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Berkshires, Massachusetts

The Williamstown Film Festival

Various venues

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(October) Set in the Berkshires and spread out over two weekends in October, the Williamstown Film Festival is not the type of event that rolls out the red carpet for big name movie stars and directors. That might be because Steve Lawson, director of the festival, aims to create a close knit atmosphere amongst the attendees and filmmakers. To help establish a close camaraderie with those filmmakers lucky enough to be chosen, some have reported that Lawson calls to give them the good news instead of just sending a mere acceptance letter. Sigourney Weaver, who was the focus of a sold-out luncheon in 2001, mentioned how this festival stood out as one of the most intimate festival experiences she’d ever had.

Williamstown normally boasts an impressive lineup with films that feature big names such as Melissa Leo, Tilda Swinton, and Lewis Black. One of the most popular features of the festival is the WFF’s All Shorts Slot, which features new and daring filmic shorts from emerging and established filmmakers. The festival has shown God of Love, a short by Luke Bethany that eventually won the Academy Award in 2011 and West Bank Story, a live action short by Ari Sandel, which was nominated in 2006.

With its overwhelming positive reviews from multiple artists in the industry, by attending the WFF, you get the chance to meet a living legend or legends in the making.

Celena Cipriaso

The Williamstown Film Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (most screenings take place at MASS MoCA)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: Between six and eight full-length features, some debuts, along with shorts, panel discussions, participatory discussions and tributes to eminent figures in the film world, over two October weekends
  • Tickets: Single tickets $15-$25; student tickets half-price for most screenings; family films offer discounted child’s fares. Single weekend and full festival passes available ($85 first weekend, $115 second weekend, $200 full festival.)
  • Membership: Ranges from $25-$2500, with relative benefits (priority seating for screenings, notice of special events, discounts on merchandise, increased access to certain tickets)