Parties & Openings
March 16 - Williamstown
WCMA Season Celebration
March 3 - Lenox
Andrew DeVries Benefit Party
Feb. 23 - Pittsfield
Real Art Party
Opening Night of the 7th Berkshire International Film Festival
Bess Hochstein reports from Great Barrington.
The Mason Public Library was setting for scene one, act one of the 7th annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF), in advance of the opening night screening of Ethel, award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s documentary portrait of her mother, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy and mother of 11 children. Members of the Kennedy clan attended the pre-screening festivities on Thursday, May 31, as did scores of filmmakers and actors, including board member Karen Allen and Mary Kay Place, left, both of whom served on the panel evaluating films for BIFF’s Jury Prize. One of the brightest stars was the library itself, its reading room transformed into a gracious hall, bathed in the golden light of evening. Buoyant celebrants drank special cocktails from Berkshire Mountain Distillers, downed countless jiggers of chilled soups and other treats from Max Ultimate Food, and socialized ebulliently with nary a fear of being shushed by the librarians.
Rock & roll photographer and memoirist Ken Regan and producer Karen Goodman; author, attorney, and former Lt. Governor of Maryland Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, with Benjamin Barber.
Filmmakers Donal Foreman, whose short Pull screened in the festival’s New Narratives program, and Morgan Faust, whose Tick Tock Time Emporium screened in a Shorts program; screenwriters Channing Gibson, newly elected to the Lenox Board of Selectmen, and John Orloff.
Studio Two’s Heather Rose with Berkshire Mountain Distillers founder Chris Weld and Tyler Weld; New Narratives programmers James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Mauricio Arango, from Colombia, who screened his short The Night of the Moon Has Many Hours.
Cookie entrepreneur Lisa Newmann with Gordon Simmering and orthopedic surgeon Pier Boutin.
Hazel Kim, publishing publicist David Carriere, and Carol Gray; attorneys Vicki Bonnington and David Schecker.
Gregory Rhem, director original documentary programming for HBO, with filmmaker Sarah-Violet Bliss, whose short Priceless Things was screened; photographer and gallerist Cassandra Sohn and Seven Salon & Spa proprietor Mark Johnson.
Kat Kennedy Townsend, Theo Ansbacher-Hunt, Kerry Kennedy Townsend, and Bobby Shaw, representing the Kennedy family for the opening night screening of Ethel.
VIM’s Matthew Mandel with Mahaiwe president and board chair Lola Joffe; The Red Lion Inn’s Nancy Fitzpatrick with Bob Frye, director and producer, and Diane Love, executive producer of the documentary In My Lifetime.
Filmic family: BIFF founder and director Kelley Vickery with her sons Drew and Jack, and daughter Kaitlin.