IT SHOULD BE ON YOUR CALENDAR: It is time to wish Happy New Year to the Beloit International Film Festival. The Month of May annually marks the transition to planning for the coming year. The 17th season of BIFF will be all about the return to in-person screenings and new films, venues, and audiences.
One of those annual transitions comes with the makeup of the BIFF Board of Directors, a dedicated collection of seventeen community volunteer leaders that work closely with the executive director and the community to develop and support the festival. Ana Kelly, just reelected to chair the board, has announced the addition of two new members–Amanda Sink and Aaron Peterson—who bring a new generation of talented independent film lovers into the fold, helping to increase productivity and to reach out to a younger audience to complement our current demographic. (Full bios are below)
In addition, Rick McGrath, long time board member and board secretary for several years, has turned over his secretarial duties to Sue Hess, who has been on the board for a number of years and who will continue as board secretary and as part of the festival executive board. Our thanks go out to Rick for his tremendous service, and to Sue for her willingness to take on this new and important role!
Another recent development is the growing relationship between BIFF and Evendtor, a new event promotion and support program created and directed by dynamic Beloit College student Jalen Ponder. BIFF will be partnering with Evendtor for a number of outdoor events, particularly a series of outdoor presentations on the BIFF Big Screen at the Rockton Athletic Fields at 12801 Old River Road in Rockton, IL. (Greg has more on this below)
In addition to the BIFF Outdoors programs, planning continues for a mini-BIFF event indoors—”Halfway to BIFF”– which will bring independent films to downtown venues this summer. Dates and details will be released in a couple of weeks.
And BIFF’s international role will be enhanced in coming weeks with the visit by Beloit native, independent film producer, and big fan of BIFF, Nicholas Simon. With his Indochina Production company based in Napa, California and Bangkok, Thailand, he is returning to his hometown to tour, meet, and talk about support for BIFF’s mission with BIFF board, staff and area leaders.
Don’t forget, BIFF Year ‘Round continues for the next two weeks at the fine new setting at the DBA offices at 557 East Grand Ave., providing a taste of some of the new independent films already submitted for BIFF2022. (Film info later in this issue)
And now, while BIFF STEW takes a hiatus for the summer, there is no such restraint placed on BIFF’s tireless Executive Director, Greg Gerard.