Opening Night film, PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION screened at the Triplex Cinema
Michael Haley, 2006 Honoree, Tribute was held at the Norman Rockwell Museum with director Mike Nichols presenting his award for his lifetime work as Asst. AD. Special guests also included actor Leonard Nimoy and writer Andrew Bergman
MAN PUSH CART, AKEELAH AND THE BEE and ROAD TO GUANTANAMO and WORDPLAY were some of the big films
Arthur Penn, 2007 Honoree and Berkshire County resident, honored on the Mahaiwe stage with a screening of BONNIE AND CLYDE.
Special guests from film FOUR FRIENDS include Reed Birney, Craig Wasson, Jim Metzler, Michael Huddleston and Jodi Thelan. Also Academy Award winning Estelle Parsons and award winning screenwriter Walter Bernstein.
Collaboration with Jacobs Pillow 75th Anniversary with a screening of THE MEN WHO DANCED and FALLING DOWN STAIRS directed by Barbara Willis Sweete
Screened EAGLE VS SHARK at the Triplex, one of Taika Waitit’s first films, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for JOJO RABBIT
THE MUSIC INN film was screened at the Triplex, with director Ben Barenholtz in attendance. This is very significant to the Berkshires, its location so close in proximity to Tanglewood and ws a force in the emergence of jazz from clubs to concert halls and harboared racial and cultural harmony during 1951-1960.
Special guests *see above also Sid Ganis, Nancy Hult Ganis, Karen Allen
Opening Night film, MAN ON WIRE, 2009 Oscar winner for Best Documentary with subject, Phillippe Petit on the Mahaiwe stage.
Kevin Bacon, 2008 Honoree with a screening of THE BIG PICTURE and award presented by special guest Lori Singer of FOOTLOOSE
Closing Night film FROZEN RIVER with Melissa Leo, Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress, Golden Globe, two Emmy Awards and Critics’ Choice Award for her role in this film directed by local filmmaker, Courtney Hunt, both in attendance.
Special Effects Presentation with Doug Trumbull and screening of BLADERUNNER
Special guests Sid Ganis, Nancy Hult Ganis,Michael Bacon, Peter Reigert, Gov. Deval Patrick
Opening Night film, WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE with Emily & Sarah Kunstler, directors at the Mahaiwe
Special Event/Tribute with Richard Brown, NYU’s famed film professor of Movies101 and with over 2000 interviews, The Library of Congress will dedicate the Richard Brown Motion Picture Archive, the world’s largest oral history devoted to cinema.
Closing Night film, THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD Audience Award winner at the Berlin Film Festival with filmmakers Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno at the Triplex Cinema
Patricia Clarkson, 2010 honoree and Q&A screening of CAIRO TIME with director Rubba Nadda. Award presented by Chris Noth
Opening Night film JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK with directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. Joan Rivers also performed a show at the Mahaiwe Theater on a later date
Opening Night celebrated Marge Champion’s 90th birthday with a screening of a short film titled KEEP DANCING with the director Greg Vander Veer and Marge on hand for a brief Q&A/intro to the film
Short film screening of SPEED GRIEVING with actress Alysia Reiner, who also starred in the television series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Short film screening of THE RESPONSE and Q&A with cast Peter Riegert and director Sig Liebowitz
Special guests include David Rasche, Peter Reigert, Karen Allen, Lauren Ambrose, Chis Noth
June 2- 5
Doug Trumbull, 2011 Honoree Q&A and screening of the film BACK TO THE FUTURE and TREE OF LIFE
Screening of film WHITE IRISH DRINKERS with Q&A following with Karen Allen and Peter Riegert
Closing Night screening Sundance Audience Award winning film BUCK with Q&A director Cindy Meeh
Screening of KINYARWANDA, Sundance Audience Award winning film for World Cinema Drama and Q&A with director Alrick Brown and producer Darren Dean
Screening of A LETTER OT ELIA with co-directed and written by Martin Scorcese and Kent Jones, Q&A with Kent Jones
Special guests include Kent Jones, Courtney Hunt, Michel Gill and Jayne Atkinson
May 31- June 3
Opening Night film, ETHEL with Kathleen Kennedy and daughters and director Rory Kennedy
Special event screening of MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT with Q&A on Mahaiwe stage with Marina
Closing Night film, GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS with director Ben Shapiro and Joe Thompson director of Mass MoCA moderation Q&A with Gregory
Sundance Special Jury Prize winning AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY screened
Special guests include Karen Allen, Kent Jones, Mary Kay Place
Screening of Academy award nominated films THE INVISABLE WAR and HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
May 31- June 2
In the Juried documentary category, the winners were VALENTINE ROAD directed by first time director Marta Cunningham and GMO OMG directed by another first time filmmaker, Jeremy Seifert. DIE WELT, from the Netherlands, won in the Juried narrative category from first time Dutch-Tunisian director Alex Pitstra
Audience Award documentary category, the winner was CRASH REEL directed by Lucy Walker about US champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce in attendance for a Q&A SUSKIND directed by Rudolph van den Berg won the Audience Award in the narrative feature category about the extraordinary, true story of Jewish resistance hero Walter Suskind.
Opening night screening of Academy award-winning documentary TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM. Darlene Love (cast) performed “Lean On Me” afterward the screening on the Mahaiwe stage
Short film FOOD FOR THOUGHT was also screened opening night and actors Tony Shalhoub and Meegan Holoway were in attendance with director Joe Cacaci.
Closing night of FRANCES HA. Director Noah Baumbach and actress Greta Gerwig, who both co-wrote the film, were on hand after the film with photographer Gregory Crewdson for a discussion and Q&A on the stage of the Mahaiwe
29- June 1
Juried documentary category, the winners were CASE AGAINST 8 written and directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White. Gillian Robespierre’s romantic comedy, OBVIOUS CHILD won in the Juried narrative category
Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC AND MEMORY and the Audience Award Winner for best narrative feature was a tie between HANK AND ASHA and UNDER THE SAME SUN.
Special guests included Karen Allen, Mary Kay Place and Peter Riegert,
Special Event screening of doc film BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL with co-directors Chapman and Maclain Way (nephews of Kurt Russell and the grandsons of Bing Way, the main character in the film)
FORT TILDEN (won Grand Jury Prize at SXSW) screened at BIFF, Director Sarah-Violet Bliss won the 3rd annual Next Great Filmmaker Award for her 2012 short PRICELESS THINGS
Juried documentary category, the winners were ROMEO IS BLEEDING written and directed by Jason Zeldes. Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia won in the Juried narrative category for their film H. filmed in both Troy, NY and Pittsfield.
The Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was a tie between CRESCENDO directed by Jamie Bernstein, and ABOVE AND BEYOND directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg. The Audience Award Winner for best narrative feature was the Danish film SECRETS OF WAR.
MERU Opening Night Film (Audience Best Doc Award at Sundance) with E. Chai Vasarhelyi (director/producer) with world renown climber and cast Conrad Anker and his wife Jenni Lowe-Anker
Screening of the Academy Award nominated film CARTEL LAND with director Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
RUNNING FROM CRAZY March 28, at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and Q&A with Mariel Hemmingway in collaboration with the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge
June 2- 5
Juried documentary category, the winner was UNTOUCHABLE written and directed by David Feige and in the Juried narrative category the Iranian entry, WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, was awarded the prize.
Yo-Yo-Ma Opening Night in attendance with his film MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
Bruce Dern, 2016 Honoree with Q&A on Mahaiwe stage with Douglas Trumbull moderating
Meryl Streep, Ann Roth (costume designer), on Mahaiwe stage for Q&A for film BECOMING MIKE NICHOLS
Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow (directors) Closing Night on Mahaiwe stage for Q&A for their film DE PALMA with Gregory Crewdson moderating
Other guests that year…Joan Anderson, Sheila Nevins, Mike Haley, Kent Jones, Julie Goldman, Ethel Sheffer and Karen Allen
The Audience Award Winner for best narrative feature was a tie between YEAR BY THE SEA directed by Alexander Janko and starring Karen Allen, and the French film OUR WOMEN directed by Richard Barry. The Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was the Sundance hit film LIFE, ANIMATED directed by Roger Rees Williams which was nominated for BEST DOC at the 89th Academy Awards.
In the Juried documentary category, NOWHERE TO HIDE directed by Zaradasht Ahmed, narrative category the Israeli entry from Film Movement, BAR BAHAR or IN BETWEEN, was awarded the prize.
Special guests Karen Allen, Steven Cantor, Sheila Nevins
The Audience Award Winner was Narrative Feature going to PATTI CAKE$ directed by Geremy Jasper. The Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was a tie between TAKE MY NOSE….PLEASE! directed by Joan Kron and BENDING THE ARC directed by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos.
“TEA TALKS” including 3 talks from Sheila Nevins, President of HBO documentaries; Karen Allen and Kristi Zea honoring Carsen McCullers with their short films A TREE. A ROCK. A CLOUD. and DOMESTIC DILEMMA; and Sunday BIFF presented a screening of
ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN screening followed by a conversation with Paul Krugman (2008 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences) and Dr. Alan Chartock.
2017 Honoree Christopher Plummer on the Mahaiwe Stage with Q&A and moderator David Edelstein (chief film critic for NY) with screening of THE EXCEPTION
Closing Night Film- LUCKY with Q&A on Mahaiwe stage with director (actor) John Carroll Lynch, moderated by Mary Mott
May 31-June 3
Documentary category, the winner was THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS directed by Tim Wardle. United Kingdom entry, EDIE, was awarded the Juried Narrative prize. Writer and director, Simon Hunter
Rachel Weiasz, 2018 Honoree with a screening of her film DISOBEDIENCE and Q&A on the Mahaiwe Stage with David Edelstein.
Governor Deval Patrick and Jayne Atkinson introduced a screenplay reading of the Berkshire-based film, MUMBET—Submarine Entertainment had come to agreement to represent the MUMBET film directed by Alethea Root, and produced by Alethea Root and Kim Waltrip, and executive produced by Octavia Spencer, Jayne Atkinson and Elizabeth Aspenlieder.
The Audience Award winner was the closest in BIFF’s 13-year history with the narrative feature going to the hit romantic comedy from Switzerland, STREAKERS directed by Peter Luisi. THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS also won the Audience Award for best documentary feature.
“TEA TALKS” including 3 talks from Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph and award-winning artist Gregory Crewdson; Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade and her new film GRIT; and a special sneak-preview screening of DIANE with writer/director Kent Jones, actor Mary Kay Place, and costume designer Carissa Kelly.
May 30- June 2
Documentary category, the winner was Oscar nominated HONEYLAND directed by Tamara Kotesvska and Ljubomir Stefanov. Narrative category the film, PREMATURE, was awarded the prize. The writer and director, Rashaad Ernesto Green, was not at the festival but the producer Darren Dean accepted the award.
Other guests that year…Karen Allen, Douglas Trumbull and Andrew Slater, Michel Gill, Kent Jones, Peter Riegert, Scott Cohen
Audience Award Winner from Germany, THE SILENT REVOLUTION directed by Lars Kraume. GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH won the Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature. The short film, SUITE NO. 1, PRELUDE directed by Nicholas Ma, won the first Audience Award for best short.
“TEA TALKS.” This year included 4 talks: THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM with a panel discussion “Rethinking AG”with farmers and filmmakers; a screening of WEED THE PEOPLE followed by a talk with the filmmaker and CEO of Theory Wellness, the sponsor; THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING with a discussion with film producer Nancy Hult Ganis and BIFF Board Chair Pat Fili-Krushel; ECHO IN THE CANYON screening with filmmaker and producer Andrew Slater and Executive Producer Dan Braun & BIFF Board member Peter Herbst (also writer for Premiere magazine)
Martin Scorsese, 2019 Honoree with Q&A on Mahaiwe stage with Kent Jones moderating with screening of SILENCE Martin has connection to the Berkshires, had his first kiss with his wife Helen Morris at the Mahaiwe theater, also directed AGE OF INNOCENCE…Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox “It’s extraordinarily beautiful and significantly special place”
William Fichtner (actor) director and Kim Coates (cast) screening of COLD BROOK with Q&A and special filmmaker summit panel at the Iris Gallery with Bill and Kim moderated by filmmaker, producer Darren Dean
Opening Night Film WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL in honor of the legendary film critic and Berkshire resident (lived in GB) Pauline Kael’s centenary.
Closing Night Film- MUSEUM TOWN with director Jennifer Trainer, Wilco bassist John Stirratt, former Governor Jane Swift about the largest contemporary art museum in the nation, MASS MoCA in North Adams