The 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival wraps up

The 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) took place from September 17 to October 11 as its inaugural online edition.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 7:38 am

In response to current global circumstances, the festival reimagined its four-days physical event to three weeks of online screenings, live discussions and extended resources available on demand 24/7 to ticket-holders in the UK and accredited professionals worldwide.

The expanded festival format, including films, live events, podcasts and writing, has been met with great enthusiasm by audiences based in the UK as well as industry and press professionals from 35 countries with an increase in festival passes by 11 per cent from previous years.

The various sections of the festival offered a multifaceted, engaging and genre-transgressing programme, highlighted by 13 live free events with selected artists, filmmakers and invited guests.

BFMAF’s Director Peter Taylor highlighted the challenges of this extraordinary 25-day long edition as well as the rewarding responses gathered as the festival came to a close.

He said: “Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival takes place during an intensely competitive period of the year when multi-million pound events such as London, New York, Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals take place.

“Nevertheless we managed to cut through, creating a programme, platform and working conditions for artists and filmmakers that in many aspects are extraordinary.

“The festival is made possible by the kindness and generosity of a throng of supporters and well wishers locally, UK wide and throughout the world, and a tiny yet committed team.

“Every year, a festival is created that is much more than the sum of its parts. Myself and my colleagues take confidence in knowing that to be true.

“What we’re working towards though is an event where the sums add up!

“If you’ve been touched and inspired by the artists and filmmakers work we’ve presented and the verve and care taken by BFMAF in doing so, write to us, write about us, fill in a survey, lobby our funders and we can make that happen.

“We are absolutely determined!”

Nicholas Baumfield, the Senior Relationship Manager for the North for Arts Council England, the festival’s largest funder, added: “Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival just seems to go from strength to strength, even in the face of adversity.

“This year’s festival has had another fantastic programme which is all the more remarkable for the way it has been adapted to the current circumstances.

“The films I have seen have indeed been thrilling, such a rich celebration of contemporary film-making from across the world.”

Accredited professionals will be able to enjoy all of the selected titles until November 11 via the festival’s platform, while all additional material—including commissioned essays, the recordings of live events along with the podcasts and their related transcripts—will remain accessible to everyone online for the weeks to come.

As the festival wraps up, our audiences opinions and feedback are vital for us in advocating and planning for the continued evolution of the Festival and the programmes we produce.

For this reason, we kindly ask everyone to fill in our audience survey and share your opinion about your festival experience.

In partnership with MUBI, each festival survey response will receive a 30-day free trial on the curated platform.

The festival team would like to thank everyone who participated in the festival: to all viewers, guests and artists who contributed in making this a truly lively, communal film experience.

Thank you and looking forward to welcoming you to the 17th edition in 2021!