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BIFF CLASSROOM Adds New Help Yourself Films Programs
BIFF Classroom is the newest Beloit International Film Festival program designed to attract young, critical audiences to the world of film.
Since BIFF’s inception, KIDS@BIFF has brought thousands of elementary school-aged children to share their ideas about films and to learn how to look at media critically. Once again this year, working with KIDS FIRST, a program of the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, Kids@BIFF will engage area fifth graders in discussions of quality film. Some 850 students from Beloit and South Beloit will participate this year as they share their critiques and watch films in school and in a special program at Luxury 10 Cinema the week before BIFF.
An addition to the BIFF Classroom program this year will be Help Yourself Films. Help Yourself Films is a partnership with the Beloit College Help Yourself program, a community outreach initiative for low-income, minority, marginalized and under-represented youth,12-18, in the Greater Beloit area.
The new initiative has been designed in consultation with Help Yourself Director Regina Hendrix and Beloit College Professor of Media Studies Joe Bookman. In December, students enaged in discussions and activities designed to help them plan their film projects. Using cameras provided by Beloit College and smartphones, students were taught basic filmmaking skills and concepts.
Students were then directed to use these skills to capture the story of Beloit as if they were aliens who had crash landed on planet Earth and were trying to determine where they were. The goal of the activity is for them to gain appreciation for and pride in where they come from.
They will have further opportunities to learn about their story telling abilities during BIFF2018 when they will meet with and discuss their work with director, producer and award winning BIFF Artist-in-Residence, Damien Patrik. They will then share their cinematic visions with the public at a special BIFF screening, free and open to the public, at the Beloit Public Library March 3 at 2:30 p.m.
BIFF Classroom programs are underwritten with generous grants from the Beloit School District, Culver’s of Beloit, Brabazon Title Co., Blackhawk Propane, Educators Credit Union, Rock County Christian School and Ecolab.
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 the Festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Individual support for BIFF is provided through membership in the BIFF Founders and the Film Society of Beloit.