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Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival to launch new prize for best short film

Best Short Film Award is one of the attractions of the ninth Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

The region’s premier film festival is inviting artists and film-makers to compete for a new prize.

The inaugural Best Short Film Award is one of the attractions of the ninth Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival.

Those competing for the award, which is sponsored by ‘slow holiday’ specialist Inntravel and carries a £500 cash prize, must respond to this year’s theme, North by Northeast.

It’s an invitation to reflect on the region’s place in the world – its history and industry and also its links with the North Sea and Europe.

The prize will be awarded during the festival, which will make Berwick a magnet for lovers of the moving image between September 25 and 29.

North East film-maker Samm Haillay, a festival board member, says: “We’re delighted to be working with Inntravel to launch this great opportunity for artists and film-makers to compete for £500 towards their next work.”

Inntravel communications manager Steve Jack adds: “We believe there is a strong affinity between independent film-making and independent travel as they enable us – travellers and film-makers alike – to explore uncharted territory in our own way and at our own pace.

“By sponsoring the festival’s inaugural short film competition we hope to play our part in helping to bring fresh and creative talent to a receptive and independent-minded audience.”

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is an international celebration of the moving image notable for uniting cinema and media art – and also because the town, while beautiful and dramatic, has no cinema.

It has proved it can do very nicely without one. Last year’s festival saw 50 films screened at nine venues and seven outdoor locations.

One festival commission, A Live Road Movie, made by Screen Bandita and The One Ensemble, has since toured nationally. Another, Photographers, by Miska Henner and David Oates, has attracted over 33,000 views online.

Meanwhile I Am Nasrine, Tina Gharavi’s film which had its world premiere at the 2011 festival, was shortlisted for a Bafta.

Artists and film-makers can submit works of any length, provided they respond to the theme, for consideration. Those up to 16 minutes in length will automatically qualify for the short film competition.

Entries made before April 26 carry a discounted entry fee (£5 for short films, £15 for feature films). The final deadline is June 29 with the festival programme to be announced in mid August.

For details visit www.berwickfilm-artsfest.com

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