Brunswick Park Film Festival is an annual summer event programmed by The Bower. Established in 2018, the first two years saw the natural surroundings of the park lit up by outdoor projections, a pop up cinema screen and the Bower building itself transformed into a 16mm film projection booth. Due to Covid-19 the 2020 edition took place online bringing together artists' films, new commissions, feature films and young people's activities across the whole weekend from 4-6 September 2020.
The BPFF programme included work by the artists whose exhibitions at The Bower were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic; G, Jaki Irvine, Olivia Plender and Rosa-Johan Uddoh. We also revisted our first exhibition with a screening of Frances Scott's film, 'Diviner' (2017).
We commissioned two new works: a film by G, 'Engerland Part 2' (2020) and a text and multi-media resource by Monique Todd, who we will also work with in 2021 on a project about queer spaces and Black queer archives. The text reponded to our screening of Cheryl Dunye's 1996 feature film 'The Watermelon Woman'. Dunye's words "Sometimes you have to create your own history" particularly resonated with us.
A children's activity sheet 'Make your Own Movie in Brunswick Park' accompanied a screening of 'We are the Radical Monarchs' and animations by The Black Curriculum. The sheet can be downloaded and printed below.
BPFF is a free community event generously supported by Southwark Council Neighbourhoods Fund.
We hope to be able to return to the park setting for the 2021 festival!
G, Engerland Part 2 (2020)
2 minutes 45 seconds
G is an artist currently based in Amsterdam.
ONGOING EVER CHANGING BIO – 2020
Care. Humour. Death. Contradictions. Decorations. Sci Fi. Bass so loud you can feel your organs dance. FREE ART SCHOOLS. FREE SCHOOLS. Everything we are told we are not good at. Semantics. Comedians. My mother. My father (RIP). Saying sorry. Religion. ‘Non’ Artists (you are if you want to be). Friends over the age of 66yrs. Exciting poetry. Stopping just before you start. Going until you stop. Mental Health.
Monique Todd, What past does our future need?
On The Watermelon Woman and re-doing inheritance (2020) and A Pleasure Principles syllabus (2020)
'By the end of The Watermelon Woman, Cheryl (the character) has a romance cut short and a friendship on edge. There’s no explanation beyond an abrupt, brief announcement. Those relationships mattered until they didn’t, it seems. At this juncture, the memory of Faye – a black lesbian actress who Cheryl spends the film unearthing – finally arrives repaired. Discovery eclipses loss, a connection bridging past and present strengthens in place of two others. Did Faye facilitate the removal, or did Cheryl leave her relationships on the cutting room floor? That Faye’s life is faked through DIY archival ephemera (photos and film meticulously achieved by Dunye and artist Zoe Leonard) marks a plot twist in the film and queer historisation. Cheryl’s counterfeit ancestor doesn’t exist to plug an archival hole. Instead she stretches out her hand and Cheryl reaches back, clasping over time and reality, creating each other and others in the process.'
Make Your Own Movie - activity sheet
As part of our Brunswick Park Film Festival activities, this activity sheet takes children on a journey through local history in and around Brunswick Park, locating blue plaques and other landmarks as prompts to think about themes that might inspire them such as anti-racism, feminism, nature and poetry, inviting children to respond to those themes in the form of their own movie.
Designed by Design Print Bind,
illustrated and riso printed by Lena Yokoyama (2020)
" This small film festival packed a punch"
Maria Walsh reviews Brunswick Park Film Festival, Art Monthly No. 440, October 2020.
"In the case of Brunswick Park Film Festival, the ethos was clearly an intersectional feminist one that ranged and resonated across very different kinds of filmmaking practices".
Supported by the Neighbourhoods Fund, Southwark Council.