Category

Press Release

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.

###

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.

BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM KICKS OFF THE 10TH WITH A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENING

By | Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2014
From: Berkshire International Film Festival, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Contact: Kelley Vickery, Executive Director – (413) 528-8030

BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM KICKS OFF THE 10TH WITH A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENING

(Great Barrington, MA) – The Berkshire International Film Festival presented a spectacular first-ever gala on Friday, August 29, 2014 in celebration of the 10th anniversary season. Under beautiful summer skies, the gala was a huge success, selling out 350 seats at a sit down dinner held at the Great Barrington Airport. The evening honored Governor Deval and First Lady Diane Patrick for their support of the Berkshire arts and community.

The evening took place in the airport hanger where Gala Chairs created the feel of being in the sky with a draped cloud ceiling, blue and white ambient light and a plane suspended from the ceiling. A delicious seasonal 3-course dinner was catered by MAX Ultimate Food of Boston. A special BIFF video produced for the 10th Anniversary was unveiled by Doug Trumbull Studios and Kim and James Taylor sent a special video congratulating the Patrick’s and the BIFF before embarking on the QE2 for England. The live auction presented four unique and exciting auction items including a trip to le Sereno on St. Barth’s, a trip to Ecuador to Hacienda Cusin and Casa Gengotena, a luxurious New York City weekend and a BIFF Producer package. The excitement began to build when at the last minute, Governor and First Lady Diane Patrick offered a dinner party for 8 people at their Richmond home prepared by the Governor. The auction item went for thousands of dollars and was given out twice. To end the celebratory evening, the patrons danced the night away on the tarmac under the stars to live music by the Rhythm Dogs from New York City.

The gala was chaired by Jacqueline and Al Togut, and co-chaired by Dan Mathieu and Tom Potter, Kate and Hans Morris and Annie Selke and Mark Dove. The event was sponsored by Drouhin Wine Cellars, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, and MAX Ultimate Food.

BIFF 2015 will be held May 28 – 31, 2015 in Great Barrington and Pittsfield. Film submissions and festival passes go on sale October 1, 2014. For more information, please visit www.biffma.org.

Click to enter the Gala Photo Gallery

BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS A SPECTACULAR NINTH YEAR!

By | Press Release

BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS A SPECTACULAR NINTH YEAR!

Juried Prize, Next Great Filmmaker 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 CASE AGAINST 8 written and directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White. Gillian Robespierre’s romantic comedy, OBVIOUS CHILD 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, Mary Kay Place and Peter Riegert, producers and distribution gurus Josh Braun and Dan Braun of Submarine Entertainment, producers Susan Arnold and Tom Jacobson, directors Karen Goodman and Matt Penn and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones. The Audience Award Winner for best documentary feature was ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC AND MEMORY and the Audience Award Winner for best narrative feature was a tie between HANK AND ASHA and UNDER THE SAME SUN.

The winner of the Berkshire Bank “Next Great Filmmaker Award” was Matt Slamowitz’s short film WATER DOGS starring Bob Jaffe. Slamowitz was on hand to accept the award in a ceremony during the Friday opening night in Pittsfield. After the ceremony, BIFF presented a sold-out screening of the Sundance hit THE TRIP TO ITALY directed by Michael Winterbottom and stars Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, which was also sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

Highlights of the 4-day festival included the opening night screening of the narrative feature film MAY IN THE SUMMER.

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 writer and director Cherien Dabis. 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 yet again packed for the special event screening of THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL.

Immediately following the screening, directors Chapman and Maclain Way were heartily greeted by the audience and they held a Q&A with baseball player Jim Bouton. This special evening was generously sponsored by GWFF USA and the dinner party was held at the BIFF Tent, with music by Lucky 5 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 THE TRIP TO ITALY.

Screening 75 features, documentaries, and shorts, BIFF hosted over 40 filmmakers and offered free children’s programs, Berkshire filmmakers, a collaboration with The Mount showing EDITH WHARTON: THE SENSE OF HARMONY, a special retrospective of French films and parties in the BIFF throughout downtown Great Barrington and Pittsfield including a filmmaker cocktail party sponsored by the Red Lion Inn.

In its ninth year, BIFF proudly presented the third annual Filmmakers Summit, a two-day talent academy offered to the 2014 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 ‘A Thousand Times Good Night,’ ‘Beside Still Waters,’ ‘The Double,’ ‘Hellion,’ Lucky Them’ ‘My Sweet Pepper Land,’ Hank and Asha,’ ‘Venus in Fur’ ‘Love is a Perfect Crime,’ ‘Art and Craft’ ‘Blue Gold: American Jeans,’ ‘E-Team,’ ‘Freedom Summer,’ ‘The Green Prince,’ ‘Happy Valley,’ ‘Ivory Tower,’ ‘Keep on Keepin’ On,’ ‘Paul Taylor,’ ‘Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa,’ ‘To Be Takei,’ and ‘When Jews Were Funny,’ and 14 unforgettable short films.’

Premiere Sponsors of the 2014 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 Annie Selke Companies. Presenting Sponsors include Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Stella Artois, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Stonover Farm, Abbott’s Livery 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 May 28 – May 31, and submissions will open October 1, 2014.

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING AND BEING PART OF THE BIFF!

We’re Excited to Announce the Line-up of Films for the Ninth Annual BIFF

By | Events, Latest, Press Release

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!

2012 FESTIVAL LINEUP

By | Press Release | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From:          Berkshire International Film Festival
Triplex Cinema, Great Barrington, MA
Beacon Cinema, Pittsfield, MA
www.biffma.org

Contacts:   Kelley Vickery, Founder and Executive Director
Lauren Ferin, Executive Assistant
(413) 528-8030

7th ANNUAL BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2012 FESTIVAL LINEUP

Read More