BELOIT, Wis.The only challenge facing film lovers this year is that they will have to choose between Beloits hot young film festival, the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF), which runs Jan. 18-21, 2007, and that older film festival in Park City, Utah, called Sundance, opening the same weekend.
Filmmakers have made the choice and are lining up for Beloit.
Film submissions for BIFF in all categories are dramatically ahead of last year. More than 100 films are scheduled, and the quality is outstanding, says Film Selection Committee Chairman Art Robson, professor of classics and film at Beloit College.
The group had to expand its selection committee to deal with the increased submissions that have come from throughout the United States and 20 countries.
Scores of shorts, documentaries and feature films, including more than a dozen American premieres from emerging Midwest filmmakers, will be presented in seven venues throughout the Beloit area. BIFF will include the second Midwest Film Competition, with new works by new and established independent filmmakers from throughout the region.
According to Festival Executive Director Rod Beaudoin, film festivals grow as a result of the buzz in the film industry. Beloit has caught the attention of filmmakers nationally. Actors, directors, screenwriters and producers left Beloit this past January feeling as if they had been loved, entertained and appreciated. The hotels, the limousine drivers, the film-goers and the people of Beloit really know how to treat their guests.
Evidence of the national buzz came recently for one Beloiter who ordered a film he viewed on PBS. He received an invoice from the production company with a note attached from the director added at the bottom, I heard you have a great film festival in Beloit…see you there!
Organizers of the first BIFF last January anticipated 1,500 guests for the four-day event. Instead, ticket sales hit 4,000, and the Festival ended its first year in the black.
Final arrangements for the schedule are now under way, with an Opening Launch Party and the Festival Awards celebration already in the planning stages. The BIFF 2007 film line-up will be announced at a special Preview Party in November. Tickets will go on sale in time for the holidays. And the popular BIFF Film School, featuring many of the filmmakers and other special guests, will be repeated Friday and Saturday of the Festival, with a number of film professionals already signed up.
Info: www.beloitfilmfest.com or call (608) 365-4838 or 1-800-4BELOIT.
From the Jan. 10-16, 2007, issue