(GREAT BARRINGTON and PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The 13thannual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) will pay tribute to Academy Award-winning actor Rachel Weisz at its annual Tribute Night at the Mahaiwe on Friday, June 1, at 7pm. As part of the tribute, Weisz will be in conversation with David Edelstein, New York Magazine’s chief film critic, following a screening of her new film, “Disobedience.”
Highlights of this year’s festival include Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph, award-winning artist Gregory Crewdson, and a screenplay reading of the locally produced film, “Mumbet,” with special guests.
The festival will showcase 80 of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films from 28 countries, and kicks off at the Mahaiwe on Thursday, May 31, at 6pm, with an opening night screening of the Sundance hit “American Animals,” a docudrama recounting the true story of four friends who brazenly attempted to execute one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history.
The four-day 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.
“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!”
“Bad Reputation,” a new documentary about iconic female rock ‘n’ roller Joan Jett, kicks off BIFF in Pittsfield on Friday, June 1, at 6:30pm.
Saturday night’s special event in Great Barrington features a staged script reading of the upcoming film “Mumbet” and a Q&A with the cast and crew at the Mahaiwe at 8pm. Director/producer Alethea Root, writer Stephen Glantz, producer Kim Waltrip, executive producers Jayne Atkinson and Elizabeth Aspenlieder, co-producers 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.
The curtain comes down on the festival at the Mahaiwe on Sunday, June 3, at 7pm, with “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” about the life and legacy of Mr. Rogers, host of the eponymous children’s TV program.
Click here for complete festival details.