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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


Cette Annee a Karlsbad!

Such a dizzying round of festivals and festivalettes in Bradford, London, lucky Lecce,Cluj, vibrant Valencia and now, in the very Heart of Europe and the original Bohemia, at the loveliest and liveliest of them all, Karlovy Vary, must I to to you - dear readers, cineastes, cynics and cinephiles- long disappointed by the otherwise delayed flow of my postcards from these varied filmic feasts - now imminently describe. Whatever dross may be depressing you in multiplex or illegal download, patient yourselves yet a briefer while and I shall shortly begin to recount the heady cocktails of subject, international talents, and life-enhancing liquids on which I have been supping since wery velcome  Wybrica lubricated that month of Polish delights in London earlier this spring, up to my perambulations past the springs at the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, about to cloture on what will doubtless by a feverish Saturday night in July, 2009.

 Merely to whet your appetite, and to seek to excuse my recent tardiness in regular reportage, consider how I spent my latest Friday. Viewing a two-hour Czech feature, a more than warm war film called Tobruk, stunningly shot in Tunisia and loosely based on Stephen Crane; loitering within a tent to catch the Golden-Palm-winner from Cannes 2009, Das Weisse Band ,confected in crisp monochrome (and not a little monotone) by that Austrian arch-humourist Michael Haneke; sipping a timely dry martini with Jiri Menzel in the opulent balcony bar of the City Theatre (decorated by no less a Full House-painter than Gustav Klimt) before the world premiere of a delightful Polish farce, Operation Danube, in which one of their tanks, with a very loose canon, accidentally crashes into a Czechoslovak pub in 1968, before sprinting- like a Cinderella in reverse- just before midnight, to the similarly sumptuous surrounds  of the Grand Hotel Pupp (known to you as the location of the second, vastly inferior- if somewhat more  financially successful- screen version of Casino Royale) for the traditionally lavish Association of Czech Producers' annual Party, apparently celebrating -as my assiduous attendance at their mid-afternoon Press Conference had enabled me to be so briefed-the 70 per cent fall in international film-making in the country and probable collapse of the otherwise staving-off-the-crisis revenues from foreign commercials being shot here. Not yet having lost a shoe, I nevertheless almost literally bump into another aspiring local film director on my way in- ex-President Havel, about to transfer his latest play to the screen, and as I entered the small hall, he was appropriately enough,Leaving.Let us hope his debut will open the 45th Karlovy Vary International Festival next year: Ein ganz normaler Freitag!, as the artistic director of the Recklinghausen Filmwoche(Focus: films about gastarbeiters) might say.But when I have world enough and time and an alcohol-free PC, I shall presently give you the low-down on the highlife and the gastgebers of the past, fast few months- and a few reviews too. Fasten your seat-belts and watch these spaces!


Phillip Bergson

About Phillip Bergson