Film festival announces artists for this year’s new commission

Mastering Bambi at Shoregate Ice House.
Mastering Bambi at Shoregate Ice House.

FOLLOWING a world wide call for submissions, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival has found the artists responsible for creating a new commission for this year’s event.

Responding to a call for proposals issued by the North East Photography Network and the Festival committee back in March, BlackLab (Mishka Henner and David Oates) were selected from an extremely competitive field of over 100 applications hailing from as far afield as Bangladesh and New Zealand and from across Europe and the UK.

All proposals responded to the Festival’s theme for this year, ‘Pictures in Motion’, which explores the relationship between the still image and the moving image, with most applications coming from artists working across both photography and film.

The newly commissioned 15 minute film will consider the nostalgic idea of the photographer as recorded in stills, literature, moving images, documentaries and archive footage and questions whether the role of the photographer will become redundant in a society where CCTV and mass observation are becoming the norm.

Since 2009 Blacklab have been making films that explore how photographic images interact with sound, music and text. The Manchester-based collective’s films have been exhibited at Sale Waterside Arts Centre and the The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. BlackLab were also the UK representatives at the 2012 Dallas Biennial.

Speaking to ‘The Guide’, Mishka said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the commission and look forward to working on our film exploring the role photographers and images have played in our culture. We hope the Berwick public will come to the screenings and look forward to hearing their responses to our work.”

Festival director Melanie Iredale added: “Our commissions have often been the highlights of the Festival, so we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Mishka and David; two artists with such a strong track record, and on a new moving image work which really explores this year’s theme.”

The full programme for this year’s Festival will be announced on Thursday, August 17.