BIFF 2013 Brimming With Exceptional Films, Hidden Gems May 30-June 2 [Berkshire on Stage]

May 29th, 2013, 10:00 am by Sara
Opening film in Great Barrington: “Twenty Feet from Stardom.”

Opening film in Great Barrington: “Twenty Feet from Stardom.”

The slate of films for the Berkshire International Film Festival has been unveiled, and the choices are both surprising and satisfying. On tap are movie stars (like Treat Williams) and directors, on hand for panel discussions and talk-backs. The Great Barrington opener is “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” the tribute and tale of back-up singers who are always the bridesmaids and ushers at the concert, never the lead. In Pittsfifeld, the much talked about film “The Spectacular Now” will hold local audiences in its thrall just as it did at Sundance. Hidden away among the gems is a portrait of the legendary Elaine Stritch, “Shoot Me.” The film that inspires hope for the future “Girl Rising” will also get a Berkshire reprise, a favorite among women writers and entrepreneurs in this region. Finally, the shocking film about a killer whale, “Blackfish” tells the story of Tilikum, a performing whale that actually killed several people while in captivity in a water entertainment park. All the details are in the initial release below.

Great Barrington, MA: The eigth annual season of the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) announces the line-up to the action packed program showcasing over 75 of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films from some 20 countries. The festival, which takes place from May 30–June 2, 2013 in Great Barrington and May 31–June 2nd in Pittsfield, will bring films, filmmakers, industry professionals and film fans together for a four-day festival celebrating independent film featuring 27 documentaries, 25 narrative features and 24 short films. BIFF was recently chosen as one of Yankee Magazine’s “Top 20” events in Massachusetts.

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Award Winning Greg Crewdson and Film “Brief Encounters” at Pittsfield’s Beacon Feb. 9 [Berkshire on Stage]

February 5th, 2013, 11:00 am by Sara

By Larry Murray

For Greg Crewdson, the Berkshires are his canvas. He has turned the nocturnal silence of the rural Berkshires into eerie stills of a motion picture. I first became aware of his work when the oversized works were on display at Mass MoCA in North Adams. They were the sort of images you could spend a lot of time with, imagining what had gone before the moment in time they represented.

To many, Crewdson is as an important chronicler of the Berkshires as was Norman Rockwell. Rockwell’s brush perfectly captured the last century, while Crewdson’s lens is the perfect medium in which to capture the fleeting images of the current one.

His scenes – each an artistic composition – have been shot in North Adams, Adams, Cheshire and Pittsfield, and they all suggest some sort of intricate story with characters, moods and clues usually only found in motion pictures. His process is meticulous in the extreme. And his unusual way of working has been captured in a very popular documentary film that seems impossible to see. It has always been sold out. But here’s another chance, an encore from the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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