It goes without saying that this past year has been the most challenging yet for our organization. We imagine it has been the most challenging year for every organization, business, family, and artist in our community – in recent memory. Yet, nothing will keep our team from mounting a festival with the best of international and independent films. We have the community of Beloit to thank for our resilience. We have the community of Beloit to thank for the wind in our sails.
While this year’s festival may look and feel different, we have curated over 100 films to be enjoyed virtually in the comfort of our homes, 6 Special Presentation films at the BIFF Drive-In (pg. ??), and dozens of virtual Q+A sessions with our 2021 filmmakers, as well as a collection of virtual events designed to tickle the brains of both film-goers and filmmakers alike.
To celebrate SIXTEEN years (What? It still feels like yesterday…) of the Beloit International Film Festival, we’re especially excited to screen John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles, presented by First National Bank & Trust at the BIFF Drive-In Theater (pg. ??). Join Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall on the big screen as they make their way through those hilarious rites of passage that we all remember, and love to relive.
In addition to our wide selection of independent films to view through our virtual platform, we also welcome Rachel Portman to our festival, the composer of such films as Benny & Joon (pg. ??), Chocolat, Mona Lisa Smile, and quite literally dozens more stand-out pieces of cinema. Rachel Portman will engage in an in-depth discussion (pg. ??) about her career and her craft before speaking with two Beloit natives Jonathan Bartz and Pierre Charles who have begun promising careers in Hollywood as composers. This is a conversation you will not want to miss.
We have also launched a fundraising campaign to last the 10 days of BIFF. BUILD UP BIFF calls for donations from what we call our BIFF nation – the die-hard film festival fans we have had the pleasure of enjoying the power of film with for sixteen years. Each donation toward the $10,000 goal ensures the longevity of our festival.
We imagine for ourselves a thriving film festival for many years to come. It is you – our supporters and community members – that make this possible. While it will not feel the same as previous years, bumping into new and old friends on the snow-dusted sidewalks of Downtown Beloit, we will still be sharing in the power of film from the world over.
Cozy up, order in, and pick the flicks that speak to you the most. If you’re a homebody, this BIFF’s for you. Next year’s fest will be back with a vengeance: double the dancing, twice the chitter chatter, hugs for everyone, and most importantly, we will share in the magic of film.
BIFF Board President
Beloit International Film Festival