PREVIEW: Berwick Film Festival
By Claire Dupree on September 12, 2012 in Film
The Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival is usually touted as a celebration of the moving image, but this year, it’s eighth in the tiny Border town, the still image is also feted. Taking place from Wednesday 19 until Sunday 23 September and consisting of film premieres from the international circuit, live events, installations and exhibitions in heritage locations, as well as the UK Premiere of Resident Evil: Retribution, the Festival is a highlight on the North East cultural calendar.
With the walled town just 45 minutes by train from Newcastle, and with so many gems on the line-up film fans would be mad to miss it. We endeavour to bring you a selection of the highlights…
UK Premieres & Special Commissions
Following the sell-out world premiere of I Am Nasrine last year, this year’s Opening Gala event on Wednesday 19 will feature a new video collage from photographers Mishka Henner and David Oates, aka BlackLab, entitled Photographers. Piecing together well-worn clichés and humorous observations, Photographers will be exhibited as an installation in Shoregate Ice House throughout the Festival.
On the same night at The Maltings Cinema the preview of documentary Chasing Ice follows National Geographic photographer James Balog as he documents the melting of glaciers around the world through time-lapse photography.
Talking of photography, a stunning exhibition of portraits will be projected at various venues across the town throughout the week from award-winning photographer Amit Madheshiya, whose Talkies Wallah exhibition captures the joy of the cinema on the faces of audience members of tent cinemas in Mumbai, India. Closing the festival is the UK premiere of The Great Northwest, at the Maltings Cinema. Inspired by a scrapbook charting four women’s epic road trip back in 1958, Matt McCormick embarks on the very same route across Northwest America. The screening on Sunday 23 is also followed by a Q&A with the director.
Also of note is A Live Road Movie at The Maltings Henry Travers Studio on Sunday 23, in which cinema outlaws Screen Bandita create a cinematic adventure on the open road through Super8 and slide projection, featuring a newly composed score from Glaswegian quartet The One Ensemble.
The region’s filmmakers are lauded throughout the festival: don’t miss the regional premiere screening of Lol Crawley’s cartography love-in, Here, at The Maltings Cinema on Friday 21, which will be followed by a Q&A with Lol afterwards; the Young Filmmakers Showcase event at The Maltings Cinema on Saturday 22 is a prestigious award showcasing the best shorts from filmmakers under 19 in the North East; while Northern Flame at The Maltings Cinema on Sunday 23 is about Northumbrian Life told by the people who live there.
Talks And Workshops
If all this creativity has inspired you, budding filmmakers and photographers are invited to join in on a variety of workshops and lectures. The highlights of which include Adventures In Stop-Motion Animation at Dewar’s Lake Granary on Saturday 22; Adventures In Celluloid on Sunday 23 at The Maltings Henry Travers Studio is an opportunity for young people to play with vintage film technology; while at Berwick Gymnasium on Sunday 23, artist Jason Dee is on hand to discuss his ambitious installation comprising a circle of 24 monitors, each screening representations of photographers and camera flashes one frame after its neighbour to produce a looping pulse of light.
Other Notable Screenings
Thursday 20 – Women Without Men @ The Maltings Henry Travers Studio
Friday 21 – The Search For Emak Bakia @ The Maltings Henry Travers Studio
Saturday 22 – What Is This Film Called Love + Director Q&A @ The Maltings Cinema
Throughout The Festival – Piotr Sulkowski’s The Conversation; Chris de Bode’s Exodus; Andrew Norman Wilson’s Workers Leaving The Googleplex at Prison Cells Town Hall; Duane Hopkins’ Boy, Boy On Bike and Boy In Landscape at The Magazine; Bill Balaskas’ Parthenon Rising II at The Main Guard.
The Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival takes place across various venues in Berwick-upon-Tweed from Wednesday 19 until Sunday 23 September. Tickets can be bought separately, or as a Festival Pass for £30 which offers entry to all films and events.
- Berwick Upon Tweed Film and Media Arts Festival 2011 Is Here