BIFF Announces 8th Season

Berkshire International Film Festival May 30 to June 2

By: - Apr 26, 2013


The 8th Annual season of The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) announces the line-up to the action packed program showcasing over 75 of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films from some 20 countries.  The festival, which takes place from May 30 – June 2, 2013 in Great Barrington and May 31 – June 2nd in Pittsfield, MA, will bring films, filmmakers, industry professionals and film fans together for a four-day festival celebrating independent film featuring 27 documentaries, 25 narrative features and 24 short films.  BIFF was recently chosen as one of Yankee Magazine’s “Top 20” events in Massachusetts.

We are thrilled at the extraordinary line-up of films, many coming straight from their success at Sundance,” said Kelley Vickery, BIFF Executive Director. “One of the things I love about the BIFF, is the diversity of films that our filmmakers bring to the Berkshires, and each year we cultivate film from around the world to reflect our ever-changing, ever-growing, and ever-hopeful global community.  I continue to be amazed at the amount of inspired filmmaking that is being created and I celebrate those filmmakers who share their stories and their talent.”


The BIFF will commence with an Opening Night Gala event and a screening of the documentary TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM, directed by Morgan Neville on Thursday, May 30 at 6PM at the Mahaiwe Theater.  After wowing audiences at its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, this wonderfully crafted documentary looks at the numerous, talented, and mostly unsung back-up singers who have performed onstage with some of the last fifty years' biggest names in music, from Sting and the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen and the Talking Heads. Featuring the talented Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Tata Vega, “TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM wages a compelling crusade to get background singers some long-overdue recognition,” writes Variety. “This personality-packed documentary is nothing short of absorbing as it recaps the essential role African-American background singers played in shaping the sound of 20th-centry pop music.”  One of the leading and legendary stars of the film, Darlene Love, will attend the opening gala and share a special performance after the screening with our BIFF audience.  Bette Midler inducted love into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. 

Prior to the opening night feature film, BIFF will showcase a charming short film FOOD FOR THOUGHT, written and directed by Joe Cacaci and stars Minnie Driver, Meeghan Holoway and Tony Shaloub.  Tony Shaloub and Joe Cacaci will be in attendance. After the screening, the celebration will continue with an opening night party under the BIFF tent with dinner by Max Ultimate Food of Boston, and dancing to the live band CITY RHYTHM. 


BIFF’s Opening Night in Pittsfield will also feature an audience hit, which premiered at Sundance THE SPECATULAR NOW.  With sly humor and an intensity of feeling, THE SPECTACULAR NOW creates a vivid, three- dimensional portrait of youth confronting the funny, thrilling and perilous business of modern love and adulthood. This is the tale of Sutter Keely, a high school senior and effortless charmer, and of how he unexpectedly falls in love with ""the good girl"" Aimee Finecky. What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth – one that doesn’t look for tidy truths. The film was written by Scott and Michael (500 Days of Summer) and also features wonderful supporting turns from Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Prior to the opening night feature film, Berkshire Bank and BIFF will present the fourth annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award” chosen among 5 films in competition. After the screening, the celebration will continue with an opening night party at the YBar on North Street with food catered by Mission dancing to the tunes of DJ JTD Productions.


BIFF will host a very special screening and panel discussion around the powerful film GIRL RISING. In cooperation with the Interdependence Movement and 10x10, GIRL RISING, is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses, including Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Anne Hathaway, and Freida Pinto. An engaging discussion will follow the film with a notable group of political, media and cultural figures who are both well known nationally and committed to the cause of girls’ education.  The panel will be chaired by Benjamin Barber, the public intellectual and author of best-selling books like Jihad vs. McWorld and Founder of The Interdependence Movement, and will include Tom Yellin, executive director of GIRL RISING and 10x10; Carol Gilligan, American feminist, ethicist, psychologist and author of “In a Different Voice;” and Shabana Basij- Rasikh, a 10x10 Global Ambassador and currently a Managing Director of SOLA (School of Leadership, Afghanistan) a nonprofit that helps exceptional young Afghan women access education worldwide and jobs back home.  Additional special guests will be announced. After the screening and discussion, a special dinner will be held with the filmmakers and participants under the BIFF tent catered by Castle Street Café.


The BIFF is very proud to close with the highly anticipated new film from THE SQUID AND THE WHALE director Noah Baumbach, FRANCES HA, starring the delightful and talented Greta Gerwig, who also wrote the film with Baumbach.  BIFF is pleased that both Noah Baumbach and  Greta Gerwig will be in attendance for a Q&A moderated by artist and Berkshire resident Gregory Crewdson which is sure to be an unforgettable evening.  BIFF will mark the closing of the festival with a closing night party at Castle Street.

Our 8th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival has an array of incredible films, Q&A’s with directors, producers, and actors and a great lineup of festivities.



The BIFF is honored to have our Third Annual Jury includes actors Mary Kay Place, Karen Allen, Chris Noth, and Peter Riegert, Distribution Guru Josh Braun, Directors Karen Goodman and Matthew Penn, Screenwriter Sam Harper, and renowned Film Critic and New York Film Festival director of programming Kent Jones. There will be five films in competition for feature documentaries and four films in the narrative category.  The award will carry a $5,000 prize sponsored by GWFF USA to be presented on Sunday, June 2nd at Allium in Great Barrington. The films in competition for Narrative are: A TEACHER, DIE WELT, FLYING BLIND, and HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES. In the documentary category; AFTER TILLER, CRASH REEL, GMO OMG, VALENTINE ROAD and 99% - THE OCCUPY WALL STREET COLLABORATIVE FIL


CINEMABLILITY - From the early days of silent films to present day, from Chaplin to X-Men, disability portrayals are ever changing. This dynamic documentary takes a detailed look at the evolution of “disability” in entertainment, combining interviews with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars with vivid clips from our most beloved motion pictures and TV shows to focus on the powerful impact that entertainment can have on society.

Immediately following the screening will be a panel discussion moderated by John Whalan, Black Ice Entertainment and panelists will include director Jenni Gold, Gold Pictures Mathayu Warren-Lane, Hollywood Access Services.

Now in its 20th year, Community Access to the Arts (CATA) nurtures and celebrates the creativity of over 500 people with disabilities in Berkshire County through shared experiences in the visual and performing arts.  Founded by Sandra Newman in 1993, CATA is an award winning non-profit with an exemplary model for creative social change.  To learn more about CATA, visit

 SPECIAL SATURDAY screenings at the Mahaiwe

1:00 HaLFTIME – Written by Richard Dresser, Directed by Joe Cacaci and starts Treat Williams and a cast of young Berkshire actors shot on location at the Berkshire School.  The film is produced by Berkshire based Black Ice MASS Media, LLC and Black Ice Entertainment, LLC in Association.  The film’s screening is co-presented with the Berkshire Film and Media Commission and Limelight Productions.  TREAT WILLIAMS in attendance.

1:00 THE IRAN JOB – Documentary, directed by Till Schaulder. Filmmakers in attendance.

When American basketball player Kevin Sheppard accepts a job to play in one of the world's most feared countries - Iran - he expects the worst. But what he finds is a country brimming with generosity, acceptance, and sensuality. With a charismatic personality that charms everyone he meets, Kevin forms an unlikely friendship with three outspoken Iranian women who share with him their strong opinions on everything, from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin's season in Iran eventually culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran's reformist Green Movement - a powerful prelude to the sweeping changes currently unfolding across the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring.

SPECIAL Sunday screenings AND EVENTS

 10AM –THE MAHAIWE -The morning begins with a selection of kids shorts from KIDS FLIX MIX for ages 4 to 8, a colorful collection of short films from around the world, hand-picked as audience and jury favorites from the 2012 New York International Children’s Film Festival. THESE SCREENINGS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

11 – 1PM FREE LUNCH WITH THE CO-OP under the BIFF Tent across from the Mahaiwe!

Berkshire Co-op Market invites you to a BIFF Picnic – free of charge!  Join us for some good fresh food, lively discussion and a series of short films called LIGHTS, CAMERA, CO-OPS.  The series follows Atlanta based Chef (and Top Chef Finalist) Kevin Gillespie as he travels to food co-ops across the country-from grocery aisles to farm fields – to share their passion for delicious food and their local communities.  Watch and you’ll quickly discover the many ways food co-ops like ours, help their shoppers, owners and their communities stronger.  Vegetarian and Gluten-Free options will be available! 

1:00 – THE MAHAIWE – Screening of local film LONGING FOR A LOCAL LUNCH produced by Lynne Cherry as part of the series Young Voices for the Planet, featuring Great Barrington students.  Q&A to follow screening.

THE MOO MAN - Stephen Hook’s dairy farm in rural England produces organic, non-pasteurized milk.  Each of his 200 cows has a name and is lovingly cared for, particularly his “cover girl” cow Ida.  While his stewardship for the land and his bovine companions is remarkable, his business-model is not sustainable, and he is forced to rely heavily of Government subsidies that may not one day be there. Beyond an earnest and surprising look at where your food comes from, this is a heartfelt portrait of a lifestyle and approach of a farmer and his prized cow, facing an uncertain future.

3 – 5PM –BIFF AT THE MOUNT!  BIFF and the Mount are excited to present: PERIODS, with creators and filmmakers in attendance. 

See what the buzz is about! PERIODS Comedy Film Collaborative has built an avid online following with quirky reinterpretations of historical events and classical literature. Be among the first to see their feature-length film which chronicles the human experience in a whole new fashion and catch a sneak peek of their wedding comedy BREAKUP AT A WEDDING coming to VOD & theaters June 18th from Oscilloscope Labs (Exit Through the Gift Shop, Wendy & Lucy.) Talkback following the screening with PERIODS. Creators Victor Quinaz and Anna Martemucci. General $10; Free for BIFF Pass holders


For the second year, The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) is proud to present the annual Filmmakers Summit; a two-day talent academy offered to the 2013 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 is designed to celebrate and support the advancement of filmmakers and recognize film as a relevant and important medium. Beginning on Wednesday, May 29, 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


 Check for dates and screening times


A LADY IN PARIS (d. Ilmar Raag with: Jeanne Moreau, Laine Mägi, Patrick Pineau)

*A TEACHER (d: Hannah Fidell with: Lindsey Burdge, Will Brittain)
Q&A with Hannah Fidell following the screening

BEFORE MIDNIGHT (d. Richard Linklater with: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy)

BROKEN (d: Rufus Norris with: Tim Roth, Eloise Laurence, Cillian Murphy, Robert Emms)

COMPUTER CHESS (d: Andrew Bujalski with: Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins)

CRYSTAL FAIRY (d: Sebastian Silva with: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Agustín Silva)

DIE WELT (d: Alex Pitstra with: Abdelhamid Nawara, Ilse Heus, Judith Van der)

*ENGLISH VINGLISH (d: Gauri Shinde with: L. Sridevi) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

EVELYN (d: Isabel de Ocampo with Cindy Diaz, Adolfo Fernandez, Ari Rubiano Saavera, Sari Bibang, Guadalupe Lancho)

THE FIFTH SEASON (d: Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth with: Aurélia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck Aurélia Poirier, Gill Vancompernolle)

FLYING BLIND (d: Katarzyna Klimkiewicz with: Helen McCrory, Najib Oudghiri, Kenneth Cranham, Tristan Gemmill)

*THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM (d: Andrew Mudge with: Moshoeshoe Chabeli, Lillian Dube, Jerry Mofokeng) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*FRANCES HA (d: Noah Baumbach with: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver) Q&A with Noah Baumbach after the screening

GUILTY OF ROMANCE (d: Shion Sono with: Miki Mizuno, Makoto Togashi, Megumi Kagurazaka)

*HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES (d: Daniel Patrick Carbone with: Ryan Jones, Nathan Varnson, Colm O'Leary) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

THE HUNT (d: Thomas Vinterbergs wth: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp)

I, ANNA (d: Barnaby Southcombe with: Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne)

*IT FELT LIKE LOVE (d: Eliza Hittman with: Jesse Cordasco, Richie Folio, Andrew McCord) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening


*NINAH’S DOWRY (d: Victory Viyouh with: Mbufung Seikeh, Anurin Nwunembom, Norbert Kecha Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

PRINCE AVALANCE (d: David Gordon Green with: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch)

SISTER (d: Ursula Meier with: Léa Seydoux, LouiseKacey Mottet Klein, Simon Martin Compston, Gillian Anderson

SOLDATE JEANNETTE (d: Daniel Hoesl with: Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg, Christina Reichsthaler, Josef Kleindienst)

THE SPECTACULAR NOW (d: James Ponsoldt with: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler)

SUSKIND (d: Rudoph Van Den Berg with Karl Markovics, Jeroen Spitzenberger, Nyncke Beekhuyzen, Tygo Gernandt, Katjz Herbers, Nasrdin Dchar, Olga Zuiderhoek


*99% - THE OCCUPY WALL STREET COLLABORATIVE FILM (d: Audrey Ewell, Aaron Aites, Lucian Read, Nina Krstic) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*AFTER TILLER (d: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*AFTER WINTER, SPRING (d: Judith Lit) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

 BLACKFISH (d: Gabrela Cowperthwaite)

*CASTING BY (d: Tom Donahue) Q&A with Casting Directors Gretchen Rennell and Elissa Myers after screening

*CHERRY COTTAGE (d: Dave Simmonds) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

 *CRASH REEL (d: Lucy Walker ) Q&A with Kevin Pearce and family after screening

DIRTY WARS (d: Rick Rowley)

ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME (d: Chiemi Karasawa)

FLEX IS KINGS (d: Michael Beach Nichols, Deidre Schoo)

*GENIUS OF MARIAN (d: Banker White, Anna Fitch) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*GIRL RISING (co-d: Tracie Holder , Karen Thorsen) Q & A to follow with Co-Director/Producer, Tracie Holder, Co-Director, Karen Thorsen, Co-Producer Daniel Childers

*GMO OMG (d: Jeremy Seifert) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*GOOD ‘OL FREDA (d: Ryan White) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

I AM DIVINE (d: Jeffrey Schwarz)

*THE IRAN JOB (d: Till Schauder)

MOO MAN (d: Andy Heathcote)

*REMOTE AREA MEDICAL (d: Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) Q&A with Filmmakers and Volunteer in Medicine (VIM) Chairman, Arthur Peisner and Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder, Dr. Matthew Mandel after screening.

THE SUMMIT (d: Nick Ryan)

*TEXAS HUNTRESS (d: Ashely Chiles) Q & A to follow with filmmaker, Brian Alberg, Executive Chef at Red Lion Inn; Chris Weld, Founder, owner and distiller of Berkshire Mountain Distillers; Gregg Charbonneau, owner of Barrington Coffee Roasting.


*TINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL (d: Christopher Smith) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*TO THEM THAT’S GONE (d: Andrew McKay, William Gardiner, John McKay) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

*TRANSCENDING FEAR (d: Wenjing Ma) Q&A with Filmmaker after screening

 *TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM (d: Morgan Neville) Q&A with singer Darlene Love

VALENTINE ROAD (d: Marta Cunningham)

VENUS AND SERENA (d: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major)


BIFF will present two short film programs, which will showcase some 21 shorts from the Berkshires and around the world and will be presented along with filmmakers at selected screenings.

Shorts #1

THE INTERVIEWER (d: Genevieve Clay), YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (d: Morgan Spurlock)  THE WHISTLE (d: Grzegorz Zariczny), A LITTLE SUICIDE (d: Ana Lily Amirpour), HATCH (d: Christoph Kushnig) EL DOCTOR (d: Jude Roth) IT’S ABOUT SPENDING TIME TOGETHER (d:Ainslie Henderson), PEARL WAS HERE (d: Kate Marks), *LIGHT ME UP (d: Ryan Walton, Derek Delachek), *THE RIVER (d: Sam Handel.) Q & A to follow with filmmakers in attendance

Shorts #2

CATNIP: EGRESS TO OBLIVION (d: Jason Willis), THE SECRET OF TREES (d: Albert Maysles), PALIMPSEST (d: Ben Nabors, Michael Tyburski), LUMINARIS (d: Juan Pablo Zaramella), NINE AND A HALFS GOODBYE (d: Guido Schmelich), MEENKASHI (d: Robert Mast), I AM TOM MOODY (d: Ainslie Henderson), IRISHI FOLK FURNITURE (d: Tony Donoghue),  *GOD’S GOT HIS HEAD IN THE CLOUDS (d: Gianluca Sodaro)  *ANIMATION HOTLINE (d: Dustin Grella, Tony Tan), *THE CUP READER (d: Suha Araj). Q & A with filmmakers in attendance to follow.

*denotes filmmakers in attendance.


Venues for all of the weekend-long events and screenings will include the Triplex Cinema and the historic Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington and the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield.

Passes are on sale now at $250 and $500 - $150 passes are sold out.  Individual tickets go on sale Friday April 26 and may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-866-811-4111. Visiting the Triplex Cinema or the Mahaiwe Box Office in Great Barrington or the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield can also purchase tickets.


Premiere sponsors of the festival include the Triplex Cinema, Beacon Cinema, GWFF, Studio Two, Jacqueline and Al Togut, The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Bank, and Max Ultimate Food. Supporting sponsors include Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc., Stella Artois, Abbotts Livery, Coca-Cola, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, Stonover Farm , Days Inn/Comfort Inn and Panther Distributing.

Berkshire International Film Festival is a 501©3 non-profit.  For more information, to join as a sponsor, volunteers, become a REEL Friend or make a contribution to BIFF, please contact or