The new director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival announced!


Peter Taylor, a film programmer at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), one of Europe’s most significant annual showcases of cinema, has taken over the reins from Melanie Iredale as Festival Director at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival. Iredale, who led Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival for the past five years, stood down after its most recent 10th edition to take an Deputy Director post at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

A member of IFFR’s selection committee for its short film and artists’ moving image programmes, Peter Taylor, (Belfast, 1974) joins the award-winning Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival this January and will immediately begin working on the 11th edition of the Festival, with the theme ‘Fact or Fiction’.

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, established in 2005 presents a dynamic programme of cinema and artists’ moving image throughout the historical town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Festival uniquely features the exhibition of artists’ installation works along the town’s medieval walls and in heritage buildings rarely open to the public, as well as curating film programmes for its primary venue, The Maltings Theatre and Cinema.

Of his appointment Taylor said, “I’ve followed Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival with great interest as it has evolved into one of the few UK film festivals that is as serious about cinema as it is about commissioning and exhibiting artists’ moving image. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I step into the position of Festival Director.

He said he was “keen to build on the work the Festival had done to date in expanding audiences’ cinematic experiences beyond that of the film theatre, as well as enhancing its position as the UK’s pre-eminent festival for the appreciation of artists’ moving image.”

Relocating to the region from Rotterdam, Taylor will immediately begin the selection and commissioning of artists and filmmakers for the 2015 Festival, themed ‘Fact or Fiction’. “We’ll look to incorporate work that challenges and questions our perceived notions of documentary and narrative film, including performance, re-enactment and re-interpretations of history and memory. This is a theme that’s completely pre-occupied with the moving image’s singular ability to bring us directly into the realm of the senses.”

‘Fact or Fiction’ will also touch on the creation of ambiguity and uncertainty and how this impacts upon audiences’ understanding of reality and truth. The call for submissions and proposals will be open to interested filmmakers and artists in early March 2015.

Huw Davies, the chairman and co-founder of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, said "Peter brings a wealth of experience in the international film festival circuit, admirable curatorial and programming skills, a wonderful drive and enthusiasm to the Festival and to the town.

We are delighted to have him has part of our team and very much look forward to working with him on ‘Fact or Fiction’, our 11th edition this September.”

11th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival runs from Wednesday 23 September – Sunday 27 September 2015 in venues throughout the north Northumberland town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The Festival will launch an open call for submissions of film and moving image art in March 2015 with tickets for the Festival due to go on sale in May 2015.

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