Beloit International Film Festival – Setting for WPT Program “Director’s Cut”

Director’s Cut, Wisconsin Public Television’s popular focus on independent film, filmmakers, and creative thinking, will make its first remote sojourn to a film festival this year when it comes to the Beloit International Film Festival.

The program, which introduces narrative and documentary films made by indie directors and explores their Wisconsin connections, will record two programs in high definition on BIFF Sunday, Feb 20, at the Eclipse Center in Beloit. Working with a 200 member live audience for the first time will lend a new dynamic to the program seen on public television on Thursday evenings.

Date: Sunday Feb. 20th.
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: The Eclipse Center
Note: Tickets are FREE but space is limited.Reserve Your Seats

Host Charles Monroe-Kane spent almost a decade in Europe before starting his broadcasting career. He operated an internet café in Prague, ran a record label in Amsterdam, and managed a circus. At Wisconsin Public Radio he has had production responsibilities for the nationally distributed To the Best of Our Knowledge, Zorba Paster On Your Health and Calling All Pets. He has been a guest on This American Life and has done pieces and essays for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Charles Monroe Kane - host of WPT's Director's Cut

“Over the past three years Kane has opened up the world of independent filmmaking and film festivals to an appreciative audience throughout Wisconsin,”, “We are honored to know that on their first venture away from the Wisconsin Public Television studios, Director’s Cut would choose the Beloit International Film Festival and would feature BIFF filmmakers. “It is a great compliment to Beloit.”

The programs will be recorded at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 20. Attendees will need to be seated 30 minutes ahead of time. A limited number of tickets for the two “live to tape” programs will be available starting Jan. 21.

BIFF 2011, sponsored by The Hendricks Group of Beloit in association with Beloit College and with a grant from Visit Beloit, marks the sixth year for the independent film festival. Approximately 140 films will be shown during the four day event, Feb 17-20. Information is available at .

Viewer Ratings:

Silent Comedy Classic “The General” – Featuring Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra

Rated: G
Director: Buster Keaton
Length: 107 min
Comedy | Romance | War
Date: Saturday, February 19, 2011
Location: Eclipse Center (Center Court)
Price: $20 Adults, $15 Students with ID, $10 Children 6-18

6:00 pm – Pre-event Reception/Silent Auction
7:30 pm – Film Starts Buy Tickets

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Since its inception, the most popular single element of The Beloit International Film Festival has been the Saturday evening M&I Bank and M&I Wealth Management Silent Film Showcase. Sold-out audiences have frequently included film festival executives from around the country on- hand to see how BIFF creates the program so they might duplicate it at their festivals. This annual celebration of early 20th century film is highlighted by a performance of an original or newly conceived musical score performed by the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra with music director Robert Tomaro.

Beloit Janesville Symphony

This year, on BIFF Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Eclipse Center in Beloit, BIFF and the BJS will once again collaborate on a presentation of one of the classic comedies of the period. Featuring Buster Keaton, one of the greatest comedic actors of all time, this year’s showcase film will be The General, first released in 1927 and co-directed and co-written by Keaton. It is considered a masterpiece today, Keaton’s finest production and possibly the best “chase film” ever made.

The story is a classic civil war tale of a Confederate engineer pursuing his locomotive, The General, after it is stolen by Union soldiers. The film includes romance with the lovely Annabelle Lee, and fierce battles as the train chase first goes north and then south. The film concludes with the most dramatic and expensive train crash sequence filmed to that time.

“To join forces with this amazing film genius is a wonderful experience,” says Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Robert Tomaro. “The 35 member orchestra will be using a score by Carl Davis, a contemporary British composer and conductor. We have used Davis’ work before, most recently in the musical score for the silent film classic Wings, which we performed in 2009. Davis has developed a cottage industry creating scores for the old ‘silents,’ and his music is always challenging. His score for The General involves a lot of unusual musical effects and interesting instrumentation.”

“We have presented some of the greatest films of the silent era in recent years,”, “and we have noted that audiences love the comedies. This is one of the greatest ever put on film and the BJS score adds a rich new element.”

Buster Keaton - The General, 1927“It is so exciting every year to watch the generations come together and laugh—or cry—at films that are almost a century old. We have members of the audience who have a vague recollection of the silent era and Nickelodeon, with their short grainy films, and they are often seated next to kids for whom silent film is an odd and inspiring new concept. But the appreciation of the genius of Buster Keaton and his slapstick comedy and sight gags is universal.”

The Silent Film Showcase will be preceded by the annual Beloit Janesville Symphony silent auction.

A special treat to open the evening program will be a showing of a short documentary about the Symphony’s exciting composing Kids outreach program for area elementary school students. This past spring, area students worked with Grammy-nominated composer Greg Gerard and Maestro Tomaro to create a musical score for an animated film entitled “The Astronaut,” created by Beloit College students Phillip Barrett and Kenny Baumgartner. The “composing kids” will be introduced and honored as the BJS offers the first public performance of the five minute work.

Sponsored By:

M&I Bank - Beloit WIM&I Bank Wealth Management

Viewer Ratings:

Jewish Noir – New Budapest Orpheum Society


Jewish NoirCabaret, Film, Song, and the Crisis of European Modernity

On the eve of the Sixth Beloit International Film Festival, the Beloit College Music Department presents an evening of 1930’s and 1940’s cabaret music and commentary.

New Budapest Orpheum Society

Led by:
Victor E. Ferrall, Artist-in-Residence
Philip Bohlman, University of Chicago Professor of Ethnomusicology

Date: Wednesday Feb. 16th
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Eaton Chapel, Beloit College
Admission: FREE
More information: 608-363-2000 Beloit College


Viewer Ratings:

Sixteen Forty-Nine 16:49

Rated: PG
Director: Ruben Burgos
Length: 38 min
Documentary | Drama

filmmaker on site Friday: 7:30 pm – Eclipse Center  Buy Tickets
filmmaker on site Sunday: 2:00pm – Pontiac Convention CenterBuy Tickets
2809 North Pontiac Drive Janesville, WI

Website: Sixteen Forty-Nine

Diane HendricksPanel Discussion will follow film presentation.
Led by
Diane Hendricks


The sixteen hours and forty-nine minutes between school ending one day, and starting the next, for some kids, are the longest hours of their entire lives..”  —Robin Stuht

Honest, candid interviews with three Beloit Memorial High School students, including heart-felt accounts of other unaccompanied youth in our area, reveal the struggle homeless students face at the high school level.  Insight from both educational and community leaders sheds light on how we may be a part of the solution.

It’s not political, it’s not religious—it’s simply, “How do we love these kids?”

Download (PDF, 685KB)

The Pontiac Convention Center – Janesville


Viewer Ratings:

New this year – The Canned Film Competition Beloit International Film Festival is proud to announce the exciting new Canned Film Competition as part of the 2011 BIFF schedule. Presented in cooperation with the producers of The Get Reel Student Film Competition in Dubuque, Iowa, this is a unique and highly rewarding new film challenge, the results of which will be screened on the opening night of BIFF following the annual Launch and Laurels Party at the Eclipse Center, Feb. 17.

Debut & Awards Presentation:

filmmakers on site Thursday, 7:30 pm, Eclipse Center (following the Launch & Laurels Party)

  • NOTE: The debut and awards presentation is in conjunction with the Launch & Laurels event and included in the Launch & Laurels ticket.   Buy Tickets (5:00 start)
  • If you only want to attend the competition debut and awards presentation and not L&L also you may do this.   Buy Tickets (7:30 start)

2nd Showing:

filmmaker on site Friday, Noon, LaCasa Grande.   Buy Tickets

3rd Showing:

filmmaker on site Saturday, 2:30, Bagels & More.   Buy Tickets

Participants will have two days and two hours to make movie magic. Teams of filmmakers from throughout the region will get their directions on Friday, January 28th and go to work. They will be given a genre and a mystery object to include in the film and will have 50 hours to produce a film—to “plan it, cram it and can it.” The completed films will be submitted on Sunday, January 30 and the judges will then make their decisions. The official entries and selected winners will be announced at the screening following the opening festivities. The selected films will then become part of the film fare of the BIFF event and will be shown again in Beloit.

There is a $50 entrance fee for each team. Details regarding the competition can be found at and at

The 50 hour Canned Film Competition is part of a “Sister Cities in Film” partnership engaging Dubuque and Beloit in movie making and viewing activities. BIFF 2011 is sponsored by The Hendricks Group of Beloit in association with Beloit College and with a grant from Visit Beloit. This marks the sixth year for the independent film festival. Approximately 140 films will be shown during the four day event, Feb 17-20. Information is available at

Competition Registration:

Friday January 28th, The Beloit Inn (500 Pleasant St. Beloit WI) 5:00 pm


Sunday January 30th

The Official Rules:

And other tidbits you may find helpful.

More Information:

Check out the Canned Film website. Contact Christophe Kulovitz or Michael Coty


Viewer Ratings:

Kids @ BIFF – 5th Grade Workshops

Kids FirstThe Beloit International Film Festival, in partnership withKid’s First, is presenting film-critiquing workshops with area 5th grade students. Students  will join us at the Eclipse Center in Beloit to learn about reviewing films in an effort to develop more educated and discerning film viewers in our area youth. Our goal is to enhance the students’ enjoyment and understanding of film media and give them a skill they can continue to develop and enjoy the rest of their film viewing lives.

DATE: Thursday Feb 17th
TIMES: Two sessions, morning (9:00 – 10:15), afternoon (12:45 – 2:00).
LOCATION: The Eclipse Center
WHO: Beloit School District 5th Graders

NOTE: Students will be picked up by bus from their school and brought to the Eclipse Center.
INFORMATION: Melissa Badger, School District of Beloit – Community & School Relations  608-361-4100, mbadger(at)

Students are bussed to the Eclipse Center with the expenses generously covered by a grant from the Stateline Community Foundation. Once the students arrive, the various facilitators, trained by Kids First, begin by reviewing the major components of a film. Topics such as character development, sets music, costumes and much more are discussed to help prepare the students for their reviews. Also, the importance of why films are reviewed and how film makers use the information is covered.

kids-learning-about-filmWe then watch a selection of short films that provide a variety of styles and content so students can see how the different components are used to make a film. The films are most likely productions the students will not have seen before. After the viewing is completed, the students pick the film they want to review most and complete a worksheet review. After the reviews are completed, there will be discussion about the films and group participation activities to allow the students to interact and share their reviews with others.

Stateline Community FoundationWe thank Kids Fist for their partnership and support in helping us present these workshops, providing materials and putting the completed reviews into the hands of the film makers. We thank the Stateline Community Foundation for helping with the transportation needs and presentation of this program. Lastly, we thank all the teachers and parents that allow us some time with their precious film viewers.

They’ll be in good hands.

Thank you to the School District of Beloit Gifted and Talented Department! They are the ones who developed the curriculum for this field trip and are leading the discussions with the students.


Viewer Ratings:

Somewhere Else in Life

Somewhere else in lifeRated: PG13
Director: Cayetana Polanco
Length: 21 min
Documentary |Short | Drama

filmmaker on siteFriday: 5:00pm – Domenico’s  Buy Tickets

filmmaker on siteSaturday: 12:00pm – Beloit Library  Buy Tickets

Panel Discussion led by Heidi Eldred following film

An exploration of Beloit’s teen pregnancy, through the eyes of community members. The final product is an overview of the issue locally and nationally.

Viewer Ratings:

Beloit College Students Explore Islam

Rated: G
Director: Beloit College Students
Length: 90 min
Documentary | Drama

Thursday: 2:30pm – Hendricks Art Center 1  Buy Tickets
Saturday: 12:00pm – Hendricks Art Center 2  Buy Tickets

Website: Beloit College

Beloit College students’ examination of Islam and its impact on our lives.

Viewer Ratings:

B.C. Help Yourself Program

Rated: PG
Director: Tom Owenby
Documentary | Short

filmmaker on site Friday: 12:00pm – Hendricks Art Center 1  Buy Tickets
filmmaker on site Sunday: 12:00pm – Beloit Library  Buy Tickets

The Ghosts of Beloit
The Best Ice Cream and Cookies in Beloit
The History of Edwards Ice Arena
A Day in the Life at BMHS

The Beloit College’s Help Yourself Program presents short films directed and scripted by its students exploring Beloit through their eyes.

Help Yourself, now in its 25th year at Beloit College, works to facilitate academic success, college access, and career education for 150 6th-12th grade students from the greater Beloit community. Help Yourself Programs aim to broaden horizons, stir imaginations, and alter student views of themselves and their futures. The state and college funded program continues through high school and offers high-achieving, qualifying students full Neese Scholarships to attend Beloit College.

Viewer Ratings:

Short Slot-13 – Exposé of a Wisconsin Filmmaker

Thursday: 7:30 pmBagels & More  Buy Tickets
Saturday: 5:00pmThe Metropolitan  Buy Tickets

filmmaker on site


Andrew Napier

Date of Birth
15 October 1988, Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA
Began filming Mary and Bill at the age of 17.

Also playing at BIFF by Andrew Napier Mary & Bill


Keeping the Spirit

Rated: PG13
Director: Andrew Napier     Producer:Margie Hykema
Length: 30 min
Documentary | Short | Drama

Students, teachers, archaeologists, and the Ho-Chunk Nation band together to save a 1000-year-old sacred Burial Mound that is at risk of being destroyed after it was discovered in the heart of a small Wisconsin town.



Rated: G
Director: Andrew Napier       Producer:Mark Register & Erin Lasquade
Length: 17 min
Short | Crime | Drama

Two young lovers on the run.


Spin Cycle

Rated: PG13
Director: Andrew Napier & Michael Anderson
Length: 15 min
Short | Comedy | Drama

A quirky vignette about two strangers in a Laundromat and the silent battle that ensues over the last remaining washing machine.


Double Gin

Rated: PG13
Director: Andrew Napier        Producer: Mark Register
Length: 8 min
Short | Action | Comedy

Two brothers working in organized crime fight over the same girl while torturing a man in the back of a restaurant.


Rated: G
Director: Andrew Napier        Producer: Mark Register
Length: 5 min
Short | Drama | Music

A bizarre silent film about love, loss, and whiskey, set to music by Of Montreal.

Marvin Milktoast

Rated: PG
Director: Andrew Napier         Producer: Andrew Napier & Andrew Staplin
Length: 4 min
Short | Drama | Music

Super villain Marvin Milktoast and his side kick Commander Coma strive to be evil by annoying their roommates.

Larry’s School Dance

Rated: PG13
Director: Andrew Napier      Producer: Andrew Napier & Mike Bentzen
Length: 2 min
Short | Drama | Music

Larry tries drugs at a school dance.

Viewer Ratings:

Launch & Laurels 2011

Official Winner - BIFF

Location: Eclipse Center, 1701 Riverside Drive, Beloit
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Time: 5 pm – 7 pm

filmmaker on site Price: $10

Rub shoulders with filmmakers and aficionados from around the world at the BIFF Launch event. It’s the perfect way to kick off the festival. Help to congratulate our award winners as BIFF 2011 Filmmaker Award recipients will be announced.
Shuttle service is available.

Presented by:

Blackhawk Bank

Blackhawk Bank Best Events Catering

Best Events Catering - Proud Sponsor of BIFF 2011 Launch & Laurels

Viewer Ratings: