As Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival prepares to celebrate its 10th edition, it has announced a hunt for a new Director to build on the achievements of the past decade. After five successful years at the helm, Melanie Iredale, Festival Director since 2009, is leaving to become Deputy Director of the prestigious Sheffield International Documentary Festival, from November.
During her tenure at Berwick the event has raised its national and international profile dramatically. It now draws artists and filmmakers from all over the world, and a strongly growing audience from across the UK and beyond.
Chair Huw Davies said today: “We’re obviously sad to lose Melanie, but delighted that her success with us has been recognised through her new appointment at Sheffield Doc/Fest. In five years she has transformed Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival into the highly successful and unique creative event that it is today.”
Major milestones recently reported by the Festival have included securing regular funding from the Arts Council as part of its national portfolio whilst newly commissioned work from last September has gone on to tour across Europe.
Davies added “Without Melanie’s commitment, hard work and sheer determination to take the Festival’s vision forward, none of this would have happened, and her departure creates a tremendous opportunity for someone with ambition to drive the next stage in the Festival’s growth. On behalf of the Festival Board I wish Melanie every success in her new role.”
Melanie Iredale commented: “It was a big decision for me to leave Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, an event that’s grown year-on-year since I took the role in 2009, and which is really very special to me. But I do feel it’s an appropriate time, following the Festival’s 10th edition, to let someone new put their mark on it.”
She added “I’m thrilled at the prospect of becoming Deputy Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest – one of the world’s top three documentary festivals and marketplaces. And I’m hugely thankful to my Board at Berwick, for their support over the last five years and look forward to seeing them – and their new Festival Director – take the Festival from strength to strength.”
The 10th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival: Border Crossing returns 17-21 September.
An open recruitment process will follow after the Festival ends – details will be posted on the Festival website.
Image: Melanie Iredale, photo by Mark Chapman