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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://www.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.

###

A HAPPY FILM Special BIFF Event

By | In The News

THE BIFF REEL FRIENDS SOCIETY
ANNOUNCES A SPECIAL FILM EVENT!
2017 All-Access Passes Sold-Out!

 

Kick-off the Memorial Day Weekend with THE BIFF REEL Friends Society special screening of THE HAPPY FILM at the Mahaiwe Theater on Friday, May 26th at 6:30PM with artist and co-director Stefan Sagmeister, co-director Ben Nabors and Dr. Sheenah Hankin in attendance.  This event is generously sponsored by The Annie Selke Companies.

Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister is doing well. He lives in New York, the city of his dreams, and he has success in his work, designing album covers for the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and the Talking Heads. But in the back of his mind he suspects there must be something more. He decides to turn himself into a design project. Can he redesign his personality to become a better person? Is it possible to train his mind to get happier? He pursues 3 controlled experiments of meditation, therapy, and drugs, grading himself along the way. But real life creeps in and confounds the process: art, sex, love, and death prove impossible to disentangle. His unique designs and painfully personal experiences mark a journey that travels closer to himself than ever intended.

A fun and interactive panel discussion will follow the screening with Sagmeister, Nabors and Dr. Hankin.  This is an event not to miss!

Tickets are $20 for the film and panel discussion and $50 for film, panel discussion and an “After Party” with Sagmeister, Nabors and Dr. Hankin at a private home. The “After Party” is generously sponsored by Kate and Hans Morris.  Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Mahaiwe Box Office or through the link below.

https://themahaiwe.secure.force.com/ticket/#sections_a0F1600000megj0EAA

Trailer:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/35lo1seqodm2nck/AACJZWE-qVY7lEATQhJMyroGa?dl=0

 

BIFF IS PROUD TO BE COLLABORATING WITH SANDY NEWMAN AND THE BERKSHIRE IMMIGRATION CENTER TO PRESENT
A FREE  COMMUNITY SCREENING OF 

SALAM NEIGHBOR 
AT THE BERKSHIRE MUSEUM ON SATURDAY!

FREE THIS SATURDAY!  A showing of the documentary film “Salam Neighbor,” depicting life in a Syrian refugee camp, is the centerpiece of UNITY IN DIVERSITY, an event organized by Sandra Newman, founder of Community Access to the Arts, in collaboration with the Berkshire Immigrant Center, and the Berkshire International Film Festival. The screening, which will be followed by a discussion and a reception, will take place on Saturday, April 22, at 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

The brief panel discussion after the film will be led by Sherwood Guernsey, a Four Freedoms Coalition founder and Outreach Chair for the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, and will feature voices from diverse backgrounds. The reception will include hors d’oeuvres, wine, and desserts from Berkshire restaurant owners and chefs, many of whom are immigrants from countries all over the world.

“I feel this film is very important to share with our community in the spirit of bringing together all races, religions, and cultures and to honor the values of inclusivity, respect, and equality that are at the heart of our local and national identity,” says Newman. “The response to this event has been very positive. I’m proud to live in a community that embraces the concept of unity in diversity.”

“We urge you to join us,” says Sherwood Guernsey, “to learn about and understand the Syrian tragedy and to reaffirm the Berkshires’ continuing belief in tolerance and respect for all peoples. Stand with us to support, not reject, our Syrian brothers and sisters.”

Those wishing to make a donation at UNITY IN DIVERSITY may do so by writing checks to The Berkshire Immigrant Center.  For more information, call (413) 298-4756.

DATE:  Saturday, April 22, 2017
TIME: 5.00 PM Screening with Panel Discussion and reception to follow
PLACE: The Berkshire Museum
PRICE: FREE

BIFF Announces Full Festival Line-Up
on April 26th!
2017 All-Access Passes Sold-Out!

The BIFF will announce all the films and events at the ANNOUNCEMENT PARTY, Wednesday, April 26th from 6 to 8 at Haven!  Cocktails, appetizers and the announcement of the BIFF 2017 schedule – be the first to hear the exciting news of the opening and closing night films, the new special events, the short films for the Next Great Filmmaker Award, new parties and of course…the honoree!  Enjoy a drink and delicious food from Shelly Williams and the Haven Team, while we reveal the full  line-up of film and events! Don’t pass up this opportunity to gather with other BIFF-sters in celebrating the best in independent film!  If you would like to attend the BIFF Announcement Party, you must be an Opening Night, Special Event or All-Inclusive Passholder, a Sponsor OR a REEL Friends Society Member at the Friends With Benefits, Producer or Executive Producer Level.

EARLY TICKET PURCHASE FOR THE BIFF REEL FRIENDS ONLY!

The BIFF will announce the FULL line-up of films and events on APRIL 26. This year, ALL BIFF REEL Friends will have priority access to purchasing tickets to BIFF films and events before they go on sale to the general public on APRIL 29!  Take advantage of this opportunity so you don’t get shut out of the most popular films and events. Details to follow!

Click here to become a REEL Friend!

See you at the movies! 

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Stay up-to-date with BIFF events by subscribing to our calendar page, which allows you to import BIFF events into your phone’s calendar. If you have any questions please feel free to call the BIFF Office 413-528-8030. 

Click here to purchase Passes!

THANK YOU to our generous Sponsors!

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About Berkshire International Film Festival
The Berkshire International Film Festival aims to create a world-class festival as an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires. BIFF will showcase not only the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films but also lively panel discussions and special events focusing on filmmakers and talented artists from both sides of the camera.

 Visit biffma.org for more info.

 

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THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THE TENTH SPECTACULAR YEAR

By | In The News, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2015

From: Berkshire International Film Festival
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Contact: Kelley R. Vickery (413) 528-8030

THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS THE TENTH SPECTACULAR YEAR

Juried Prize and Best of Fest Audience Awards Announced

Great Barrington, MA – Today, the Berkshire International Film Festival announced the winners of the annual BIFF Juried Prize Award and the BIFF Audience Award. In the Juried documentary category, the winners were ROMEO IS BLEEDING written and directed by Jason Zeldes. Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia won in the Juried narrative category for their film H. filmed in both Troy, NY and Pittsfield. The Jury prize is sponsored by GWFF USA and was presented at a brunch Sunday at allium Restaurant in Great Barrington. Serving on the BIFF Jury were actors Karen Allen, Mary Kay Place, Scott Cohen and Peter Riegert, Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment, producer Susan Arnold, casting director Gretchen Rennell, film executive Bob Harper, production designer Kristi Zea, and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones. The Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was a tie between CRESCENDO directed by Jamie Bernstein, and ABOVE AND BEYOND directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg. The Audience Award Winner for best narrative feature was the Danish film SECRETS OF WAR.

The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was Chris King’s powerful short film BIRTHDAY about a wounded war veteran returning home to his wife and how they put their lives back together. After the ceremony, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the Sundance hit THE END OF THE TOUR directed by James Ponsoldt and stars Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segal which was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank. Immediately following the screening, patrons were invited to a party hosted by and at the new Hotel On North with chef Brian Alberg, the Berkshire Shenanigans and DJ BFG.

BIFF Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of the Sundance audience award-winning film MERU. The film was greatly received by a packed house at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and the audience enjoyed a wonderful Q&A afterwards with director and producer Chai Vasarhelyi and elite climber Conrad Anker and his wife Jenni Lowe Anker. A special anniversary film in honor of the 10th anniversary was produced by Joshua Crane and The Trumbull Studios, and premiered at the opening. The Opening Night party was held at the BIFF Tent with a live band, dinner was catered by Max Ultimate Food, and was generously underwritten by Jacqueline and Al Togut. Saturday evening in Great Barrington, the Mahaiwe was sold-out for the special event screening of PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT. Immediately following the screening, director Lisa Immordino Vreeland, producers Josh and Dan Braun and famed art historian Donald Kuspit were heartily greeted by the audience and they held a panel discussion on the stage of the Mahaiwe. This special evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the dinner party was held at the BIFF Tent, with music by Andy Kelly jazz band and dinner was catered by Michael Ballon of Castle Street Cafe. The BIFF presented yet another sold-out presentation at the Mahaiwe on closing night of LIVE FROM NEW YORK! with producers JL Pomeroy and Tom Broecker in attendance for a Q&A.

Screening 80 features, documentaries, and shorts, BIFF hosted over 40 filmmakers and offered free children’s programs, Berkshire filmmakers, and parties in the BIFF throughout downtown Great Barrington and Pittsfield including a filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn. Highlights of the weekend included Karen Allen’s new film BAD HURT with Allen in attendance along with director Mark Kemble and cast members Iris Gilad and Michael Harney (Orange is the New Black); A live performance from the young musicians of Kids for Harmony in Pittsfield took place outside the Triplex immediately following the screening of CRESCENDO; Famed Hollywood actor Tab Hunter was in attendance for the documentary film about his life TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL; Berkshire filmmaker Larry Burke screened his film AUTUMNAL prior to the screening of A SMALL GOOD THING highlighting 6 people in our community with filmmakers in attendance; THE PAPER TRAIL featuring Simon Winchester, Courtney Maum, John Patrick Shanley and Luc Sante screened with the filmmakers in attendance; and BOB AND THE TREES, completely filmed in the Berkshires by Sandisfield resident and director/writer Diego Ongaro, writer Courtney Maum and the entire cast of the film in attendance.

In its tenth year, BIFF proudly presented the fourth annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day talent academy offered to the 2015 film selection filmmakers. Offering a diverse, multi-dimensional program of panel discussions, lectures, and special events, lead by known industry professionals, the BIFF Filmmakers Summit is designed to celebrate and support the advancement of filmmakers and recognize film as a relevant and important medium.

Other films screened at the festival included ‘AUF DAS LEBEN! TO LIFE!,’ ‘THE DARK HORSE,’ ‘DON’T WORRY BABY,’ ‘GEMMA BOVERY,’ A HARD DAY’ ‘HENRI HENRI,’ RESULTS,’ ‘SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE’ ‘STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT,’ ‘TRACES OF SANDALWOOD,’ ‘THE TRIBE,’ ‘BACK ON BOARD: GREG LOUGANIS,’ ‘BEST OF ENEMIES,’ ‘CARTEL LAND,’ ‘CITY OF GOLD,’ ‘THE DIPLOMAT,’ ‘DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD,’ ‘FRAME BY FRAME,’ ‘ HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO,’ ‘THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD,’ ‘(T)ERROR,’ ‘WELCOME TO LEITH,’ and ‘THE WOLFPACK’ and 18 unforgettable short films.

Premiere Sponsors of the 2015 BIFF include the Triplex Cinema, the Beacon Cinema, GWFF USA, Jacqueline and Al Togut, Max Ultimate Food, Studio Two, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank and The Annie Selke Companies. Presenting Sponsors include Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery, The Barrington and Fairfield Inn and Suites.

With over 700 film submissions this year, the Berkshire International Film Festival has quickly become a destination festival that filmmakers seek due to the enthusiastic audiences it attracts.

BIFF 2015 will be held June 2 – 5, 2016 and submissions will open October 1, 2015.

‘Selfie’ documentary a short, yet powerful look at self-image…

By | Events, In The News

GREAT BARRINGTON — In the film, “Selfie,” Monument Mountain Regional High School student Hannah Korte is seen frowning slightly at the camera.

“I don’t like my rosy cheeks,” she admitted. “I think they make me look like a tomato.”

Korte wasn’t alone, at least in terms of disliking a portion of her body. In fact, she was one of about 15 high school students and mothers who spoke frankly about female self-image in general and their perceived shortcomings in particular in “Selfie.”

The documentary had its local premiere before a packed house at the Triplex Theater on Sunday morning.

The event was sponsored by Dove soap, the Berkshire International Film Festival, the Sundance Institute and the Triplex. Local director Cynthia Wade, of Egremont, an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, shot the film at Monument Mountain in about two weeks…

Read More in the Berkshire Eagle