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By June 4, 2017June 22nd, 2021No Comments

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by Stephen Sorokoff

You don’t have to go to the Cannes Film Festival in France to see to the best new creations from film makers and mingle with glamorous and creative people. It’s happening in the Berkshires at the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF). Kelley Vickery who founded the festival 12 years ago has brought the best of independent film from around the world to Great Barrington and Pittsfield Mass. movie theaters. It’s a four day event of great movies, Q&A, discussions, special events, and parties. This year’s festival paid tribute to Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer, who when accepting BIFF’s Lifetime Achievement Award told the audience ” you probably can’t realize how much this award means to me”. I spent many happy hours at Tanglewood. (Mr. Plummer is also a classical pianist). After a conversation with Film Critic David Edelstein on the stage of The Mahaiwe Mr. Plummer’s new film The Exception was screened. The Canadian born actor didn’t need his passport to travel to the Berkshires, just a pass to the BIFF.

It would be easier to list the awards Christopher Plummer hasn’t won in his nearly seven decades of work in film, television, stage and concert halls. Multiple Tony awards, Emmy awards, the Golden Globe, the Genie, Screen Actor’s Awards, Canada’s Companion of Honor, countless Film Critic honors, and of course an Academy Award for a body of work this is nothing less than an encyclopedia of the arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries. And if awards were given for living life to its fullest, Christopher Plummer would hve run out of clever acceptance speeches by now. A legendary rake. A lustful lush. A Classical musician. An adroit raconteur. A world traveller. The drinking buddy of Peter O’Toole and Albert Finney. He has known, loved, drunk, acted and/or brawled with everyone who is anyone in the past seventy years of international celebrity.

BIFF 2017 opened with a screening of STEP at The Mahaiwe and an opening night party at St. James Place in Great Barrington. Opening night in Pittsfield the following day screened The Trip To Spain at the Beacon CInema, and the Berkshire Bank presentation of the 6th Annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award” with a party at Hotel on North. The Christopher Plummer Tribute took place at the Mahaiwe with Mr. Plummer in conversation with chief film critic of New York and CBS Morning, David Edelstein. The evening featured the screening of The Exception. Closing night was in Great Barrington with BIFF presenting the film LUCKY at The Mahaiwe Theater and party at Castle Street Cafe.

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