Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) announced this week that passes for the 18th edition of the festival have gone on sale. Press & industry accreditation for the Festival, which recently moved its festival dates from its regular autumn slot to new dates of 3-5 March 2023, is also now open.
Regular Festival strands include the Berwick New Cinema Awards which recognises the most distinctive voices in moving image from across the world each year; Essential Cinema which revisits cinema history, encompassing new restorations and digitisations; Filmmakers in Focus, a deep dive into the work of singular talents; and Propositions, one-off live events with artists and filmmakers present.
Following a move to an online-only festival in 2020, a hybrid festival in 2021 of online events and in-person screenings and the postponement of 2022 festival activity until 3-5 March 2023, BFMAF returns with a fully in-person programme of screening events and exhibitions across the town. The date move creates a distinctive early point in the local cultural timetable as the Festival builds new relationships with the North of Tyne Combined Authority and continues to strengthen relationships with partners including Northumberland County Council and Berwick Town Council. The date move also represents a better alignment with the international festival calendar.
The Festival aims to welcome as many audiences as possible with an affordable range of passes that include The Weekender which gives access to all cinema screenings across the 3 days of the Festival for the early price of £45 meaning passholders can access to all screenings for less than £2 per film.
The Festival also encourages new audiences to its programme with the £25 for under 25s pass that gives passholders under 25 years of age access to all screenings for £25. Individual screening tickets go on sale in January and will be frozen at 2019 prices. Travel and accommodation details are available via the BFMAF website.
Just 2.5 miles from the Scottish border, Berwick-upon-Tweed is England’s most northerly town. From its base at The Maltings in the centre of the town, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival serves local audiences year-round as well as drawing visitors from Edinburgh, Newcastle, Glasgow, London and international film and arts communities to its annual flagship event.
BFMAF recently received support from Arts Council England as part of its 2023-26 Investment Programme meaning the Festival can continue to support staff, young filmmakers and focus on local communities.
The Festival has also renewed its commitment to the fair payment of artists and filmmakers in a time of economic hardship. The move of the Festival to March 2023 further extends this action to address sector-wide pressures to BFMAF staff and collaborators. Committing to slower, more sustainable futures, the change better prioritises team wellbeing in order to deliver the best for audiences, artists and filmmakers.
All Images: Erika Stevenson