BIFF @ the Mahaiwe
June 2 @ 7:00 pm
One event on June 3, 2022 at 10:00 am
One event on June 4, 2022 at 10:00 am
One event on June 5, 2022 at 10:30 am
The Berkshire International Film Festival returns this weekend, June 2 to 5, screening independent feature, documentary, short and family films on big screens across the county, with panel discussions and events focusing on filmmakers and artists from both sides of the camera.
Films will screen at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, the Triplex in Great Barrington (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and the Tanglewood Learning Institute in Lenox. BIFF will alsi also have virtual films available for screening at home.
Here are the films coming to the Mahaiwe throughout the festival.
Thursday June 2
Art & Krimes by Krimes — 7 p.m.
While locked-up for six years in federal prison, artist Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an astonishing 40-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality when he comes home.
As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence. Leaning into his own identity as a convicted felon and celebrated artist, Jesse turns the spotlight on people still in prison, asking us to question surface representations, recognize overlooked beauty and celebrate the transcendent power of art to connect us and elevate the human spirit.
Friday, June 3
Black Box — 10 a.m.
Black Box (Boîte noire) is a taut, suspenseful psychological film noir about the unraveling of events behind a deadly plane crash. Matthieu, a brilliant young black-box analyst with an extraordinarily acute ear, investigates the tragic incident and becomes increasingly obsessed by inexplicable evidence that doesn’t add up. Spiraling further and further downward into the realms of paranoia, conspriacy theory, and corporate corruption, Maththieu gradually loses credibility with his superiors and begins his own rogue investigation, a compulsive and dangerous quest to uncover the sordid truth that will quickly threaten far more than his career.
Tea Talk on Women in Film — 1 p.m.
BIFF will hold a Female Filmmaker Panel — The future of film is female. The conversation will focus on the importance of having more women storytellers, BIFF says, and the challenges and opportunities, they continue to face in bringing those stories from script to screen. The panelists include directors from films presented at BIFF 2022, moderated by writer and BIFF board member Mary Mott.
The Reverend — 4 p.m.
Vince Anderson dropped out of the seminary to follow his second calling – music. With his band, The Love Choir, he has played a weekly show for more than 20 years. Reconnecting with his faith and using his intense soulful music, he began to preach a type of spirituality that meets people where they are, he says, and is open to all.
Reverend Vince is also deeply involved in social activism, working with other progressive faith leaders at home and around the country to build inclusive communities. The Reverend is a rocking concert film as well as an intimate portrait of his life.
Blind Ambition — 7 p.m.
Four friends have conquered the odds to become South Africa’s top sommeliers, after escaping starvation and tyranny in their homeland of Zimbabwe. Driven by relentless optimism, a passion for their craft and a sense of national pride, they form Zimbabwe’s first national wine tasting team and set their sights on the coveted title of “World Wine Tasting Champions.”
Saturday, June 4
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On — 10 a.m.
Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.
Nothing Lasts Forever — 1 p.m.
Traversing the globe, filmmaker Jason Kohn (Manda Bala, Love Means Zero) journeys across America, Botswana, China and India on a high-stakes quest to investigate the deeply held myth that diamonds — the ultimate symbol of committed love — are indeed forever.
In his travels, he befriends a besieged gemologist who is trying to warn the world that lab-grown diamonds are being mixed with mined, natural diamonds, but the industry he’s trying to save refuses to listen. With an unforgettable cast of characters, from disruptors to miners, mixers and middle-men, Nothing Lasts Forever delves to the heart of what is real and what is fake, calculating the high cost of exposing the truth inside an industry built on secrecy.
Bernstein’s Wall — 4 p.m.
A complex look at one of the greatest figures in 20th century classical music, Leonard Bernstein, whose passion and creativity guided him well beyond the concert hall.
Juanita and Tribute to Alfre Woodard – Discussion and Film — 7 p.m.
BIFF honors Alfre Woodard, awardwinning American actor, producer and political activist — she has earned four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and nominations for an Academy Award and two Grammy Awards.
breakthrough role in the Off-Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1977), she won major critical praise and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Cross Creek (1984) and her first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the NBC drama series Hill Street Blues.
film and television, from Grand Canyon to Star Trek: First Contact, the critically acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave and the box office hits Annabelle and the remake of The Lion King (2019), and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe she appears as grieving mother Miriam Sharpe in Captain America: Civil War (2016).
Tonight, in her honor, BIFF will screen the critically acclaimed 2019 film Juanita, based on Sheila Williams’ novel Dancing on the Edge of the Roof. Wrestling with life and love, a mother of three grown children searches for hope and healing on an impromptu trip to Paper Moon, Montana. The film stars Alfre Woodard, Adam Beach and LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
Sunday, June 5
Animated Shorts — 10:30 a.m.
THE BOY and the JAZZ – Director: Flavio Dos Santos – Brazil
Animated short that tells the story of a boy in love with music who, upon seeing the window of a musical instrument store, decides he wants a trumpet to become a jazz musician. When he realizes that the price of the instrument is higher than he can afford, he feels frustrated, but then he starts looking for ways to achieve his goals.
THE WORLD’S GREATEST HOME – Director: Zubar Pradham -Canada
The ‘World’s Greatest Home’ is a beautiful story about the journey of two children from remarkably different backgrounds and the exquisite world they build together. Set in Guerrero, Mexico, it begins with the protagonist Levi, a child separated from his family in Guerrero, who is now forced to scrummage through scraps to put a meal on his table. As he encounters David, a hometown boy from a seemingly high income family, he is introduced to a stunning world filled with superheroes, delicious food, swimming pools, amusement games and lots of color.
THE MIDNIGHT SUN – Director: Connor Radding – United States
A park ranger is disoriented by her internal desire to find a missing boy. An animated short film about isolation, loss, and a search for meaning.
THE DALANG’S TALE – Director: Irwan Junaidy, Maizura Abas, Atigah Mohd Abu Baker – Malaysia
The Dalang’s Tale is an animated short film about domestic violence with visuals inspired by Malaysian traditional wayang kulit or shadow puppets.
Two stories intertwine: one of a workaholic father and his growing impatience with his young son as they make their way to watch a shadow puppet master or dalang’s show and the other of a man who dotes on his son but secretly inflicts acts of abuse on his wife before he disappears after a violent incident.
Tea Talk – Don Gummer — 1 p.m.
THE ART OF DON GUMMER from estWest Films is a long-awaited short documentary on the sculpture of one of America’s best known artists whose work has rarely been seen. As much of Gummer’s work is monumental and installed in locations all over the world, even those familiar with Don’s work rarely get to see the finished installations.
Wolfram Hissen, whose longtime filmmaking with Christo and Jeanne Claude is recognized worldwide, followed Don to locations across the globe for three years. The resulting images, many captured here for the first time, surprised no one more than Gummer himself. Join us after the short film for a conversation with artist Don Gummer, artist Stephen Hannock, Executive Director of Mass MoCA Kristy Edmunds, and director Wolfram Hissen.
After the film presentation, BIFF will hold a book signing of Gummers’s hotoff-the-press first major monograph, Don Gummer, from the Artist Book Foundation. All proceeds will go to benefit the Berkshire International Film Festival.
Fire Of Love — 4 p.m.
Fire of Love tells the story of two French lovers, Katia and Maurice Krafft, who died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of the planet, while simultaneously capturing the most explosive volcano imagery ever recorded. Along the way, they changed our understanding of the natural world, and saved tens of thousands of lives. Previously unseen hours of pristine 16-millimeter film and thousands of photographs reveal the birth of modern volcanology through an unlikely lens — the love of its two pioneers.
Pretty Problems — 7 p.m.
Jack and Lindsay are invited on a getaway trip with affluent strangers: down the rabbit hole, and into the most unhinged weekend of their lives. Can their relationship survive?
By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.