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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://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.

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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.

Special Event Screening: A STREET CAT NAMED BOB

By | Latest

THE BIFF’S REEL FRIENDS FILM SOCIETY
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
MOUNTAINSIDE TREATMENT CENTER & BERKSHIRE HUMANE PURRADISE

ANNOUNCE
A SPECIAL SCREENING EVENT

February 8th (Pittsfield) & February 9th (Great Barrington)
Pre-screening reception at Rubi’s (Feb 9th only)
Post-screening discussion with
the film’s director Roger Spottiswoode,

screenwriter Maria Nation, and
Mountainside Treatment Center’s Jessica Dunn

Based on the international best seller, A STREET CAT NAMED BOB tells the true story of James Bowen, a young British street singer struggling with addiction, and his remarkable road to recovery thanks to the unexpected arrival of a stray ginger tom cat.  When the cat won’t leave James’ side he names him Bob and the heartwarming partnership becomes the key to James’ recovery.

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB stars, Luke Treadaway, Joanne  Froggatt, Ruta Gedmintas and Anthony Head with original songs by Charlie Fink.

click here to watch the trailer

“A STREET CAT NAMED BOB is an incredible feel-good movie that, despite its darks subject matter, makes your heart swell.  It’s a story of survival and the strength of friendship. This is a tale that highlights the healing powers of feline friends.  It will lift your spirit and heal your soul.”
…The Hollywood News

Prior to the screening will be a reception at Rubi’s (Thursday only, limited tickets).

After the screening, join us for a discussion and Q & A with the film’s director, Roger Spottiswoode (Turner & Hooch, And The Band Played On,Tomorrow Never Dies, Shake Hands with the Devil, etc), the film’s screenwriter (and BIFF Advisory Board member) Maria Nation, and Jessica Dunn who will discuss Mountainside Treatment Center’s work, philosophy and success in addiction treatment.

The Berkshire Humane Society’s Purradise will be bringing some special (feline) guests to the Triplex who will be available for adoption.  If you bring a donation for Purradise (cat food, blankets, cash, toys, etc) the Triplex will give you a complimentary kiddie popcorn.

Director Roger Spottiswoode and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the London Royal Premier of A STREET CAT NAMED BOB.
AT A GLANCE:

WHAT:  BIFF Special Screenings of A STREET CAT NAMED BOB

MORE:  Pre-screening reception at Rubi’s (Thursday only; limited space)

EVEN MORE: Post- screening Q & A with director Roger Spottiswoode, screenwriter Maria Nation, and Jessica Dunn, Mountainside Treatment Center’s Alumni Relations Manager 

WHEN:  7PMWed., February 8 at the Beacon Cinema, Pittsfield 
              7PMThurs., February 9 at the Triplex Cinema, Gt. Barrington 
              6PM – Limited Pre-screening reception held
at Rubi’s on Thursday ONLY
PRICE:  $10, screening and Q&A
              $20, reception, screening and Q&ATickets can ONLY be purchased at the respective theaters and will go on sale January 30th.
The BIFF REEL FRIENDS SOCIETY send deep thanks to
our co-sponsors for this event:
THIS SPECIAL EVENT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY
THE BIFF REEL FRIENDS FILM SOCIETY
Kelley Vickery with HBO’s Sheila Nevins, Yo Yo Ma & family at the BIFF premiere of THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS
The BIFF invites you to join its REEL FRIENDS FILM SOCIETY which presents special screenings, filmmaker appearances, parties and events in the Berkshires and New York City throughout the year.
Click here to become a REEL Friend!
See you at the movies!

Stay up-to-date with BIFF events by subscribing to our calendar.

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.
THANK YOU to our generous Sponsors!

THE BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS AN ELEVENTH STAR-STUDDED YEAR

By | Latest, Uncategorized

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.