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BIFF’s Seventh Season Unveiled at Haven Café
Fiona Breslin reports from Lenox.
Berkshire International Film Festival founder Kelley Vickery, speaking before a jam-packed crowd at Haven Café on Tuesday, April 24, announced a blockbuster lineup for the BIFF’s seventh season, including the opening night documentary Ethel, a feature-length portrait of Ethel Kennedy directed by her Emmy Award-winning daughter Rory Kennedy. Vickery (at left with her son Andrew and marketing consultant Kevin Sprague) noted that members of the Kennedy clan will be in attendance for the screening and Q&A on May 31. The next night BIFF presents the documentary Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present—and indeed, she will be. The June 1 event (which will be preceded by an exclusive pass holder party and followed by a Q&A) is one of only two screenings that Abramović, whose Center for the Preservation of Performing Arts is under construction in Hudson, will attend. (The other is the film’s premiere at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.) Completing this compelling trifecta is the closing night screening of Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, a documentary focused on the photographer’s decade-long work in the Berkshires producing his acclaimed cinematic photographic series, Beneath the Roses. Both Crewdson and director Ben Shapiro have strong local ties and will also participate in the post-screening Q&A. In all, the festival includes more than 70 films representing 16 countries, and a plethora of special events, including a filmmakers’ summit, free family film screenings, and a new narrative series of work by emerging directors. The BIFF runs from May 31 - June 3 in Great Barrington and Pittsfield. All-access passes have already sold out, but other passes are still available.
Casting director Elissa Myers with BIFF executive assistant Lauren Ferin and Lauren Zivyak; actor Elizabeth Aspenlieder and Pine Cone Hill’s Annie Selke, responsible for the evening’s festive decorations.
BIFF supporters Gordon Simmering, Gretchen Court, Mary Mott, and John Court share a toast; festival programmer Lillian Lennox and advisory board member Bill Nappo.