Join us for a special celebration of International Women’s Day, to honor the power of the arts as a vehicle for human rights activism.

Co-sponsored by the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF), and the Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series.

Both the morning and afternoon events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the morning:

BIFF Screening of SARABAH, a new documentary film by Maria Luisa Gambale, Gloria Bremer and Steven Lawrence (Women Make Movies, 2011; 60 min.).
Triplex Theater, Great Barrington, 11 a.m.

Rapper, singer, and activist Sister Fa is 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:


Special 10% lunch discounts are available at area restaurants with your BIFF ticket stub. To receive your discount, please present your ticket stub before 
ordering at the following participating restaurants: Aroma, Baba Louie’s, Bizen, Fuel, Great Barrington Bagel Company,  Martin’s, Neighborhood Diner, and 
Rubiner’s Cafe.

In the afternoon:

Screening of GRANITO: How to Nail a Dictator (Skylight Pictures, 2011, 103 min.)
Followed by a discussion with Director Pamela Yates
McConnell Theater, Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 2-4 p.m.

In the early 1980’s, while working on her first documentary film, When the Mountains Tremble, directorPamela 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. 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.

“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.”

American documentary filmmaker Pamela Yates is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures (with Peter Kinoy), a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. Four films directed by Yates—When the Mountains Tremble; Poverty Outlaw; Takeover, and The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court —were nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and When the Mountains Tremble won the Special Jury Award in 1984. Her film State of Fear: The Truth about Terrorism has been translated into 47 languages and broadcast in 154 countries. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in support of Granito and she also directed the development of Granito: Every Memory Matters, a transmedia project using mobile applications to restore the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide.

Skylight Pictures website:

NY Times review by Larry Rohter, “Old Footage Haunts General and a Director”

Wall Street Journal review by Nicholas Rapold, “Chronicle of War, Evidence of Crime”

Interview with filmmaker Pamela Yates on Univision:

Rigoberta Menchu speaks at Sundance Film Festival screening of Granito

About our co-sponsors:

The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFFMA or “The BIFF”) is a world-class festival that is an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires. 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. The 2012 Festival will take place May 31 to June 3 at the Triplex in Great Barrington, and June 1-3 at the Beacon in Pittsfield. For more information:

The Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series is a catalyst and forum for social awareness, provocative thinking and meaningful dialogue.  The issues raised are intended to encourage awareness and inspire social action.  Series organizers are committed to working to build a compassionate and informed public, as a hopeful path toward improving the lives of marginalized citizens within our local and global communities. For more information about this and other talks in the Series visit: The talks are free and all are welcome.