Film festival committee unveil ‘most ambitious programme yet’

'Chasing Ice' which is to be the open film at this year's Film Festival
'Chasing Ice' which is to be the open film at this year's Film Festival

WITH just over a month to go before the curtain goes up on this year’s event, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival has unveiled its programme for 2012 boasting everything from a film shot right here in Berwick by a group of aspiring young filmmakers to a documentary which won an accolade at the famous Sundance Film Festival and the premiere of one by famous critic and presenter Mark Cousins.

The event will return to the town from September 19-23 and after a successful 2011, which saw a packed house at The Maltings for the opening gala screening of north east-filmed ‘I Am Nasrine’, the festival committee aren’t being complacent and have once again made bold choices with their programming.

The theme for this year’s festival ‘Pictures in Motion’ and highlights include a 50th anniversary screening of Chris Marker’s ‘La Jetée’, a seminal photo-montage film taking audiences into the future, and the UK premiere of artist Matt McCormick’s ‘The Great Northwest’, documenting his epic trip across Northwest America.

The festival committee are also proud to present newly commissioned works from artist Jason Dee and photographers BlackLab, and a live road movie from Screen Bandita & The One Ensemble, who will take audiences all over the world and back again.

Dee’s ambitious new commission ‘24 Times’, is a particularly important for Berwick’s art scene as it will mark the reopening of the Gymnasium Gallery.

Confirmed only just in time for going to print is the news that Mark Cousins, the famous film critic, presenter and filmmaker, will be coming to Berwick.

Mark will be flying directly from a film festival in Italy to introduce his latest documentary ‘What is this Film Called Love?’ in town. Famous for interviewing the likes of Martin Scorsese and David Lynch, Mark will also take questions from the audience about his film.

Following in the footsteps of ‘I Am Nasrine’, environmental documentary, ‘Chasing the Ice’ will be the main feature of this year’s Opening Gala. The film, due to be released in cinemas, was handed the Excellence in Cinematogrophy award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Clearly enthisiastic about what the Festival has in store for audiences this year, director Melanie Iredale commented: We’re delighted to be announcing our full line up: it’s our most ambitious programme yet, and we’re delighted to be presenting so many commissions, UK Premieres and bringing so many high profile filmmakers to Berwick. As always, there’s loads to get involved with, workshops to participate in, and opportunities to meet the artists.”

For more information visit www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com.