Monday, June 25, 2007

TEXT: Images Cinema awarded Civic Engagement Grant

The following is text of a news release from Images Cinema.

Contact: Janet Curran, 413.458.1039
Date: June 25, 2007
Images Cinema awarded Civic Engagement Grant

Williamstown, Mass. -- Images Cinema is one of 215 non-profit organizations to be awarded a Patrick-Murray Inaugural Committee grant for civic engagement in Massachusetts, and one of nine in Berkshire County.

The grant money, over $500,000 total, was leftover funds raised for the inauguration of Governor Deval Patrick and Lt. Governor Tim Murray. Each awardee will receive a grant of $2500. Massachusetts-based, non-profit organizations were chosen based on their ability to foster local civic engagement, promote personal development, and emphasize individual responsibility, with annual operating budgets below $3 million.

Images Cinema collaborates with a variety of community groups and individuals to exhibit a wide range of programming. We are honored to be one of the recipients of this grant, says Sandra Thomas, Executive Director of Images Cinema. Over 1500 organizations submitted applications and a 400 person grant committee was assembled.

Thomas continues, Images Cinema has become a gathering place for the community who bring ideas to us about films they would like to see based on what is happening in the world or in our region. In addition to our weekly films, we screen numerous documentaries in collaboration with community organizations that include the filmmaker or someone knowledgeable on the topic. Some of the special screenings Images Cinema has screened include TALKING TO THE WALL about one mans quest to stop a Wal-Mart from being built in Greenfield, MA and the DARFUR DIARIES about the political and humanitarian crisis in Darfur, both with the filmmakers in attendance. THE END OF SUBURBIA with author James Howard Kunstler and THE FUTURE OF FOOD with filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia addressed the energy crisis and the genetic modification of food. Most recently, with the Williamstown Film Festival, Images Cinema screened the documentary GOD GREW TIRED OF US about the Lost Boys of the Sudan with the fi!
lmmaker in attendance. All screenings are open to the public and include a post-film discussion.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH was a two-week opportunity to collaborate and engage the community, says Thomas. We partnered with the Williamstown COOL Committee who led a community conversation with the Center for Ecological Technology and who staffed a table with information and tools for people to take away with them.

Images Cinema has collaborated with the Bennington Energy Committee, Genetic Engineering Action Group, the Williamstown COOL Committee, the Williams College Students for Social Justice, Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, the Berkshire Vegetarian Network, the Student Global AIDS Campaign, Amber Chand Collection: Global Gifts for peace and Understanding, and others.

Thomas adds, Images Cinema is not just a movie theater. We are a community arts organization that thrives because of the commitment, interest and involvement of people living in our region.

The only one of its kind in Berkshire County, Images Cinema is a year-round non-profit, member-supported community film house that presents a wide range of films that impact filmmaking and our culture. Images continuously seeks to entertain, educate and engage the community with quality programming, while maintaining its dedication to independent film and media. Check for up-to-date happenings at <>.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Penn-narrated "War Made Easy" film's Berkshire premier Tues., 5 p.m. at Images

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Just days after its national premier in Washington, residents of the Berkshires and southwestern Vermont will be able to see the film "War Made Easy," based on the best-selling book by Norman Solomon.

The film, narrated by Sean Penn, is based on Solomon's acclaimed book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

By special arrangement with the Media Education Foundation (MEF) of Northampton, Mass., "War Made Easy," will be shown once at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, at Images Cinema, the community-owned, non-profit theater in Williamstown. The screening is open to the public with a suggested donation of $4.00 with all proceeds to benefit Images.

The 73-minute film is hailed by the editor of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" as a stunning example of why copyright laws allowing "fair use" of archival material are critical to the First Amendment and democracy.

Williamstown resident Bill Densmore said he arranged for the screening with the MEF "because this is an important work which puts the policy runup to the Iraq war in an historical context. Solomon's point of view is not often heard and deserves to be aired and critically discussed."

Through painstaking research and fast-paced editing of archival footage, the movie exposes what Solomon sees as a 50-year pattern of deception that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq.

The film exhumes remarkable footage of alleged distortion and exaggeration peddled by presidents from LBJ to George W. Bush ... and often by news media as well.

"'War Made Easy' is a total tour de force," said Jay Cassidy, the editor of "An Inconvenient Truth." "The film's stunning archival footage shows what a tremendously important tool fair use is for dialogue in a democracy."

Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. When his book "War Made Easy" appeared, the Los Angeles Times called it "brutally persuasive" and "a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come."

Loretta Alper, who produced the documentary with the independent filmmaking team at the Media Education Foundation, said the movie has the potential to become a powerful organizing tool for the growing mainstream antiwar movement.

"Through mass distribution, the Internet and grassroots organizations," Alper said, "we hope to seize on the rising antiwar sentiment in our country to widely promote the lessons of this movie and Norman Solomon's research. First, that deception leading to war did not begin with Bush or Iraq. And second, that an informed, awakened citizenry can prevent wars of choice in the future."

For more information on the film, go to or contact: Kendra Olson Hodgson, (413) 584-8500 ext. 2203,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sixth-annual food festival on Sunday in North Adams

Posted for Rod Bunt, mayor's office of tourist . . .

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The city plays host to the sixth annual Northern
Berkshire Food Festival on Sunday (June 24) from noon to 4 p.m. on Main
Street in the city, according to Rod Bunt of the city's tourism office.

But says the event features the cuisine of up to 20 of the top restaurants
in Northern Berkshire County, along with micro brewed beer and wine
tasting, courtesy of Girardi Distributors, West Fine Liquors and Berkshire
Brewing Company; an eclectic mix of live music from Tom Corrigan and his
band and drawings for gift certificates from participating eateries.
Classic Mustangs and Cougars will be on display as well.

The north and south side of Main Street will be closed to motor vehicle
traffic, and large, festival tents will be erected to shade vendors and
trons. Food tickets are 50 cents each and will be sold from two kiosks
located at the entrances of the festival tents. Each restaurant will
prepare up to three entrée samples with prices ranging generally from one
to four dollars.

The day's fare will satisfy the traditional as well as the adventurous
palate. Over the years, recipes have included such exotic dishes as
Five-Alarm Bourbon Chili, Voodoo Alligator Stew, Beer and Cheese Soup, Ham
Panini, Sushi, Chicken Gruyere, Asian Lollipops, Mixed Mushroom Stew,
Frozen Cappuccino Smoothies along with traditional favorites such as pizza
slices and shrimp cocktail.

Menus and participating restaurants change from year to year, but there
will be over 50 entrée samples from which to choose at the festival.
Participating restaurants will be provided two banquet tables and linens;
are free to decorate their area as elaborately as possible and encouraged
to promote their establishment to the public.

To add to the celebration, a 40-car contingent is planning a fun run,
with the food festival as their destination, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in
Rhode Island. The caravan of classic Mustangs and Cougars will pick up
autos in Charlton along the Mass Pike, and in Northampton, arriving on
Main Street in the city at approximately 12:00 PM. The public is invited
to come and view the automobiles which will be on display for the duration
of the festival.

For more information, Bunt says to contact the Mayor's Office of Tourism
at 6 West Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 Phone: 413 664-6180. Fax
413-664-8135. Email address

Friday, June 01, 2007

SOURCE: YouTube video of UMass protest against Andrew Card

Sunny Miller, of the Trap Rock Peace Center, forwards this link to a YouTube video showing the graduation-day protest at UMass-Amherst over the awarding of an honorary degree to White House confidante and former chief of staff Andrew Card:

"Have you heard about this in Williamstown?," Miller asks. "Over 100,000 have seen it so far, with many great comments previously. I have a feeling the paid government guys are adding some of the negativity to the discussion, but who knows."

Sunny Miller, 413-773-7427
Traprock Peace Center, 103A Keets Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342