Parties & Openings
Sept. 15 - Great Barrington
Berkshire Grown Supper
Sept. 14 - Sharon
Sept. 13 - New Lebanon
Rock My Religion Gala
BIFF’s “White Irish Drinkers” Screening at the Mahaiwe
Cultural correspondent Bess J.M. Hochstein reports from Great Barrington: Don’t ever doubt that Berkshire cineastes are a hardy bunch; film fans braved perilously icy roads and slippery sidewalks to arrive at the The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 5 for Berkshire International Film Festival’s latest screening, a sneak preview of the indie film White Irish Drinkers. A good part of the allure was community member/Hollywood actress Karen Allen’s star turn in the film, which was written and directed by John Gray and produced by his wife, Melissa Jo Peltier, all of whom were on hand for a post-screening Q&A with the audience and a reception at Vault Studio, Vault Gallery’s Railroad Street location. After watching Allen’s deft performance in her first unglamorous role—a downtrodden mother and abused wife trying to keep her family together in 1970s Brooklyn—the audience was greatly relieved to see her back in her familiar fine form to celebrate the release of this film, which has garnered a warm reception on the festival circuit and will open in major markets next month.
Jerry Johnson and Berkshire Film and Media Commission executive director Diane Pearlman; The Women’s Times’ Eugenie Sills and the Mahaiwe’s executive director Beryl Jolly.
White Irish Drinkers cast and crew: producer Melissa Jo Peltier, actress Karen Allen, writer/director John Gray with BIFF founder Kelley Vickery.
Demarest Boney and Barbara Newman; Wheeler & Taylor’s Barbara Schulman and Seven Salon’s Mark Johnson.
Doug Shufelt, actress and Simon’s Rock professor Karen Beaumont and Benchmark Real Estate’s Nancy Kalodner; Cookiehead creator Lisa Newman, Seven Salon’s Maurice Peterson and Castle Street Café‘s Michael Ballon.
Berkshire Property Agents’ Tim Lovett with Sharon Gregory, VP of Corporate Development and Planning at Jane Iredale; David Schecker and Vicki Bonnington.