(GREAT BARRINGTON and PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The 12th annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) will showcase 80 new independent feature, documentary, short, and family films from 23 countries from Thursday, June 1, through Sunday, June 4, including live appearances by festival honoree Christopher Plummer, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and Karen Allen, presenting her directorial debut, “A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud”
Among the 23 countries represented this year are Germany, Afghanistan, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, Iran, England, India, Iraq, Chile, France, Spain, UK, Israel, Syria, Sweden, Russia, Egypt and Japan.
Click here for complete film and event schedule.
THURSDAY, JUNE 1 – GREAT BARRINGTON OPENING NIGHT FILM AND DANCE PARTY
The BIFF will commence with an Opening Night Gala event and the New England Premiere screening of the uplifting documentary feature film STEP, directed by Tony-Award winning Broadway producer and documentary filmmaker, Amanda Lipitz on Thursday, June 1 at 6pm at the Mahaiwe. After the inspiring premiere at Sundance Film Festival bringing audiences to their feet, the film not only received rave reviews but also won a Special Jury Prize Award for best documentary. At it’s Sundance premiere, one reviewer wrote, “It’s rare for a documentary to inspire applause during the feature, but there you have the power of Amanda Lipitz’s STEP, an inspiring crowd-pleaser that provides a positive look at the lives of every day teens in Baltimore…STEP is a universal story of triumph.” The award-winning producer, Steven Cantor will all be in attendance and will hold a Q&A immediately following the film. FILM COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT
After the screening, the celebration will continue with an opening night party at St. James Place with cocktails, dancing and dinner-by-the-bite by Rita Welch Catering, and dancing to a DJ.
FRIDAY, JUNE 2 – PITTSFIELD OPENING NIGHT PARTY AT 5:30 PM AND FILM AT 7:30pm
The BIFF will open at the Beacon in Pittsfield with the witty and wonderful THE TRIP TO SPAIN with comedy buddies Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden as they eat their way through the cultural landscape of Spain imitating Sean Connery, Mick Jagger, Roger Moore and others. The opening night will begin with a party at Hotel on North at 5:30 followed at 7:30 by the presentation of the EIGHTH annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award.” The evening and the award is generously sponsored by Berkshire Bank. Voting for the “Next Great Filmmaker Award” begins Thursday, April 27th and voters will chose among 5 films in competition: – NIGHT SHIFT, RUNNING THROUGH LIFE, REFUGE, and 5 FILMS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY.
FRIDAY, JUNE 2 – GREAT BARRINGTON, FILMMAKER COCKTAIL PARTY
The Red Lion Inn will host the annual Filmmaker Cocktail Party on the stage of the Mahaiwe from 5:30 – 7:30.
SATURDAY, JUNE 3- BIFF PAYS TRIBUTE TO CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER
BIFF is extremely proud this year to pay tribute to the iconic and legendary Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer for his remarkable Achievement in Film. The Special Event festivities include a cocktail party and dinner-by-the-bite beginning at 5:00pm for pass-holders catered by MAX Ultimate Food at St. James Place, sponsored by GWFF. The Tribute will begin at 6:30 with Plummer in conversation with New York Film Festival Director, Kent Jones on the stage of the Mahaiwe. Immediately following the tribute will be the screening of Christopher Plummer’s new film THE EXCEPTION
SUNDAY, JUNE 4 – CLOSING NIGHT PRESENTATION AT THE MAHAIWE AT 7:00PM
The BIFF will close with the highly acclaimed SXSW hit, LUCKY, a spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist starring the superb Harry Dean Stanton and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker John Carroll Lynch. The film also stars David Lynch and Tom Skerritt. Variety wrote of the film, “stealthily affecting and unpretentiously thoughtful meditation on community and mortality, and existential dread and transcendence, in the form of a richly amusing shaggy-dog story that features Stanton’s finest performance since “Paris, Texas. It is, quite simply, the performance of a lifetime.”