The ‘media arts’ aspect of Berwick marks it out as a bit different as a film festival (at least in terms of the film festivals I’ve been to so far) and the artists’ installations are placed in buildings / spaces of historical interest throughout the town – it’s a good excuse to explore the area, although I didn’t do as much wandering as last year. I’ve written a festival report for desistfilm focussed on the installations, short films and midlengthers – here. My overall favourite of the festival was Hacked Circuit (Deborah Stratman, 2014) but I’ll also be looking out for future films by Marko Grba Singh (Abdul & Hamza), Daphné Hérétakis (Archipels, granites dénudés), and Anna Sofie Hartmann (Limbo). My preview post on the festival now has the links to the films I reviewed.
Fact or Fiction: Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival 2015
My preview of BFMAF 2015 is now up over at Eye for Film – here.
A new strand – New Berwick Cinema – has some interesting sounding films, most of which I haven’t seen or read much about (the obvious exception being Sueñan los androides / Androids Dream (Ion de Sosa, 2014), which I saw in Barcelona earlier this year – my review and my interview with two of its makers). This year they have also taken ‘Fact or Fiction’ as their main theme, representing the blurred lines between documentary and narrative fiction, and reality and fantasy – as I’ve been exploring documentaries in my ongoing research, I’m intrigued by what I might discover in that strand as well.
Last year was my first time at BFMAF and one of the things I liked most (apart from a three hour early morning ramble around the town and out to the lighthouse) was exploring the unusual spaces where they show the film installations. The emphasis that the festival places on artist / filmmaker installations is one of BFMAF’s most distinctive features and they give careful consideration to the location allocated to each piece – I like how the space in which you see a given film unavoidably shapes your experience of it, for better or worse (most of the spaces last year ‘worked’ but a couple didn’t (for me, at least), and I know to take a jumper with me this year for any viewings in the old ice houses). I’m not going to Berwick for as long this time – I’m doing two day trips rather than staying for a three-day weekend (which unfortunately means that all of the evening events are off the cards because the trains stop running ludicrously early) – but I hope to see most, if not all, of the installations and will also be catching the New Berwick Cinema shorts programme.
I will be reviewing films for Eye for Film – I will update this post with relevant links for the films listed below when the reviews are online.
Abdul & Hamza (Marko Grba Singh, 2015)
Archipels, granites dénudés / Archipelagos, Naked Granites (Daphné Hérétakis, 2014)
La fièvre / A Spell of Fever (Safia Benhaim, 2014)
J’ai oublié! / I Forgot! (Eduardo Williams, 2014) [I forgot it too quickly]
Limbo (Anna Sofie Hartmann, 2014)
Mercuriales (Virgil Vernier, 2014) [not recommended]
No Man’s Land (Salomé Lamas, 2012)
Salam Cinema (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1995)
Vampir Cuadecuc (Pere Portabella, 1970)
Full details of the festival can be found on their website.