working towards the 15th Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival.
For more information, visit www.bfmaf.org