BELOIT, Wis. — The Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) will mark its eighth season Feb. 14-17, expanding this year to more than 15 venues in Beloit, Janesville and Rockford.
“The quality and the quantity of the films submitted this year has been outstanding,” said Rod Beaudoin, the founding executive director of BIFF. “We have been more selective than ever before, and the choice has been challenging. This year, for instance, we will have almost 30 feature films and an amazing selection of unique documentaries, along with our shorts and animation films.”
More than 100 filmmakers are expected to be on hand, as well as leaders in the film festival industry who will attend and do presentations for filmmakers and students.
Nine familiar Beloit settings for films, many with new and improved projection equipment, will be featured. They include Bushel and Peck’s Local Market, Bagels and More, Domenico’s, Nikki’s Café, La Casa Grande, the Rotary River Center, the Center Court at the Eclipse Center and two Beloit College settings at Wilson Theatre and the Hendricks Art Center. The Beloit Inn will house the Filmmaker Hospitality Lounge and will host the opening Sneak Peek party Jan. 29.
Rockford’s Franchesco’s Ristorante will once again provide the setting for dinner and a movie Friday and Saturday nights and will host the Rockford Sneak Peek party Jan. 30. For the first time, Katie’s Cup coffeehouse in downtown Rockford will offer films throughout the weekend.
In Janesville, The Speakeasy Restaurant will again offer two screening venues and will be the setting for the Janesville Sneak Peek party Jan. 31. They will be joined by the Janesville sponsor and BIFF Year Round setting at the Rock County Historical Society, which will offer films throughout the weekend.
An exciting addition this year will be The Janesville Armory, where film fans will be able to enjoy dinner and a movie on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as a special Sunday afternoon show.
The community will get the first look at the films and schedule at the Sneak Peek parties at the end of January. The program will be distributed at that time, and the online box office will open for ticket sales.
BIFF will celebrate opening night on Valentine’s Day with the Blackhawk Bank Launch and Laurels party at the Eclipse Center. This will be a chance to meet many of the filmmakers and catch the buzz about the “Biffy” award-winning films. Awards to the filmmakers will be presented that evening.
Films will start Thursday evening, Feb. 14, and continue through Sunday, starting each day at noon. Friday evening will be highlighted by a special film presented in cooperation with the Beloit Regional Hospice. Saturday night will once again celebrate the purest form of film when the BMO Harris Silent Film Showcase brings together the forces of BIFF and the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra for a showing of one of the silent classics of comic genius Harold Lloyd. Sunday afternoon will see a popular classic film at the First National Bank/Charter Communications Closing Party, introduced by BIFF Honorary Chairman David Zucker.
The balance of BIFF will be filled with truly memorable films and such diverse programs as the “BIFF Latino” films and several American Sign Language films in the BIFF for the Deaf program. The award-winning Kids@BIFF program will include presentations for thousands of school children of all ages.
Many more exciting, special elements of BIFF 2013 will be announced in the coming weeks. New elements will be added almost daily on the BIFF website at www.beloitfilmfest.org.
From the Dec. 19-25, 2012, issue