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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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.
Live Auction Bidding Procedures
Bidding at the Live Auction is done by raising your Auction Card located in your Boarding Pass.
The winner of each Lot, MUST sign a bid sheet immediately upon the completion of the bidding of your lot.
Payment in cash, personal check or credit card is accepted. Payments in FULL are expected the night of the auction.
LOT 1. “SWEPT AWAY” – Value $5000
LET BIFF TRANSPORT YOU AND YOUR GUEST FOR 4 MAGICAL NIGHTS TO LE SERENO, AN ISLAND PARADISE ON ST. BARTH’S
Voted “Our favorite hotel in the world” by Vogue magazine online, Le Sereno is the ultimate beach resort destination. Enjoy 4 nights for 2 in a Grand Plage Suite overlooking the Grand Cul de Sac. You will receive complimentary breakfast each morning in your suite or in the hotel restaurant, VIP reception at the St Maartin airport by a Le Sereno representative to expedite your passage through customs and on to your St Barth’s flight. Transportation to and from the St Barth’s Airport to Le Sereno by a private hotel driver is also included.
Le Sereno is an intimate beachfront hotel and spa located in St. Barthelemy. Inspired by the island’s magical contradiction of luxury and simplicity, renowned Parisian designer Christian Liaigre has helped Le Sereno earn its reputation as the most stylish and private sanctuary among St. Barth’s select group of hotels. Stretching 180 meters (600 feet) along the beach at Grand Cul de Sac, virtually all of Le Sereno’s suites and villas offer views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. With a focus on personalized attention, an impeccably trained, around-the-clock staff prides itself on anticipating and satisfying guests’ every whim with an array of “laid-back luxury” amenities and services.
Le Sereno is the first hotel in St Barth’s to obtain the coveted five-star classification under the revised French standards, and has consistently been rated by the international press and the travel industry as one of the most impressive places to stay in the world. The Award-winning Le Sereno Restaurant demonstrates the sophisticated essence of St. Barth’s with a menu that seamlessly blends French fare with Asian influence utilizing vibrant local flavors and ingredients. Off- island produce and meats are flown in fresh daily to enhance the local selections. Le Sereno also offers a full-service spa and gym.
The hotel will be happy to arrange outings, restaurant reservations, and car rentals and suggest island activities for you. For more photos and descriptions of the island and Le Sereno accommodations please visit: www.lesereno.com
NOTE: Gratuity not included. All personal incidentals beyond what is listed above are the responsibility of the guests. A credit card will be required when reserving to cover these incidentals. The voucher may be used between the dates of April 15, 2015 and December 15, 2015 (All hotels on St Barth’s close late August to mid October for hurricane season).
This package for the Berkshire International Film Festival is generously donated by: Anne Fredericks, Marc Fasteau, and Le Sereno, St Barth’s.
Lot 2 – “THE GREAT ESCAPE” – Value $6000
ESCAPE TO ECUADOR FOR A 1-WEEK LUXURIOUS AND ADVENTURE-PACKED HOLIDAY FOR 4
The Tatler, London touted Hacienda Cusin as “one of the world’s best kept secrets.”
Your party of 4 will be hosted for 4 nights in 2 luxury double rooms at the glorious Hacienda Cusin, a beautifully restored, 17th-century estate high atop the Ecuadorian Sierra with spectacular views and access to a wide range of activities and excursions. This very personal hotel, with attentive staff and world famous gardens are 1 hour from Quito’s new International airport, near the Equatorial line, and 2 hours from Spanish-colonial Quito. The intimate garden cottages, suites and salons, are furnished with antiques, artwork and Andean craft, most with log-burning fireplaces and beamed-ceilings, overlook several acres of landscaped perennial gardens, ancient trees, and often snow-capped mountains. It is a pristine spot for great food, hiking, quiet reflection and fantastic daily excursions.
Since purchasing the Hacienda in 1990, British born owner Nik Millhouse has restored this Andean retreat to the highest standards, drawing guests from around the world. The Hacienda serves as a fabulous destination in its own right, with lots to explore in the immediate region, and a jumping off point for the Amazon and cloud forest, Cotapaxi Park, a Galapagos cruise, or other enticing destinations further afield.
Upon arrival, you will be met at Quito International Airport and transported to your mountain oasis. Your visit will be personally customized to be as adventurous or as relaxing as you desire. The cordial and attentive staff can arrange your daily itinerary choosing from over 20 activities, local tours and expeditions. Available are numerous day trips around the region, including an Andean train journey through many eco-systems including the Chota desert, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, perusing village markets, antique stores, and museums plus guided tours to archeological sites. AND treat yourself to fine dining, massages, Spanish classes and other deluxe hotel amenities as you also repose at the Hacienda.
For more photos and descriptions of Hacienda Cusin, please visit www.haciendacusin.com.
You will be transported to Casa Gangotena, a newly restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco situated in the heart of Spanish-colonial Quito. Here your party of 4 will enjoy 2 luxury double rooms in the three-story Casa Gangotena, a showcase of eye-catching style, contemporary design, antiques, fine furnishings, modern technologies and quintessential comforts, approximately 2 hours from Hacienda Cusin. The hotel boasts an internationally acclaimed restaurant, extensive wine cellar and award-winning head chef.
Beautifully and eclectically appointed, the hotel invites its guests to explore and to relax, whether in the dining room, glassed-in patio, garden redolent with the perfume of native flowers, wood-paneled library, or else atop its panoramic third-floor terrace.
Sophisticated and eclectic, historic yet contemporary, at Casa Gangotena style, passion and service blend seamlessly and delightfully. Beyond its doors, explore world-class restaurants, shopping, museums, art galleries, historic churches and other monuments. A half-day guided tour of historic Quito is recommended.
For more photos and descriptions of Casa Gangotena, please visit www.casagangotena.com/en.
NOTE: This holiday package is available for 1-year from auction date of August 29, 2014, excluding December 18 – January 2 and Easter Week. All reservations are subject to availability. It is recommended to book at least 2 months prior. Minimum 10% gratuity and personal expenses are the responsibility of guests. Imbabura and Quito, Ecuador are on the East Coast time zone, use $US and 110v. Your destination is easily accessed by major carriers: American via Miami, Delta via Atlanta, Continental via Houston, COPA via D.C. and LAN Airlines direct from JFK.
This package for the Berkshire International Film Festival is generously donated by: Nik Millhouse, Hacienda Cusin.
LOT 3 – “LE WEEKEND” – Value: $3000
CALLING ALL FILM BUFFS! DIVE INTO A FANTASTIC FALL WEEKEND IN NEW YORK CITY
The only thing better than BIFF in the spring, is the New York Film Festival in the fall. You will be treated to a luxury weekend in New York City, October 11 and 12, 2014 – the closing weekend of the New York Film Festival.
You and your guest will enjoy a 2-night double room stay at The University Club, a private membership club ideally located at the corner of 5th Avenue and 54th Street, one block away from MoMA, and in the heart of shopping and the excitement of mid-town Manhattan.
Compare stage and film! Your weekend visit features 2 producer tickets to a Broadway Show of your choice (subject to availability and certain exclusions) PLUS the added highlight of 2 tickets to the closing night screening of the 52nd New York Film Festival with the North American premiere of BIRDMAN starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakas and Emma Stone. In between shows, prepare yourself for the red carpet and enjoy personal pampering at John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman’s. The gift certificate (valued at $1500) includes a hair cut by John Barrett, color by Parvin Klein, eyebrow shaping, manicure and pedicure.
Even film buffs need to eat! LE WEEKEND capitalizes on exquisite French dining at two of New York City’s finest French-inspired restaurants. Delight in a lunch Tasting Menu for 2 at Bouley, located in trendy Tribeca at 163 Duane Street. Renowned chef David Bouley continues to dazzle his patrons with his creative, seasonally and locally inspired haute cuisine. Set in his sumptuous chateau-like dining room, you and your taste buds will truly be transported.
Another slice of France awaits you uptown with dinner for 2 at Bistro Cassis, located at 225 Columbus Avenue between 70th and 71st. This charming premiere French bistro offers an authentic French atmosphere and cuisine that Francophiles and foodies alike call “Magnifique!”
NOTE: All personal charges at The University Club are the responsibility of guests. Certain Broadway shows (including “Book of Mormon”) may be subject to exclusion and tickets to all shows are subject to availability. All bookings should be made as soon as possible. All meals are exclusive of liquor and gratuity. All services are exclusive of gratuity. John Barrett Salon services may be booked in whole or in part up to one-year from the date of auction.
This package for the Berkshire International Film Festival is generously donated by: James Finkel; John Barrett; John Hart/Evamere Entertainment; Kent Jones/New York Film Festival; Bouley; Bistro Cassis.
Lot 4 – “The ProducerS” – Value? Priceless!
Watch, shop and dine ‘til you drop! You’ll be ALL over BIFF’s 10th anniversary film festival! (May 27 – 31, 2015)
Your 2 BIFF 10th anniversary All-Inclusive VIP Producers Film Passes ($1000) provide access to all BIFF film screenings, 2 reserved seats at all major events at the Mahaiwe, and invitations to all parties and special events (including announcement party, opening and closing night parties, filmmaker cocktail party and jury brunch).
In between films, shop and dine in Great Barrington with Gift Certificates from fabulous local establishments: allium ($100), Bizallion’s (lunch for 2), Castle Street Café (dinner for 2), Prairie Whale ($50), Karen Allen Fiber Arts ($350), One Mercantile ($100), and Seeds ($100). Finally, treat yourself to the Seven Salon Spa “Indulgence Package” with a gift certificate for massage, facial, mani/pedi and blow dry ($350).
This package for the Berkshire International Film Festival is generously donated by: allium; Bizallion’s; Castle Street Café; Karen Allen; One Mercantile; Prairie Whale, Seeds; and Seven Salon Spa.
The wait is over! We’re proud to announce the line-up of films we’ve chosen for the Ninth Annual BIFF. We are showing a lot of really great films this year.
Come journey with us in this incredible ninth season, as we travel to Jordan, Afghanistan, Philippines, India, Chile, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Morocco, Israel, and across the US. As we promise to do each and every year, the BIFF brings a diverse program to our wonderfully engaged and dynamic community.
We have programmed an incredible array of films dealing with complex and inspiring subjects: politics, activism, the environment, faith, education, innovation and of course, love. On that subject, we are thrilled to have the East Coast Premiere of MAY IN THE SUMMER for our opening night film. A wonderful story that weaves the clash of cultures, traditions and family, beautifully filmed with the exotic backdrop of Amman, Jordon. Celebrate one of the most stirring and inspirational, but little-known story in America’s favorite pastime with the BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL. Whether or not you are a baseball fan, this crowd-pleasing film, tells the true underdog story of the irrepressible Bing Russell (father of Kurt Russell) and the rise of the Portland Mavericks which he bought for $500. It will leave you cheering. England’s favorite comedy duo, returns to the big screen with THE TRIP TO ITALY. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, reprise their hilarious culinary and cultural road trip through Italy improvising their impressions of their favorite actors over plates of delicious pasta and seafood. The trips just keep getting better! In addition to those highlights, BIFF brings 75 of the best independent narratives, documentaries and shorts from 18 countries…BIFF brings the world to you!
Lots of announcements to make, too!
Don’t miss out on the Film Announcement Party this Thursday, April 24 at Haven in Lenox! This party is invite-only for Sponsors, $300 Special Event Inclusive Passholders, and $500 All-Inclusive Passholders. Get your passes today and join us for the Film Announcement Party.
Help Us Select The Next Great Filmmaker!
Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank, in collaboration with the Berkshire International Film Festival, will once again present The Next Great Filmmaker Award.
This fifth annual award is designed to provide increased exposure and support for short filmmakers and continue to invite the community to voice their opinion through an online voting process. Cast Your Vote! The film with the most online votes will be awarded a $2,500 cash award. The announcement of films and online voting begins Friday, April 25 and ends on May 28, 2014. The winners will be announced opening night at the Beacon on Friday, May 30, 2014. We will keep you posted when the competition begins – happy voting!
BIFF is still accepting volunteers to work in Great Barrington and Pittsfield
If you are interested, please contact Lauren Ferin at Lauren@biffma.org. The next volunteer meeting will be held Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. at the Lenox Town Hall. More information on volunteering for the BIFF can be found here.