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BIFF Announces 2024 Festival Lineup

By April 26, 2024May 8th, 2024No Comments



2024 BIFF Honoree is Oscar Award-Winning Screenwriter and Director JAMES IVORY 

BIFF Includes the Sundance Hit Film THELMA starring June Squibb, Fred Hechinger and Richard Roundtree, and the SXSW Hit Documentary about Prolific Songwriter DIANE WARREN: RELENTLESS;

Tea Talks Featuring Documentary Doyennes Sheila Nevins and Barbara Kopple;

Plus, 70 International and National Narrative Features and Documentaries, and Short Films with Dozens of Filmmakers

Click here to purchase passes now and find the full film and event lineup:

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA: April 26, 2024 —The 18th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) announces another blockbuster weekend line-up of films, events, and very special guests. The festival runs from May 30 – June 2 in Great Barrington and Lenox. Marked with strong international programming and an ongoing commitment to presenting the best in independent film, the festival brings together films, filmmakers, industry professionals and fans for a four-day celebration. The lineup features 24 documentaries, 26 narrative features, 18 short films, and a FREE animated shorts selection for kids. The festival brings stories from 22 countries including Germany, Argentina, India, Austria, Sweden, France, Eritrea, Israel, Hungary, Iceland, Canada, Palestine, UK, Spain, Ukraine, Ireland, Brazil, Norway and South Africa. This year’s festival promises to not only transport film fans to foreign lands, but also deliver important, engaging, powerful and entertaining stories from around the United States and here in the Berkshire community.  BIFF is also proud to have expanded to the Lenox Town Hall where films will be presented throughout the weekend. And finally, BIFF will present a curated selection of feature films and three short film slots being presented at the in-person festival, to be screened virtually. For the complete selection of films and events, please visit:

“We are honored to be celebrating the Academy award-winning screenwriter and director James Ivory this year. Mr. Ivory, along with his collaborative partners Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, created lush and beautiful films filled with romance and charm. They made films that were unrivaled and fresh that were completely unique to them. Mr. Ivory will share his time, stories and five-decades-long career with us on the Mahaiwe stage with WAMC’s Joe Donahue. We are also thrilled to share an extraordinary line-up of films from near and far, many coming straight from their success at Sundance, including our opening night film THELMA with actor Fred Hechinger in attendance and DIANE WARREN: RELENTLESS, an intimate documentary filled with Diane’s signature humor. Marked by a distinctive songwriting approach, Warren is responsible for the soundtrack of our lives from Cher to Stephen Tyler to LeAnn Rimes,” said Kelley Vickery, BIFF Founder and Artistic Director. “One of the things I love most about the BIFF is the diversity of films that our filmmakers bring to the Berkshires. Each year, we present films from around the world to reflect our ever-changing, ever-growing and ever-hopeful global and local communities. It is my hope that BIFF will inspire our Berkshire audience with wonder, curiosity, engagement, laughter and perhaps even a call to action. I continue to be amazed at the amount of inspired filmmaking that is being created, and I celebrate those filmmakers who share their stories and their talent. Independent film is alive and well and coming to the Berkshires!”

THURSDAY, MAY 30 —Opening Night at the Mahaiwe, Great Barrington, sponsored by Berkshire Bank: The festival opens with the Sundance hit THELMA. This feature directorial debut of Josh Margolin is a poignant action-comedy that gives veteran Oscar nominee June Squibb (NEBRASKA) her first leading role and features the final performance of trailblazing actor Richard Roundtree (SHAFT). Squibb, who did most of her stunts in the film, plays Thelma Post, a feisty 93-year-old grandmother who gets conned by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson, Fred Hechinger (WHITE LOTUS) and sets on a treacherous quest across LA, accompanied by an aging friend and his motorized scooter to reclaim what was taken from her. “I’m excited to open our 18th annual film festival with this wonderful film that is funny and entertaining, but also very tender and with a great heart,” said Vickery. “The writer/director was inspired by his own grandma, and you get this love and tenderness towards the conditions of elderly people.” It has been awhile since we opened with a narrative feature, and I think our audience will enjoy it and the conversation with actor Fred Hechinger following the screening.

Prior to the opening night film, BIFF will present THE TASTE OF THE BIFF, showcasing area restaurants in the Berkshires under the BIFF tent. This dinner-by-the-bite event includes The Breakroom, Dare Bottleshop & Provisions, The Elm, Frankie’s, Haven Cafe, JuJu’s, Moon Cloud, Morgan House, Number Ten, The Old Inn on the Green, The Red Lion Inn, SoCo Creamery, and SoMa Creative Cuisine. The Taste of the BIFF is a foodie festival within the festival!

The opening night begins with a presentation of the FOURTEENTH annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award” sponsored by Berkshire Bank. Voting begins May 1 – be sure to cast your vote before May 30 at great and be part of the excitement!

FRIDAY, MAY 31 – BIFF’s popular TEA TALKS, sponsored by Love Today Productions. This festival-favorite began six years ago, and this year’s selection includes in-depth conversations with special guests in the documentary film industry. The Tea Talks celebrates “The Doyennes of Documentary” with the award-winning Sheila Nevins and Barbara Kopple. They will screen and discuss Nevin’s 2023 Oscar-nominated documentary ABCs OF BOOK BANNING and Kopple’s Oscar-winning films, and share their illustrious careers as award-winning documentary filmmakers. The conversation will be with writer and BIFF board member, Mary Mott at the Mahaiwe.

SATURDAY, JUNE 1 —Tribute Night at the Mahaiwe with Oscar-winning screenwriter and director JAMES IVORY: It is a pleasure and an honor to pay tribute to the legendary James Ivory who for many years, worked extensively with his domestic as well as professional partner, Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who created Merchant Ivory Productions, whose films have won seven Academy Awards including A ROOM WITH A VIEW, MAURICE, HOWARDS END, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. The director Wes Anderson once wrote: “Jim, with [Merchant] and [Prawer Jhabvala], may be among the most independent of independent film-makers ever—and their longevity is possibly unrivalled? They initiated their own projects and worked with their team of regular collaborators for something like 50 years. And of course Jim is still at it… What don’t we learn from him/them? Howard’s End and A Room with a View were so popular (and good!): maybe we overlook how wide-ranging and adventurous this body of work really is.” Mr. Ivory and the director of the documentary MERCHANT IVORY will be in conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue on the stage of the Mahaiwe. The Berkshire International Film Festival is very proud to honor and recognize his legendary and iconic career.

SUNDAY, JUNE 2 —Closing Night at the Mahaiwe: BIFF will close with the SXSW hit documentary film, DIANE WARREN; RELENTLESS. The film is an intimate look at the life, career and process of one of the most accomplished and prolific songwriters of all time, and is responsible for the soundtrack of our lives. The film shares stories from Cher, Gloria Estefan, David Foster, Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Kesha and many more to showcase the creative genius that is Diane Warren. The film’s producers will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film and a closing night party will be held at Number Ten next door to the Mahaiwe.

BIFF has proudly programmed films that include the new film COLD WALLET that was filmed in Lenox, MA and had its premiere at SXSW film festival; numerous award-winning Sundance narrative and documentary films; the 40th anniversary screening of STOP MAKING SENSE; documentaries about the Black Keys and artist Jamie Wyeth; as well as two world premieres in the shorts selection, DR NO MEANS NO directed by Kestrin Pantera, and MY FATHER’S NAME directed by Susanna Styron.

“Kelley and I are thrilled about this year’s globally sourced program,” said Lillian Lennox, BIFF Film Programmer and Board Member. “We are blessed to have a dedicated team who work tirelessly to bring the very best independent narrative and documentary filmmaking to our  audiences.  Films that offer inspirational new voices and fresh perspectives.  We look forward to seeing old friends and new at this year’s festival.”

In addition to the dozens of remarkable films, BIFF will host special events throughout the weekend including the Juried Prize Award for narrative and documentary filmmaking, free family film screenings, and panel discussions.


The BIFF’s 2024 Jury includes distribution guru Josh Braun; director Kent Jones; actors Karen Allen and Michel Gill; casting director Gretchen Rennell; film publicist Laura Sok; and production designer Kristi Zea. In competition are four documentaries and four films in the narrative category.  The  award will be presented during a brunch on Sunday, June 2nd at Number Ten in Great Barrington.

The Fourteenth annual “Next Great Filmmaker” Competition created and sponsored by Berkshire Bank, will kick-off online voting on Monday, May 1. Voting will continue through May 29 and the winner will be announced at the Opening Night presentation in Great Barrington on Thursday, May 30 at the Mahaiwe. The films in competition are: THE BELL, BLUE HOUR, DR NO MEANS NO, HELP IS…ON THE WAY?, and BREAK / FIX.


In 2024, the BIFF will host its fourteenth annual Filmmaker Summit—a two-day talent academy for this year’s filmmakers. This diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, special events, and breakout sessions is led by known industry professionals. Beginning on Wednesday, May 29, the Filmmaker Summit is a truly unique introduction to the festival for filmmakers. The Filmmaker Summit is sponsored by Mary Mott and Gordon Simmering. Scholarship awards to the Filmmaker Summit are donated by The Frances Davis Fund in memory of Estelle Davis who really appreciated a good movie.


Premiere sponsors of the festival include the Triplex Cinema, Studio Two, Berkshire Bank, The Red Lion Inn, The Annie Selke Companies, Old Mill Road Media, The Frances Davis Fund, Love Today Productions. Supporting sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Dare Bottleshop and Provisions, Stella Artois, Abbotts Livery, Haven Cafe, Granville House and Greenhouse Yoga.

Passes are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale for REEL Friends of BIFF on Friday, April 26 and to the general public on Monday, April 29by visiting

Want to get more involved with our county’s only film festival?  Join our wonderful volunteer team today!  The next volunteer meeting will be held THIS Saturday, April 27th at 10AM at the Lenox Town Hall. Contact for further details.THANKS TO OUR 2024 SPONSORS! 
Premiere Sponsors of the 2024 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank, Old Mill Road Media, the Frances Davis Fund, The Annie Selke Companies, and Love Today Productions.
Presenting Sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Haven Cafe, Abbott’s Livery, Dare Bottleshop & Provisions, Granville House, Fairfield Inn and Greenhouse Yoga.
Festival Partners include the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Lenox Town Hall.

DARE Bottleshop and Provisions, Mary Daire

What compelled you to partner with BIFF?
BIFF’s nearly 20 year history of bringing world-class independent films and film culture to the Berkshires is an inspiration and a beacon for our area. As a small business deeply invested in our local community, Dare Bottleshop strives to align ourselves with organizations that continue to lift up our area, like BIFF. BIFF’s reputation precedes it and attracts people here from around the world each year, shining a light on Berkshire County as a world-class destination for culture & the arts.

Tell us about DARE Bottleshop and Provisions.
Dare Bottleshop and Provisions exists to represent small winemakers whose wines embody artisanal winemaking and representations of their regions. These are real wines; evocative, lively and transcendent.  We proudly stock local craft beer and cider along with a highly curated selection of specialty foods and tableware. We like to think of ourselves as a dinner-party destination, where our customers can source the essentials for entertaining and enjoying moments with friends & family around the table.

What, in your opinion, is the creative energy between film and wine?
Wine is the liquid expression of the land from which it’s grapes were grown, and the moment in history when it was made, encapsulating the conditions of that particular year’s harvest. The best bottles of wine exude the imprint of the winemaker who crafts it and tells the story of where it’s from. As a famous winemaker once said, “Making good wine is a skill, fine wine is an art”….just as great filmmaking is an art, the product of its maker, the vision that that person has of the world and a view into the period of history that it represents.


Who would play you in a movie?
Kate Bosworth

What’s your go to movie snack?
Buttery popcorn

What’s the film title that best describes your life?
A Year in Provence because it reminds us of when we live together in Provence.

Mary and Ben bio:

Wine & food have always played leading roles in our lives. We’re a French-American couple; (Mary is a native of the Berkshires..and Ben, a Michelin-trained chef from the countryside of France) met in Lenox in 2006 before moving to France to pursue education and careers in the world of cuisine and oenology.

It’s there where our wine & food journey really in Provence and eating and drinking our way around Europe before moving back to the Berkshires to start our family.

We’ve lived in the heart of the Berkshires since 2011 with our two young children and two dogs.

Ben officially hung up his chef’s apron in 2021 when we opened our first shop, Dare Bottleshop & Provisions, in downtown Lenox, MA. in November of 2021. Mary was a high school French teacher before joining Dare full-time with the opening of our Great Barrington location in March 2024.

Dare Bottleshop & Provisions is the culmination of our shared passion and interest in beautiful wine and delicious food, and the moments spent enjoying those things at the table with the people we love.

With the opening of our 2nd location, we are thrilled to build on our connection to our local community and bring amazing wine, craft beer & cider, unique beverages and specialty foods, along with exciting events and an unrivaled shopping experience to more of the Berkshires!