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Phillip Bergson


Writing about Films and Festivals.

 

Film Critic, UK,Invited Member  of  The UK Critics' Circle

FIPRESCI abd the European Film Academy.

Visiting Lecturer, Prague Film School.

 

Winner of the  "Student Journalist of the Year" competition in the UK weekly New Statesman, as a Classics Scholar Phillip Bergson then founded the Oxford Film Festival and, on graduating, was selected by "The Sunday Times" as a 'New Critic' and in the same week began broadcasting on film for many BBC Radio programmes. A contributor to the "Times Literary Supplement", "TES",The Spectator,film critic on "The Sunday Standard", "Screen International",Variety, "Film Bulletin", "Film a Doba" inter alia, and on the FilmFestJOURNAL in Berlin and Screen Dailies at Cannes,he also worked for the "European Script Fund", has scripted shorts and features (that have been produced and released) and, fluent in eight-and-a-half languages, currently programmes and advises several international film festivals and is.Casting Consultant on several international features. At the National  Museum of Photography, Film and Television, in his native Yorkshire, he created the "Eurovisions" project, to promote classic and contemporary European cinema,which was inaugurated at the Cine Lumiere in London by His Excellency the President of Iceland.

Presenter and Programmer,London Turkish Film Week, December 2018

Co=programmer, 2nd London Turkish Film Week, April 2019

Artistic Director, 3rd London Turkish Film Week, planned for 1-7 June 2020.

As a FIPRESCI Jury Member

and a member of  International Juries at

Thessaloniki, Europa Cinema (Rimini), Munich Documentary, Manaki Brothers,Cine Jove (Valencia),Chicago, TIFF-ODA


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Poles Apart in London: Kinoteka Launch

If the sparkle - and gastronomic opulence- of its Launch at a lively cocktail party (on Thursday 19th February 2009) in the cavernous but congenial bar-cum-restaurant Baltic (just across Blackfriars Bridge, beloved of mafiosi murderers, on the south side of the Thames) is a fair indication, KINOTEKA should prove to be a most successful and memorable celebration of Polish cinema and cuture in this so-called Polska!Year.

As Britain is temporary home to some two million Poles, apart from the community long settled here since the Second World War, it is not surprising that the Polish Cultural Institute (now relocated, aptly enough, to high-tech open-plan offices in Poland Street, on the fringes of London's Soho),bolstered by the Polska!Year activities and with the very welcome sponsorship of Wyborowa Wodka, now organises the  lucky 7th Polish Film Festival (from 12th March to 8th April 2009) at various venues across London, with highlights circulating on tour throughout the UK, beginning in Belfast on 20th March, when the Queens Film Theatre begins a week of screenings there.

As Wyborowa's witty advertising spots remind us, there is no V in wodka, and two of the chiefs of one of the best-known brands of Poland's delightful eau-de-vie (or little water that, I am sure you will agree, helps to give meaning to most of our lives) were on hand from Warsaw to ensure the three distinct cocktails prepared for the press reception flowed abundantly.PR doyenne and Locarno locatrix Sarah Wilby was resplendent in a 1920s style cocktail dress and stalwarts Sarah and Suhan ensured a lavish recipe-book and elegant bottle of guesswhat? in  a silvered goodie-bag were dispensed to all departing guests to comfort them on the journey home.

It may sometimes seem that most of London's catering outlets are staffed exclusively by Poles, yet few serve authentically Polish fare. As the genial, recently-arrived Director of the Polish Cultural Institute Roland Chojnacki toasted the event and his  stylish film suprema Marlena Lukasiak outlined the programme, happy guests including the Editor of Sight and Sound magazine, sundry music scribes and worthies from the UK Critics' Circle, and one of the twin Quay Brothers. tucked in to delicious hot borscht, magical mushroom soup, flaki (don't ask), and genuine pieroggi and pelmeni with soured cream  a go go.

The film selections are equally rich and varied, undisputed highlights being the visit of Jerzy Skolimowski, bringing the UK premiere of his latest feature Cztery noc z Anna (Four Nights with Anna), which opened the 2008 Quinzaine and according to not a few critics-moi included-was the best new film on show in last year's entire Cannes Film Festival (eat your heart out Laurent Cantet).It will be screened at 6.30pm,18th March at BFI Southbank followed by a Q&A with the feisty film-maker. His earliest films can be seen in double-bills (at matinees on 21st, 22nd March,Riverside Studios), and the return to Londyn of co-eval enfant terrible Andrzej Zulawski with a very rare treat- an historic screening of his long-banned sci-fi extravaganza Na Srebrnym Globie (On the Silver Globe- 7pm, 4th April, Tate Modern).

The Festival will open with a new film, 33 Sceny z zycia(33 Scenes from Life) introduced by its award-winning director Malgorzata Szumowska (7pm, 12th March, Riverside Studios), hosts an exhibition about Krzysztof Kieslowski, briefly looks at Polish New Wave and the documentaries of Marcin Koszalka, and closes with a concert teaming the Michael Nyman Band and the Polish accordion group, Match Trio, in which Peter Greenaway's regular composer will conduct some of his best-known scores as well as premiere a specially-commissioned piece to a montage of extracts from Polish film classics(7pm,8th April,at the Barbican arts complex).Nazdrovya!

Phillip Bergson                                     www.kinoteka.org.uk

About Phillip Bergson

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