Juried Prize and Best of Fest Audience Awards Announced!
Great Barrington, MA – Sunday, the Berkshire International Film Festival wrapped a star-studded festival, filled with luminaries such as Yo-Yo-Ma, Bruce Dern, Karen Allen, Meryl Streep, Ann Roth, Joan Anderson, Sheila Nevins, Mike Haley, Kent Jones, Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow, Gregory Crewdson Julie Goldman, Ethel Sheffer and Douglas Trumbull among 40 filmmakers in attendance. In addition, the BIFF announced the winners of the annual BIFF Juried Prize Award and the BIFF Audience Award. In the 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. The Jury prize is sponsored by GWFF USA and was presented at a brunch Sunday at allium Restaurant in Great Barrington. Serving on the BIFF Jury were actors Mary Kay Place, and Peter Riegert, Josh Braun and Dan Braun of Submarine Entertainment, casting director Gretchen Rennell, film executive Bob Harper, and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones. 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.
The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was Lisa Grissom’s powerful short film TATTOO YOU taking a unique look at the issue of bullying from the adult perspective based on the award-winning play of the same name written by Grissom. After the ceremony, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the Sundance hit LIFE, ANIMATED directed by Roger Ross Williams about the remarkable story of how Owen found in Disney animation a pathway to language and a frame work for making sense of the world. Award winning director Julie Goodman was in attendance. The evening was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank. Prior to the screening, patrons were invited to a party at Hotel On North with chef Brian Alberg.
Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of the Sundance audience award-winning film MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE. The film was greatly received with a standing ovation in a packed house at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and the audience enjoyed a wonderful Q&A afterwards with the one and only Yo-Yo Ma and Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films. The Opening Night party was held at the BIFF Tent with dinner and cocktails underwritten by The Annie Selke Companies and catered by Mezze. Saturday evening in Great Barrington, the BIFF celebrated Bruce Dern for his Achievement in Film. In conversation with Doug Trumbull, Dern regaled the audience with wonderful and funny stories from his more than 40 years in Hollywood and he generously praised the BIFF as being “the Sundance of the East.” This special evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the dinner party was held at the BIFF Tent, with music by Andy Kelly jazz band and dinner was catered by MAX Ultimate Food. The BIFF presented more packed screenings at the Mahaiwe including YEAR BY THE SEA, starring Karen Allen, who was in attendance for a Q&A following the screening with the author Joan Anderson and the director Alexander Janko; BECOMING MIKE NICHOLS followed by a conversation with BIFF honoree Mike Haley, Academy Award winning costume designer Ann Roth and Academy Award winning actress Meryl Streep. Closing out the 11th year, BIFF closing night presentation was DE PALMA followed by a conversation with directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow moderated by internationally acclaimed artist, Gregory Crewdson.
Screening 75 features, documentaries, and shorts, BIFF hosted over 40 filmmakers and offered free children’s programs, Berkshire filmmakers, and parties in the BIFF throughout downtown Great Barrington and Pittsfield including a delicious filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn. Highlights of the weekend included ART AND HEART: THE WORLD OF ISAIAH SHEFFER with the director Catherine Tambini, Ethel Sheffer and Beryl Jolly in attendance; EVERYBODY KNOWS…ELIZABETH MURRY with Oscar Nominated production designer Kristi Zea; HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST with Harry Benson in attendance for a Q&A with directors; HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT followed by a Q&A with director and New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones; PETER AND THE FARM with Hudson filmmaker Tony Stone and producer Melissa auf der Maur; FORGOTTEN FARMS with Berkshire filmmaker Dave Simonds and producer Sarah Gardner; and REBEL CITIZEN, with award winning filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis.
In its eleventh year, BIFF proudly presented the fifth annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day talent academy offered to the 2016 film selection filmmakers. Chrysler Capital and Momentary Pictures sponsored this years’ summit. Offering a diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, and special events, 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. Highlights of this years festival was a studio visit with Douglas Trumbull and the keynote address by Sheila Nevins.
Premiere Sponsors of the 2016 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Beacon Cinema, GWFF USA, The Annie Selke Companies, Max Ultimate Food, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and Townvibe. Presenting Sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Jane Iredale Companies, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Haven Cafe, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery, Blantyre, Greylock Federal Credit Union, The Barrington, Fairfield Inn and Suites and Carlo Huber Selections.
BIFF will present TWO FREE family films this summer on Tuesday, July 12th, BIFF will screen the classic family baseball film, FIELD OF DREAMS and on Tuesday, July 26th the heart-warming family favorite, BABE will be shown. Films will be in Lilac Park in Lenox at 8PM. Bring a picnic and a blanket and watch the film under the Berkshire stars. Popcorn is FREE as is the film!
SAVE THE DATE! BIFF presents the first ever HOUSE PARTY on Saturday, September 3 at 6PM. This year’s theme is HAUTE HOEDOWN and will be hosted at a private Richmond Estate with outstanding views of the surrounding counties. Cocktails and hors d-oeuvres, an elegant seated farm to table dinner by MAX Ultimate Food plus games, live band, mechanical bull, line dancing and live auction! Wear your denim or drip in diamonds or be glad to wear plaid…anything goes! For more information, call 413-528-8030.
With nearly 800 film submissions this year, the Berkshire International Film Festival has quickly become a destination festival that filmmakers seek due to the enthusiastic audiences it attracts.
BIFF 2016 will be held June 1 – 4, 2017 and passes and submissions will open October 1, 2016.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2015
From: Berkshire International Film Festival
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Contact: Kelley R. Vickery (413) 528-8030
THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THE TENTH SPECTACULAR YEAR
Juried Prize and Best of Fest Audience Awards Announced
Great Barrington, MA – Today, the Berkshire International Film Festival announced the winners of the annual BIFF Juried Prize Award and the BIFF Audience Award. In the 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 Jury prize is sponsored by GWFF USA and was presented at a brunch Sunday at allium Restaurant in Great Barrington. Serving on the BIFF Jury were actors Karen Allen, Mary Kay Place, Scott Cohen and Peter Riegert, Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment, producer Susan Arnold, casting director Gretchen Rennell, film executive Bob Harper, production designer Kristi Zea, and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones. 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.
The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was Chris King’s powerful short film BIRTHDAY about a wounded war veteran returning home to his wife and how they put their lives back together. After the ceremony, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the Sundance hit THE END OF THE TOUR directed by James Ponsoldt and stars Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segal which was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank. Immediately following the screening, patrons were invited to a party hosted by and at the new Hotel On North with chef Brian Alberg, the Berkshire Shenanigans and DJ BFG.
BIFF Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of the Sundance audience award-winning film MERU. The film was greatly received by a packed house at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and the audience enjoyed a wonderful Q&A afterwards with director and producer Chai Vasarhelyi and elite climber Conrad Anker and his wife Jenni Lowe Anker. A special anniversary film in honor of the 10th anniversary was produced by Joshua Crane and The Trumbull Studios, and premiered at the opening. The Opening Night party was held at the BIFF Tent with a live band, dinner was catered by Max Ultimate Food, and was generously underwritten by Jacqueline and Al Togut. Saturday evening in Great Barrington, the Mahaiwe was sold-out for the special event screening of PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT. Immediately following the screening, director Lisa Immordino Vreeland, producers Josh and Dan Braun and famed art historian Donald Kuspit were heartily greeted by the audience and they held a panel discussion on the stage of the Mahaiwe. This special evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the dinner party was held at the BIFF Tent, with music by Andy Kelly jazz band and dinner was catered by Michael Ballon of Castle Street Cafe. The BIFF presented yet another sold-out presentation at the Mahaiwe on closing night of LIVE FROM NEW YORK! with producers JL Pomeroy and Tom Broecker in attendance for a Q&A.
Screening 80 features, documentaries, and shorts, BIFF hosted over 40 filmmakers and offered free children’s programs, Berkshire filmmakers, and parties in the BIFF throughout downtown Great Barrington and Pittsfield including a filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn. Highlights of the weekend included Karen Allen’s new film BAD HURT with Allen in attendance along with director Mark Kemble and cast members Iris Gilad and Michael Harney (Orange is the New Black); A live performance from the young musicians of Kids for Harmony in Pittsfield took place outside the Triplex immediately following the screening of CRESCENDO; Famed Hollywood actor Tab Hunter was in attendance for the documentary film about his life TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL; Berkshire filmmaker Larry Burke screened his film AUTUMNAL prior to the screening of A SMALL GOOD THING highlighting 6 people in our community with filmmakers in attendance; THE PAPER TRAIL featuring Simon Winchester, Courtney Maum, John Patrick Shanley and Luc Sante screened with the filmmakers in attendance; and BOB AND THE TREES, completely filmed in the Berkshires by Sandisfield resident and director/writer Diego Ongaro, writer Courtney Maum and the entire cast of the film in attendance.
In its tenth year, BIFF proudly presented the fourth annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day talent academy offered to the 2015 film selection filmmakers. Offering a diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, and special events, 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.
Other films screened at the festival included ‘AUF DAS LEBEN! TO LIFE!,’ ‘THE DARK HORSE,’ ‘DON’T WORRY BABY,’ ‘GEMMA BOVERY,’ A HARD DAY’ ‘HENRI HENRI,’ RESULTS,’ ‘SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE’ ‘STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT,’ ‘TRACES OF SANDALWOOD,’ ‘THE TRIBE,’ ‘BACK ON BOARD: GREG LOUGANIS,’ ‘BEST OF ENEMIES,’ ‘CARTEL LAND,’ ‘CITY OF GOLD,’ ‘THE DIPLOMAT,’ ‘DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD,’ ‘FRAME BY FRAME,’ ‘ HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO,’ ‘THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD,’ ‘(T)ERROR,’ ‘WELCOME TO LEITH,’ and ‘THE WOLFPACK’ and 18 unforgettable short films.
Premiere Sponsors of the 2015 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Beacon Cinema, GWFF USA, Jacqueline and Al Togut, Max Ultimate Food, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and The Annie Selke Companies. Presenting Sponsors include Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery, The Barrington and Fairfield Inn and Suites.
With over 700 film submissions this year, the Berkshire International Film Festival has quickly become a destination festival that filmmakers seek due to the enthusiastic audiences it attracts.
BIFF 2015 will be held June 2 – 5, 2016 and submissions will open October 1, 2015.
“Best of Fest”
Sunday, January 18th
CRIME AFTER CRIME (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H-2hVGpVPY)
The 2011 winner of our Audience Award and
Juried Prize Award
General Admission is $10
FREE for REEL Friends
with Membership Card
Triplex Doors open at 10:45
Screening Starts at at 11:00
click here to watch the trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H-2hVGpVPY)
See it First:
On Thursday, January 15th at 7:00 pm at the Triplex BIFF is hosting a REEL Friends exclusive screening of the much anticipated film by Clint Eastwood. Yesterday the Associated Press of the New York Times wrote:
American Sniper is quintessentially Eastwood: a tautly made, confidently constructed examination of the themes that have long dominated his work.
Click on the image below to view the trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99k3u9ay1gs)
Please present your Membership Card
when purchasing a ticket
Standard Triplex Ticket rates apply.
“Best of Fest”
On Sunday, January 18th at the Triplex we have an encore screening the documentary
CRIME AFTER CRIME (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H-2hVGpVPY) , which in 2011 won both our Audience Award and our Juried Prize Award.
Doors open at 10:45 am
Screening Starts at at 11:00 am
General Admission is $10
FREE for REEL Friends with Membership Card
10 x 10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival
The BIFF and the Beacon Cinema present:
BEST OF FEST SHORTS.
10 of the best shorts, from the past 10 years.
Where: Beacon Cinema (57 North Street, Pittsfield)
When: 2:30 pm Matinee on Sunday, February 15th and 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 19th.
For more information please visit
Jump Start your Business
in the New Year!
BIFF is celebrating it;’s 10th Anniversary season, May 28th-31st! Reach diverse and dynamic audiences by promoting your business in our
full color commemorative program!
Receive a 10% discount when you sign a contract before January 30th!
FREE business listing on the BIFF homepage and Advertiser page through 2015!
Space is limited so reserve yours today by contacting Lauren Ferin at email@example.com
View the advertising booklet now! View the B (http://issuu.com/ksprague/docs/biff15adpacket.finissuu) IFF Media Kit (https://biffma.org/media-kit/)
This is the year to VOLUNTEER!!!
What better way to make new friends, work closely with filmmakers and attend one of the most exciting, cultural events that kicks off the summer season in the Berkshires?
Please contact Lauren Ferin at firstname.lastname@example.org and apply today to become a volunteer and be a part of the action leading up to and behind the scenes of BIFF’s 10th Anniversary Festival!!
BIFF 2015 will be held May 28-31
in Great Barrington and Pittsfield.
PASSES ARE NOW ON SALE FOR THE 2015 BIFF (https://biffma.org/purchase-passes/)
and can be purchased at www.biffma.org.
Kelley R. Vickery
Become a REEL FRIEND of the BIFF (https://biffma.org/become-a-reel-friend/)
BUY YOUR 2015 BIFF PASS (https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/store/127/packages)
Copyright © 2015 Berkshire International Film Festival, All rights reserved.
On FRIDAY, December 12th at 6:00 pm., BIFF held a pre-release screening of Angelina Jolie’s much anticipated film UNBROKEN, the unbelievable true story that chronicles the life of Louis Zamerini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II, UNBROKEN.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2014
From: Berkshire International Film Festival, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Contact: Kelley Vickery, Executive Director – (413) 528-8030
BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM KICKS OFF THE 10TH WITH A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENING
(Great Barrington, MA) – The Berkshire International Film Festival presented a spectacular first-ever gala on Friday, August 29, 2014 in celebration of the 10th anniversary season. Under beautiful summer skies, the gala was a huge success, selling out 350 seats at a sit down dinner held at the Great Barrington Airport. The evening honored Governor Deval and First Lady Diane Patrick for their support of the Berkshire arts and community.
The evening took place in the airport hanger where Gala Chairs created the feel of being in the sky with a draped cloud ceiling, blue and white ambient light and a plane suspended from the ceiling. A delicious seasonal 3-course dinner was catered by MAX Ultimate Food of Boston. A special BIFF video produced for the 10th Anniversary was unveiled by Doug Trumbull Studios and Kim and James Taylor sent a special video congratulating the Patrick’s and the BIFF before embarking on the QE2 for England. The live auction presented four unique and exciting auction items including a trip to le Sereno on St. Barth’s, a trip to Ecuador to Hacienda Cusin and Casa Gengotena, a luxurious New York City weekend and a BIFF Producer package. The excitement began to build when at the last minute, Governor and First Lady Diane Patrick offered a dinner party for 8 people at their Richmond home prepared by the Governor. The auction item went for thousands of dollars and was given out twice. To end the celebratory evening, the patrons danced the night away on the tarmac under the stars to live music by the Rhythm Dogs from New York City.
The gala was chaired by Jacqueline and Al Togut, and co-chaired by Dan Mathieu and Tom Potter, Kate and Hans Morris and Annie Selke and Mark Dove. The event was sponsored by Drouhin Wine Cellars, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, and MAX Ultimate Food.
BIFF 2015 will be held May 28 – 31, 2015 in Great Barrington and Pittsfield. Film submissions and festival passes go on sale October 1, 2014. For more information, please visit www.biffma.org.