Black Bear 20th Annual Film Festival­– A Tall Order for Max Brinson?

Oct 06 2019 | 11:22 AM

Black Bear 20th Annual Film Festival­– A Tall Order for Max Brinson?

By Marilyn Rosenthal

Putting on the 20th Annual Black Bear Film Festival (BBFF) might be a tall order for anyone else, but not the 6’5” Max Brinson, President of the Festival. This gentle giant is not at all intimidating and is able to get things done in a quiet, soft-spoken way.

Max, whose day job is as a math teacher, comes from a background of cultural pursuits, as well as a passion for education. In addition to being President of the BBFF, he is President of The Friends of Marie Zimmerman, a local society honoring the artist. Max, himself, is a painter and photographer and has long embraced the arts.

Brinson has had the task of having to rethink the workings of the Festival and the machinations for how it would go forward. He credits his Board and the close working relationship that they have for being able to meet tremendous challenges as they approach the 20th year. The executive board members are: Veronica Coyne, Darrell Berger, Jerry Weinstock, Michelle Markey, Rene’e Hoover, Susan Sanchez Fontaine, and Tim Smith. Liz Steen. Is the office manager.

The BBFF is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to spread joy and build community through films. They are dedicated to finding a variety of exceptional films that the public will enjoy and to partner with schools to enhance the education of students and encourage them to become film makers and aficionados. They also strive to enliven the local culture and economy.

There will be 12 films throughout the weekend on the Mainstage of the Milford Theater. There is a diverse array of comedies, mysteries, dramas, and documentaries. The Film Salon will be at the Good Shepherd Church all day Saturday and Sunday. These films are free and are often more about social issues, or shorter films, or more experimental ones. For details about all films, go to

http://blackbearfilmfestival.squarespace.com/

One of the major highlights of this festival is the inclusion of many artists, actors, and directors, who are part of the local Pike County community. For example, Richard Cantor is the drummer in the enchanting Mostly Jazz Trio who, with Mike Gelato, Butch Campbell, and Yuri Turchyn will provide the listening and dance music for the Gala on Friday night. Bill Rosado, Local automotive entrepreneur, is the writer/ producer of the documentary, “Living Treasures of the Yucatan.” Lee and Sonda Miller’s granddaughter, Millie, is the diminutive, yet powerful actor in “Profondo,” BBFF’s first international film, and Kiersten Miller, her mother is the writer/producer of “The Performance: Sex Like Birth.”

The Salon will show the following local artists: John DiLeo ­­–movie maven and prolific writer about films (“The Best of John DiLeo”), Dennis Lee (writer/ producer of “Dingmans Ferry Americana”) , Wendy and Alan Kaplan’s “Rainbow Ending” (a tribute to the Triversity organization), and local musician Dr. Joe Ferry’s experimental video project, “Crazy Man.”

There will also be a silent auction and numerous interesting activities throughout the weekend.

Tickets are available online on the BBFF website (see above) until noon on Friday, October 18. After that, they may be purchased at the Milford Theater.

Gala Night Pass: The BBFF weekend starts on Fri, Oct. 18 with the Opening Night film, a comedy called “Sword of Trust,” at 5:00pm at the Milford Theater. Immediately following the film, there will be a gala dinner and dance at Historic Forest Hall (2nd floor) on Broad St in Milford. Guests will dance the night away to the upbeat sounds of the Mostly Jazz Trio. The cost of this evening is $90 per person.

Gold Pass: There will be 12 films shown at the Milford Theater. The Opening night gala plus admission to all or any of the films on Saturday and Sunday is $165 for everything.

Weekend Pass: The individual films are $10 each, but there is a weekend pass available for $75.00

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