Here are some extracts from the great reviews we received through the international press coverage of the 11th edition of the Berwick Film & Media Festival:
Peter Taylor ahead of the 2015 Festival: "The Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is one of the UK’s few film festivals that is as serious about new cinema as it is about commissioning and exhibiting artists’ work - really taking cinema beyond the film theatre."
Harriet Warman reflects on the changes and continuity under the Festival's new leadership: "Installations need to utilise the specific natures of their environment to enhance the experience of viewing them, lest their setting appear arbitrary. It’s a challenge that the festival has met with varying degrees of success over the years, and in Taylor’s first year it was encouraging to see thoughtful uses of the town’s venues wrought from a collaboration between curator and artists to venue selection and installation."
Sight & Sound
Chris Sharratt on the Festival's situated position: "A sense of place and a certain on-the-edge-of-things strangeness comes with the territory in Berwick-upon-Tweed. [...] Fact, fiction, half-truths and hopes – there was much to believe and much to question at this festival. And much to suggest that a town like Berwick, with its independent, edge of England mindset, is a good place for a festival that eschews the easy route when the awkward one looks so much more interesting."
Rebecca Naughten on the inclusion of midlength films in this year's programme: "Such films often fall between the gaps due to their unconventional (or awkward) running times, but the filmmakers chosen by Berwick demonstrated that the form can be perfectly tailored to the story they wish to tell – two particular standouts were Marko Grba Singh’s Abdul & Hamza (2015), a timely and humane docufiction about two Somali immigrants at the Serbian border, and Daphné Hérétakis’s diary/essay film about crisis, inertia and revolution in contemporary Greece, Archipels, granites dénudés (2014)."
Gautam Valluri on the Berwick New Cinema shorts programme: "KING JAMES VERSION GENESIS CHAPTER NINETEEN (title has to be capitalized for all purposes) is an unexpectedly tacky masterpiece. A film by Martin Sulzer, it takes us into the grey world of tacky 3D motion-capture animation [...] Sulzer, who was present in person at the screening, did a brief Q&A with the audience during the break in the program and he seems to stand by his decision to make a very literal film adaptation of the text. The visuals are horrifically presented and is perhaps very fitting in a program that asks if something is fact or fiction. Is the literal adaptation of a text a fact or a fiction?"
Matt Turner on audience favourite CAVE EXITS by Peter Burr: "Satiating those with a short attention span and a taste for the sensorially overwhelming, Burr’s half-hour-long loop immerses cave-dwellers within a constant surge of visual information. A combination of cross-screen barrages of scrolling code, geometric pixel abstractions, wireframe models, interrupt text passages ,and ever warping videogame-styled sequences, CAVE EXITS seems the perfect visual explosion to illuminate such a space as Bankhill Ice House."
Brian Beadie on the 35mm screening of Vampir Cuadecuc: "The film creates an atmosphere that is utterly otherworldly and creepy, yet hilariously comes crashing down to earth as we see the strings on bats or the hair dryer blowing the cobwebs around Christopher Lee. [...] In its daring equation of the Spanish state with the set of a vampire movie, it becomes one of the great cinematic acts of underground resistance. "Vampir Cuadecuc” brilliantly explored the festival’s central theme of “Fact or Fiction”, set by the festival’s new director Peter Taylor, whose first programme was a triumph."