For Kelley, moxie involves seeing the gaps and finding ways to fill them. She strategically uses her considerable skills to create something that adds value and beauty to the world. Then she goes for it, bringing others along to develop collaborations and community.
When Kelley moved to the Berkshires over 20 years ago, she decided the area needed a film festival. A huge film fan since childhood, thanks to her parents, she set out to bring her vision to life. At her kitchen table, she sketched out the plan. She spoke with other film festival organizers and attended a handful of film festivals to make her vision a reality.
She set to work, combing the local community and persuading people and organizations to step up and partner with her. Step up they did–contributing time and talent, resources, and venues, and the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) was born in 2006.
Now in its 17th year, BIFF is a staple of the Berkshire-area cultural season. It has expanded to other film and cultural events in partnership with other organizations throughout the year. The Festival showcases independent films from around the world and creates a space for independent filmmakers and film fans to experience the visual medium and forge creative relationships. The 2023 season boasts over 75 narrative and documentary features and short films to a growing audience of over 4,000.
Kelley began her career as a press manager at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. While living internationally, she was an art museum docent; owned an art gallery in Frankfurt, Germany; consulted with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra; and launched herself as a professional photographer in Hong Kong.
She has won numerous awards, including the She’s Got Moxie! Award (Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts); Berkshire Trendsetter (1Berkshire); 25 Most Influential People (Berkshire Magazine). BIFF has also garnered recognition as one of the Top Ten Events in Massachusetts (Best of New England, Yankee Magazine, multiple years); one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World (MovieMaker Magazine). She is an active community member and has served on various boards and committees, including Jacob’s Pillow, Tanglewood, Shakespeare and Company, IS183, Austen Riggs, and Construct, Inc.
Berkshire International Film Festival