Film Fest Concludes with Emerging Artists and Screen Legends

Carol Channing

Carol Channing

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Sidney Lumet, Carol Channing, Marge Champion, and a special program on the intersection of Bollywood and the Berkshires are among the highlights of the second and concluding weekend of the 13th annual Williamstown Film Festival (WFF), running Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 29, 2011.

WFF’s closing day, Saturday, October 29, kicks off at noon with “Kleiser in Bollywood,” a lunch seminar at Images Cinema. Visual effects guru Jeff Kleiser, cofounder of Williamstown-based Synthespian Studios, spent nearly a year in Mumbai and London working on India’s biggest science-fiction film ever, Ra. One, starring and produced by Bollywood’s hottest star: Shah Rukh Khan. Kleiser will give audiences a sneak peek at the film’s groundbreaking VFX and share behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the production of this film, which opens this week in Dubai, Toronto, and India.

The Berkshires’ most beloved celebrity, Marge Champion, will be in attendance for the New England premiere of Carol Channing: Larger than Life, an exhilarating documentary about the enduring entertainer and legendary luminary of Broadway, screen, and television. Champion, a friend and professional colleague of Channing, is interviewed in the film and will join director Dori Berinstein for a Q&A following the screening of Carol Channing… at Images Cinema at 2:30 p.m.

WFF wraps up on Saturday night at The Clark at 8 p.m., when the festival will pay tribute to Sidney Lumet, the legendary director who died earlier this year. Lumet’s 50-year career includes such classics as The Verdict, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Twelve Angry Men, and Murder on the Orient Express. Clips from 21 of Lumet’s greatest films will be screened by his daughter Jenny Lumet, an actress and screenwriter who wrote the award-winning screenplay for Rachel Getting Married. She’ll be joined by award-winning writers Tom Fontana and David Black; actress Paula Devicq; and producer Lilith Jacobs to share stories about her father’s extraordinary career.

The evening will continue with the presentation of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Award for top short of the season, followed by the annual Champagne and Desserts party in the Clark courtyard, which will include a Lumet slide show and a sale of vintage posters from his films.

The final festival weekend kicks off at Images Cinema on Thursday evening, October 27, 7 p.m., with The Restaurateur, a riveting documentary about culinary genius Danny Meyer and the creation of two of his signature New York City restaurants. Meyer and director Roger Sherman will be in attendance to participate in the post-screening Q&A, after which the audience will adjourn to Mezze Bistro for a special tasting hosted by Meyer himself and Mezze’s Nancy Thomas, one of Meyer’s many protégées.

A still from the Jacob's Pillow documentary, "Never Stand Still"

A still from the Jacob's Pillow documentary, "Never Stand Still"

Friday features two wildly contrasting events. At 8 p.m., the festival returns to MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., for the screening of Never Stand Still, an affectionate portrait of Jacob’s Pillow – Berkshire landmark and the longest-running dance festival in America – which includes interviews with legendary choreographers and rare archival footage. Jacob’s Pillow executive and artistic director Ella Baff will join the film’s director and producer, Ron Honsa and Nan Pearlman, to take questions after the screening. The evening concludes at Images Cinema with a new late-night program; at 11:30 p.m. The “Strange Behavior” slot throws the spotlight on a half-dozen provocative short films, perfect for fans of the wild and way out (including Die with Me and Incest! The Musical). Six artists connected with the shorts will attend and participate in a Q&A into the wee hours of Saturday morning.

By its finale Saturday evening, 35 artists directly involved in the production of slated films will have been in attendance at the Festival.

Full passes to Weekend II of the Williamstown Film Festival are available for $115; tickets for individual events are also available online at Williamstown Film Festival (WFF), or call 413.458.9900.

For complete details on the festival schedule, films, special events, and artists, please visit Williamstown Film Festival (WFF).


Thursday October 27

7pm: THE RESTAURATEUR, Images Cinema


Friday October 28


11:30pm: The Strange Behavior slot, Images Cinema


Saturday, October 29

Noon: Lunch Seminar/ Kleiser in Bollywood, Images Cinema


8pm: A Salute to Sidney / Tribute to director Sidney Lumet + champagne & Desserts party, Clark Art Institute




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