FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2012
From: Berkshire International Film Festival
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Contact: Kelley R. Vickery (413) 528-8030
THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THE SEVENTH 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 CHASING ICE directed by Jeff Orlowski and ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. Todd Louiso’s romantic comedy, HELLO I MUST BE GOING won in the Juried narrative category. The Jury prize is sponsored by GWFF USA and was presented at a brunch Sunday at allium Restaurant . Serving on the BIFF Jury were actors Karen Allen and Mary Kay Place, producers and distribution gurus Josh Braun and Dan Braun of Submarine Entertainment, screenwriter John Orloff, casting director Gretchen Rennell and Academy Award winning director Karen Goodman. The Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was also CHASING ICE and the Audience Award Winner for best narrative feature was Berkshire screenwriter Stephen Glantz’s powerful film WUNDERKINDER.
The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was Sarah-Violet Bliss’s short film PRICELESS THINGS. Bliss was on hand to accept the award in a ceremony during the Friday opening night in Pittsfield. After the opening night party at Berkshire Bank, catered by Mission and Y Bar, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the Sundance hit LIBERAL ARTS directed by Josh Radnor, which was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank.
Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of the documentary ETHEL. 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 Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and her daughters Katherine and Kerry. The Opening Night party was held at the Mason Library in Great Barrington, catered by Max Ultimate Food, and was generously underwritten by Jacqueline and Al Togut. Friday evening in Great Barrington, the Mahaiwe was yet again packed for the special event screening of MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT. Immediately following the screening, Marina Abramovic was greeted to a standing ovation and she and director Matthew Akers held a 40-minute Q&A. This special evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the cocktail party was held at Aston Magna, catered by Michael Ballon of Castle Street Cafe. The BIFF presented yet another sold-out presentation at the Mahaiwe on closing night of GREGORY CREWDSON: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS. Director Ben Shapiro and photographer Gregory Crewdson were both on hand for an introduction and Q&A with MASS MoCA executive director, Joe Thompson, immediately following the film.
Screening 70 features, documentaries, and shorts, BIFF hosted two dozen filmmakers and offered free children’s programs, Berkshire filmmakers, a collaboration with The Mount showing HOUSE OF MIRTH, a special book signing of Ken Regan’s book ALL ACCESS: The Rock ‘N Roll Photography of Ken Regan, a fascinating new free series called NEW NARRATIVES and parties in the BIFF throughout downtown Great Barrington and Pittsfield including a filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn.
In its seventh year, BIFF, in association with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences proudly presented a Filmmakers Summit, a two-day talent academy offered to the 2012 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 ‘2 Days in New York,’ ‘Café de Flore,’ ‘Farewell, My Queen,’ ‘Nobody Else But You,’ Nuit #1′ ‘Peace, Love and Misunderstanding,’ ‘Terraferma,’ ‘The Day I Saw Your Heart’ ‘Your Sister’s Sister,’ ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ ‘California State of Mind,’ ‘First Position,’ ‘How to Survive A Plague,’ ‘Joe Papp in Five Acts’, ‘Lemon,’ ‘Love Free or Die,’’The Island President,’ ‘The Invisible War,’ ‘The Queen of Versailles,’ ‘Under African Skies,’ and ‘We’re Not Broke,’ and some unforgettable short films such as ‘Mondays at Racine,’ and ‘Saving Face.’
Premiere Sponsors of the 2011 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Beacon Cinema, GWFF USA, Studio Two, Jacqueline and Al Togut, Max Ultimate Food, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences. Presenting Sponsors include Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery and Days Inn.
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 2013 will be held May 30 – June 2, and submissions will open October 1, 2012.