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Planning for the 13th Beloit International Film Festival is into its final phase. Beloit once again is preparing to welcome filmmakers from around the world and audiences from throughout the region and beyond. Eight screening venues will feature more than 100 films, Feb.23 to March 4.
An infinite array of final details, from scheduling to travel arrangements, are falling into place. BIFF is being added to hundreds of websites internationally as filmmakers are informed of their acceptance to this year’s lineup. The BIFF website, beloitfilmfest.org, will go live in the next week and tickets will go on sale online in mid-January.
BIFF curators have reviewed more than a thousand films submitted for consideration. In addition, staff have approached filmmakers around the world whose work has caught their eye at major international festivals, inviting them to Beloit.
Max Maiken, BIFF executive director, has announced that this season’s films—narrative features, documentaries and shorts—will be screened at six downtown venues, includingDomenico’s, the Hendricks Arts Center, Bagels and More, Bushel and Peck’s LocalMarket, La Casa Grande and, new this year, Beloit Public Library. In addition, a number of special events and films are scheduled at Schubert’s Luxury Ten Cinema on Cranston Rd., Beloit Memorial High School and Grand Avenue Pub.
“The BIFF2018 launch will come on Feb. 7 with the annual Reveal Party. This year, we will release the printed program, hot off the press, at a party at The Hampton Inn where guests will have a chance to see film trailers and get leads on favorite films from staff and filmmakers, Maiken says.
“In recent years, we have made the opening night of BIFF into a gala celebration and this year will be even better. On Feb. 23, Beloit native and world-famed jazz trumpet artist Tony Scodwell will set the tone for the Festival with an opening night party at Grand Avenue Pub in Beloit. He will be joined by our musical partners, the award-winning Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Orchestra.” The evening is sponsored by Brabazon Title Company.
Screenings will start at noon on the two weekends of BIFF and films will be shown evenings during the week at Domenico’s and Casa Grande. Films by both new and established filmmakers in Wisconsin and Illinois will open the Festival on the first weekend with The annual Wisconsin-Illinois Showdown. Filmmakers and their fans will make their way to Beloit from as far away as Milwaukee and Chicago and all attendees will have the chance to vote for their favorites.
Popular special events will be back again including the BMO Harris Silent Film Showcase at Beloit Memorial High School on March 3; Sing Along film at Luxury 10 on Friday, March 2; Beloit Health System BIFF CARES series; the classic live radio play on Feb. 24; and the concluding First National Bank Classic Film on March 4. Kids at BIFF, the program that introduces young audiences to quality media is scheduled for the week before BIFF. More details will be released on these events in coming weeks.
Tickets will be available online for $9 plus a purchase fee. In mid-February, the BIFF Box Office will open at the newly-renovated Gallery ABBA at CELEB at 437 East Grand Ave.
The Beloit International Film Festival, celebrating its 13th season, is sponsored by the Hendricks Group in association with Beloit College and with additional support provided by Visit Beloit. Support for BIFF comes from area businesses and civic organizations. Community support is provided through membership in the Film Society of Beloit, the BIFF Founders, and through individual contributions throughout the year.
Photo: Peer Canvas