FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: Berkshire International Film Festival
Triplex Cinema, Great Barrington, MA
Beacon Cinema, Pittsfield, MA
Contacts: Kelley Vickery, Founder and Executive Director
Lauren Ferin, Executive Assistant
7th ANNUAL BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2012 FESTIVAL LINEUP
GREAT BARRINGTON (April 23, 2012) The 7th Annual season of The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) will celebrate this year with the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films. The festival runs from May 31 – June 3, 2012 in Great Barrington and June 1 – June 3rd in Pittsfield, MA and will be showcasing over 70 films in independent filmmaking.
Kelley Vickery, founder and director of the Berkshire International Film Festival, stated, “we are thrilled to once again bring to our Berkshire community an incredibly diverse program with over 70 independent films from around the country and indeed the world.” With an exciting season programmed, the festival will kick off with an opening night party at the historic Mason Library and screening of the intimate documentary ETHEL, presented by members of the Kennedy Family. The screening of ETHEL is so special to us as the Kennedys are part of our Massachusetts heritage and we look forward to members of the Kennedy family joining us for the evening and a special Q&A.” Adding to the excitement, the festival will also present one of the exclusive screenings of MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT and Ms. Abramovic, the director and producers will be joining the BIFF. “We are especially pleased that she has chosen the Berkshires to screen her film immediately following the NY premiere screening at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City,” said Vickery. The evening will include an event in her honor prior to the screening. The BIFF is very proud to conclude the festival with the closing night presentation of GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS, presented by the film’s director and the iconic local artist, Mr. Crewdson himself. Crewdson, who is part of the Berkshire community, will be joining us to celebrate this new documentary based on his work and will conclude with a closing night party at Castle Street. Our 7th Annual Berkshire Film Festival has an array of incredible films, Q&A’s with directors, producers, and actors and a great lineup of festivities.
BIFF has become the festival of choice for filmmakers and film lovers who are seeking a unique Berkshire experience and a place to indulge their passion for film. The Festival connects audiences to compelling documentaries, award-winning international releases with incredible parties and events, all just a short drive from New York City or Boston. Films and events will be held throughout both Great Barrington and Pittsfield, including the Triplex Cinema, the historic Mahaiwe Theatre, the Beacon Cinema and area restaurants.
BERKSHIRE BANK TEAMS UP WITH THE BIFF TO SPONSOR THE SECOND ANNUAL NEXT GREAT FILMMAKER AWARD
Help Us Select The Next Great Filmmaker! Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting BankSM, in collaboration with the Berkshire International Film Festival, team up again to present The Next Great Filmmaker Award.
This award is designed to provide increased exposure and support for short filmmakers and continue to invite the community to voice their opinion through an online voting process. Cast Your Vote! Five short films are in competition and the film with the most online votes will be awarded a $2,500 cash award. Online voting begins today and ends on May 30, 2012.
The five short films in competition are:
- A GOOD THING – Mark Tobey
- FELIX – Anselm Belser
- JUNK – Kirk Hendry
- PRICELESS THINGS – Sarah-Violet Bliss
- TICK TOCK TIME EMPORIUM – Morgan Faust
Just by voting, you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a new Apple iPad! Visit the BIFF website at www.biffma.org,
May 31 – GREAT BARRINGTON OPENING NIGHT FILM & FESTIVITIES
Members of the Kennedy family will be present at the screening and for a Q&A immediately following the film.
ETHEL, a feature-length documentary about the remarkable life of Ethel Kennedy, told by those who know Ethel best: her family. Directed by her Emmy® Award-winning daughter, Rory Kennedy, the film features candid interviews with Ethel and seven of her children. The film is a personal portrait of Ethel’s political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their 11 children on her own. Intimate, funny, and deeply moving, ETHEL offers a rare look inside a political dynasty strengthened by family bonds, a compassion for others, and a wisdom forged from both hardship and triumph. Variety wrote,” a fine compilation of archival material, a homemovie writ large and a worthy reminder of what the Kennedys represented, politically and spiritually, during the era of Camelot. The still photos and footage of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, who took their passel of children everywhere — from Cape Cod to Hickory Hill to the Senate Hearing Room — speak to family values of a real, tangible sort that transcends politics and politicking. And in revisiting the catastrophes of the ’60s, ETHEL naturally pulls at the heartstrings.” The film is scheduled for release on HBO in the fall of 2012. Members of the Kennedy family will be in attendance at the film and will hold a Q&A immediately following the film.
Opening night festivities include a cocktail party and light buffet supper for passholders catered by Max Ultimate Food of Boston at the Mason Library on Main Street in Great Barrington. This evening is generously sponsored by Jacqueline and Al Togut. The festivities continue that evening with Berkshire Bateria to play at the top of Railroad Street beginning at 9:30 pm to celebrate opening night.
June 1 – SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING AND PARTY
FACE TO FACE WITH THE ARTIST: AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH MARINA ABRAMOVIC
Artist Marina Abramovic, Director Matthew Akers and Producers Jeff Dupre and Maro Chermayeff will be present at the screening and for a Q&A immediately following the film.
MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT, directed by Matthew Akers, follows the glamorous, fearless, controversial performance artist Marina Abramović as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major retrospective of her work at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. To be given a retrospective at one of the world’s premiere museums is, for any living artist, the most exhilarating sort of milestone. For Marina, it is far more. For four decades, she has used her own body as a medium, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits, and at times risking her life in the process; now, with the show at MoMA, she has the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again throughout her career: “So why is this art?” A mesmerizing journey through the landscape of radical performance, Marina Abramović: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT offers an intimate, engaging portrait of an endlessly intriguing woman who draws no distinction between art and life. Variety writes a “unique four-decade career receives its mainstream platform in THE ARTIST IS PRESENT, an intelligent overview that makes a radical artist’s work comprehensible to audiences with no previous awareness of her or her chosen path. Abramovic fans, among the art world’s most rabid, will salivate at the chance to see their star up close.” Executive Producers: Sheila Nevins, Nancy Abraham; Producers: Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff. The film will be on HBO during 2012 and was Winner of the Berlin Film Festival 2012 Audience Award.
Ms. Abramovic has recently revealed a new project in Hudson, New York called the Center for the Preservation of Performance Art. This space will be devoted to pieces that may last several hours or even several days.
This special event will include a cocktail party and light buffet supper for passholders at Aston Magna in Great Barrington prior to the screening. The evening is generously sponsored by GWFF and catered by Castle Street Café. Guests will be shuttled up to Aston Magna from The Mahaiwe.
June 1 – PITTSFIELD OPENING NIGHT SCREENING & HIGHLIGHTS
The Seventh Anniversary Celebration continues its’ expansion into Pittsfield and will kick-off at the Beacon Cinema on Friday, June 1st with the huge Sundance hit LIBERAL ARTS. This romantic comedy tells the story of when thirty-something Jesse is invited back to his alma mater, he falls for a young 19-year-old college student and is faced with the powerful attraction that springs up between them. Directed and written by Josh Radnor, the film stars Zac Efron, Elizabeth Olson, and Josh Radnor.
The BIFF is proud to be presenting the 3rd annual successful Berkshire Bank’s the Next Great Filmmaker Award in support of the filmmakers of short film. The winner of the Berkshire Bank’s “Next Great Filmmaker Award” will also be announced at this event. The competition is voted on by the public and on Wednesday, April 25 by viewing the films on the BIFF website, www.biffma.org
Opening night in Pittsfield will include a celebratory cocktail party in the lobby of the Berkshire Bank on West Street catered by Mission prior to the opening night presentation. The evening is generously sponsored by the Berkshire Bank and is open to passholders and ticket holders to the opening night film.
June 3 – CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING AND PARTY
GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS
Artist Gregory Crewdson, Director and Producer Ben Shapiro and MASS MoCA Executive Director
Joe Thompson will be present at the screening and for a Q&A immediately following the film.
GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS, directed by Ben Shapiro. Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t just “take” his images, he creates them, through elaborate days and weeks of invention, design, and set-up. The epic production of these movie-like images is both intensely personal and highly public: they begin in Crewdson’s deepest desires and memories, but come to life on streets and soundstages in the hills and towns of Western Massachusetts. In his decade-long project “Beneath the Roses” he uses light, color and character to conjure arresting images, managing a crew of 60 amidst seemingly countless logistical and creative obstacles. Crewdson says of his work, “My pictures are about a search for a moment—a perfect moment. To me the most powerful moment in the whole process is when everything comes together and there is that perfect, beautiful, still moment. And for that instant, my life makes sense.”
Closing Night Party will be held at the Castle Street Café immediately following the screening. Tickets required.
Festival Special Events & More
The BIFF is honored to have our Third Annual Jury includes actors Mary Kay Place and Karen Allen, Production and Costume Designer Kristi Zea, award-winning Screenwriter John Orloff, Producer Dan Braun, Distribution Guru Josh Braun, Casting Agent Gretchen Rennell, and renowned Film Critic Kent Jones. There will be five films in competition for feature documentaries and four films in the narrative category. The award will carry a $5,000 prize sponsored by GWFF USA to be presented on Sunday, June 3rd at Allium in Great Barrington. The films in competition for Narrative are: Nuit #1, Hello I Must Be Going, Your Sister’s Sister, and Nobody Walks. In the documentary category; We’re Not Broke, Fierce Green Fire, Love Free or Die, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare and Chasing Ice.
free sunday screenings at the mahaiwe for the whole family
The morning begins with a selection of kids shorts from Kids Flix Mix for ages 3 to 6, followed by the French film TALES OF THE NIGHT which was a huge hit at the Berlin Film Festival for ages 7 to adult.
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH
This free family film on Sunday is a special collaboration with The Mount’s ongoing celebration of Edith Wharton’s 150th birthday with a screening Terrence Davies’ adaptation of The House of Mirth. The screening will take place at the Mahaiwe.
Considered by many Wharton’s most important work, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, tells the story of Lily Bart, a beautiful woman of limited means living in a society that she describes as a “hot-house of traditions and conventions.” Tempted by luxury and practicality, Lily plans to marry a rich heir but her morality interferes, and so begins her downfall. The House of Mirth reveals the consequences of Lily’s choices.
Davies both wrote and directed the 2000 film which stars Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, and Laura Linney. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called the adaptation outstanding and a “… picture with more sinew and power than almost any other period drama of recent times. It gripped me like a thriller throughout…”
For more information on Edith Wharton and The Mount, please visit EdithWharton.org.
KEN REGAN BOOK SIGNING
In celebration of the debut of his stunning new book “All Access: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Photography of Ken Regan”, Ken Regan will hold a special book-signing on Saturday afternoon in the lobby of the Triplex Cinema, immediately following the Shorts Film Program. With his exclusive access to some of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s biggest names, this new book offers an intimate picture of rock in its golden age.
NEW NARRATIVES SERIES
BIFF will be presenting a fascinating collection of films on June 2 and 3 by emerging filmmakers operating within a cinematic framework directly influenced by the arts. Undetermined by commercial pressures and often made with very low budgets, these works give glimpse to the culture and critical engagements of a new generation, and their experiments with narrative fiction. Featuring an international selection by award winners Nicolás Pereda, Gabriel Abrantes, Mauricio Arango and many more. The programs will be held daily at 10:00am and 11:30am at the Triplex Cinema and are free and open to the public with the artists present.
BIFF FILMMAKERS SUMMIT
In its seventh year, The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) in association with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is proud to present its inaugural Filmmakers Summit, a two-day talent academy offered to the 2012 film selection filmmakers. Offering a diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, special events, and breakout sessions lead by known industry professionals, the BIFF Filmmakers Summit is designed to celebrate and support the advancement of filmmakers and recognize film as a relevant and important medium. Beginning on Wednesday, May 30, the Filmmakers Summit is an integral part of the festival experience for filmmakers. Ensuring the freshest and most poignant dialogue in conjunction with incredibly unique events, this Summit goes way beyond networking; it will fortify the festival experience.
THE BOSTON LGBT FILM FESTIVAL
The BIFF is proud to be co-presenting a number of films this year with the Boston LGBT Film Festival. Showcasing a diverse range of international, US, and local film, video, and other media, while fostering a greater sense of awareness and community among LGBT and LGBT-friendly audiences, the Boston LGBT Film Festival aims to stimulate thought and encourage dialogue while offering exposure and continued presence for filmmakers, artists and community organizations. The BIFF will be co-presenting the films GUN HILL ROAD, LOVE FREE OR DIE, THE INVISIBLE WAR, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, and THE WISE KIDS with the Boston LGBT Film Festival in its 7th season. The Boston LGBT Film Festival will take place May 3 – 13, 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts and ICA in Boston, MA and the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. As a lover of film and supporter of the arts, the BIFF encourages you to go! Find out more at: bostonlgbtfilmfest.org.
THE LINEUP: FEATURES, DOCUMENTARIES, SHORTS
Check https://biffma.org/ for dates and screening times
Q & A to follow with actor, Alexia Landeau
(Portuguese w/ English subtitles.)
Cafe de Flore (d. Jean-Marc Vallée with: Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent)
Farewell, My Queen (d: Bonoit Jacquot with: Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux , Virginie Ledoyen)
(French w/ English subtitles)
Guilty For the Justice No One Was Innocent (d: Vincent Garenq with: Philippe Torreton, Wladimir Yordanoff, Noemie Lvovsky)
(French w/ English subtitles)
(Basque w/ English subtitles)
Your Sister’s Sister (d: Lynn Shelton with: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt)
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (d: Alison Klayman)
Bhopali (d: Max Carlson)
(Hindi w/English subtitles)
California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown (d: Sascha Rice)
Q & A to follow with Co-Producers, Julia Mintz, Katherine Ripley Frisoli
Chasing Ice (d: Jeff Orlowski)
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (d: Matthew Heineman)
Q & A to follow with Director, Matthew Heineman
A Fierce Green Fire (d: Mark Kitchell)
Q & A to follow with Director, Mark Kitchell
First Position (d: Bess Kargman)
Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story (d: Andrew Herwitz)
How to Survive a Plague (d: David France)
Q & A to follow with Producer Howard Gertler
In My Lifetime: A Presentation of the Nuclear World Project (d: Robert E. Frye)
Q & A to follow with Director, Robert E. Frye, Executive Producer Diane Love
Jane’s Journey (d: Lorenz Knauer)
Joe Papp in Five Acts (co-d: Tracie Holder, Karen Thorsen)
Q & A to follow with Co-Director/Producer, Tracie Holder, Co-Director, Karen Thorsen,
Co-Producer Daniel Childers
Lemon (co-d: Beth Levinson, Laura Brownson)
Q & A to follow with Co-Director/Producer, Beth Levinson
Love Free or Die (d: Macky Alston)
Q & A to follow with Director, Macky Alston
Surviving Progress (co-d: Harold Crooks, Mathieu Roy)
Q & A to follow with Co-Director Harold Crooks
The Island President (d: Jon Shenk)
The Invisible War (d: Kirby Dick)
The Queen of Versailles (d: Lauren Greenfield)
Under African Skies (d: Joe Berlinger)
We’re Not Broke (co-d: Karin Hayes, Victoria Bruce)
Q & A to follow with Co-Director Karin Hayes, Co-Director, Victoria Bruce
BIFF will present three short film programs which will showcase some 14 shorts from the Berkshires and around the world and will be presented along with filmmakers at selected screenings.
Tick Tock Time Emporium (d: Morgan Faust), Legacy (d: Bryn Chainey), Color Blind (d: Khadija Dakite), American Homes (d: Bernard Friedman), Leon Smith: A Life of Art (d: Jay Corcoran) A Good Thing (d: Mark Tobey)
Q & A to follow with filmmakers in attendance
Priceless Things (d:Sarah-Violet Bliss), Junk (d: Kirk Hendry), The Trigger (d: Marcus Sheperd), Felix (d: Anselm Belser), Ballet Story (d: Daria Belova), Wind Is Blowing On My Street (d: Saba Riazi), Ken Regan Rock Photographer (d: Stephen Menick)
Ken Regan Rock & Roll Book signing and Q & A with filmmakers in attendance to follow
Mondays at Racines (d: Cynthia Wade), Saving Face (d: Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy)
Q & A to follow with filmmakers in attendance
VENUES AND TICKETS
Venues for all of the weekend-long events and screenings will include the Triplex Cinema and the historic Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington and the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield.
Passes are on sale now at $250 and $500 – $150 passes are sold out. Individual tickets go on sale Friday April 27 and may be purchased online at www.biffma.org or by phone at 1-866-811-4111. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting the Triplex Cinema or the Mahaiwe Box Office in Great Barrington or the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield.
ABOUT OUR SPONSORS
Premiere sponsors of the festival include the Triplex Cinema, Beacon Cinema, Studio Two, GWFF, The Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank, Jacqueline and Al Togut and Max Ultimate Food. Supporting sponsors include Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc., Stella Artois, Abbotts Livery, Medoff Inc., Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Stonover Farm and Days Inn/Comfort Inn.
Berkshire International Film Festival is a 501©3 non-profit. For more information, to join as a sponsor, volunteer, become a REEL Friend or make a contribution to BIFF, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
### END ###