WILLIAMSTOWN -- The 15th annual Williamstown Film Festival will bring 30 films to Northern Berkshire, one of which will have its American premiere.
"One thing that has struck me as this has come together is that it's a very accessible season," WFF Executive Director Steve Lawson said Monday. "I think there is something here for everybody."
The festival kicks off Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College with a talk by bestselling novelist John Irving.
Irving will talk with Williams College professor and WFF board member Jim Shepard about his Oscar-winning screen adaptation of his novel "The Cider House Rules." They will show clips of the movie as well, Lawson said.
"The two are old friends," he said. "I think they'll have an enlightening discussion."
An opening night party at Hops & Vines on Water Street, which Irving will attend, will follow at 9 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 31, the festival will pair two markedly different films about food starting at 7:30 p.m. at Images Cinema at 50 Spring St., Lawson said. Jennifer Ash Rudick's "Diner en Blanc" shows hundreds of people dressing in white to attend the world's largest dinner party at a secret location in Paris.
Matt Reynolds' "Great Chicken Wing Hunt" chronicles a group driving a van across upstate New York to sample 284 different types of chicken wings.
A wings tasting party will follow at the Purple Pub at 65 Spring St.
A lunch seminar, "Making Movies in the Berkshires," will follow on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 12:15 p.m. in The Orchards. The seminar will be moderated by Diane Pearlman of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.
"People are going to talk about the pleasures and perils of when you're not shooting in a studio in Hollywood and New York," Lawson said.
"Good Ol' Freda" tells the story of Freda Kelly, a teenager the Beatles hired as a secretary and later as president of their fan club, before they reached international fame. The screening is Saturday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. at Images.
"She was this shy 17-year-old in Liverpool when they hired her," Lawson said. "She became really like a sister to the guys."
Kelly kept the secret for 50 years, he said.
"No one close to her knew what she did for a living. She didn't want to blow her cover," he said.
"Skating to New York," directed by Charles Minsky, will make its American premiere Sunday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m., Lawson said. The film follows a group of Canadian teenagers who decided to skate across frozen Lake Ontario to the United States.
"It's very moving," he said. "It's sort of a teen movie with a twist. There are very unexpected plot twists."
The festival's 17 short films will be shown during two sessions on Friday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Images Cinema.
Images Cinema Executive Director Sandra Thomas explained attendees enjoy the intimacy of the festival and interacting with guest speakers.
"Because we only have one screening at a time, everyone can have that shared experience," she added. "It's not like you're picking and choosing between three films in one timeslot."
To reach Edward Damon, email email@example.com.
What: 15th Annual Williamstown Film Festival -- Festival with thirty films, guest artists, and social events
When: Wednesday, Oct. 30 to Sunday, Nov. 3
Cost: General admission $12, $6 for students, four-ticket evening pass ($75), five-ticket daytime pass ($45), and full festival pass $150
Tickets, pricing and schedule: williamstownfilmfest.com, 413-458-9900