Black Bear Film Festival / Entertain, educate, inspire, and celebrate our community with great film events.

Black Bear Film Festival’s mission is “to entertain, educate, inspire and celebrate our community with great film events.”

A 501(c)3 arts organization, we serve the beautiful tri-state region of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and aspire to:

*find and feature exceptional films that will entertain and delight the varied public.
*celebrate the art and craft of film-making with stimulating regional events.
*partner with schools to inspire students to become filmmakers and aficionados of film.
*build sound, mutually beneficial partnerships with local businesses.
*contribute vitality to our local arts culture and economies.

The annual Black Bear Film Festival event – first established in 2000 – takes place over the third weekend of October at the historic Milford Theater, in the heart of “quaint and cool” Milford, PA.

  • The Opening Night Gala and Movie includes a red carpet entrance, tapas, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, entertainment and a specially chosen film.
  • The Main Stage presents feature-length independent films and  celebrity guests throughout the weekend.
  • The Film Salon spotlights comedy, dramatic and documentary short films, and includes workshops in film craft, plus presentations by established and budding filmmakers, renowned and local artists, and film professionals.


As a not-for-profit organization, we depend upon – and VASTLY appreciate –  the participation and generous contributions of our filmmakers, film-goers, donors, sponsors, advertisers, volunteers and participating artists. Black Bear Film Festival could not exist without you!

For more information, please contact us at

Offices are located at 109 W. Catharine St, Milford, PA  18337.

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An Artful Bear – “Forget-Me-Not”

An Artful Bear – “Forget-Me-Not”


Johnny Greenlaw

Mommy’s Box

Please note that tickets for Mommy's Box is only available with a Gold or Gala Pass. The sweet, must-see film is fresh from the Toronto, Tribeca and Soho International Film Festivals.  A 30-year-old man denying his past is forced to confront the lingering
Salma Hayek, Mike Myers, Breckin Meyer, Ryan Phillippe

54 – Director’s Cut

Drama / Not Rated - For Mature Audiences / 106 Minutes A Director’s Cut is a movie that has not been altered by a studio and over which its director has complete artistic control. This presentation with director Mark Christopher will provide a fascinating and rare peek inside Hollywood with a
Jon Bowermaster, Director

Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now

Documentary / Not Rated / 90 minutes Narrated by acclaimed actor and activist Mark Ruffalo, this film journeys through more than 20 states to examine the impact of oil and gas drilling on our land and water.  Under Mr. Obama’s presidency, drilling and fracking have boomed across the U.S., following
Adaption of the Philip Roth Novel


Drama / Rated R / 110 Minutes A critically acclaimed adaption of the Philip Roth novel about a brilliant young Jewish man who leaves Newark to attend a small college in Ohio.  There, he experiences a sexual awakening with an elegant and wealthy young woman and confronts the school’s dean
Rex Reed, Film Critic

Inside Hollywood with Rex Reed

Live Interview / 75 Minutes Rex Reed, one of the most renowned film critics in American history, will be sharing his personal anecdotes and observations about life as a film critic, amusing and revealing Hollywood stories, and tales of his early days as a Hollywood journalist covering celebrities in this
Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle

Little Men

Drama / Rated PG / 85 Minutes Little Men is a charmer that follows a pair of 13-year-old boys fighting to preserve a friendship torn apart by a bad family business deal, one that challenges their definition of loyalty, friendship and love. When Jake’s family
Bruce Dern, Stacy Keach, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, Robert Mitchum

That Championship Season

Drama / Rated R / 110 Minutes Black Bear presents a unique opportunity to screen this classic 1982 film based on the acclaimed and powerful Pulitzer-prize winning play, and to interact with Bob Levine, its executive producer.  We’ll screen the provocative movie and hear insider stories from Mr. Levine about

Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past

Documentary Drama / Not Rated / 90 Minutes Vince Giordano is Hollywood’s go-to guy for authentic period soundtracks, creating the music for Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club, Woody Allen films including his latest Café Society, HBO’s Grammy-winning Boardwalk Empire, and countless others. For 40
Matt Casser, Joell Ortiz, Token, Big Daddy Kane, Chris Rivers, Domingo, Dyce Payne

Hip-Hop Goes to the Animation Lab

This segment explores the process of animation, music, production, and video.  It features  Matt Cassero­animated videos from the That’s Hip­Hop LP Joell Ortiz single, "Kill at  Will" featuring Joell Ortiz, Token, and Big Daddy Kane, and its sequel, "Kill at Will the  Final Chapter," which features Joell Ortiz, Token, Chris Rivers, Big Daddy Kane, and  Snow the Product. A short animated film from the Generation Next LP Run­Girl,  produced by Hip­Hop legend Domingo, with Chris Rivers featuring Dyce Payne will also  be shown.  Added bonus: you’ll see the animated version of Will Voelkel, BBFF’s  esteemed executive director, get killed in a most unpleasant manner by various Hip­-Hop  legends. Producer Domingo and animator Matt Cassero will be on hand to discuss the  process of animation after the screenings.  Please be advised that these videos contain  both graphic language and imagery. Viewer discretion advised.
BBFF is proud and excited to present recent films by area students, many of whom will become part of the future of filmmaking and film history!

Student Film Showcase

BBFF is proud and excited to present recent films by area students, many of whom will  become part of the future of filmmaking and film history!  We salute their creativity and  hard work.  Meet the filmmakers after the screening. A Step Away: Kerri McAneny (Wallenpaupack Area High School).   A young person  learns a new perspective. Quality Time is Family Time: Josh Sedora  (Wallenpaupack Area High School,  Hawley, PA).  The title says it all. Do Your Best: Walter Wilson (Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley, PA). A  student changes attitude. The Cheerio: Tim Nagle (Pope John High School, Sparta, New Jersey).  What happens  when you find cereal in a parking lot? Find out in this satire. Strife: Robert Marciano (Sussex County Community College, Newton, NJ).  A  struggling artist deals with color blindness. Connect: Christopher Erdman (Union High School, Union, NJ). A boy and a girl run into  each other after a complicated break­up in this drama. Patience: Sadie Price­Elliot (Sussex County Technical School, Newton, NJ).  A strong  relationship between sisters is tested in this autobiographical narrative. Methods: Madison Rambowski (Sussex County Technical School, Hamburg, NJ).  A  performer learns about Method Acting. He Took the B Train: Stephanie Okun (Riverdale Country School, Bronx, New York).  This is a story of missed opportunity, regrets, and unrequited teenage love.
Celebrate the excitement and fun of the short film in this exciting Salon, including a panel discussion with representatives from Have You Seen Calvin?, Elevation, and Tokyo Story.

The Art of the Short Film

Celebrate the excitement and fun of the short film in this exciting Salon, including a  panel discussion with representatives from Have You Seen Calvin?Elevation, and Tokyo  Story. Short films can push the boundaries of filmmaking, narrative, and story­telling  techniques.  The format lends itself to experimental designs, quirky stories, and unusual  points of view that may be more difficult to pull off in feature ­length films. To honor the  format, the Salon presents six contemporary shorts. When the Family Came to Dinner (2016)  Written and directed by Ethan Cadoff.   A  young man finds himself at a family function, under unusual circumstances in this  animated short. 2 minutes. Bacon & God’s Wrath (2015) Directed by Sol Friedman. This documentary film mixes  animation with live action interview footage, and centers Razie Brownstone, a 90­-year-old Jewish woman who, after undergoing a crisis of faith which has led her to reject  many of the tenets of her religion, is preparing to cook and eat bacon for the first time in  her life. 8 minutes. Have You Seen Calvin? (2016) Written and directed by Andrew Lawton.  This movie  celebrates the The Davis’, a 1950's All-­American family with a very naughty secret.  It’s  Leave it to Beaver meets Pulp Fiction in this edgy comedy.  18 minutes. Tokyo Story (2014) Directed and produced by Edward Levinson.                                                       This “pinhole” movie  shows Tokyo as seen through the eyes of a country person, and is a homage to Ozu  Yasujiro’s 1953 film, Tokyo Story.  12 minutes, 15 seconds. Elevation (2016) Directed by Brandon Bloch. This dance film was choreographed  specifically to demonstrate the interplay between human movement and architecture.   Arresting and provocative imagery and music.   4 minutes, 28 seconds. Twinsburg (2016) Directed by Joe Garrity, Produced by Kyle Parker. Jerry, sentimental  about his fading twin identity, reunites with his reluctant brother Paul for a weekend of  revelry at the world’s largest congregation of twins.  16 minutes.
Film critic/Historian John DiLeo

The Hollywood Musical

For more than a dozen consecutive years, film critic/historian John DiLeo (author of six  books about classic movies) has brought his popular film­clips presentations to BBFF's  Salon. This year's program explores the Hollywood musical, highlighting clips from both rare and best­-loved movies.  John is the author of five books, including And You Thought  You Knew Classic Movies100 Great Film Performances You Should Remember but  Probably Don’tScreen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting RediscoveryTennessee  Williams and Company: His Essential Screen Actors, and Screen Savers II: My Grab Bag  of Classic Movies.
Alan and Wendy Kaplan, and Dennis Lee, will be on hand for a Q & A after the screenings.

Watch Local

Pike and Wayne Counties have long been home to artists, including performers, painters,  writers, and of course, filmmakers.  We celebrate this long history of creativity in the  region with three films by local residents.  Alan and Wendy Kaplan, and Dennis Lee,  will be on hand for a Q & A after the screenings. Fragile Beauty (2016) Directed by Alan Kaplan, hosted and narrated by Wendy Stuart  Kaplan.  During a trip to the remote Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia, Alan and Wendy  Kaplan discovered a culture of tribal people who live, dress, and adorn themselves as  they have for centuries.  Yet, are they really that different from us after all? Join the  filmmakers as they discover the fashion, body painting, piercings, and traditional lifestyle  of these indigenous people, and learn about the challenges of living in a developing world  as they attempt to sustain their threatened culture. Shohola: Along the River (2014) Directed by Dennis Lee. This historical documentary  focuses on the fascinating history behind the founding and growth of Shohola Township,  as well as some of the major events that have occurred in the area.
Award-winning Filmmaker, William J. Stribling

Bear With Us

Comedy / NR / Adult language and situations and a comical bear scene that some may find disturbing A modern farce about a neurotic guy (Mark Sullivan) who attempts to propose to his girlfriend (Christy Carlson Romano) in the most romantic way possible. His plan starts to fall apart when
A Film by Richard Press

Bill Cunningham New York

Fashion Documentary / NR / 84 Minutes A loving and sometimes humorous profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who died earlier this year. Mr. Cunningham was one of the mainstays of the New York Times and an incurable and eccentric chronicler of
Executive Producer, Suzanne Braun Levine; Actress/Screenwriter Mandy Bruno; Screenwriter, Amy Ferris; Production Designer, Karen Gropman; Costume Designer, Ingrid Price; Screenwriter/Producer, Judy White

Celebrating Women Filmmakers – Panel Discussion and Film

They name hurricanes, storms, and awards after them. Now the women are coming to Milford as Black Bear celebrates women in film with a screening of She’s Nobody’s Baby and a panel scheduled to include executive producer Suzanne Braun Levine, actress/screenwriter Mandy Bruno, screenwriter Amy Ferris, production designer Karen Gropman,
Toni Thompson and Tamara Chant

What It Takes To Be Extraordinary

Documentary / Not Rated / 52 Minutes Nepal is a difficult place to be a child. The people of Nepal have endured decades of political instability, and thousands of children are displaced and living in desperate situations. Children sold into child slavery are as young as 6 years of age;
This Salon presents two new films that address the changing climate in unique ways.

A Change in the Climate

Climate change effects much more than weather patterns, pollution, and temperatures:  our worlds and daily lives may change, and in unexpected ways.  This Salon presents two  new films that address the changing climate in unique ways.  And Then The Climate  Changed, directed by John Felix and produced by Elizabeth Haase, chronicles two  mothers who seek ways to prepare their children psychologically for climate change.   Beyond Crisis, produced and directed by Kai Reimer­Watts, looks at solutions for  positive environmental change available right now, from all corners of society, to build a  sustainable, climate­safe future.
Boston's Haymarket

Farmer’s Markets: The Soul of the Strong Communities

Haymarket: The Soul of the City (2015) Directed by Justin H. Goodstein.  Boston’s Haymarket has served a constant stream of longtime residents, newly arrived  immigrants, students, and tourists since the first half of the nineteenth century. “Each  Friday morning on my way to work,” says director Goodstein, “Haymarket materialized  out of thin air; come Saturday evening, it vanished. Year ­round, like clockwork, the  produce stands set up, voices arose from the weathered streets, and customers suddenly  appeared…I observed a cultural melting pot, a community interacting: buying and  selling, yelling and bargaining. Haymarket…must continue to survive, progress, and  evolve—to serve the community.”  Justin Goodstein and David Wallace, a director of the Milford Farmers Market, will also be on hand to talk about the importance of community  markets.
Barbara McNamara

So You Want to Be in Pictures? The World of Film & TV Casting

Barbara McNamara, President of Barbara McNamara Casting, talks about the ins and  outs of casting a show, including what she looks for in actors when filling specific roles  both for “background” and principal parts.  Barbara cast background and principle players  for a variety of television and film projects, including HBO’S Sex and the City, NBC’s 30  RockThe Devil Wears PradaWe Made This MovieThe Making of the Mob, and  NASCAR The Rise of American Speed.  To kick­off this wide ­ranging discussion, we  present the short film, The Seven Men of Hanukkah, a romantic comedy that involves      acting and casting calls, is about a man who has recently experienced a major loss and  then embarks on the most peculiar audition he’s ever had.  The lead characters are the  kind of people who usually play the best friend, and in this case, they are pushed to center  stage.  Writer Sharon Cooper and director Daryl Lathon will join in the “casting call”  conversation after the screening.
Sugar Blues (2014) directed by Andrea Culková, is a timely look at how the sugar industry has been promoting false messages about sugar.

Sugar Shake Down

A September 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that starting in the 1960s the sugar industry launched a campaign that paid nutrition researchers to downplay evidence linking America’s rising sugar consumption to heart disease.  Since that time, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic
Produced by the Forest History Society in cooperation with Bonesteel Films

The Birth of Conservation in America

America’s First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment is produced by  the Forest History Society in cooperation with Bonesteel Films. The film tells the story of  how Carl Schenck realized Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of introducing forestry to  America. It was on George Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North  Carolina that a 120,000­acre forest became America’s first scientifically managed forest.  The nation’s first forestry school was also founded here, along with the call for creating  national forests in the US.  James G. Lewis, PhD of the Forest History Society, and an  historian and editor of Forest History Today, will be on hand to discuss the film and the  history of forestry.

Stay Connected With Us! / enter your contact information


TICKETS / available in September!



Gala, 6 PM  / Opening Night Film, 8:00 PM

o Admission to Gala Reception (1 free drink ticket)

o Admission to Opening Night Film – Mommy’s Box



o For Saturday & Sunday Films ($12 at the box office)

VOLUNTEERS / make it happen

Are you a film lover? Do you enjoy meeting and working with people who are creative and passionate about making a difference for their community?

Black Bear Film Festival exists and functions because of the contributions of an amazing team of volunteers who contribute their time, energy and diverse range of talents. We welcome help for a day, a week, a month or a season! No Experience is Necessary, and all ages are welcome!

Volunteers are needed for these activities, among others:

  • Event Planning
  • Publicity Distribution
  • Office Assistance
  • Box Office Staffing
  • Ushers
  • Theater Maintenance
  • Concessions and Merchandise Vendors
  • Silent Auction Collectors and Monitors during the event
  • Gala Bartenders, Hosts and Wait Staff
  • Film Salon Greeters and Audience “Traffic”
  • Whatever you have a knack for and enjoy doing!

FILM SUBMISSIONS / be part of the festival

The Black Bear Film Festival is accepting film submissions NOW. The festival will be held October 14, 15 & 16, 2016 in Milford, Pennsylvania.


OUR SPONSORS / thank you