Great Barrington, Mass. – May 15 – The Board of Directors of the Berkshire International Film Festival has decided to cancel its 15th annual festival in 2020. The next film festival will take place June 3 – 6, 2021. Like the BIFF’s fellow cultural organizations, the move was made to ensure the health and well-being of the Berkshire community and its visitors, staff and volunteers during this unprecedented time. The annual festival screens more than 80 films at venues throughout Berkshire County. More than 70 filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world attend the event and its annual Filmmakers Summit.
“It is with a heavy heart, we announce the cancelation of the 2020 BIFF. We are saddened to make this decision, but we know it is the best course of action. We are incredibly grateful to our festival partners, sponsors and patrons for their understanding and ongoing support,” said Kelley Vickery, the festival’s founder and artistic director. “Our hearts go out to our fellow cultural organizations here in the Berkshires and to our colleagues in the filmmaking world, near and far, as we all navigate our way through this difficult time.”
In the coming months, BIFF will continue to present and collaborate on curating new independent film releases with the Triplex Cinema and with our large network of distribution partners. Plans to present “Pop-Up Drive-In” movie theaters in the county later this summer are underway. In addition, BIFF and Berkshire Bank will continue their 10-year partnership to present the “Next Great Filmmaker Award” for short films which will run the month of August. The winner will be announced on Labor Day and will receive a $2500 cash prize to support their filmmaking.
Screenings through a new collaboration with the Palm Springs International Animated Film Festival, which would have been introduced at this year’s festival, will also be presented on Labor Day. BIFF’s collaboration with Tanglewood on “Cinematics” will resume when the TLI opens up to the public. BIFF Selects and the popular Environmental Film Focus series are also planned to resume in 2021.
BIFF’s festival partners will continue to host screenings in 2021 including the Triplex Cinema, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, the Phoenix Theatre’s Beacon Cinema, and the Tanglewood Learning Institute. The festival schedule will include its popular Opening Night, Tribute Night, Closing Night and Tea Talk events with filmmakers. All pass purchases will be honored for the festival in 2021, but those wishing to receive a refund may do so by calling (413) 528-8030 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at: www.biffma.org.