Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) Returns for its Fifteenth Year-February 21-March 1, 2020
What is BIFF?
The Beloit International Film Festival, also referred to as BIFF, is an annual ten-day film festival that celebrates the power of independent film from around the globe. Local residents and visitors from across the nation experience the diversity of international film each year. Venues ranging in size from 40 to 400 seats showcase 100 incredible films. Other than this, festival attendees meet scores of filmmakers from all around the US and the entire world!
BIFF’s history dates back to 2005. Founders of ABC Supply Company, Diane Hendricks and her late husband, Ken, inspired the creation of BIFF. After that, they also encouraged community support for the program. Diane continues to support the mission of BIFF–to harness the power of film and to improve community and ourselves.
Now in its fifteenth year, this unique festival continues to grow. BIFF has also caught national attention. According to the New York Times, BIFF is “a festival with a unique goal of returning the spirit of film festivals’ golden era, when guests talked film all night with directors and writers who were on hand and available for questions.” The New York Times also listed the festival as a unique alternative to other big international film festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca.
About the 2019 Festival
BIFF 2019 drew hundreds of spectators to downtown Beloit. Attendees were immersed in the spectacular world of film between February 22 to March 1, 2019.
The festival showcased narrative features, documentaries, and shorts. Films were screened at six downtown venues. These include Domenico’s, the Hendricks Arts Center, Bagels and More, Bushel and Peck’s Local Market, La Casa Grande, and Beloit Public Library. Special events and films were once again scheduled at Schubert’s Luxury Ten Cinema on Cranston Rd. and Beloit Memorial High School.
Screenings started at noon on the two weekends of BIFF. Films were shown evenings during the week at Domenico’s and The Hendricks Center for the Arts at Beloit College.
Both new and established filmmakers opened the Festival on the first weekend with the popular Wisconsin-Illinois Showdown. As a result, attendees witnessed a variety of genres and filmmaking techniques. Other than this, they also got to vote for their favorites.
Special Musical Performances from the 2019 Festival:
Tony Scodwell is a native of Beloit. He kicked off the festivities with a two-hour set on opening night.
One of the world’s leading jazz trumpet virtuosos, Tony will be backed up by the celebrated Highland Community College Big Band from Freeport, Il. Special Guests will include another Beloit trumpet virtuoso, John Meyers, as well as BIFF Artistic Director Greg Gerard and the Beloit College Jazz Band.
He has played with legendary stars crossing five decades. This includes Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett, to Elvis Presley, Diana Ross and Barbara Streisand.
Linda Chorney is a Grammy-nominated American singer-songwriter and award-winning filmmaker. She kept the musical ball rolling with her performance at The Beloit Club.
Linda made history as the first independent artist to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album in 2012, via social media. She released her life’s story, When I Sing, in 2018. She wrote, produced, and stars in it! When I Sing has won critical acclaim on the film festival circuit. Moreover, her album, Emotional Jukebox, is one of five nominated for the 2012 Grammy Award in the category of Best Americana Album.
BIFF also featured other fan favorites. This includes the BIFF Classic Film – “Mary Poppins.” In addition, the Silent Film Showcase of 2019 screened “The Kid,” starring Charlie Chaplin. This 1921 melodrama/comedy also featured a musical accompaniment by the BMHS Jazz Orchestra.
Looking for more cinematic wonders while you wait for BIFF 2020? BIFF Outdoor is hosting a free showing of Christopher Robin. Be sure to take the kids to Nature at the Confluence on August 9, 2019. You will love Winnie the Pooh in this newly released film.