A signature element of the Beloit International Film Festival since its first year has been The BMO Harris Silent Film Showcase. Not only has it entertained audiences of all ages in Beloit, it has been duplicated by other film festivals around the country.
This year the Silent Film Showcase, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, will present an historic comedy blockbuster of the silent era on the big screen in a new venue. It will also feature the exciting sound of one of the finest high school jazz ensembles in the country.
The Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Chris Behrens, will provide the musical accompaniment, playing the original score to the film. This BMHS Orchestra has brought home top awards for their performances and has been invited to play at Lincoln Center in major national competitions. Their talents will help to create the feel one would have had in a first-run movie house in the 1920s.
They will perform the score to the feature length 1925 film classic, The Freshman, starring the silent era genius Harold Lloyd. The film offers the timeless tale of the nerdy freshman wishing to gain popularity on campus despite the antics of bullies and the competition from the captain of the football team.
The program will be presented at Beloit Memorial High School, making its debut at a BIFF venue. “This is an ideal setting for this popular event,” notes Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin. “We will have plenty of seats for an event that has often sold out. And we will finally have adequate and convenient parking.”
Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students of all ages. “We have instituted student pricing this year since this is such a great family event,” says incoming Executive Director Max Maiken. “Each year it is refreshing to watch generations coming together and finding that the humor has not been lost over the past 90 years.”
The Beloit International Film Festival, celebrating its 12th year, 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 individual support for BIFF is provided through membership in the BIFF Founders and the Film Society of Beloit.