GREAT BARRINGTON — The 15th annual Berkshire International Film Festival has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally scheduled for May 28-31, the festival is now slated for June 3-6, 2021.
In an announcement Thursday, BIFF officials said 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."
"We are saddened to make this decision, but we know it is the best course of action," BIFF founding artistic director Kelley Vickery said in a statement. "We are incredibly grateful to our festival partners, sponsors and patrons for their understanding and ongoing support. 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."
Vickery said screenings in 2021 will be at BIFF's usual venues — the Triplex Cinema, and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington; the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield; and the Tanglewood Learning Institute in Lenox.
In lieu of the 2020 festival, BIFF will present a series of special programs. They include:
- "Pop-Up Drive-In" movie theaters.
- Curating new independent film releases streamed by Triplex Cinema.
- Screenings through a new collaboration with the Palm Springs International Animated Film Festival on Labor Day.
BIFF's "Cinematics" collaboration with Tanglewood Learning Institute at its Linde Center will restart when TLI resumes.
The annual festival screens more than 80 films at its various venues. More than 70 filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world attend the event and its annual Filmmakers Summit.