Braziers International Film Festival (BIFF) is an annual three day independent film festival held at Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research in Oxfordshire, UK. The festival features several programmes of international films, plus special focus programmes, expanded cinema events and discussions.
Screened inside Braziers’ historic 17th century barn, the programmes include documentary, animation, fiction and contemporary artists’ film & video. Curated by artist Nick Jordan, the programme is selected from an open call by a team of artist-filmmakers, who run the festival as a not-for-profit collective.
Screenings are followed by group discussion and Q&A with attending film-makers, who are invited to Braziers.
Some of the artist-filmmakers who have screened at the festival in recent years include Maryam Tafakory, Jennet Thomas, Mike Hoolboom, Niina Lehtonen Braun, David Leister, Oreet Ashrey, Paul Tarragó, Claudia Claremi and Carla Simón.
Special Focus programmes and performances have included Julia Parks, Amy Cutler, Bea Haut, Karel Doing, Mary Stark & David Chatton Barker (Folklore Tapes), Vague Research Studios and BEEF (Bristol Experimental Expanded Film).
With an extensive eco-campsite, festival-goers can enjoy the peaceful 55 acres of rural grounds at Braziers Park, including the permaculture kitchen garden, orchards, woodlands, meadows and the Georgian gothic charms of Braziers Park house, home to one of the oldest secular communities in Europe.
The festival was founded in 2017, when Braziers Park hosted the premiere of ‘Intentional Community: the Art of Living & the Science of Life’, a mid-length feature documentary on the history of Braziers Park’s community and radical origins, by artists Nick Jordan and Clara Casian. The artists gained an insight into the history of Braziers during their residency with fellow Film Material collective artists at Supernormal Festival, 2016. The documentary was also shown as an installation inside Braziers house during Supernormal Festival, 2017.
Intentional Community: The Art of Living & The Science of Life, dir Nick Jordan and Clara Casian, 60 mins., 2017
About Braziers Park
Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research is an international centre for holistic education and a living experiment in community. Located in the wooded hills of the Chilterns, Oxfordshire, Braziers Park was founded in 1950 as a progressive, not-for-profit educational trust, and is the UK’s longest-running ‘intentional community’, which continues to research and explore co-existence, collective work and our place in nature. With a cooperative ethos, Braziers’ community members share responsibility for running the house and managing the kitchen garden and land, facilitating ecologically-minded courses and events, assisted by volunteers from around the world.
Braziers is a conscious experiment in living together. Its founding idea is to explore how a group can develop more harmonious relationships and more effective group structures, with a commitment to community living, co-operation, collaboration and sustainability.
“Braziers is unique in that the community is researching itself in real-time”, writes researcher Jessica Kleczka. “Its aim is to develop conscious relationships between people and the planet, leading to improved understanding, a decrease in selfishness, greater respect for the environment and constructive solutions to global issues.”
Described as a ‘community of unlike minds’, by founder member Glynn Faithfull, Braziers has historic and multifaceted connections to progressive and counter-cultural movements, including the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, Situationist International, CND and the socialist post-war political party Common Wealth. Run as not-for-profit, revenue from the film festival covers Braziers’ costs for organising and hosting the event, which includes providing accommodation, camping and communal meals for attending filmmakers.
Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research (BPSISR) was founded in 1950 and since 27th August 2020 is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) pursuant to the Cooperative and Community Benefit Society Act 2014. Registration Number 8454. It is an exempt charity.