Name of Event: International Women’s Day Celebration

Date/Time: Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sponsoring Organizations: Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF), Berkshire Human Rights Series, Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

Places: Triplex Theater, Great Barrington and Bard College of Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington

Contact: (photos are available at the website)


Description of events:

The Berkshire International Film Festival, the Berkshire Human Rights Series, and the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers will host a full day of events to celebrate International Women’s Day and honor the power of the arts as a vehicle for human rights activism.

At the Triplex Theater in Great Barrington, the day will open with an 11 a.m. screening of Sarabah, a new documentary film by Maria Luisa Gambale, Gloria Bremer and Steven Lawrence (Women Make Movies, 2011; 60 min.). BIFF presents the story of rapper, singer, and activist Sister Fa, a hero to young women in Senegal and an unstoppable force for social change. A childhood victim of female genital cutting (FGC), she decided to tackle the issue by starting a grassroots campaign against the practice. Sarabah follows Sister Fa back home to her own village, where she speaks out passionately to female elders and students alike, and stages a rousing concert that has the community on its feet.

About Sarabah:
About Sister Fa:

During the lunch break, Festival attendees will receive a special 10% lunch discount at any of the following restaurants with their BIFF ticket stubs: Aroma, Baba Louie’s, Bizen, Fuel, Great Barrington Bagel Company,  Martin’s, Neighborhood Diner, and 
Rubiner’s Cafe.

Following lunch, from 2-4 p.m. ,the Daniel Arts Center’s McConnell Theater at Bard College of Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Road in Great Barrington will screen GRANITO: How to Nail a Dictator (Skylight Pictures, 2011, 103 min.). After the screening, Pamela Yates will talk with the audience about her experience as a human rights activist-through-the-arts for more than a quarter-century, and her vision for the future of arts-based activism in the 21st century.

In the early 1980’s, while working on her first documentary film, When the Mountains Tremble, Yates filmed the only known footage of the Guatemalan Army carrying out mass killings of the indigenous Mayan people. Twenty-five years later, her footage was used as forensic evidence at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in a crimes-against-humanity case against former Guatemalan military dictator Gen. Efrain Rios Montt. Hailed as a compelling political thriller set in Guatemala and The Hague, Granito is the winner of numerous human rights and film awards, including Best Creative Documentary at the 2011 Paris Film Festival. “Granito is remarkable for allowing two intertwined stories, one global and the other personal, to unfold together,” says Stephen Kinzer, co-author of Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. “It presents the hurricane of violence that enveloped Guatemala 25 years ago not just as a historical horror, but as a lens through which the filmmaker examines herself, her values, and her relationship to her art. Subtle, provocative, and deeply original, it is a hymn to both the nobility of Guatemalans and the power of filmmaking.”