Beloit International Film Fest set for Feb. 16-19; ‘Sneak Peeks’ Jan. 17-19

Staff Report

BELOIT, Wis. — Beloit, Wis., and surrounding communities will celebrate “The Power of Film” Feb. 16-19, 2012, when the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) marks its seventh season.

The four-day festival will include 140 films shown in 15 venues in Beloit and reaching out to Janesville, Wis., and, for the first time, Rockford.

BIFF founding Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin said: “This year, BIFF will screen a new level of quality of films. The venues we have selected for this festival will highlight the community and present the filmmakers’ stories in ways that BIFF audiences have not experienced before. We will also be presenting several unique film programs this year that will draw international attention.”

The venues have been selected, and equipment is being upgraded this year to provide state-of-the-art sound and projection.

The film selection committee is now conducting its final review of films, and we have raised the bar significantly on the quality of the presentations we are accepting,” Beaudoin said. “Through affiliations with other leading film festivals, BIFF has been able to secure some of the top, new independent films previously seen at only the major film festivals.”

An exciting addition to the 2012 festival will be the expansion into two venues in Rockford at the Sullivan Theatre in downtown Rockford and Franchesco’s Ristorante, and two venues in Janesville, Wis., at The Speakeasy and the Janesville Woman’s Club. Limited showings will be available at these venues Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18.

BIFF will emphasize its international dimension with the premier presentation of “BIFF Latino,” a full-day celebration of Spanish culture including film, food and music at La Casa Grande Saturday, Feb. 18. Films, filmmakers and musicians will come from throughout Latin America. With generous underwriting from the Southern Wisconsin Interpreting and Translation Service (SWITS) and others, the program will feature Spanish language films for children in the morning, for families in the afternoon, and feature and documentary viewing in the evening, followed by BIFF After Dark Latino, a dance party.

BIFF 2012 will open with its award-winning and greatly expanded Kids@BIFF program. The first event will find almost 2,000 fifth-graders from throughout Rock County gathering at the Eclipse Center, where teachers and mentors will help them to develop critical viewing skills as they watch films from the Kids First library. Other Kids@BIFF programs will include middle school film productions and a high school student film competition.

Many of the favorite features of BIFF will be back, such as the Blackhawk Bank Launch & Laurels Event that initiates the festival on Thursday evening when the coveted BIFFY Awards are presented. BIFF’s signature event, the M&I Bank and M&I Wealth Management Silent Film Showcase featuring Robert Tomaro and the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra will fill up the Eclipse Center Saturday night with Harold Lloyd’s Kid Brother.

The full schedule of events and films will be presented in a series of “Sneak Peeks” Jan. 17-19 in Beloit, Rockford and Janesville, and tickets for BIFF films will go on sale Jan. 20 at

From the Dec. 21-27, 2011, issue

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