BELOIT, Wis. — One of the great opportunities afforded by the expanded 10-day Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF), Feb. 14-23, 2014, will be the chance to see the work of some of this region’s most talented emerging filmmakers. Many of the new breed of exciting filmmakers are coming out of the Midwest and particularly from places like Madison, Wis., Milwaukee and Chicago, and many of them are coming to Beloit.
BIFF 2014 will celebrate regional filmmakers during the first weekend of BIFF, Feb. 14-16, with three days of films in competition in the Wisconsin-Illinois Showdown at venues in downtown Beloit.
“We are proud to be showcasing the amazing work of these area artists,” said BIFF Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin. “These are the sorts of films that are critically acclaimed but not always readily available for viewing. I think that BIFF patrons will find great enjoyment in knowing what great cinematic art is created right in our back yard.”
There will be dozens of films shown during the weekend, and all films will be voted on by the audience, resulting in the BIFF Audience Choice Awards for Best Illinois and Best Wisconsin features, documentaries and short films. An awards party announcing the Audience Choice Awards will be at Suds O’Hannahan’s Irish Pub in Beloit on the following weekend.
All the films will be shown within a one-block radius in downtown Beloit at My Apartment at 429 E. Grand Ave. (upstairs at The Villager); in two venues, upstairs and downstairs at Café Fromage at 431 E. Grand Ave.; Domenico’s Restaurant at 547 E. Grand Ave.; and at the Beloit College Hendricks Center for the Arts at 409 Pleasant St.
According to BIFF Wisconsin Illinois Showdown Coordinator Kristin Peterson: “Many great films, ranging from heartwarming dramas to engaging and hilarious documentaries to grindhouse horror, will screen in the Showdown. Two short slots of the best short films made in the region will also screen across the weekend and into the following week.”
The Showdown will include Regional Filmmaker Spotlights and special screenings. A significant number of filmmakers have said they will be on hand, including Milwaukee’s Tate Bunker, winner of 2013 BIFFY for Best Wisconsin and Best Feature Film who went on to win Best Feature Film at this year’s Berlin Independent Film Festival. He will present a selection of his films and discuss his work with the audience.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ericka Frederick, a graduate of the UW-Milwaukee film program, will present her work and that of other Chicago filmmakers. There will also be a special presentation of the Milwaukee-based web series Mediocracy with a talkback with cast and crew. This web series was a big production, tapping into the amazing talent of many UW-Milwaukee students and recent grads in the film program. And the stateline area’s Drywater Productions will present films and discuss their recent success.
In addition to the Showdown venues, Bushel and Peck’s Local Market at 328 State St., Beloit, will be screening top-notch international and independent films from throughout the world all weekend and during the balance of the 10 days of BIFF.
The full program for the Wisconsin-Illinois Showdown and for the rest of BIFF 2014 will be announced at the Annual Sneak Peek Party at the Ironworks Hotel (Beloit Inn) Jan. 15.
The BIFF, celebrating its ninth year, is sponsored by the Hendricks Group and is presented in association with Beloit College. Support for the festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations and from Visit Beloit. Individual support for BIFF is provided through memberships in the BIFF Founders and the Film Society of Beloit. Visit BeloitFilmFest.com.
From the Jan. 1-6, 2014, issue