Berkshire International Film Festival

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) today announced the selection of films that will screen from May 14 thru May 17, 2009, in Great Barrington, MA. The film festival will feature over 70 US and international award-winning independent feature films, documentaries, and shorts as well as panel discussions, Q & A sessions with filmmakers, special screenings of the finalists from the Berkshire Student Film Festival, and a special afternoon discussion with the famed NYU film professor, Richard Brown. The Festival will represent films from thirteen countries and host over two dozen filmmakers.

Venues for all of the weekend-long events and screenings will be the Triplex Cinema, the historic Mahaiwe Theatre and a free kids film morning at the Mason Library, all in downtown Great Barrington, MA.

“In this year of great political transformation, we have chosen to bookend the festival with two films that document the full spectrum of activism that has inspired change in our country over of the last 40 years”, said BIFF director Kelley Vickery.

Opening the Festival will be the grand jury nominated film from Sundance William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe. Emily and Sarah Kunstler explore the life of their father, the late radical civil rights lawyer. In the 1960s and 70s, Kunstler fought for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., and represented activists protesting the Vietnam War. When the inmates took over Attica prison, or Native Americans stood up to the federal government at Wounded Knee, they asked Kunstler to be their lawyer. Arthouse Pictures will release the film later this year. Sarah and Emily Kunstler and others will be in attendance. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

The Closing Night Film presentation is The Yes Men Fix the World directed by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno which premiered at Sundance in January and won the audience award at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival in February. Yes Men, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are two guys who just can't take "no" for an answer. They have an unusual hobby: posing as top executives of corporations they hate. Armed with nothing but thrift-store suits, they lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate nemeses in ever more extreme ways - basically doing everything that they can to wake up their audiences to the danger of letting greed run our world.

Feature and documentary films from the US include, Anvil! The Story of Anvil directed by Sacha Gervasi; Burning Plain directed by Guillermo Arriaga; Emmanual Jal: War Child directed by Karim Chrobog; Food, Inc. directed by Robert Kenner; Gigantic directed by Matt Aselton; Motherhood directed by Katherine Dieckmann; Sorry, Thanks directed by Dia Sokol; The Meaning of Life directed by Hugh Brody; Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight directed by Wendy Keys; Once More with Feeling directed by Jeff Lipsky; Pressure Cooker directed by Jennifer Grausman; Prince of Broadway directed by Sean Baker; Spike by Robert Beaucage; The Answer Man directed by John Hindman; The Garden directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy; The Good Soldier directed by Lexy Lovell and Michael Uhys; The Reckoning directed by Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis; The Twenty directed by Chopper Bernet; The Wrecking Crew directed by Denny Tedesco; Treeless Mountain directed by So Yong Kim; and Who Do You Love? directed by Jerry Zaks.

International feature and documentary films include Alone in Four Walls  (Germany) directed by Alexander Westmeier; Azur and Asmar (France) directed by Michel Ocelot; Burma VJ (Denmark) directed by Anders Ostergaard; Children of Invention (US/Korea) directed by Tze Chun; Correction (Greece) directed by Thanos Anastopoulus; Egon and Donci (Hungary) directed by Adam Magyar; Eldorado (Belgium) directed by Bouli Lanners; In the Loop (UK) directed by Armando Iannucci; Lake Tahoe (Mexico/Spain) directed by Fernando Eimbecke; Summer Hours (France) directed by Oliver Assayas; The Country Teacher (Czech Republic) directed by Bohdan Slama; The Disappeared (Argentina) directed by Juan Mandelbaum; The End of the Line (Denmark) directed by Rupert Murray; The Girl from Monaco (France) directed by Anne Fontaine; The Glass House (US/Iran) directed by Hamid Rahmanian; and Milking the Rhino (Italy) directed by David E. Simpson.

The BIFF has chosen six Berkshire filmmakers to showcase their films including: Impulse to Soar directed by Mati Kiin; The Goodrich Project directed by Rick Derby; Poet and Poverty directed by Sean Dougherty, Tana Ross and Freke Vuijt; Animal Tricks directed by Sanjiban Sellew; Cowboy Yoga directed by Hal Clifford; Bach of the Antarctic directed by Ben Hillman; and Pretty Dead Flowers directed by Justin Liberman.

The festival will also present two short film programs, which will showcase some 28 shorts from seven countries around the world including France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, United Kingdom and Israel.

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