BIFF provided creative inspiration to our community during a difficult 2020. With limited resources and access, BIFF managed to bring the community together at the pop-up drive-in (socially distanced!) and create innovative, engaging online programming that helped keep our spirits up. Read Kelley’s email to the BIFF audience at the end of summer 2020 below.

We are Counting our Blessings.

This time last year, we were working hard to organize, curate, and create an exciting and special 15th-anniversary celebration, but as COVID hit the states, all that evaporated overnight. Like our incredible cultural colleagues, we needed to make tough and heartbreaking decisions. Fortunately, we could create a virtual screening room with our friends at the Triplex Cinema and our distribution partners. With our colleagues at Shakespeare and Company, we created an 8-week, “pop-up” drive-in on their campus in Lenox and partnered with the Mahaiwe at Simon’s Rock and Hudson Basilica’s drive-ins. We were able to present 40 films, with two dozen filmmakers to 100s of patrons and film enthusiasts. It wasn’t what we had planned, but we were fortunate to be able to turn lemons into lemonade.

We were also able to continue our “Next Great Filmmaker Award” competition with Berkshire Bank and our annual Filmmakers Summit with dozens of filmmakers and industry professionals in attendance. We also participated in an inspiring short film ALL THE ARTS ARE COMING BACK that captures the resilience of the arts. Check out the short film here. And finally, MovieMaker Magazine named BIFF one of the top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the world! Check out the story here!

So, we are grateful that we could still be physically distanced, but socially engaged and we thank YOU for staying engaged with us! We promise to work hard to continue to bring our beloved Berkshire audience independent film from near and far. We encourage you to give the gift of film this year and support the BIFF so that we can survive and thrive in the years to come!