Category

Latest

The Berkshire International Film Festival Wraps Fourteenth And Largest Festival To Date And Pays Tribute To Legendary Director Martin Scorsese

By Latest, Press Release

Juried Prize and Best of Fest Audience Awards Announced!

June 3, 2019, Great Barrington, MA – Sunday, the Berkshire International Film Festival wrapped a spectacular festival, filled with luminaries such as Martin Scorsese, Kent Jones, William Fichtner, Kim Coates, Karen Allen, Douglas Trumbull and Andrew Slater, among 50 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 HONEYLAND directed by Tamara Kotesvska and Ljubomir Stefanov. Its North American theatrical premiere begins in New York City on June 29, released by Neon.

In the Juried 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. The film will be released by IFC. The Jury prize is sponsored by GWFF USA and was presented at a brunch Sunday at Number Ten restaurant in Great Barrington. Serving on the BIFF Jury were actors Michel Gill, Peter Riegert and Scott Cohen, Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment, screenwriter Maria Nation, casting director Gretchen Rennell and filmmaker and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones.

The Audience Award Winner was once again very close with the Narrative Feature going to the hit film 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.

The winner of the 10th annual Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was the Norwegian short film FROZEN MEMORIES which tells the story of a father battling dementia and his son who takes care of him. The Norwegian filmmakers Petter Solberg Heum and Guro Strand were on hand to accept the award. After the sold-out screening of the award-winning documentary THE APOLLO about the legendary venue in New York City, BIFF patrons were treated to the opening night party at Trattoria Rustica with an Italian spread, cocktails and live music by Jeb Colewell. The evening was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of WHAT SHE SAID; THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL, marking the centenary of her birth. The post-screening panel included writers Craig Seligman, Stephanie Zacherek and artist Gregory Crewdson. The film received an enthusiastic ovation to a packed house at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. The Opening Night party was held under the BIFF tent with dinner, dancing and cocktails underwritten by Main Street Hospitality. Saturday evening in Great Barrington, the BIFF honored Academy Award-winning director, MARTIN SCORSESE for his achievement in film. In conversation with New York Film Festival Director and filmmaker Kent Jones, Mr. Scorsese generously shared with the audience clips from his films and wonderful, engaging stories from his rich and varied career in film including the restoration of old films he is deeply involved in. Immediately following the conversation, BIFF screened his film SILENCE. The tribute evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and included a party under the tent with cocktails, dinner and jazz prior to the tribute. A private reception was held after in Mr. Scorsese’s honor.

The BIFF also presented the third year of “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.

Closing out the 14th year, BIFF presented MUSEUM TOWN about the making of Mass MoCA followed by a conversation with director Jennifer Thompson, former Governor Jane Swift, Wilco bassist John Stirrat and Mass MoCA fabrications curator Richard Criddle moderated by BIFF board member Mary Mott.

Other highlights were Karen Allen’s new film COLEWELL, with Ms. Allen in attendance; William Fichtner’s directorial debut COLD BROOK with Mr. Fichtner and his co-star Kim Coates in attendance; Barbara Koppel’s new documentary NEW HOMELAND with Ms. Koppel in attendance; and a new documentary about Doug Trumbull, TRUMBULL LAND with Mr. Trumbull in conversation.

Screening 81 features, documentaries, and shorts during the festival, the BIFF also hosted more than 50 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 on a glorious spring day.

In its fourteenth year, BIFF proudly presented the eighth annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day industry summit offered to the 2019 film selection filmmakers. A diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, and special events, led 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 year’s Filmmaker Summit include a studio visit with Douglas Trumbull, an industry talk with Barbara Koppel, industry panels with Douglas Tirola, producers Darren Dean and Stacey Reiss, Juno Films, Doc Society, Factory 25, A&E entertainment and the keynote address by Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment and Ryan Harrington of National Geographic.

Premiere Sponsors of the 2019 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Phoenix Cinema Beacon Theaters, GWFF USA, MAX Ultimate Food, The Annie Selke Companies, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and Townvibe. Presenting Sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Haven Cafe, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery, and Fairfield Inn and Suites. Supporting sponsors included Berkshire Grown, Theory Wellness and the Annie Selke Companies and additional support provided by the Mass Cultural Council.

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.

The 15th annual BIFF will be held May 28 – 31, 2020 and passes and submissions will open October 1, 2019.

# E N D #

BIFF ANNOUNCES COMPLETE 2019 FESTIVAL INCLUDING BIFF HONOREE MARTIN SCORSESE!

By Latest
14th ANNUAL BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL  ANNOUNCES 2019 FESTIVAL LINEUP 
2019 BIFF Honoree is Academy Award-winning and Legendary Director 
MARTIN SCORSESE
BIFF Includes Centenary Celebration of Iconic Film Critic Pauline Kael,
the Northeast Premiere of MUSEUM TOWN, Karen Allen’s Latest Film, Doug Trumbull Doc, Actor William Fichtner’s Directorial Debut, Sundance Hits, Tea Talks Featuring Award-winning Films on Farming, Medical Marijuana, Gender Disparity in the Film Industry and Music from LA’s Laurel Canyon Plus Cultural Films Highlighting Artists Botero, Frosty Myers, Toni Morrison and Arvo Pärt
GREAT BARRINGTON, MA: April 26, 2019—The 14th 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 to June 2 in Great Barrington and May 31 to June 2 in Pittsfield. Marked with strong international programming and an ongoing commitment to presenting the best in documentary film the festival brings together films, filmmakers, industry professionals and fans for a four-day celebration. The lineup features 30 documentaries, 30 narrative features and 21 short films and represents 24 countries including Germany, Cuba, Afghanistan, Morocco, India, Turkey, Spain, France, Australia, Israel, Macedonia, Serbia, China, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, Slovak Republic, Italy and Norway. This year’s festival promises to not only transport film fans to foreign lands, but to also deliver important, engaging, powerful and entertaining stories from around the United States right here to the Berkshire community.
 
“I am deeply honored and humbled that we will be honoring the legendary filmmaker, Martin Scorsese this year. As one of the greatest film directors of all time, it is extraordinary that he will share his time, stories and five-decade long career with us on the Mahaiwe stage. We are also thrilled to share an extraordinary line-up of films from near and far, many coming straight from their success at Sundance,” said Kelley Vickery, BIFF Founder and Artistic Director. “In our narrative section we have films from promising filmmakers like Lulu Wang, Rashaad Ernesto Green and Ani Simon Kennedy to established filmmakers like Richard Shepard, Nikolaus Leytner and Laurent Tirard. In our documentary selection, we have curated the most timely, funny and thought-provoking documentaries of the year.” 
 
Vickery went on to say, “One of the things I love 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 community. 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. BIFF continues to bring the world to the Berkshires!”
 
THURSDAY, MAY 30—Opening Night, Great Barrington: The festival opens withWHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL, in celebration of the 100thanniversary of her birth. WHAT SHE SAID tells the story of the longtime New Yorkerfilm critic and best-selling author. Featuring a rich blend of interviews with filmmakers and colleagues, never-before-seen archival footage, and Kael’s own words—the latter of which are drawn from interviews, private letters, and published writings that are narrated by Emmy Award winning actress Sarah Jessica Parker—WHAT SHE SAID depicts the storied writer’s battle to make a name for herself through covering some of the biggest cinematic milestones of the 20th century. Variety wrote about the film, “WHAT SHE SAID is an exquisitely crafted documentary about the woman who was arguably the greatest movie critic who ever lived.” The director Rob Garver,New Yorker film critic Craig Seligman, artist Gregory Crewdson and writer Stephanie Zacharek will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film. Opening night festivities also include dinner, cocktails and a dance party for pass-holders catered by Main Street Catering.
 
FRIDAY, MAY 31Opening Night, Pittsfield: BIFF will open at the Beacon in Pittsfield with the rock-and-rolling THE APOLLO about the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. The Apollo Theater has been a cultural anchor on Harlem’s West 125th Street since 1934, and through its doors have passed the most legendary African American artists of the past nine decades. Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Tribeca alum Roger Ross Williams, looks at the storied history of this iconic space while following the Apollo’s inaugural staging of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed “Between the World and Me.” The Apollo Theater represents the ongoing struggle of black lives in America and THE APOLLO demonstrates the elemental role that art plays in that struggle by highlighting the broad range of African American achievement that has been discovered, championed, and thrived on its stage.
 
The opening night begins with a presentation of the TENTH annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award” sponsored by Berkshire Bank—cast your vote before May 30 at www.biffma.org/nextgreat and be part of the excitement! Opening Night festivities continue at Trattoria Rustica with music, cocktails and dinner-by-the-bite immediately following the film.
 
SATURDAY, JUNE 1Tribute Night: It is a pleasure, and a huge honor, to pay tribute to the Academy Award-winning and legendary director Martin Scorsese. One of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Mr. Scorsese has created an astonishing number of masterpieces over his five-decade career. His love of the craft is evident in every film he makes. As an artist, historian, mentor, and inspiration, Mr. Scorsese has left a mark on cinematic history that will live on for decades to come. Mr. Scorsese will be in conversation with New York Film Festival director and film director Kent Jones at the Mahaiwe. The tribute will also include screenings of RAGING BULL and SILENCE. Tribute  night festivities also include dinner and cocktails prior to the tribute for pass-holders catered by MAX Ultimate Food and sponsored by GWFF.
 
SUNDAY, JUNE 2Closing Night: BIFF will close with the highly acclaimed SXSW hit, MUSEUM TOWN about the Berkshires own MASS MoCA. The film was directed by Jennifer Trainer who will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening along with former Governor Jane Swift, Wilco bassist John Stirratt, and Richard Criddle, the director of fabrication for MASS MoCA and instrumental in the Nick Cage exhibit.
 
In addition to the dozens of remarkable films, BIFF will host special events throughout the weekend including GWFF USA’s Juried Prize Award for narrative and documentary filmmaking, free Kids Flicks screenings, and panel discussions. BIFF’s popular “Tea Talks” also return. This festival favorite began two years ago and this year’s selections include in-depth conversations with special guests about some of our program’s featured films. Hear the stories behind various films: from farming to medical marijuana, and from gender equality in the film industry to the birth of the singer/songwriter era that began in LA’s Laurel Canyon. The TENTH annual “Next Great Filmmaker” Competition created and sponsored by Berkshire Bank will kick-off online on Friday, April 26. Voting will continue through to May 30 and the winner announced at the opening night presentation in Pittsfield, Friday, May 31 at the Beacon. The films in competition are: CHURROS, DIG YOUR OWN GRAVE, FROZEN MEMORIES, RAG, and WAIT FOR LAUGH.  www.biffma.org/nextgreat

THE JURY
The BIFF’s 2019 Jury includes actors Jayne Atkinson, Scott Cohen, Michel Gill and Peter Riegert; distribution guru Josh Braun; New York Film Festival director Kent Jones; Hollywood screenwriter Maria Nation; and casting director Gretchen Rennell. In competition are five documentaries and five films in the narrative category. The award includes a $5,000 prize sponsored by GWFF USA to be presented during a brunch on Sunday, June 2 at Number Ten in Great Barrington. The films in the narrative competition are COLD BROOK, DUELLES (MOTHERS’ INSTINCT), THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD, LA TERRA BUONA (THE GOOD EARTH), and PREMATURE. In the documentary competition are GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH, HONEYLAND, THE INFILTRATORS, ONE CHILD NATION and THE RIVER AND THE WALL.
BIFF FILMMAKER SUMMIT
In 2019, the BIFF will host its eighth annual Filmmaker Summit—a two-day talent academy for this year’s film selection filmmakers. This diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, special events, and breakout sessions is led by known industry professionals including the Berkshires’ own special effects legend, Doug Trumbull. Beginning on Wednesday, May 29, the Filmmaker Summit is a very special introduction to the festival for filmmakers.
BIFF SPONSORS
Premiere sponsors of the festival include the Triplex Cinema, GWFF, Phoenix Theatres Beacon Cinema, Studio Two, Max Ultimate Food, The Annie Selke Companies, The Red Lion Inn, Town Vibe, and Berkshire Bank. Supporting sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc., Stella Artois, Abbotts Livery, Haven Cafe, Stonover Farm, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Theory Wellness and Berkshire Grown.
THE LINEUP: FEATURES, DOCUMENTARIES, AND SHORTS
Check http://www.biffma.org/ for dates and screening times
NARRATIVE FEATURES
BROKEN MIRRORS, Israel (d. Aviard Givon, Imri Matalon with: Liora Rivlin, Mauel Elkaslassy, Renana Raz and Shira HaasCOLEWELL, US (d: Tom Quinn with: Karen Allen and Hannah Gross,
Q&A with Karen Allen and Tom Quinn following the screening*COLD BROOK, US (d. William Fichtner with: William Fichtner, Kim Coates, Brad Henke, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Robin Weigert)
Q&A with William Fichtner and Kim Coates following the screening

CLAIRE DARLING, France (d: Julie Bertuccelli with: Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroiannie, Alice Taglioni)

*DUELLES (MOTHERS’ INSTINCT, France (d. Oliver Masset-Depasse with: Jules Lefebvres, Luan Adam, Veerle Baetens)

THE ETRUSCAN SMILE, Switzerland, UK, US (d: Mihal Brezis, Oded Binnun with: Brian Cox, Roasanne Arquette, JJ Field, Thora Birch

THE FAREWELL, US, China (d: Lulu Wang with: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo

THE INTERPRETER, Slovak Republic (d: Stephen Burke with: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann,Eileen Walsh, Niamh McGrady, Ross McKinney)

JIRGA, Australia, Afghanistan (d: Benjamin Gilour with: Sam Smith, Mohammed Mosam, Kefayat Lag Humani)

THE LOAD, Serbia (d: Ognjen Glavonic with: Leon Lucev, Pavie Cemerikic, Tamara Krcunovic)

MS. PURPLE, US (d: Justin Chon with: Tiffany Chu, Teddy Lee, Octavio Pizano, James Kang

OPHELIA, UK/US (d: Claire McCarthy with: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, George MacKay, Clive Owen, Tom Felton)

PERFECTION, US (d: Richard Shepard with: Allison Williams, Alaina Huffman, Steven Weber) Q&A with director Richard Shepard and Producer Stacey Reiss following the screening

*PREMATURE, US (d: Rashaad Ernesto Green with: Joshua Boone, Michelle Wilson, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Zora Howard)

RETURN OF THE HERO, France (d: Laurent Tirard with: Jean Dujardin, Melaine Laurent)

SAF, Turkey (d: Ali Vatansever with: Erol Afsin, Kida Khodr Ramadan Onur Buldu)

SAINT JUDY, US (d: Sean Hanish with: Michelle Monaghan, Leem Lubany, Common)

SHADOW, China (d: Yimou Zhang with Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kaie, Leo Wu)

*THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD, US (d: Ani Simon-Kennedy with: Maggie Siff, Danny Trejo, Steven Ogg)
Q&A with filmmakers following the screening

THE SILENT REVOLUTION, Germany (d: Lars Kraume with: Leonard Scheicher, Tom Gramenz, Lena Klenke)

*LA TERRA BUONA (THE GOOD EARTH), Italy (d: Emmanuele Caruso with: Guilio Brogi, Lorenzo Pedrotti, Mattia Sbragia, Orfeo Orlando, Viola Sartoretto)

THEM THAT FOLLOW, US (d: Brittany Poulton, Dan Madison Savage with: Kaitlyn Dever, Olivia Coleman, Walton Goggins)

THOSE WHO WORK, Switzerland (d: Antoine Russbach with: Olivier Gourmet, Adele Bochatay, Elidan Arzoni)

THE TOBACCONIST, Germany (d: Nikolaus Leytner with: Bruno Ganz, Johannes Krisch, Simon Morze, Emma Drogunova, Regina Fritsch)

THE TROUBLE WITH YOU, France (d: Peter Salvadori with: Adele Haenel, Pio Marmai, Audrey Tautou, Vincent Elbaz, Damien Bonnard)

URGENT, Egypt (d: Mohcine Besri with Rachid Mustapha, Fatima Zahra Baladi, Youssef Alaoui)

WILD ROSE, US (d: Tom Harper with: Julie Waters, Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo)

WORKING WOMAN, Israel (d: Michal Aviad with: Michal Aviad, Sharon Azulay Eyal, Michal Vinik)

YULI, Spain, Cuba, Germany, UK (d: Iciar Bollain with: Carlos Acosta, Santiago Alfonso, Keyvin Martinez, Edilson Manuel Olbera Nunez)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES 

AMERICAN FACTORY, US (d: Steven Bognar, Julie Reichert)ANGESSA, Germany (d: Mo Scarpelli)

THE ART AND TIMES OF FROSTY MYERS, US (d: Chris Stearns) Q&A with Frosty and Debra Myers following the screening

ASK DR. RUTH, US (d: Ryan White)

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM, US (d: John Chester)
Tea Talk with Panel Discussion after the screening

BOTERO, Canada/Spain (d: Don Millar)

THE CAT RESCUERS, US (d: Robert Fruchtman, Steve Lawrence)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

DOG DOC, US (d: Cindy Meehl)
Q&A with Cindy Meehl and Dr. Marty following the screening

DON’T BE NICE (d: Max Powers) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

DREAMING OF A VETTER WORLD, US (d: Bonnie Hawthorne)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

ECHO IN THE CANYON, US (d: Andrew Slater)
Tea Talk – Q&A with Andrew Slater and Exec. Producer Dan Braun after screening

ERNIE AND JOE, US (d: Jenifer McShane)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

FROM SHOCK TO AWE, US (d: Luc Cote)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH, US (d: David Charles Roderiguez)

HARVEST SEASON, US (d: Bernardo Ruiz)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*HONEYLAND, Macedonia (d: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska)

*THE INFILTRATORS, US (d: Alex Rivera, Aldo Velasco)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

JAY MYSELF, US (d: Stephen Wilkes)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

MIKE WALLACE IS HERE, US (d: Avi Belkin)

NEW HOMELAND, US (d: Barbara Kopple)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*ONE CHILD NATION, US, China (d: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*THE RIVER AND THE WALL, US (d: Ben Masters)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

THAT PART FEELING, Germany/Netherlands/Germany/UK (d: Paul Hegerman)

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, US (d: Tom Donahue)
Tea Talk Panel Discussion following the screening

THE TIMES OF BILL CUNNINGHAM, US (d: Mark Bozek)
Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM, US (d: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

TRUMBULL LAND, US (d: Greg Wallet)
Q&A with DOUG TRUMBULL following the screening

WEED THE PEOPLE, US (d: Abby Epstein)
Tea Talk – Panel Discussion with Abby Epstein and CEO of Theory Wellness following the screening

THE WEIGHT OF WATER, US (d: Michael Brown)

 SHORTS
BIFF will present three short film programs showcasing 21 shorts. Filmmakers will be in attendance at selected screenings.Shorts #1
ASHES (d: Tej Pal Singh), CHURROS (d: Bruce Smolanoff, Emilie McDonald), DIG YOUR OWN GRAVE (d: Kirk Larsen), BALLHAWKS (d: Samantha Sanders), NOWHEN (d: Gianluca Sodaro), MY MOTHER TOLD ME (d: Yasmin Rai), and SUITE NO. 1, PRELUDE (d: Nicholas Ma)Shorts #2
100/100 (d: Brenda Zlamany, Laure Sullivan), “A” MY NAME IS (d: Sarah T. Schwab), ART FOR ALL (d: Jason Mazzotta), RAG (d: Yuval Sussler), WAIT FOR LAUGH (d: Patrick Franklin), LADY LIBERTY (d: Taylor Nagel), and TWO BALLOONS (d: Mark C. Smith)

Shorts #2
WHAT GROWS WITHIN (d: Nacho Ozores), SAEED (d: Joan Stein Schimke), AWARENESS (d: Arttu Nieminen), THE THEORY OF SLEEP (d: Ruben Barbosa),TECHNICALLY IN LOVE (d: Michela Smith), FROZEN MEMORIES (d: Petter Solberg Heum), and THE CHYRSALIS (d: Matt Kravitsky)

BOLD denotes filmmakers in attendance.

VENUES AND TICKETS
Venues for all of the weekend-long events and screenings include the Triplex Cinema and the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington and the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield.Passes are on sale now at $300 and $600 ($200 passes are nearly sold out). Individual tickets go on sale April 26-29 FOR BIFF REEL FRIENDS ONLY and to the general public on April 30. Tickets may be purchased online at www.biffma.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Triplex Cinema or the Mahaiwe Box Office in Great Barrington.

Berkshire International Film Festival is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. To obtain more information, to join as a sponsor, to volunteer, to become a REEL Friend or to make a contribution to BIFF, please contact kelley@biffma.org or lauren@biffma.org.The 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 and Boston. Films and events will be held throughout Great Barrington and Pittsfield, including the Triplex Cinema, the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and the Beacon Cinema, as well as area restaurants.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!  #biffma #biffma2019 @biffma

BIFF announces official collaboration with the Tanglewood Learning Institute at the Linde Center this summer

By Events, For Filmakers, Latest, Learn, Press Release

The Berkshire International Film Festival is very pleased to announce our official collaboration with the Tanglewood Learning Institute at the Linde Center this summer.

This is a brief description of this new series:

Cinematics inspires you to explore the unique relationship between music, cinema, and the human spirit through a curated series of films that will expand your perception of classical music and provide emotional depth to your concertgoing experience and your life. For example, Verdi’s Requiem takes on new meaning when followed by Defiant Requiem, an acclaimed documentary about the performance of the piece by Jewish prisoners at Theresienstadt, the Nazi concentration camp. Similarly, a performance of Bach cantatas at Ozawa Hall is complemented by a screening of Tous les Matins du Monde, which explores the life of Bach’s contemporary, the composer Marin Marais. Cinematics is presented in collaboration with the Berkshire International Film Festival.

Read more in the Berkshire Eagle here.

THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THIRTEENTH LARGEST FESTIVAL TO DATE

By Latest, Press Release

THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THIRTEENTH LARGEST FESTIVAL TO DATE

Juried Prize, Audience Awards and Major Representation Deal Announced!

June 4, 2018, Great Barrington, MA – Sunday, the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) wrapped a spectacular weekend with more than 50 filmmakers and industry professionals in attendance—including such luminaries as Rachel Weisz, Kent Jones, Charles Randolph, Gregory Crewdson, and Cynthia Wade. Governor Deval Patrick and Jayne Atkinson introduced a screenplay reading of the Berkshire-based film, MUMBET—a special event that brought a unique and local element to the festival. After the screenplay reading, a major announcement was made that 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. In a prepared statement, Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment stated “we were strongly taken with the potential scope and importance of Mumbet and felt it was a good fit for us. We are thrilled to be working with Alethea and joining her team to help bring this great project into the world.”

The festival presented several awards. In the Juried Documentary category, the winner was THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS directed by Tim Wardle. Its North American theatrical premiere begins in New York City on June 29, released by Neon. The filmmaker had this to say, “I’m honored and thrilled that Three Identical Strangers has won the Documentary award at BIFF. Sorry to not be there to accept in-person. On behalf of the whole filmmaking team I’d like to thank the Jury and everyone who came to see the film in Berkshire. It has been a 5-year labor of love to bring this documentary to the screen, and it is wonderful that it has been received so positively by BIFF audiences.”

The United Kingdom entry, EDIE, was awarded the Juried Narrative prize. Writer and director, Simon Hunter, was on hand to accept the award and gave his thanks to the BIFF and Berkshire audiences for receiving his film so generously. The Jury prizes, sponsored by GWFF USA, were presented at a brunch Sunday at allium Restaurant in Great Barrington. Serving on the BIFF Jury were actors Karen Allen, Jayne Atkinson, Michel Gill, Peter Riegert, and Scott Cohen as well as industry professional Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment, producers Sid and Nancy Ganis, producer Darren Dean, and filmmaker and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones.

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.

The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was the French short film WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS. The French director Michael Barocas sent the following statement from Paris: “I’m proud and honored to win this prize next to such great filmmakers, and I thank my wonderful cast and crew, and especially my wife who had the original idea for the film.” After the opening ceremony in Pittsfield, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the award-winning documentary BAD REPUTATION about legendary rocker Joan Jett. The evening was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening-night screening of the Sundance audience hit film AMERICAN ANIMALS. The film received an enthusiastic screening to a packed house at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Variety called the film a “crowd pleaser….a wildly entertaining true-crime thriller.” AMERICAN ANIMALS is now in theaters released Friday by The Orchard. The Opening Night party was held under the BIFF tent with dinner, dancing and cocktails underwritten by MAX Ultimate Food of Boston.

Saturday evening in Great Barrington, the BIFF honored Academy Award-winning actor, Rachel Weisz for her Achievement in Film. In conversation with Chief NY Film Critic David Edelstein, Ms. Weisz shared with the audience wonderful and varied stories from her rich and varied career in film and theater. Immediately following the conversation, BIFF screened her new film DISOBEDIENCE directed by Sebastian Lelio and released by Bleeker Films. The tribute evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the dinner party was held at the St. James Place catered by Red Lion Inn.

The BIFF also presented the second year of “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.

Closing out the 13th year to another packed house, BIFF presented the Sundance Festival hit WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? about the incredible life and times of Mr. Rogers. The film was followed by a conversation with producer Nicholas Ma that was moderated by BIFF board member Mary Mott. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? will release this week by Focus Features.

Screening 80 features, documentaries, and shorts, BIFF hosted more than 50 filmmakers and offered free children’s programs and Bollywood Films at Simon’s Rock, and hosted lavish parties throughout downtown Great Barrington and Pittsfield including a delicious filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn on the Mahaiwe Theater stage.

Its seventh annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day event attended by the 2018 selected filmmakers, offered a diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, and special events led by known industry professionals. This year’s Summit included a studio visit with Special Events legend Douglas Trumbull, panels with Douglas Tirola, Cynthia Wade, Darren Dean, Christopher White, Danielle McCarthy and the keynote address by Dan and Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment.

Premiere Sponsors of the 2018 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Beacon Cinema, GWFF USA, MAX Ultimate Food, The Annie Selke Companies, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and Townvibe. Presenting Sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Bornman & Associates, Stella Artois, Haven Cafe, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery, Blantyre, The Barrington, Fairfield Inn and Suites and Carlo Huber Selections.

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 2019 will be held May 30 – June 2, 2019 and passes and submissions will open October 1, 2018.

13th ANNUAL BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

By In The News, Latest, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EMBARGOED: APRIL 27, 2018

From: Berkshire International Film Festival

Triplex Cinema and the Mahaiwe Theater, Great Barrington, MA

Beacon Cinema, Pittsfield, MA

www.biffma.org

Contacts:         Kelley Vickery, Founder and Artistic Director

                        Laura Palmer, Executive Director

                        Lauren Ferin, Executive Assistant

                        (413) 528-8030

13th ANNUAL BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 

 ANNOUNCES 2018 FESTIVAL LINEUP 

2018 BIFF Honors Academy Award-winning actor Rachel Weisz

BIFF Includes Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade,

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph,

Award-winning artist Gregory Crewdson, Sundance Hits, Free Bollywood Films

and a Screenplay Reading of MUMBET with Special Guests

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA: April 28, 2018—The 13th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) announces today its forthcoming packed weekend line-up of films— marked with strong international programming and continuing its dedication to presenting the best in documentary film. The BIFF will showcase 80 of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films from 28 countries. The festival runs from May 31 to June 3 in Great Barrington and June 1 to 3 in Pittsfield. It brings together films, filmmakers, industry professionals and film fans for a four-day celebration of independent film featuring 28 documentaries, 30 narrative features and 22 short films. Among the 27 countries represented this year are Germany, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Syria, Iran, India, Iraq, Mexico, France, Jordan, UK, Israel, Turkey, Ukraine, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, Qatar, Italy and Iceland. This year’s festival promises to transport film fans to foreign lands, it also brings important, engaging, powerful and fun stories from around the US and right here in the Berkshire community.

“Among the many things I love about the BIFF is its increasing reflection on and discovery of our global community,” notes the festival’s Founder and Artistic Director, Kelley Vickery. “The characters and stories in this year’s films are as diverse as ever—showing us unique perspectives of what life is like for a broad range of people in very different places and circumstances. BIFF always celebrates independent filmmakers and we are especially excited to honor the talented and evocative career of Rachel Weisz. We are continuing our “Tea Talks” series with engaging films and discussions and very proud to have a special event with a screenplay reading of MUMBET. We strive to bring a special festival to our vibrant community, so we truly believe there is something for everyone!”

THURSDAY, MAY 31—Opening Night, Great Barrington: The festival opens this year with the Sundance hit AMERICAN ANIMALS. This docudrama is the extraordinary and thrilling true story of four friends who brazenly attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in US history. At its Sundance premiere, a Variety reviewer wrote, “this Sundance crowd-pleaser is a…wildly entertaining true-crime thriller.” The Hollywood Reporter had this to say, “Both as a writer and director, Bart Layton delivers the dramatic goods here with the skill of a pro at the top of his game while adding the rueful perspective of time’s reassessment of youthful indiscretions; this has to rate among the most accomplished and fully realized big-screen debuts of recent times.” Opening night festivities also include dinner, drinks and a dance party for pass-holders catered and sponsored by MAX Ultimate Food. Film courtesy of The Orchard.

FRIDAY, JUNE 1Opening Night, Pittsfield: BIFF will open at the Beacon in Pittsfield with the rock-and-rolling BAD REPUTATION about the one and only Joan Jett. The documentary follows her incredible, uncompromising and influential career. You will leave singing “I love rock ‘n’ roll!” The opening night begins with a party at the Beacon Cinema followed by the presentation of the NINTH annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award” sponsored by Berkshire Bank—cast your vote until before May 30 at www.biffma.org and be part of the excitement! Film courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

FRIDAY, JUNE 1Tribute Night: It is a pleasure, and a huge honor, to pay tribute to the Academy Award-winning actor, Rachel Weisz for her remarkable achievement in film. Over the past 25 years, Ms. Weisz has displayed her fearlessness, intelligence and talent in over 64 roles and has won or been nominated for nearly every industry award—from a BAFTA, to a Golden Globe, to an Oscar. We celebrate the incredible body of work she has already created and the creative peaks she continues to climb. As part of the tribute, Ms. Weisz will be in conversation with David Edelstein, New York chief film critic on the stage of the Mahaiwe following by a screening of her new film DISOBEDIENCE. The Hollywood Reporter wrote of the film, “Beautifully acted by Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola as the three points of a melancholy romantic triangle, this is a deeply felt drama that exerts a powerful grip.”  The special event’s festivities, sponsored by GWFF, include a cocktail party and dinner-by-the-bite for pass-holders catered by The Red Lion Inn at the BIFF tent. Film courtesy of Bleeker Street Media.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2—Special Event: Staged script reading of the upcoming film MUMBET and Q&A after the reading with the cast and crew. Director/Producer Alethea Root, writer Stephen Glantz, producer Kim Waltrip, executive producers Jayne Atkinson and Elizabeth Aspenlieder, co-producer Jana Laiz, Diane Pearlman and Jameelah Nuruddin, production designer Carl Sprague, and costume designer Kevin Draves, Governor Deval Patrick and State Representative Smitty Pignatelli will all be in attendance. More special guests will be announced.

She could neither read nor write, yet with fearless courage, Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman used the very words written by the men she served, “all men are created free and equal” to challenge the courts and sue for her freedom, changing the course of history 80 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. This is the true story of an unsung American hero who was truly a founding Mother of our country.”

SUNDAY, JUNE 3Closing Night: BIFF will close with the highly acclaimed Sundance hit, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? about the life and legacy of Mr. Rogers. The film was directed by Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville and produced by Nicholas Ma who will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening. Film courtesy of Focus Features.

In addition to the dozens of remarkable films, BIFF will host special events throughout the weekend including GWFF USA’s Juried Prize Award for narrative and

documentary filmmaking, free family film screenings, and panel discussions. Last year’s popular “Tea Talks” also return. This year’s lineup includes a conversation with the Berkshires own, Cynthia Wade, preceded by a special sneak preview of her new pre-released film GRIT. The filmmaker and crew will be in attendance. BIFF is also hosting a conversation with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph (THE BIG SHORT) who will be joined by acclaimed artist, Gregory Crewdson. The third “Tea Talk” will be a sneak preview of a film from an award-winning director who will be in attendance for a conversation with his cast and crew.

Finally, BIFF’s biennial gala is this Labor Day weekend—BOLLYWOOD IN THE BERKSHIRES! To introduce the Berkshire community to the wonderful film world of Bollywood, BIFF presents three FREE Bollywood films—ALIGARH, BAJIRAO MASTANI and PIKU—at Simon’s Rock on June 2. Join us in celebrating, Bollywood in the Berkshires!

THE JURY

The BIFF’s EIGHTH Annual Jury includes actors Karen Allen, Jayne Atkinson, Scott Cohen, Michel Gil and Peter Riegert, distribution guru Josh Braun, New York Film Festival director Kent Jones, past Academy president and producer Sid Ganis and producer Nancy Hult Ganis and award-winning producer Darren Dean. There will be five films in competition for feature documentaries and five films in the narrative category. The award will carry a $5,000 prize sponsored by GWFF USA to be presented on Sunday, June 4 at Allium in Great Barrington.

The 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 and Boston. Films and events will be held throughout Great Barrington and Pittsfield, including the Triplex Cinema, the historic Mahaiwe Theatre, and the Beacon Cinema, as well as area restaurants.

The NINTH annual “Next Great Filmmaker” Competition created and sponsored by Berkshire Bank will kick-off online on Friday, April 27. Voting will continue through to May 30 and the winner announced at the opening night presentation in Pittsfield, Friday, June 1 at the Beacon.

BIFF FILMMAKERS SUMMIT

For the SEVENTH year, the BIFF is proud to present the annual Filmmakers Summit—a two-day talent academy offered to the 2018 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 celebrates and supports the advancement of filmmakers and recognizes film as a relevant and important medium. Beginning on Wednesday, May 31, 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 Summit features special effects legend Douglas Trumbull, head of CNN Documentaries, and other industry professionals.

BIFF SPONSORS

Premiere sponsors of the festival include the Triplex Cinema, Beacon Cinema, GWFF, Studio Two, Max Ultimate Food, The Annie Selke Companies, The Red Lion Inn, Town Vibe, The Berkshire Eagle, and Berkshire Bank. Supporting sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc., Stella Artois, Abbotts Livery, Haven Cafe, Stonover Farm, Borneman and Associates, CPA, PC, Blantyre, The Barrington, Carlo Huber Selections and Fairfield Inn and Suites.

Berkshire International Film Festival is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. To obtain more information, to join as a sponsor, to volunteer, to become a REEL Friend or to make a contribution to BIFF, please contact kelley@biffma.org or lauren@biffma.org.

THE LINEUP: FEATURES, DOCUMENTARIES, AND SHORTS

Check https://biffma.org/ for dates and screening times

NARRATIVE FEATURES

AMERICAN ANIMALS, US (d. Bart Layton with: Evan Peters. Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier

*EDIE, UK (d: Simon Hunter with: Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie, Amy Manson, Paul Brannigan, Wendy Morgan) Q&A with Simon Hunter following the screening

EIGHTH GRADE, US (d. Bo Burnahm with: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton)

HOCHELAGA, TERRA DES AMES, Canada (d: Francois Girard with: Samian, Raoul Max Trujillo, Vincent Perez)

*L’INSTANT INFINI, France/Switzerland (d. Doulgas Beer with: Jennifer Rihouey, Leonard Delacroix, Mathieu Chardet) Q&A with Douglas Beer following the screening

*JULIE, BLUE), US/Ukraine (d: Roxy Topoworyc with: Polina Snisarenko) Q&A with Roxy Topoworyc following the screening

LOVELING, Brazil/Uruguay (d: Gustavo Pizzi with: Karine Teles, Otavio Muller, Adriana Esteves, Konstantinos Sarris, Cesar Troncoso)

MAZE, Ireland (d: Stephen Burke with: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward, Martin McCann,Eileen Walsh, Niamh McGrady, Ross McKinney)

NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE, Iran (d: Vahid Jalilvand with: Navid Mohammadzadeh, Amir Agha’ee, Hediyeh Tehrani, Zakiyeh Behbahani, Sa’eed Dakh, Alireza Ostadi)

PIEDS NUS DANS L’AUBE, Canada (d: Frederic LeClerc with: Shauna Bonaduce, Roy Dupuis, Marianne Fortier)

SCAFFOLDING, Israel (d: Matan Yair with: Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Yaacov Cohen, Keren Berger)

SHELTER, Israel (d: Eran Riklis with: Golshifteh Farahani, Neta Riskin, orald Liddawi, Haluk Bilginer, Mark Waschke)

*SILK ROAD, Denmark (d: Mark de Cloe with: Olivia Lonsdale, Gijs Blom, Jonas Smulders ) Q&A with Mark de Cloe following the screening

STREAKERS, Switzerland (d: Peter Luisi with: Beat Schlatter, Doro Muggler, Bendrit Bajra, Luna Wedler)

THE CHARMER, Iran/Holland (d: Milad Alami with: Ardalan Esmaili, Lars Brygmann, Stine Fischer Christensen, Austa Lee Jesperson)

THE ETERNAL FEMININE, Mexico (d: Natalia Beristain with: Karina Gidi, Tessa La, Danie Gimenez Cacho, Pedro De Tavira)

THE GUILTY, Denmark (d: Gustav Moller with: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen, Omar Shargawi)

THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, France (d: Robert Guediguian with: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gerard Meylan, Jacques Boudet, Anais Demoustier)

THE INVISIBLES, Germany (d: Claus Rafle with Max Mauff, Alice Dwyer, Ruby O. Fee, Aaron Altaras, Victoria Schulz, Florian Lukas)

THE JUNIOR LEAGUE, Canada (d: Eric Tessier with: Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Rémi Goulet, Alice Morel-Michaud)

*THE LONG DUMB ROAD, US (d: Hannah Fidell with: Tony Revolori, Jason Mantzoukas, Taissa Farmiga, Grace Gummer, Ron Livingtson, Casey Wilson)

THREE PEAKS, Germany/Italy (d: Jan Zabeil with: Alexander Fehling, Berenice Bejo, Arian Montgomery)

UNDER THE EIFFLE TOWER, US/France (d: Archie Borders with: Matt Walsh, Judith Godrèche, Reid Scott)

UNDER THE TREE, Iceland (d: Hafsteinn Gunnar Siguross with: Steinpor Hrooar Steinborsson, Edda Bjorgvinsdottir, Sigurour Sigurjonsson, Porsteinn Bachmann, Selma Bjornsdottir)

WOMAN WALKS AHEAD, US (d: Susanna Wright with: Jessica Chastain, Sam Rockwell, Ciaran Hinds, Michael Nouri, David Midthunder, Michael Greyeyes, Bill Camp)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES 

*306 HOLLYWOOD, US/Hungary (d: Elan Boagarin/Jonathan Boagarin) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*BAD REPUTATION, US (d: Kevin Karslake) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*BREWMASTER, US (d: Douglas Tirola/Susan Bedusa) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*GETTING NAKED: A BURLESQUE STORY, US (d: James Lester) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA, Japan/US (d: Stephen Nomura Schibl)

CRIME + PUNISHMENT, US (d: Stephen Maing)

DARK MONEY, US (d: Kimberly Reed)

*DATELINE: SAIGON, US (d: Thomas Herman) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*GRIT, US/Indonesia (d: Cynthia Wade) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

THE HUMAN ELEMENT, US/Iceland (d: Matthew Testa)

*GONE IN AN INSTANT, US (d: Anthony Holt) Q&A with filmmaker after screening

*IMPOSED PIECE, Belgium (d: Brecht Vanhoenacker) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*IT WILL BE CHAOS, US (d: Lorena Luciano, Filippo Piscopo) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*MOVING STORIES, US (d: Rob Fruchtman) Collaboration with Jacob’s Pillow with Q&A following the screening with filmmaker and dancers

*LOVE, GILDA, US (d: Lisa Dapolito) ) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

OF FATHERS AND SONS, Germany/Syria/Lebanon/Qatar (d: Talal Derki)

ON HER SHOULDERS, US (d: Alexandra Bombach)

*OUT OF MY HEAD, US (d: Susanna Styron) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

*RESTORING TOMORROW, US (d: Aaron Wolf)

*DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION, US (d: Dana Adam Shapiro) Q&A with filmmaker after screening

STUDIO 54, US (d: Matt Tyranauer)

THE GODDESSES OF FOOD, France (d: Verane Frediani)

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE, US (d: Kim Novack)

THE WORKERS CUP, UK (d: Adam Sobel)

THIS IS HOME, US/Jordan (d: Alexandra Shiva)

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, US (d: Tim Wardle)

WHAT LIES UPSTREAM, US (d: Cullen Hoback)

*WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? US (d: Morgan Neville) Q&A with filmmaker following the screening

 SHORTS

BIFF will present two short film programs showcasing 22 shorts. Filmmakers will be in attendance at selected screenings.

Shorts #1

*GAME (d: Jeannie Donohue), #SELFIE (d: David M. Lorenz), *DEPORTING MYSELF (d: Julie Neumann), BABS (d: Celine Hand, Logan George), *SURVIVING NEW YORK (d: Megan Miller), *FLY LADY FLY (d: Lucien Flores/Michaela Smith), COOLPOOL ( d: Zachary Myers), NIGHT (d: Christian Scales and *ADVENTURE NOT WAR (d: Max Lowe)

Shorts #2

*THE LONG RED LIGHT (d: Chris Hume), EMERGENCY (d: Carey Williams), WALLS (d: Fatmir Dolci/Maik Schuster/Max Poschke), *FEVAH (d: Randall Dottin), *HEIMLICH (d: Lisanne Santor), YOU’RE WELCOME (d: Rebecca Panian), THE SILENT (d: Karen Turner/Dom Lee), *JITTERS (d: Otoja Abit), *EVE (d: Susan Bay Nimoy) and *WITH MY TWO HANDS (d: Michael Baraocas).

*denotes filmmakers in attendance. 

VENUES AND TICKETS

Venues for all of the weekend-long events and screenings include the Triplex Cinema, Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock and the historic Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington and the Beacon Cinema and Hotel on North in Pittsfield.

Passes are on sale now at $300 and $600 (Opening night passes and $200 passes are sold out). Individual tickets go on sale April 27 FOR THE BIFF REEL FRIENDS ONLY and to the general public on April 29. Tickets may be purchased online at www.biffma.org or by phone at 1-866-811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Triplex Cinema or the Mahaiwe Box Office in Great Barrington or at the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield.

###

BIFF IS SHAKING IT UP IN OCTOBER!

By Latest
BIFF IS SHAKING IT UP IN OCTOBER!

2018 BIFF PASSES ON SALE NOW!
FILM SUBMISSIONS OPEN NOW!

REEL FRIENDS FILM SOCIETY PRESENTS
THE FLORIDA PROJECT THIS WEEK,

BIFF PRESENTS AWARD WINNING FILM
CITY OF GHOSTS AT CORNELL,

AND BIFF’S CLOSING NIGHT FILM, LUCKY, OPENS AT THE TRIPLEX NEXT WEEK!

NEW REEL Friends Event!

This Thursday, October 12, the BIFF REEL Friends presents a screening of one of the most anticipated films of the season, with major Oscar Buzz coming out of all the major festivals this fall…THE FLORIDA PROJECT at the Triplex!Warm, winning, and gloriously alive, Sean Baker’s (TANGERINE, PRINCE OF BROADWAY) THE FLORIDA PROJECT is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood.

Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, THE FLORIDA PROJECT follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning breakout turn) and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite, another major discovery) over the course of a single summer. The two live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget motel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion.

Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure as she and her ragtag playmates—including Jancey, a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee’s best friend—fearlessly explore the utterly unique world into which they’ve been thrown. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.

The film stars Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Valeria Cotto and Bria Vinaite

“Glorious and gorgeous!”- Manola Darghis, New York Times
Prior to the screening, a wine and cheese reception will begin at 6PM, screening at 7PM.
Tickets for the reception and screening are $15 for Reel Friends,
$20 for yet-to-be Reel Friends. 

Tickets available at the Triplex Box Office.

BIFF HEADS TO THE CORNELL UNIVERSITY CAMPUS!

After a powerful screening at the BIFF last year, the Berkshire International Film Festival is very proud to be co-sponsoring the extraordinary film
CITY OF GHOSTS on the campus of Cornell University! Thank you to award winning director and BIFF alum Matt Heineman and to the heroic journalist and subject of the film Aziz Al-Hamza who will be skyping in from overseas after the screening for a Q&A with Cornell students and members of the audience!

2018 BIFF FILM PASSES OPEN NOW! 

Don’t wait…get your pass for the 13th Annual BIFF today! The exciting, engaging and fun filled 4-day film festival, kicking off the Berkshire cultural season, will be held May 31 – June 3, 2018.

Please go to the BIFF website www.biffma.org to purchase online or call
1-866-811-4111 and purchase your pass for films, talks, parties and events.  Single tickets to films will go on sale at the end of April 2018 when the complete program is announced.

2018 FILM SUBMISSIONS ALSO OPEN NOW! 

Calling all filmmakers!  Film Submissions are now open! We are already hard at work to program another exciting and engaging weekend in the Berkshires.  Please submit your film through Withoutabox and it will be in consideration for the 2018 festival. www.biffma.org

BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FILMS COMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU!

By Latest, Uncategorized

It is impossible to see every film during the film festival, so we are excited to inform you that some of the most popular films are now releasing nationwide and will be coming to the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington!

This Friday, THE HERO will be opening at the Triplex.  THE HERO stars Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon and Katherine Ross and is the story of an ailing movie star coming to terms with his past and mortality.  In a review of the film, the New York Times called Sam Elliott “a national treasure.”

Also coming soon to theTriplex is the BIFF Opening Night inspirational film STEP, BIFF Audience Award winner PATTI CAKE$, Pittsfield Opening Night film THE TRIP TO SPAIN and BIFF comedy hit LANDLINE.

And, the Beacon Cinema has begun their renovation of the new and improved seats…be sure to check them out!

WE THANK OUR BIFF SPONSORS!

Premiere sponsors of the festival include the Triplex Cinema, Beacon Cinema, GWFF, The Jane Iredale Companies, Studio Two, Max Ultimate Food, The Red Lion Inn, Town Vibe, and Berkshire Bank.

Supporting sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc., Stella Artois, Abbotts Livery, Harney & Sons Teas, Stonover Farm, Haven Café, Prana Bar, Blantyre, The Barrington, Carlo Huber Selections and Fairfield Inn and Suites.

BIFF Wraps 12th Festival

By Latest

THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THE 12TH LARGEST AND MOST SPECTACULAR YEAR!

Juried Prize and Best of Fest Audience Awards Announced!

June 5, 2017, Great Barrington, MA – Sunday, the Berkshire International Film Festival wrapped a spectacular festival, filled with luminaries such as Christopher Plummer, John Carroll Lynch, Karen Allen, Steven Cantor, Sheila Nevins, David Edelstein and Paul Krugman, among 40 filmmakers in attendance.  In addition, the BIFF announced the winners of the annual BIFF Juried Prize Award and the BIFF Audience Award.

The BIFFMA Jury

The BIFFMA Jury

In the Juried documentary category, the winner was NOWHERE TO HIDE directed by Zaradasht Ahmed, and will be released by East Village Entertainment (EVE) film releasing soon. In the Juried narrative category the Israeli entry from Film Movement, BAR BAHAR or IN BETWEEN, 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 Scott Cohen, Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment, casting director Gretchen Rennell, screenwriter Maria Nation, Academy Award film directors Peggy Rajski and Karen Goodman, production designer and film director Kristi Zea, film executive Bob Harper, and film director and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones.

The Audience Award Winner was the closest in BIFF’s 12 year history with the Narrative Feature going to the Sundance hit PATTI CAKE$ directed by Geremy Jasper and distributed by Fox Searchlight. 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.

Winners of the Next Great Filmmaker Award

Winners of the Next Great Filmmaker Award

The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was Denmark’s Helene Moltke-Leth short film RUNNING THROUGH LIFEprovides an insight into the relationship between individuals, their community and technology and the desire to live balanced life.  The filmmaker was in attendance from Denmark, made a moving speech about being at the BIFF and winning this award.  After the ceremony, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the buddy road trip comedy TRIP TO SPAIN starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon releasing in August by IFC.  The evening was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank.  Prior to the screening, patrons were invited to a party at Hotel On North.

Opening Night

Opening Night

Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of the Sundance audience award-winning film STEP! The film was greatly received with an enthusiastic ovation to a packed house at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and the audience enjoyed a wonderfulQ&A afterwards with the award winning producer, Steven Cantor. STEP will be released in August by Fox Searchlight.  The Opening Night party was held at the St. James Place with dinner, dancing and cocktails underwritten by Jane Iredale and catered by Rita Welch.  Saturday evening in Great Barrington, the BIFF honored legendary Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer for his Achievement in Film.

Tribute Night with Christopher Plummer

Tribute Night with Christopher Plummer

In conversation with Chief NY Film Critic David Edelstein, Mr. Plummer shared with the audience wonderful and funny stories from his more than 7 decades in film and theater.  Upon accepting the award he generously praised the BIFF and said “you probably can’t realize how much this means to me.” Immediately following the conversation, BIFF screened his new film THE EXCEPTION directed by David Leveaux and released by A24. The tribute evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the dinner party was held at the St. James Place catered by MAX Ultimate Food. The BIFF also presented its’ new initiative

Tea Talk at St.James Place

Tea Talk at St.James Place

“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 followed by a conversation with Paul Krugman and Dr. Alan Chartock.  Closing out the 12th year, BIFF presented LUCKY followed by a conversation with director David Carroll Lynch, moderated by BIFF board member Mary Mott.  LUCKY will release this summer by Magnolia.

Screening a record 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 delicious filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn on the Mahaiwe Theater stage.

In its twelfth year, BIFF proudly presented the sixth annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day industry summit offered to the 2017 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.  Highlights of this years Filmmaker Summit was a studio visit with Douglas Trumbull, panels with Molly Thompson, Peggy Rajski, Diana Holtzberg, Elisabeth Holm and Gregory Rehm and the keynote address by Sheila Nevins.

Alan Chartock and Paul Krugman

Alan Chartock and Paul Krugman

Premiere Sponsors of the 2017 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Beacon Cinema, GWFF USA, Jane Iredale, The Annie Selke Companies, Max Ultimate Food, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and Townvibe. Presenting Sponsors include Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Haven Cafe, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery, Blantyre, The Barrington, Fairfield Inn and Suites and Carlo Huber Selections.

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 2018 will be held May 31 – June 3, 2018….passes and submissions will open October 1, 2017.

MORE BIFF PHOTOS? CLICK HERE.