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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


Canada can, and does still- with style!

For its seventh annual Quebec Lecture in London, the Francophone Delegation filled the superb surrounds of the Royal Geographical Society, which has nestled for well over a century in one of the capital's quaintest addresses - Kensington Gore-(theatrical slang for fake blood, and famously used to describe a ghostly, if not quite ghastly, operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan ("-and not as good as The Mikado" as a first night wag wrote of Ruddigore, which happens to be one of Mike Leigh's favourites though he has not yet directed it at the English National Opera- its plot involves paintings that come to life,rather unlike his penultimate film of Mr Turner).It is one of the grand Victorian buildings in the culture zone known in its day as Albertopolis, adjacent to the Royal Albert Hall, and close to the Museums,and on the south side of Hyde Park.The main lecture hall, with its balcony and comfortable seating for some 400, now boasts a huge screen of almost IMAX proportions, which was memorably filled by many breath-taking images filmed by Jean Lemire in a career spanning over 30 years of expeditions to the Arctic, and indeed around the world in his three-masted vessel.In impeccable English this charismatic cine-biologist definitively pleaded the case, eloquently and beyond dispute, for the reality of climate change-today- showing in black and white footage his schooner trapped in the ice on a certain October day, in the late 1980s, and in beautiful, quite recently photographed colour the exact same landscape on the same day of last year, with not an iceberg or floe in sight. Without any hint of sentimentality, and plenty of humourous self-deprecation, Jean Lemire's marvellous talk-with-film clips resoundingly enjoined the invited audience to become citizens of the world, and unite to defend it. I have never seen the argument on climate change. still disputed in many corners, from Trump's to countless others, more devastatingly illustrated,lucidly, knowledgeably,and compassionately.

With the sponsorship of the  London- and Montreal- based firm of  Fasken, and  under the auspices  of Quebec's UK Delegate John Coleman and his dynamic team of organisers, all the attendees were invited to a sumptuous reception in even more atmospheric halls, with aptly skewered salmon fillets, abundant chilled wines, and bowls  of Fox's glacier mints , in lieu of dessert, amusingly provided.

Jean Lemire has lately been appointed as Envoy for Climate Change,Northern and Arctic Affairs,by the Ministry of International Affairs of Francophone Canada, and his forthcoming feature documentary should certainly raise the temperature of discussion around and about the world.    The White Planet(2006),Antartic Mission:Islands at the Edge (2007) etc

Phillip Bergson

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