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Bobby Coleman of Snowmen movie interviewed at BIFF

Josh Flitter, the movie Snowman interviewed at BIFF


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 www.beloitfilmfest.org .

Viewer Ratings:

BIFF in the news.


WCLO – 1230 AM Janesville WI

  • Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 –
    • Dan discusses the BIFF with guest Becky Rogers.
    • Dan talks to Jack Bennett and C.K. Lichtenstein, Honorary Chairs and filmmakers.
    • Dan talks to Rob Tomaro, “Silent Film” and Susan Aquilla, “Cajun Queen.”
    • Dan speaks with Xiao-Yen Wang and Claude Green, “So What Does Your MP Do?”
    • Dan talks to Ron Nief- “Directors Cut” and social media panels and Steve Fass- Selection process and Steve’s Picks.
    • Dan talks with Chris Kulovitz and Michael Coty on Sister Cities in Film, Canned Film.
    • Dan speaks with Michael King, “The Rescuers” and Justin Evans, “A lonely Place for Dying.”
    • Dan talks to Willem Alkema of the Netherlands, Derrick Lui of Singapore and Jessica Todd, Ms. Singapore.
    • Dan speaks with producer John Shepherd and actors Bobby Coleman, 13 and Josh Flitter, 16 of Snowmen.

Isthmus – Madison WI

The Bee – Portland WA

Channel 3000 – Madison WI

Rockford Register Star – Rockford IL

Walworth County Today – WI

The Stars Will Be Out…

The stars will be out at the Beloit International Film Festival and, if you don’t know them, there is a good chance your kids will. Joining the more than 140 filmmakers, producers and directors will be two of the stars of Snowmen, Bobby Coleman and Christian Martyn.

Coleman, 13, has the leading role in Snowmen plaSnowmenying Billy Kirkfield who is convinced that he has only weeks to live. Martyn, 10, plays Lucas Lamb, one of Billy’s misfit friends, determined to ensure that Billy will be remembered in the record books forever.

Film Times & Tickets Here.

Billy and his friends pursue immortalizing fame in a series of schemes and stunts that eventually threaten their very lives. Along this journey of self-discovery, the boys conquer neighborhood bullies, unite a community, and discover that the only lasting legacy is friendship.

The film is produced by Stephen McEveety and John Shepherd, both of whom will also be present. Diane Hendricks is one of the executive producers of the film. They will be available, along with the young actors, to answer questions following screenings on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Beloit Public Library, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Bushel and Peck’s Local Market and tentatively on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Rotary River Center.

Never been to Beloit? Or not been here for a while?

Beloit through Old Onliners LenseAs we’ll have lots of folks visiting Beloit for the first time and others who may not have been to town for a while what better way to introduce you to Beloit then through pictures.

Just the random photo musings of a Beloit native who goes by “Old Onliner”. Here’s the Beloit you may not know about.

BIFFY The Snowman

Beloiters arriving downtown on Sunday morning were greeted by a 40 foot snowman, bedecked in his Beloit International Film Festival BIFF scarf and puffing on his pipe. The giant smiling snow sculpture is located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and State Street in the center of the city and can be seen for blocks. “It is a gift to Beloit as a show of our support for the Beloit International Film Festival,” says creator and local contractor Bill Dorr.

BIFFY the Snowman was inspired by the film, Snowmen, produced by local businesswoman Diane Hendricks, which will have one of its first public showings at the Film Festival. BIFF opens its sixth year on Thursday, Feb. 17 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 20.

According to Dorr, “The idea for building the snowman was easy but could not have been done without the support of many businesses and hard-working friends. A big thank-you to City Manager Larry Arft and his staff for accepting the idea and allowing us to build it in our desired location. Thank you to Jim Heidt of Heidt Engineering, for his engineering expertise, and Steve Eldred, president of First National Bank and his employees for giving up their parking spaces.

Dorr estimates it took 130 man hours of work and may have cost him a few friendships. “But it isn’t the first crazy idea we have had…my friends should expect things like this,” he adds. “Without the labor of many crazy neighbors and friends, this could not have been done –

Larry Diehls, Mark Flessner, Jeff Livingston, Doug Cash, Sharon Carr, Bruce Fernihough, Danielle Clifton, Sean Laughlin, and Dan Boutelle. Thanks everyone!! Thank you also to Bob and Todd Halderson of Custom Ditching; Gustavo Simenthal and Alan Herstad of Herstad Landscaping; Brad Ballou of Bill Ballou Masonry; Bushel & Peck’s; Bagels and More; and Nikki’s Café for food and drink.

BIFFY the Snowman will remain where he sits until the close of BIFF. On Monday, he will join Frosty and quietly disappear, having provided much pleasure and joy to the community.

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 www.beloitfilmfest.org.

The “International” in BIFF

While there is no I in “Team” there is in fact an I in BIFF.

BIFF is an “International” film festival. While we encourage and feature local/regional filmmakers, part of our mission is to bring together the very best work that we can gather from filmmakers around the globe. Importantly, we also want to welcome all communities to come and enjoy the films and events at BIFF.

This year we have a number of exceptional films from Filmmakers in Spain in particular. As such we’re making a special invitation to the Spanish speaking community within the region to come and join our community of film enthusiasts for BIFF.

So, the Latino Service Providers Coalition of Rock County is helping us to spread the word and the welcome. Thank you!

Latino Service Providers Coalition for Rock County

Short Slot #5:

Among the eight short films in this series are…

  • Lastrain – Spain
  • Qua – Spain
  • Manual Practico del Amigo Imaginario (Imaginary Friend Practical Manual)- Spain

Shot Slot #10

Among the six short films in this series are…

  • Fuera de Lugar (Out of Place) – Spain
  • La Cinta (The Tape) – Spain
  • Cupid’s Arrow – Spain

Short Slot #11

Among the ten short films in this series are…

  • El Rayo y La Sirena (Thunderbolt and the Mermaid) – Spain
  • Jesusito de mi Vida (Dear Child Jesus) – Spain

Volunteers – Janesville Venue

Dear BIFF/Film/Community Lovers~

The Metropolitan - Janesville WII am currently looking to fill the volunteer slots for our Janesville venue at The Metropolitan. For each showing, George Hannah, the owner of The Metropolitan, will be offering delightful specials, so attendees can enjoy some incredible food and beverage while immersing themselves in the fabulous line-up of films! In order to ensure that everyone has their food before the film starts, we’ll need to encourage folks to arrive early… an hour at most, 30 minutes at the least.

For each showing, we will need two volunteers at the registration table, and one volunteer to roam the venue to welcome guests, etc. and to announce the film (script will be provided).

Please let me know if you have a special request for a certain time and/or duty, and I will do my best to honor your request. I will schedule the requests as they come in, so I’ll let you know if a slot has been filled. As a special “thank you,” you will receive a total of four (4) free movie passes for volunteering. Remember, the fun of a film festival is in seeing a variety of movies that you might not otherwise see; so sign up now and use your four (4) free passes to see other movies over the weekend!

If you have friends or family members who might be interested in volunteering, please forward this information. I can’t thank you enough for taking part in this spectacular event. You’ll find that BIFF is kinda like Lay’s potato chips… you won’t be able to stop at just one film.  ;>)

Laurie Huml Eckert

The Canned Film Competition – Official Rules

Canned Film Competition - Beloit WI(and other tidbits you may find helpful.)

The following guidelines govern submissions for 2011’s Canned Film Competition scheduled for Kick Off January 28th at the Beloit Inn in Beloit WI. Please read these guidelines carefully and follow all directions for submission.


The Canned Film Competition officially begins at 7 PM Friday January 28th in the lobby of The Beloit Inn Beloit Wisconsin and concludes at 9 PM Sunday January 30th in the same location – with the lobby of the Beloit Inn being the official drop off location.

  • Film must be completed within 50 hours – from 7pm Friday night (January 28,
  • 2011) till 9pm Sunday night (January 30, 2011).
  • All entries must be received in person at the Beloit INN by 9 PM January 30th.
  • Film Entrees must be submitted on a DVD.
  • Films must be a maximum of 7 minutes in length, or under.
  • Film genre will be picked live at Kickoff.

“The Can” is an element that creates continuity for the Canned Film Competition, but is not an intended prop or element to drive your film’s story or suggest your film end up being about opening “The Can.” How you use this competition’s element is your creative choice and discretion, albeit “The Can” must be opened and contents revealed in any part of your film. This concept is designed to help create a fun, unique moment in your film but not drive the story line, but it can.

Judges have the right to disqualify any films in which “The Can” has appeared to be opened prior to the original take. This concept will make a great organic moment in your film – don’t cheat and open “The Can” off-film, as this action may disqualify your film from the competition.

Panel of judges will determine winners based on the following:

  • Most Creative Film
  • Best use of can and content

Entry fee is $50.00 per filmmaking team – due at time of registration. Accepted forms of payment are Check or Money Order (made to Get REEL) or cash.

There are no limits as to the size of the team.

All approved films will be shown at Beloit International Film Festival’s Launch and Laurels party at the Eclipse Center on February 17 in Beloit as part of BIFF. Films will also be included during the general screenings throughout the Festival.

Filmmakers and their teams will receive tickets to attend the Launch and Laurels party on February 17. Additional tickets will be priced based on BIFF screenings ticket prices.

All Rights Reserved / Canned Film Competition / Dubuque, IA


2011 BIFF Honorary Chairs – C.K. Lichenstein II & Jack Bennett

INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS REIGN AT BIFF 2011 (please note that full bios of each honorary chairperson is listed below)

Two previous Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) grant winners, based in the Pacific Northwest hotbed of independent filmmaking, will return to Beloit, Wisconsin, and BIFF 2011 in February as honorary co-chairs.

Becky Rogers, president of Stateline Festivals, Inc., producer of BIFF,  announced that C.K. Lichenstein II of Portland, Ore., and Jack Bennett of Seattle will serve together as co-chairs of this year’s Festival, Feb. 17-20.  “Both independent filmmakers have had memorable involvement with BIFF for several years. Not only will they advise us on what is developing in the independent film movement,” says Rogers, “they will also help to spread the word about BIFF and its dedication to filmmakers. They have agreed to promote BIFF through their extensive connections in the industry, and during BIFF when they will help to host events and will be available to students, audiences and other filmmakers.”

“one of the things that makes BIFF a special draw for independent filmmakers is the way we treat them.  They don’t always get a lot of attention at the larger festivals but, at Beloit, the audiences are accommodating and appreciative and we make sure they are celebrated properly.”

Both honorary chairs have received BIFF Emerging Artist Grants.  This financial support, made possible by dozens of film-themed dining events in the BIFF Cinema à la Carte program, support new projects of filmmakers.

Bennett was born and raised in Shopiere, Wis., and still has family in the area. He has spent the last decade working in film, in and out of Hollywood, honing his craft as a filmmaker and experiencing life from all angles in a constant search for his next project.  He has worked professionally as an actor on stage and screen, as a film editor on PBS and the Discovery Channel projects and has filled every possible film crew position from cinematographer to writer and director. After moving to Seattle he was inspired by the unique character of the Pacific Northwest to make his own short films. His films have played in Los Angeles, Macedonia, Venice (Italy), New York, Seattle, and at the Beloit International Film Festival where his film “Synthetik” was honored in 2008. For BIFF 2011 he will present the feature “Bass Ackwards” on which he was a producer, and the short film, “Atlas” which he co-wrote and directed with David Hanagan.

Lichenstein is a prolific producer of low-budget independent films. With no formal training, he learned as he went. His first feature as a producer indicated that he had a natural talent for dealing with the pitfalls of filmmaking.  Since then he has directed, produced or acted in 15 comedies, action and science fiction films and art-house dramas including the award winning films Cathedral Park and short Rifle Workbook. With a background in graphic arts, he settled in Oregon where he wrote and worked as a comics editor.  Comic book creators Ian and Tyson Smith, offered him his first  film project, the feature length, road trip comedy, The Sexy Chef which has been screened at numerous festivals and independent theaters. His most recent work, supported by a grant from BIFF, is the period short film The McMillan Girl which he plans to premiere at Beloit in 2011.

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.  More than 120 films will be shown during the four day event at twelve venues in the downtown Beloit area, and Janesville for the first time.  Also new this year, two of the film venues will be located in the Beloit College Hendricks Center for the Arts.

Biographies of our Honorary Chairs:


C.K. Lichenstein II – Producer

C.K. Lichenstein on C.K. Lichenstein on IMDb

Born in New Jersey to parents Robert and Rachel Lichenstein, C.K. is the youngest of three children. His father’s family emigrated from Germany in the late 1800’s, when C.K.’s grandfather, and namesake, was just an infant, while his mother’s side came over in the 1600’s from England and Ireland. A Princeton graduate and World War II veteran, Robert began dating Rachel, the oldest child of Alabama Governor James “Big Jim” Folsom Sr. and, despite the near twelve year age difference, the couple was married in 1960. While Rachel raised the three children, Robert worked first managing a chain of paint stores that his father had started, and then moved into commercial real estate, which he did the rest of his life. The family moved to Alabama when C.K. was five and then again to Houston, TX seven years later where for his formative years from junior high to college.

Whats Next Caldoni

CK’s latest project “The McMillan Girl”

His love of films was nurtured by his father, as it was very much a shared interest, and matured even more as he grew older and began to find his own voice and taste’s outside of his family’s. Instead of pursuing film though, C.K. followed his other interests and went to college in Lubbock, Texas studying graphic arts and then later on returned to Houston to study fine arts and creative writing. He left college before graduating when his father passed away and never returned in any serious capacity again. Two years after that devastating loss, he struck out on his own moving to Portland, OR. Working various jobs, focusing on marketing and graphic design, he pursued more creative outlets by writing reviews and articles for local and national magazines like Paperback Jukebox, where he was also the comics editor, BadAzz MoFo, Too Much Coffee Man and Top Shelf Comics.

A fan of comics since before he could read, along with his gregarious nature, helped him become friends with creators, publishers and up and coming talents. This is how he met comic book creators Ian and Tyson Smith, of Oddjob and Emily and the Intergalactic Lemonade Stand fame. When they came to him about a possible film they were making, C.K. insisted on being the producer and, once the brothers were convinced, he went out and began to learn exactly what a producer did! As this was the first film for all three, they made sure to have plenty of pre-production and sought advice from many experienced local filmmakers. Filmed over eighteen days, mostly on weekends, C.K. had multiple duties as producer, line producer, first A.D. (assistant director) and actor. While spending over two years in post, the feature length, road trip comedy, The Sexy Chef was finally completed and screened at its first festival in 2002. It played in several more festivals, finally screening in Portland, OR at the first Longbaugh Film Festival in early 2003 to record crowds. Self-released the following year on DVD the film went on to play at more festivals and independent theaters and has had great longevity, with requests to play continuing to the present.

C.K. went on to work on and produce several other films including the next Smith Brothers feature, Monday Night Gig and then BadAzz MoFo creator David Walker’s first narrative Damaged Goods. In 2005 he produced Vincent Caldoni’s first feature film Cathedral Park, a unique drama shot as a fake documentary and utilizing a created language, and then the following year he produced Nick Hagen’s third feature, the thriller Dark Horizon. When Cathedral Park was released in 2007, he spent the rest of that year, and much of 2008, promoting the film in numerous festivals across North America. The film went on to win several awards including Best Feature at the 2008 Magnolia Independent Film Festival in Mississippi.

While still collaborating with other filmmakers, he found a like mind with Vincent and the two began to work on several new projects. The next film, done in 2007 shortly after Cathedral Park premiered, was the short Rifle Workbook (2007) which was a judge’s selection at the 2008 Northwest Film and Video Festival and won Best Short at the 2008 Magnolia Independent Film Festival. In 2009, Vincent and C.K. completed the short film Reception (2009), which has played at numerous festivals including the prestigious Sci-Fi London Film Festival. In the beginning of 2010, after raising funds through Film Action Oregon and with the aid of a grant from the Beloit International Film Festival, they began filming the period short film The McMillan Girl. They are in post-production with plans to premiere at Beloit in 2011.

Other recent projects, besides The McMillan Girl, that C.K. has produced have included the short film Salt and Silicone by writer/director Warren Pereira, which had its World Premiere in Ireland September 2010 and David Walker’s latest feature My Dinner with A.J. which should premiere in fall 2010. C.K. and Vincent Caldoni are also currently in pre-production on a new feature with filming to begin in October 2010. C.K. still lives in Portland, OR and has been at the same day job managing a mailroom for almost five years, but that can’t last forever, can it? A strong voice in the Oregon film community he has helped create legislation that provides more support for low-budget indigenous filmmakers and is a founding member of the Oregon Producer’s Association (OPA). He has produced several seminars and events, including the 2010 Portland 48 Hour Film Project, lectured at schools and festivals, promoted events and/or screenings like Portland’s Grindhouse Film Festival, most recently was a judge for a video gong show and is excited to head back to Beloit to be a co-honorary chair for the 2011 Beloit International Film Festival.


Jack Bennett – Director

dahlia films youtube channel

Born and raised in Shopiere, Wisconsin Jack has spent the last 10 years working in the Film world in and out of Hollywood, honing his craft as a filmmaker and experiencing life from all angles in a constant search for his next project. He has worked professionally as an actor on both stage and screen, as an editor for a Los Angeles based post facility working for PBS and the Discovery Channel, and has filled every possible film crew position from cinematographer to writer, actor to director and everything in between. After moving to Seattle, WA from L.A. Jack got serious about making his own short films, “I have been so inspired by the Pacific Northwest, it reminds me of home and yet in so many ways it is a strange place with a unique character and feel to it. I’m lucky I found it.”

His short films thus far have played in Los Angeles, Macedonia, Venice Italy, New York, Seattle, and of course at Beloit’s own Beloit Int’l Film Festival where his film “Synthetik” took the emerging artist grant in 2008. For BIFF 2011 Jack has brought along the feature Bass Ackwards on which Jack was a producer and the short film, Atlas, which he co-wrote and directed with David Hanagan.

As for what is on the horizon, Jack has recently begun filming his first feature length film, A Fly Trapped in Amber. Of feature filmmaking Jack had this to say: “It’s a huge undertaking, you are making art but you are doing so in a business environment and so you end up wearing a lot of hats and losing a lot of sleep and still you come out the other side with something beautiful and worth all the time, money and effort.”

“I’m always glad to be back in Beloit and am honored to be the co-chair of the 2011 BIFF. I hope I can continue to give back to Southern WI through my art and through myself for everything it has given me. Thank you Beloit and thank you BIFF”

New Dates for Cinema á la Carte

Hey! Great News! The beloved Packers are in the playoffs!

Green Bay PackersAs you likely know much of WI closes down when the Pack is playing. So, to remove the delemma this presents for our BIFF fans who are also Pack fans we too have called a little play action. We’ve changed the dates or our two remaining Cinema ala Carte dinners.

Buena Vista Social ClubWe’ve cleared this with those who’ve already made reservations and there are still some slots available. So call up a friend or two, come out and share an evening with some friends, BIFF film fans and great food. Ratatouille

Your support helps the BIFF Fund for Emerging Artists. Support the Arts. Call some friends and let’s make a party of it.

See all the detail on Cinema ala Carte here.

Bigger, Better, Best Yet: More Films & More Venues


As programs develop for the Sixth Beloit International Film Festival, Feb. 17-20, all the elements are expanding to accommodate a record number of films for this year. The number of venues for the 2011 Festival will increase by 50 percent.

“This will allow us to not only show more films but also to repeat a number of films that we know will be drawing attention,”.

“The quality of the films is very high but each year, certain films wind up in great demand either because of subject matter, contact with the filmmakers or just the general buzz. With more venues we can try to predict some of those and make the films more accessible.”

This year, a dozen screening venues in Beloit and Janesville will present almost 140 films in all genres. The Beloit venues will include a number of old favorites like Bagels and More, Bushel and Peck’s Local Market, Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant, Domenico’s Italian Restaurant and the Beloit Public Library. New this year will be The Angel Museum, and the Rotary River Center and two venues in the Hendricks Center for the Arts – the spacious studio One, and the more intimate Film Studies Classroom. The Eclipse Center will once again provide the largest presentation space for major films including the Saturday evening M&I Bank & Wealth Management Silent Film Showcase.

For the first time, BIFF will also present films in Janesville at The Metropolitan Restaurant on Main Street. Shuttle bus transportation will also be provided between the Metropolitan and Downtown Beloit throughout the Festival.

“This makes scheduling a real challenge but we expect an increase in audience numbers this year and we hate to turn people away”.

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 www.beloitfilmfest.org .

[2013 Season] Rockford Hosts BIFF Reveal Party For First Time

Franciescos Ristorante - Rockford ILFor the first time, the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) is hosting a Reveal Party in Rockford on January 25 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Spring Creek Rd. The party provides the first look at the schedule of 140 films that will be presented, announcements of BIFF critics’ choices and a sneak peak of clips from films featured at the sixth annual BIFF on February 17 – 20, 2011.

Date: Tuesday Jan. 25th
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Franchesco’s – 7128 Spring Creek Rd. Rockford IL

Admission to the reveal party is free and includes appetizers. Attendees will also be among the first to receive the BIFF program announcing the festival’s featured films. Franchesco’s is offering post-party dinner specials after the Reveal; reservations for dining that evening are recommended, and valet parking is available.

The Reveal Party is hosted by BIFF and Franchesco’s Ristorante and sponsored by Blackhawk Bank and the Rockford Register Star.

Blackhawk BankTo officially kick off the festival, the annual Launch & Laurels event is on February 17 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Eclipse Center, 1701 Riverside Dr., Beloit. Presented by Blackhawk Bank, this event is an opportunity for attendees to meet the filmmakers and aficionados from around the world who participate in BIFF. The BIFF 2011 Filmmaker Award recipients are also announced at the event.

“The buzz is all about Beloit,”. “Filmmakers around the world rave about the interest of local audiences and the warm welcome they receive in Beloit. This year, we are going to have some top films that could have gone anywhere in the country, but chose Beloit because the filmmakers appreciated the support they had during their first visit.”

Rockford Register Star - Rockford ILSince BIFF started six years ago, the quantity and quality of films has grown annually. Filmmakers from as far away as China and throughout Europe have participated annually in person, and BIFF has been called “the next big thing” in film festivals. The New York Times suggested it was one of the best alternatives to the famed Sundance Festival.

Headquartered in Beloit, Blackhawk Bank is a regular supporter of BIFF. Blackhawk employees are also major contributors to BIFF through their involvement as volunteers. Nancy Heidt of Blackhawk Investment Group and her husband Jim Heidt are again serving as chief coordinators of a volunteer force of 400 people for the 4-day festival.

Every year, BIFF welcomes thousands of visitors and almost 100 filmmakers. The festival utilizes a dozen venues throughout downtown Beloit, and for the first time in Janesville, to provide space for screenings, parties and receptions. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.beloitfilmfest.com.

Blackhawk operates eight banking centers in Beloit, WI; Roscoe, Machesney Park, Rockford, Belvidere and Capron, IL. For more information about the bank, log onto www.blackhawkbank.com.

BIFF Reveal Party – Dubuque

For the first time, the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) will present its annual Reveal Party, announcing Festival films and special events, in Dubuque, Iowa. The beautifully restored Julien Hotel will be the setting for the party from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21. The annual party, one of four reveals in three states, provides the first look at the schedule of 140 films that will be presented. It also includes announcements of BIFF critics’ choices as well as a sneak peak at some of the clips from the 140 films featured at the sixth annual event taking place in Beloit, February 17 – 20.

Julien Hotel - DubuqueAdmission to the Reveal Party is free and the Hotel Julien will provide appetizers and a cash bar. Attendees will be among the first to receive the BIFF program announcing the festival’s featured films as tickets go on sale online at www.beloitfilmfest.org. Caroline’s at the Hotel Julien will offer post-party dinner specials after the Reveal; reservations for dining that evening are recommended.

Dubuque is joining with Beloit to form “Sister Cities in Film” this year. In cooperation with the producers of Dubuque’s Get Reel Student Film Competition, Biff will initiate the new 50-hour Canned Film Festival in anticipation of the Julien Film Festival at Dubuque scheduled for 2012.

Canned Film Competition - Beloit WIDubuque organizers Chris Kulovitz and Michael Coty have been working for several months with the BIFF management to bring the programs together. “The reactions of the civic and business leaders in both communities has been overwhelming and a large contingent of Beloit representatives are expected to travel to Dubuque and spend the night on the 21st,” noted Kulovitz.

“These are two very creative cities and this cooperative venture is just what is needed to pull us together to do bigger things,”.

Daily Wrap – Sept 25th.

Entries closedBIFF 2011 call for entries are now closed and our team is viewing the last of these films determining which films will be at the festival this year.  We want all filmmakers to know that we are beginning to notify all of you next week as to the status of your films.

General Preparations-BIFF 2011

Beloit International Film Festival in final stages of preparation for February.

Beloit, Wis. — The films are in. The scheduling for the showings in seven locations is in the final stages. People are starting to make hotel reservations. The sixth Beloit International Film Festival is getting ready to go to press with the program and it is prompting a lot of interest around the world.

“We are being inundated with phone calls this year from filmmakers, some of whom wouldn’t have even talked with us a few years ago,”. “It’s a great feeling.”

“Filmmakers internationally are taking Beloit seriously and are asking to be a part of BIFF. It bears out our approach of promoting and encouraging those documentary and short filmmakers who don’t usually get a lot of respect at Festivals. People are calling us because they have heard just how great this festival is and what a warm reception they can anticipate from the Beloit audience.”

This year’s festival, Feb. 17-20, 2011 , will offer more almost films selected from the more than 400 films submitted since last March. The films will be shown in seven venues, concentrated in the downtown Beloit area.

Venues for 2011 will offer a range of settings and amenities, seating from 30 to 750. New this year will be two venues at the Hendricks Art Center of Beloit College. The exciting addition of the Hendricks Art Center screening venues will be complimented by restaurants Bagels and More, Domenicos and Casa Grande, as well as produce market Bushel and Peck’s,  the Eclipse Center and a few new venues to be announced soon.

Steven Fass, chair of the film selection committee has been impressed with the number of quality films that have been submitted for the competition this year. “We have seen an increase in all categories and the selection process has been challenging,” according to Fass. “Audiences are in for a great four days of film viewing.”

“One of our biggest draws every year is the short films—films of less than 30 minutes. We group them together into “Short Slots” and this year the content is vibrant and exciting.”

Again this year the winners of BIFF grants will be announced the night of the Launch Party on Feb. 17th.  This will also give people a heads up on some of the really outstanding films worthy of their attention,” says Fass.

Tickets will go on sale in mid-January online at www.beloitfimfest.com or at the Visit Beloit BIFF Box Office. The annual Reveal Party will provide the guide for planning the four day festival. The popular “Bifficates,” gift certificates that can be exchanged for tickets for specific films—ideal stocking stuffers—are now on sale online or at the BIFF offices at 444 East Grand Ave, Suite 100 Beloit, WI 53511 (beneath the college bookstore).

Welcome Aboard Beloit College Interns

BIFF is pleased to welcome Sarah, Naomi, Jade and Aaron as our 2011 BIFF interns from Beloit College.