The 2019 Berkshire International Film Festival heats-up Massachusetts from Thursday May 30th to Sunday June 2nd. This year’s Opening Night selection is the new documentary “What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael”. Director Rob Graver will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.
Opening Night in nearby Pittsfield sees another anticipated doc, “The Apollo”, from “Life, Animated” director Roger Ross Williams. And on Saturday night, the legendary Martin Scorsese will be on-hand for a special Tribute Event. A career retrospective with moderator Kent Jones (director of “Diane” and the prestigious New York Film Festival) is packed right in between showings of Scorsese favorite “Raging Bull” and his most recent effort, “Silence”.
Other BIFF highlights include documentaries “Ask Dr. Ruth”, “Mike Wallace is Here”, “The Biggest Little Farm”, “The Times of Bill Cunningham” and “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”. Summer indies “Wild Rose”, from NEON, and A24’s “The Farewell” with Awkwafina will also be screened. “Farewell” actually marks the studio’s first PG-rated release yet (it’s out July 12th).
I had a great time last year checking out three awards season contenders in the summertime: Bo Burnham’s Critics Choice winning and Golden Globe nominated “Eighth Grade”, Independent Spirit Awards nominee “American Animals” and the Critics Choice Documentary Awards top prize recipient “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (The Mr. Rogers doc should’ve also been up for an Oscar.)
It looks like several of this year’s BIFF films could be in similar positions later this year, so why not check them out now? Plus, Scorsese is almost guaranteed to talk about his upcoming Netflix drama “The Irishman”, set for release later this year. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and big-time comedian and “Green Book” actor Sebastian Maniscalco.
For tickets and more info on this year’s Berkshire International Film Festival, visit biffma.org.