PhD student Ilinca Vanau at BFMAF

March 2023 saw the 18th edition of Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival (BFMAF), an annual festival based in Berwick-upon-Tweed, showcasing new cinema and artists’ moving image works. The concentrated, wildly explorative, international programme brought together recent restorations, thirty-one premieres, contemporary works, and installations in different venues across the town – the result of a passionate, collaborative curatorial effort.

First year Film Studies PhD student Ilinca Vânău was part of the festival team as Associate Programmer. She viewed submissions through the open call, researched titles and shaped the programme together with director Peter Taylor and fellow programmers Herb Shellenberger, Alice Miller, Myriam Mouflih, and Dan Guthrie. Over the three days of the festival, Ilinca introduced screenings and held Q&A sessions for three programmes: an international, diverse programme of short films by Lucretia Martel, Basim Magdy, Marwa Arsanios, and Fox Maxy, a screening of Last Things, the most recent film by Chicago-based artist and filmmaker Deborah Stratman, and a screening of Being in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait, a film by Scottish artist and musician Luke Fowler, joined in conversation by co-producer and film scholar Dr Sarah Neely.

She shared some of her festival experiences in an interview with Glasgow-based curator Ane Lopez, whose poetic piece for MAP Magazine celebrates Last Things and touches upon the magic of attending a festival like BFMAF.

Ilinca is also part of the Sands: International Film Festival of St Andrews curatorial team, titles researcher for Edinburgh-based film festival, Folk Film Gathering, and pre-selector for Cork International Film Festival. Her PhD explores sound and posthumanism in recent moving image works made by women filmmakers and artists.