Screenings 2013


The 12th Annual International Women’s Day Observance: “Sweet Dreams of Women’s Human Rights” ~ March 10, 2013

Sunday, March 10
The Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series presents:
The 12th Annual International Women’s Day Observance at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: “Sweet Dreams of Women’s Human Rights”
Film screening and discussion with Rob Fruchtman and Jennifer Dundas
McConnell Theater, Daniel Arts Center, 2–5 p.m.

The new documentary film Sweet Dreams, by Rob Fruchtman and Lisa Fruchtman, takes us to Rwanda, where, a decade after the 1994 genocide, women’s arts organizer Kiki Katese formed the first female drumming group in Rwanda. In the troupe, Tutsi and Hutu widows and orphans—wives and children of both perpetrators and victims—found reconciliation and safety through creating new traditions of hope and renewal. When Kiki later met Jennifer Dundas, one of the owners of Blue Marble Ice Cream in Brooklyn, she asked whether Jennifer would come to Rwanda to help the drummers open the first ice-cream shop in Rwanda. Sweet Dreams follows the women of the drumming group as they work with the American women to develop unique paths toward peace and possibility. A larger cooperative unfolds as the joyful film weaves the audience into the moving and inspiring beat of the drummers, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Rob Fruchtman is an award-winning director, producer, and editor of documentaries and television programs in the arts, history, world cultures, and social justice issues. He was recipient of the Documentary Directors’ award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival for his feature film Sister Helen, which aired on HBO, and he has won three Emmys for his work on PBS. In 2007 he produced the film Seeing Proof, commissioned by the George Soros Open Society Institute, a documentary exploring the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and its lingering effects on Cambodia’s society.

Jennifer Dundas has had a long and distinguished career as a film and theater actress. She starred in the Broadway premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia opposite Billy Crudup, and created the role of Edie in the world premiere of Jules Feiffer’s Grown Ups on Broadway. She now receives rave reviews for her Blue Marble Ice Cream products as well as her entrepreneurial partnerships with women in Rwanda.

Sweet Dreams :: Trailer from Liro Films on Vimeo.


WAM Theatre and Sisters for Peace present: Screening: Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide ~ March 15, 2013

Friday, March 15
WAM Theatre and Sisters for Peace present:
Screening: Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Community discussion to follow with Kristen van Ginhoven and Caroline Wheeler
The Panel will include Janis Broderick, Maia Conty, Shirley Edgarton, Jeanet Ingalls, Bryan Nurnberger, and Ananda Timpany. Special music performance by Lizzie West.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 7–9:30 p.m.
Sponsored by McTeigue & McClellend and Sisters for Peace

This powerful documentary, inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book, introduces women and girls from all over the world who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable . . . and fighting bravely to change them. The film reflects viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offers a blueprint for transformation. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Change is possible, and we can be part of the solution.

The film will be followed by a community discussion exploring effective actions and agents of change for women and girls in our own community and beyond.  The panel will be moderated by Kristen van Ginhoven of WAM Theatre and will include Janis Broderick of Elizabeth Freeman Center and The Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women, Maia Conty from AIER’s Women’s Financial Empowerment Series, Shirley Edgarton from Rite of Passage for Girls program and the Women of Color Giving Circle, Jeanet Ingalls from Shout Out Loud Productions, Bryan Nurnberger from Simply Smiles and Ananda Timpany from Railroad Street Youth Project.

There will also be a special performance during the evening, featuring Lizzie West, local singer songwriter. Lizzie has toured at length and has had her music in films, TV, and on the radio. Entertainment Weekly called her a “visionary troubadour.” She performs with her husband Baba Buffalo, a seasoned player of a most magical music sound.

Inspired by the book Half the Sky, WAM Theatre was founded in 2009 by Kristen van Ginhoven and Leigh Strimbeck. WAM’s philanthropic mission is twofold: first, producing theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theater artists and/or stories of women and girls; second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls. WAM has donated over $7,000 to its beneficiaries.


Like many who have read Half the Sky, Sisters for Peace founder Caroline Wheeler was compelled to engage others to get involved and to work together to help empower women and girls around the world. In just over a year, Sisters for Peace has rallied to do volunteer work and has given over $8,000 to local and global organizations. Sisters for Peace is an entirely volunteer organization, and every dollar donated goes directly to the NGOs that work to empower women and girls. It doesn’t take an extensive network of partners and investors to start making a difference.


The Berkshire International Film Festival presents: Water Children: A film by Aliona van der Horst ~ March 17, 2013

Sunday, March 17
The Berkshire International Film Festival presents:
Water Children: A film by Aliona van der Horst
Netherlands, 2011, 75 minutes, Japanese/English with English subtitles
The Triplex, Great Barrington, 11 a.m.

In this acclaimed, hauntingly beautiful film, director Aliona van der Horst follows the unconventional Japanese-Dutch pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama as she explores the miracle of fertility and the cycle of life—sometimes joyful, sometimes tragic. When Mukaiyama recognized that her childbearing years were ending, she created a multimedia art project on the subject in a village in Japan, constructing what she calls a cathedral out of twelve thousand white silk dresses. While Mukaiyama’s own mesmerizing music provides a haunting backdrop to the film, her installation elicits confessions from its normally reticent Japanese visitors, many of whom have never seen art before. In moving scenes, they open up about previously taboo subjects. Mukaiyama’s courageous approach to a subject that remains unspoken in many cultures is explored with an elegance and sophistication that deepens our understanding of the relationship between body and mind.        Tomoko Mukaiyama website

Dutch director Aliona van der Horst has directed four international award-winning documentaries. She was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1970 and studied Russian literature at the University of Amsterdam and film at the Dutch Film and Television Academy. She began her career in 1997 with the much-acclaimed The Lady with the White Hat and since then has received multiple awards for most of her films, among them the Special Jury Prize at the Tribeca film festival for Voices of Bam (2006), and the Grand Prix of the FIFA Montreal for The Hermitage Dwellers (2004). Recently she received the Jan Kassies Award for outstanding achievement from the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund. For her documentary Boris Ryzhy, she received the Silver Wolf Award at the IDFA, 2008; Best Documentary Award at Edinburgh Filmfestival, 2009; the Award of the Dutch Filmjournalists; and the Special Jury Prize at the FIFA, Montréal.     Women Make Movies: Water Children

The Berkshire International Film Festival, a world-class festival and an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires, celebrates its 8th season May 30–June 3, 2013. BIFF showcases not only the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films, but also lively panel discussions and special events, focusing on filmmakers and talented artists from both sides of the camera.