Black Bear Film Fest announces new board, location, and look

| 22 Jul 2015 | 01:04

The Black Bear Film Fest, an annual weekend-long celebration of arts and independent cinema in the heart of Milford, recently announced the appointment of Jerry Weinstock and Bill Voelkel to its Board of Directors.

Black Bear organizers also announced a new location for its main office in Milford’s Borough Hall, and unveiled a redesigned branding identity for the nonprofit organization as preparations begin for the 16th annual festival this fall.

“Each year, we’ve been fortunate to have creative, dedicated, community-minded individuals serving on our board,” said Jerry Beaver, Founding President of the Black Bear Film Festival. “We are especially fortunate this year because the combination of new board members, Bill and Jerry, along with some new volunteers, have led to some exciting changes for the months ahead and beyond.”

Weinstock is an award-winning producer and videographer of training films on how to work with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. He first became involved in as a volunteer for the 2014 festival. A recent newcomer to the area from New York City, Weinstock welcomed the sense of community the experience provided, and sought a more active role in the planning of this year’s festival.

Voelkel, a learning and development specialist for various companies and nonprofits, joined the Black Bear Film Fest last year as a volunteer co-director of the Film Salon. An avid lover of film, he knew he wanted to be involved in the festival since moving to the area two years ago. Voelkel will volunteer again as co-director of the Film Salon this fall.

Weinstock and Voelkel join returning board members Kris Jarmann, Tracey Hoffman, and Valerie Brairton in producing this year’s film festival. Black Bear also welcomed the addition of two new members to its internal camp, Treasurer Leslie Pizarro and Office Manager Adrienne Gallagher.

The branding of the Black Bear Film Fest has received a major overhaul ahead of its 16th anniversary.

“It was time for a new, fresh look that appeals to broader audiences, and is accessible to those who want to experience independent film,” said Beaver.

From new logo to letterhead and more, the redesign was pioneered by two new volunteers, husband and wife team Charu and Sanjay Bakshi, and veteran Black Bear graphic designer, Carly Workstel.

The 16th annual Black Bear Film Fest will take place on Oct. 16, 17, and 18.

The Historic Milford Theatre, located at 114 E. Catharine St. in Milford, will host the screenings of this year’s feature films. The Film Salon, held in the Pike County Public Library’s Community Room, is a free, educational event featuring film selections, guest speakers, and QandA sessions with the filmmakers.

The Black Bear Film Festival relies upon its sponsors, volunteers and attendees to maintain its mission of supporting innovative and independent films, artistic expression, education, diversity, and cultural enhancement, in addition to participating in the expanding economic development in the tri-state area.

The Black Bear Film Festival is deeply appreciative of past, present, and future benefactors of this annual celebration of cinema. Last year’s major sponsors and media partners included Walmart, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Clear Channel Communications, KKPR Marketing and Public Relations, Milford Chrysler Sales, ViaMedia, WRK Media, Biondo Investment Advisors, Milford Health and Wellness Center, Milford/Sussex County Journal, PA Council on the Arts, The Hotel Fauchère, Flatbrook Farm, John’s of Arthur Ave., The Litzenberger Family Foundation, and Milford Diner.

For more information about the Black Bear Film Festival, visit