From press release
BELOIT, Wis.—Two previous Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) grant winners, based in the hotbed of independent filmmaking in the Pacific Northwest, will return to BIFF 2011 in February as honorary co-chairmen.
Becky Rogers, president of Stateline Festivals, Inc., producer of BIFF, announced C.K. Lichtenstein II of Portland, Ore., and Jack Bennett of Seattle will serve as co-chairmen of this year’s festival, Feb. 17-20, 2011.
BIFF Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin noted that, “one of the things that makes BIFF a special draw for independent filmmakers is the way we treat them. They don’t always get a lot of attention at the larger festivals, but at Beloit, the audiences are accommodating and appreciative, and we make sure they are celebrated properly.”
Both honorary chairmen have received BIFF Emerging Artist Grants. These grants, made possible by the BIFF Cinema à la Carte program, support new film projects of filmmakers.
Bennett was born and raised in Shopiere, Wis., and still has family in the area. He has spent the last decade working in film in and out of Hollywood, honing his craft as a filmmaker and experiencing life from all angles in a constant search for his next project. He has worked professionally as an actor on stage and screen, as a film editor on PBS and the Discovery Channel projects and has filled every possible film crew position from cinematographer to writer and director. After moving to Seattle, he was inspired by the unique character of the Pacific Northwest to make his own short films. His films have played internationally in Macedonia and Venice, as well as in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and at the BIFF, where his film Synthetik was honored in 2008. For BIFF 2011, he will present the feature Bass Ackwards, on which he was a producer, and the short film Atlas, which he co-wrote and directed with David Hanagan.
Lichtenstein is a prolific producer of low-budget independent films. With no formal training, he learned as he went. His first feature as a producer indicated he had a natural talent for dealing with the pitfalls of filmmaking. Since then, he has directed, produced or acted in 15 comedies, action and science fiction films and art-house dramas including the award-winning films Cathedral Park and short Rifle Workbook. With a background in graphic arts, he settled in Oregon, where he wrote and worked as a comics editor. Comic book creators Ian and Tyson Smith offered him his first film project, the feature-length, road-trip comedy The Sexy Chef, which has been screened at numerous festivals and independent theaters. His most recent work, supported by a grant from BIFF, is the period short film The McMillan Girl, which he plans to premiere at Beloit in 2011.
More than 120 films will be shown during the four-day film festival at eight venues in the downtown Beloit area. For the first time, two of the film venues will be in the Beloit College Hendricks Center for the Arts. Other venues will be announced in coming weeks. Information is available at BeloitFilmFest.com.
From the Dec. 29-Jan. 4, 2011 issue