Berwick upon Tweed Film & Media Arts
The theme for the 2007 Film and Media Arts Festival was film on film, providing a reflection on the ways in which artists and filmmakers use overt and conscious self-references to the medium of film itself. Whether it is a device employed as a cultural signpost, a narrative tool, or even an unconscious influence, this practice is to a greater or lesser degree present in the work of every filmmaker or moving-image artist. It could be argued that all authorship automatically references previous sources and its own medium. In working with guest curators and programmers the Festival showcased a range of diverse work within this broad theme, some of it accessible, some of it more challenging – but all of it thought-provoking and stimulating.
The Festival ambitions in 2007 remained as they were in 2005, to create a world-class event. 2007 was even bigger, better and more visible. The Festival increased the number of venues on the Artist Trail to include the Magazine, the Cromwellian Parish Church and the bridges, alongside the ‘regular’ settings of ice houses, prison cells and features of the Elizabethan ramparts. The work shown, including some newly commissioned pieces, represented the very best in cutting-edge work, from a range of internationally renowned artists using the medium of film and video. The Events programme was also expanded to include a number of workshops, educational screenings, competitions and performances, several of which drew inspiration from the classic period of silent cinema. The cinema programme itself offered over fifty individual films in twenty programmes, ranging from the latest in new independent cinema, to retrospectives of classic films, rare archival screenings, short films and documentaries. Most of the contemporary features presented were premieres, showing in the UK or Europe for the first time. In all there was something for everyone and in exploring this diverse programme, a chance to experience something new and exciting.