BIFF 2022 Sponsors Thumb

Sponsors 2022

The 2022 Team Photo

BIFF 2022 brought to you through the broad support of our many community-minded sponsors.

Thank You!

Presenting Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Copper Sponsors

Brass Sponsors

The 2022 Team Photo

BIFF 2022 brought to you through the broad support of our many community minded sponsors.

Thank You!

BIFF 2022 Sponsors Thumb

BIFF’s Red Scarf, Founding Donors

Thank you for your leadership support

Tom & Terry Barnes
Dr. Susan Behrens & David Look
Steve & Heidi Eldred
Jorge Galante
Mick & Jane Gilbertson

Gary & Vicky Grabowski
Charles & Prudy Harker
Jim & Nancy Heidt
Diane Hendricks
Kim Hendricks

Ken & Judy Kaplan
Joanna Kutter
Curt & Barb Lansbery
Bill & Linda Lock

Paul Milatzo
Ron Nief
Becky Rogers
Don & Tara Tinder

BIFF’s Red Scarf, Founding Donors

Thank you for your leadership support

Tom & Terry Barnes
Dr. Susan Behrens & David Look
Steve & Heidi Eldred
Jorge Galante
Mick & Jane Gilbertson
Gary & Vicky Grabowski
Charles & Prudy Harker
Jim & Nancy Heidt
Diane Hendricks
Kim Hendricks
Ken & Judy Kaplan
Joanna Kutter
Curt & Barb Lansbery
Bill & Linda Lock
Paul Milatzo
Ron Nief
Becky Rogers
Don & Tara Tinder

Community Partners

More Information About BIFF Sponsorship

Celestino Ruffini

BIFF Board Member
celestino@visitbeloit.com

Greg Gerard

BIFF Executive Director
greg@beloitfilmfest.org
608-302-7554

Laura Doll

BIFF Sponsor Relations
laura@beloitfilmfest.org

Student Filmmaker Showcase

Student Filmmaker Showcase

Since its inception, BIFF has been aware that the best way to thrive in any community is to give something back to those who have supported you.

BIFF CLASSROOM is a group of programs that have been developed over the last fourteen years, taking the knowledge that the festival has gathered from one year to another and sharing it with a wide array of local students.

Sponsors: Hendricks CareerTek, Peer Canvas, Educators Credit Union

Kids@BIFF


One of BIFF’s most effective and respected community outreach programs, KIDS@BIFF has brought thousands of young people together in an effort to teach critical thinking skills by way of independent film criticism.

In partnership with Kristy Champion and the school district of Beloit, as well as Kids First! and the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, KIDS@BIFF engages area 5th grade students in discussions of film quality.

The 2022 program includes classroom visits from BIFF staff, and a field trip to the Central Christian Church theater in Beloit, where students will watch and critique a collection of short films produced especially for kids.

KIDS@BIFF 2019

Student Filmmaker Showcase



DATES: Jan. 31 through Feb. 23, 2022
TIME: 5:30 – 6:30pm
LOCATION: CareerTek, 625 3rd St., Beloit
PRICE: FREE
(Snacks will be provided)

To participate:
Student Filmmaker Showcase Registration QR Code



Call Hendricks Careertek at (608) 312-4770
Capacity: 12 Students



Student Films Screening

FREE
Wednesday, March 2nd., 5:30pm
Visit Beloit
656 Pleasant Street.



The Beloit International Film Festival is bringing back a great opportunity for students (grades 9th – 12th) to collaborate with professionals filmmakers and learn how to make movies that look like… well… movies! Students will learn how to write, direct and edit as they complete their short films.

The program will be comprised of five sessions starting January 31st and will end with a viewing of all films crated on February 23rd. Orientation will be Monday, January 31st at 5:30pm at CareerTek. The date and times of the four remaining sessions will be determined at orientation.

Instruction is provided by Beloit filmmakers Marjorie and Brenton Driscoll of Peer Canvas.

A viewing of the students films at Visit Beloit will be scheduled for family and friends. And finally, on lucky film will be given a Student Filmmaker Showcase BIFFY award!


The Showcase was actually an annual event that was given a rest for a few years, and then rebooted, thanks to a grant via the Stateline Community Foundation and Barbara and Tom Morgan. The program is held at Career Tek in Beloit under the supervision of Susan Day, with educational direction from Beloit filmmakers, Marjorie and Brenton Driscoll of Peer Canvas.

Students will learn screenwriting, smartphone-based camera work, acting, lighting, editing, etc., over a four-week series of sessions, culminating in a BIFF festival screening of all the finished short films, on Wednesday, February 26 at 6:00 Bushel & Peck’s. Free to the public, the best of which will receive a mini BIFFY award. (*This program primarily targets high school-aged students)

Now in its third year of BIFF sponsorship, Discover Mediaworks will, again, be bringing a crew from its popular television program, Into The Outdoors, to Career Tek in Beloit for a workshop on March 5, starting at 2pm. Area students will have an opportunity to learn what it’s like to perform in front of a camera, and maybe even have a shot at hosting a future episode of Into The Outdoors. (This program is designed for kids ages 12-16)

BIFF Student Filmmaker Showcase

Student Filmmaker Showcase Sponsors 2022

The community members behind our sponsor logos

Marjorie & Brenton Driscoll

Marjorie & Brenton Driscoll

Peer Canvas
Nancy Clark-Mather

Nancy Clark-Mather

Beloit FilmWorks
Derrick Carter

Derrick Carter

Careertek
Sharon Vegter

Sharon Vegter

Careertek

BIFF Classroom For Seniors


BIFF also reaches out to local seniors and retirees by way of the Beloit College Society for Learning Unlimited program and the Rock Valley College Center for Learning in Retirement program, where BIFF staff shares an inside look at how a film festival works, and previews new independent film submissions that foster dialog and provide a unique experience for our older students.

BIFF Classroom


Another way in which the festival attempts to give back to the Beloit community and surrounding area. Programs are underwritten through generous support of the organizations and corporations whose logos you see listed below.

BIFF Classroom
ET | Steven Spielberg, Director

ET | Classic Film

Sunday Mar. 6, 2:30 PM


FREE and open to the public.


Sponsored by:

First National Bank and Trust

ET

Directed by Steven Spielbergs
BIFF Classic Film
USA | 115 min | 1982


After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott. Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie, and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien.Jwelch5742 IMDb


ET | Steven Spielberg, Director

1. The Inspiration

The creative process for “Bloom” has been a very personal experience for me. All the characters and the plots come from my own memories of the past. From the very beginning, I wanted to create a non-linear film that flows freely like a person’s mind – this idea was strongly inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film “Wild Strawberries”.

During the winter of 2016, I was staying in New York City to finish up post production on a short film that I also directed. It was snowing, and I had gotten news that my lover from my time in college had flown in from Indiana to celebrate New Years. Although we never ended up seeing each other, even just the message of her arrival made me miss the time that we had together.

Since then, I found myself constantly indulging in my past. Those memories would slip into my mind quietly and unconsciously, when I was waiting in the subway, reading in a cafe, or in my dreams.

I knew I would never be able to travel back in time, but eventually I realized that I could use art (in my case, film) to preserve the most precious moments in my life. Thus, “Bloom” was born.

2. The Script

It was a warm evening in the spring of 2017. After collating all of my thoughts and ideas, I sat down at my computer and created a new document titled “Sui Yi”. That title, in Chinese, translates to “the fragments of memories”. The main reason why I chose “Sui Yi” was because every part of the story and the characters were borrowed from various pieces of my memories. I also wanted to edit the film in a non-linear way: showing each memory piece by piece, which is exactly how our minds read memory. Eventually, I decided on the title “Bloom” as a metaphorical translation for the title.

The approach I used to write this script had been vastly different from any previous scripts I had written. By listing out all of the memories that had tenderly touched me in the past and running through a tremendous amount of possible combinations of those memories, I would challenge myself to find the connections between all the memories. I wanted to compose a story with the aim to diminish the feeling of “telling a story” to create a more unique and refreshing experience for the audience.

Since the beginning, there was this one idea I had become extremely obsessed with. I wanted to create a place where Mu Ke, the main character, could meet his young self and share stories with each other. I wanted the place to be bright, serene, and dreamy. By creating the beach scenes, I solved a major concern of mine: how can I unfold the memories in an interesting way?

I wanted the beach to be an important theme throughout the whole film. And by opening with it, I wanted to end with it as well. We conclude the film with little Mu Ke meeting a little girl, just how he met with adult Mu Ke in the very beginning. Little Mu Ke asks the girl “Who are you? How did you get here?” She replies “Many people come to this place. My name is Songyu.” From then on, little Mu Ke encounters all the people from his past. Even the flower that had died in his classroom can be seen in full bloom in this beach.

I wanted the end to be bittersweet. Throughout Mu Ke’s story in this film, he eventually understands how to deal with all the painful farewells he had experienced. Nevertheless, he chooses to refuse to live a life like that. Instead, he finds his own solution to dealing with farewells, and instead of fully accepting a farewell and moving on, he decided that he’d rather live like a naive child in his own world through his writing.

After completing the script towards the end of March in 2017, I returned to China to start pitching the project to numerous production companies in Beijing. Unfortunately, the outcomes had been very disappointing. On top of that, I started having my own doubts and complex feelings about the script: it felt unfinished, and missing something in its core.

3. Evolution

It wasn’t until January of 2018 when I had a revelation. The short film that I directed in New York had been selected to a film festival in Los Angeles, so I booked a small apartment to stay in for the event. As soon as I stepped into the apartment, I was shocked by how familiar the place seemed to me. The scent of the place gave me a sudden rush of nostalgia as I began to feel myself living in the apartment that my lover and I had lived in our college town. As soon as the film festival in LA ended, I booked a flight to Bloomington, Indiana with nary a plan.

Before meeting her, I decided to revisit all the places that we had been to together. One of the most memorable places was Monroe Lake. It was a vast body of water which, when standing on its shores, looks as endless as an ocean. I suddenly realized why I was so obsessed with the beach and ocean portion in my script; the ocean in my subconsciousness is just this lake that I had been hiding away deeply within my memory. From there, I discovered that all the impulse and passions of writing this script came from the purely stunning feelings that I had for my lover.

After seeing her again, I spent the next few months doing an extensive re-write of the script, paying particular attention to the relationship between Mu Ke and his love interest in the film, Songyu.

It wasn’t much longer until I received news in May of 2018 that a production company in Beijing decided to produce the newly revised “Bloom”. I couldn’t have been happier when the producer, Ali Yang, told me that he had spent the entire day reading and re-reading the script that I sent him. He loved it. “Bloom” began its stages of pre-production.

4. Pre-Production

The production company Ali was a part of provided many benefits. They had a full outfit and network of talented young filmmakers with an impressive list of previous credits under their belt already. With most of the positions already filled with people from the production company, I was able to focus my energy in finding the heads of department. It wasn’t easy, as our budget was rather limited, we were working with a very strict schedule, and had many distinct locations. I decided I also wanted to maintain a strictly “Western” style union shoot. A lot of Chinese film productions are extremely difficult with overtime, with many shoots consistently going way over 12 hours per day. I hired my 1st AD, whom I met during my time in New York and who I worked with closely very often and was fluent in Chinese, with the intention of keeping all of our days manageable to keep morale up.

My original choice for cinematographer had to cancel due to a major issue, and time was running out. We had a firm plan to shoot starting mid-August, but it was already July with nobody to fill the DP position. Fortunately, the 1st AD had a connection to someone she’d worked with, and within two weeks, my DP friend Joey Wang had his passport visa expedited and flew from Houston, Texas to Beijing with less than 3 weeks before the start of principal photography. My gaffer, who himself is a cinematographer, was fluent in English and Chinese, and my worries for language issues disappeared, and I felt relieved that we had established a great team in such a short period of time.

During the scramble to find the remaining heads of departments, Ali and I were doing intensive research on locations. Ali was incredibly helpful in establishing connections to people in the Anhui Province in Southern China – an area known around the world for its stunningly beautiful landscapes.

We eventually acquired permission to shoot at the top of the great Mount Huangshan, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. We also obtained the permission to shoot at the beautiful Lake Taiping – famous for its strikingly clear blue waters. Hong Village, one of the most famous ancient rural villages in China, also gave us permission to use their facilities for our shoot. I fell in love with these locations, not only because they all have rich historical values, but they are absolutely beautiful and had a kind of an “isolated” and “sweet” feeling that I’m familiar with.

When it came to hiring the actors, I wanted people who could be a reflection of my thoughts and actions during the times in my memory. One particularly lovely memory was of my homeroom teacher when I was in elementary school, Ms. Ye. After I had graduated, she left the school to teach Educational Theatre. Not only did she provide the inspiration for the film’s Ms. Ye, but she also assisted in casting all of the children actors. She told me that she was very happy that I named the character after her: the film became a special way of “farewell” to the time of her teaching me and my fellow students in elementary school. She then also told a story of a treasured memory that she had during that time:

It was an autumn day, and she was teaching Chinese as usual. Suddenly, it became very windy outside. Along with the sound of wind, the sound of the fallen leaves became louder and louder. We all turned our heads, looking outside. The golden leaves fluttering in the wind outside was so beautiful that she decided to pause the class and took everyone outside. We spent the remainder of the time running around, jumping, and playing under the trees and the swirling leaves, purely enjoying this moment.

This romantic memory eventually became the most important images in the “farewell” sequence in this film.

5. Principal Photography

During the two and a half weeks Joey was here, we spent the majority of the time on a final location scout to all the places we’ve locked down. We also spent a large amount of time revising the entire shot list and coming up with new floor plans for every single scene. We took extra care in making sure that all of the scenes with the children were as planned out as possible.

Most of the children were ages 6-8, which meant that our time spent with them had to be incredibly efficient, despite the fact that we were working with, well, children. The ballet and taekwondo scenes were the most worrisome, as many of the children had very little experience with those concepts. The location had zero air conditioning and we were shooting in some of the hottest months of the year. I constantly worried that the children would give up at some point, however I was pleasantly surprised when they all did a fantastic job without complaining at all.

The last two days of filming were at the top of Mount Huangshan. It was definitely the most physically challenging endeavor for all of us, seeing as how we had to hike over 300 pounds of camera equipment, food and water up a steep 3 mile trail comprised of over 60,000 steps that even people carrying nothing have difficulty with.

We started the climb in the afternoon. After spending hours knocking our shins around with large, bulky equipment cases, climbing in the dark of night with only our phones to light our way, and taking long water breaks in between, we finally reached the hotel near the top of the peak late at night, around 10PM. Seeing that we needed to capture the sunrise in this scene, and the fact that the peak was still another half an hour of climbing away, we had to get up early at 3AM.

A major worry was the weather. Mount Huangshan has a reputation for being completely covered in fog with extremely limited visibility in the mornings. The hotel staffed informed us that there was only a 0.1% chance to get completely clear views of the surrounding mountaintops and the “sea of clouds” below us in this season. It must have been our lucky day, because when we set out to climb the final portion of our journey, everything was clear.

The whole ordeal was more than completely worth it. When we reached the peak, the most dazzling view appeared before us. We saw not only a sea, but an ocean of soft, fluffy clouds blanketing the world below us, with the iconic peaks of the mountain range cutting cleanly through. Even though it was almost freezing up on top of the peak, most of the crew sat outside silently, just taking in the view while we waited for the official sunrise.

We were able to obtain two gorgeous scenes from the hike up. Not only did we get the dazzling sunrise, but we also shot the same scene but with the gorgeous sunset in the background. My plan was to edit this scene with two versions. The first half of the dialogue took place during the sunrise, and the second half took place during the sunset. The purpose was to convey a feeling that the conversation between Mu Ke and Songyu has been constantly happening. It increases the tension by putting their relationship in more danger.

As soon as we wrapped on the mountain, we hiked back down and immediately started our wrap party. During which, Ali, and another producer, Leo Yuan, expressed that this production had been the happiest and most fulfilling one in their entire 10+ years in this industry. After the wrap party, we all said our farewells, as most of the crew went their own separate ways.

During the return trip to Beijing, I had the feeling that we would probably finish the post-production very quickly, considering everything had been so smooth. However, the worst was yet to come.

6. Post-Production

During pre-production and principal photography, I had a very clear image on how to cut the film, so I began to edit as soon as we got back to Beijing. A devastating issue rose up quickly. The feedback from almost every production company this film was sent to said the same thing: they didn’t understand it, and if they didn’t understand it, the audience won’t either.

As the writer and director, I probably have unconsciously edited out lots of necessary information while adding in the ones that the audience probably doesn’t care about. I didn’t want this film to be a straightforward A to B to C story. I was at a crossroads. A lose lose situation even. If I chose to edit down and dilute the film, audiences might overlook the film. If I tried to keep pushing the film as it was, I might jeopardize my reputation and the faith of the production company who put money into making this.

Luckily, a good friend of mine who works with a very experienced editor in Taiwan made the connection, so I was introduced to Mr. Hsiao Ju-Kuan, who had edited Chinese cult classics like “Three Times” by Hsiao-Hsien Hou and “Beijing Bicycle” by Xiaoshuai Wang and many other beautiful films.

I met up with Mr. Hsiao in hopes that he might provide some insight on how to reorganize the film to keep the original themes and feeling of the script. Our meeting ended up starting from 3 in the afternoon until 11 late at night. Not only did he patiently watch my film, but he came up with a plan to re-edit it. Once I got back home from the meeting, I put his ideas in action and indeed, the film was surprisingly smooth. As soon as I could, I persuaded Ali and the production company to hire Mr. Hsiao to officially edit the film.

While I spent time with Mr. Hsiao, I explained to him a lot about what each shot conveyed and how I wanted to use them. It was almost like he understood what I wanted even better than I did myself, and the result was a much more clear, much more emotionally charged film. Finally, I had a film that flows freely like a person’s mind, like I had always wanted.

Besides the edit, the choice of music was also to point out the fact that the majority of the film is composed of Mu Ke’s past memories. I wanted the music to play a part in reinforcing this idea as well, so lots of classical music were used in this film.

I think it’s quite common in Asian families that the parents are extremely strict to the kids about their academic grades and school life. Many of us have been encouraged (or say “forced”) to learn a music instrument like piano or violin when we were little. As a consequence, lots of classical music, especially Bach’s music has become a part of the memory of our childhood. Even now, whenever I hear Bach, it reminds me of my childhood. I hope this choice of music will also resonate with the audience who have similar experiences as I do.

Finally, “Bloom” was completed on September 16, 2019. There had been a number of frustrations and difficulties that I had to overcome to finish the film. And there were moments that I really felt hopeless. Without the helps and supports from my dear friends, this film will never happen. When the film is finally presented in front of my eyes — what started out in the winter of 2016 as a way to preserve the most precious moments I had has turned into a whole new journey which has created dozens of new memorable moments that I shall treasure forever.

Steven Spielberg, Director | ETSteven Spielberg
Director

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood’s best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, producer or writer since launching the summer blockbuster with Jaws (1975), and he has done more to define popular film-making since the mid-1970s than anyone else.

Film Information


Director: Steven Spielberg
Country: USA
Year: 1982
Language: English
Runtime: 115 min.
Rated: PG

Credits


Writer: Melissa Mathison
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Melissa Mathison, Steven Spielberg
Music: John Williams
Cinematography: Allen Daviau
Film editing:
Carol Littleton
Production Design: Jim Bissell

Full Cast & Crew

Connect With This Film


Principal Cast

BIFF Year ‘Round | 2021-22

BIFF Year Round


Join us each week
for complimentary Coffee & Fresh Pop Corn with your movie!

Sponsored by Stateline Community Foundation

An Uncommon Opportunity


BIFF pre-screens some of the very best award winning films submitted for the film festival.

You can review and vote for inclusion in our upcoming film festival. We will also screen some of the most popular films from prior BIFF festivals along with some of the cinema classics.



Talk with the Filmmakers


Immediately following each BYR screening the filmmakers join us via live screencast for conversation.

You will have the uncommon opportunity to discuss the film with the filmmakers themselves. So join us for this exceptional opportunity to enjoy some of the very best in independent film being produced and meet the filmmakers themselves.



Tickets

On-site only. No online tickets. Cash/check only


Coffee Provided By:

Ironworks Hotel

Halfway To BIFF | Downtown Beloit WI

Halfway To BIFF 2022

“Halfway to BIFF” To Be Part of Beloit’s Biggest Weekend. It’s been a strange year, so why not present BIFF in August? The Beloit International Film Festival is a year-round effort and August is about halfway to the BIFF 10-day winter festival. Sounds like a good excuse for a celebration.

Back To School | Rodney Dangerfield

Back To School | Rodney Dangerfield

Sponsored by:

Beloit FilmWorks


Halfway To BIFF 2022 | Mini Film Fest!!!


FREE Event!

Sat Aug 7, 2021 – 8:30 pm
Downtown at State St. & Grand Ave. Under The Gantry



Rodney Dangerfield | Back To School

Directed by Alan Metter
Comedy Feature
USA | 96 min | 1986


Millionaire businessman Thornton Melon is upset when his son Jason announces that he is not sure about going to college. Thornton insists that college is the best thing he never had for himself, and to prove his point, he agrees to enroll in school along with his son. Thornton is a big hit on campus: always throwing the biggest parties, knowing all the right people, but is this the way to pass college?
—Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Back To School - Movie Poster

Alan Metter, DirectorAlan Metter
Director
Metter grew up in the Boston area, lived in the Hollywood Hills for most of his adult life, and moved to South Florida in 2009.

Alan began his creative life at Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), the legendary advertising agency. In the late 1970s, Metter leaped at the opportunity to direct some of the first music videos for the likes of George Harrison, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Chicago, Olivia Newton-John, and Donna Summer, as well as comedians Rodney Dangerfield and Steve Martin, which were aired on the fledgling MTV.

The experience of directing major rock stars and comedians in music videos established Metter as a candidate to direct feature films.

Film Information


Director:  Alan Metter
Country: U.S.A.
Year: 1986
Language: English
Runtime: 96 min.
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writer: Rodney Dangerfield, Greg Fields, Dennis Snee
Production Company: Orion Pictures, Paper Clip Productions

Connect With This Film


It All Begins With A Song | Chusy, Director

It All Begins with a Song

Wed Mar 2, 2022 – 7:30 pm | Visit Beloit
Sun Mar 6, 2022 – 5:00 pm | Visit Beloit

NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AT THE VENUES
Purchase your ticket either online or at the Box Office



It All Begins with a Song

Directed by Chusy
Documentary Feature
USA | 85 min | 2018


We all hum their tunes. We know their words by heart. And we tell the story of our own lives through their art. Yet, few of us know their names. This is a film about one of the most important and unknown, forces in music: The Nashville Songwriter.

We will tell their story in a way it has never been told. We will document their struggles. From paying their dues to working through their creative process. We will celebrate their success. From the eureka moment of uncovering that musical gem that turns into a hit to receiving a Grammy and hearing how their words and music change people’s lives.

But most of all, we pay tribute to the most valuable resource in the music industry today.

All Begins with a Song - Chusy

All Begins with a Song - ChusyChusy
Director
Born and raised in Venezuela, Chusy has lived and worked in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. A former executive creative director of a blue-chip international advertising agency, Chusy attended the Director’s Program at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California and received an MFA in directing. There he made, Monkey Park, a short film starring Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Ray Wise. His first film, Anywhere, USA, won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, awarded by a Quentin Tarantino-led jury. In 2011, Chusy was asked to present a work in progress of his documentary film, Gigante, as part of a TED talk he gave in San Francisco. Chusy was featured in an episode of Made, the uplifting MTV show where he helped a teen with learning disabilities make a film. He is the father of two beautiful children, speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French with working knowledge of Italian and German, and is an inveterate flosser.

Film Information


Directors:  Chusy
Country: USA
Year: 2018
Language: English
Runtime: 85 min
Rated: PG

Credits


Writer: John Godsey
Producer: Kelli Shannon, Andy O’Neil, Joshua Indenbaum, Deana Ivey
Cinematography:Tim Cofield

Connect With This Film


Downtown Beloit Wisconsin

BIFF Stew — June 2021

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.

Downtown Beloit Wisconsin

BIFF Stew — May 2021

HERE WE GO AGAIN….and It’s just what you’ve been waiting for. Thanks to all who have worn their masks and stayed physically (we hope not too socially) apart, IN-PERSON BIFF is back….big time. Audiences are already giving it a hearty two thumbs up. BIFF Year ’Round is up and running with films in the excellent new Downtown Beloit Association venue at 557 East Grand Ave.

Downtown Beloit Wisconsin

BIFF Stew — April 2021

In case you haven’t noticed…WOW, what a year this has been…and what an interesting and successful Beloit International Film Festival we have just completed. We learned new approaches (some of which may have a permanent place in the BIFF Bag o’ Tricks), we gained new and distant viewers, and we got high praise from the filmmakers. Most critically, we broke even and secured our future.

BIFFy Award Winners 2021 | Beloit International Film Festival

BIFFY Award Night 2021

BIFFy Award Winners 2021 | Beloit International Film Festival

2021 BIFFy Award Winners!

Sponsored by:

Anonymous BIFF Sponsor

Fairbanks Morse

And thank you to…

Volunteers Sponsors & Partners Venue Hosts

2021 BIFFy Award Winners!

Sponsored by:

Anonymous BIFF Sponsor

Fairbanks Morse

And thank you to…

Volunteers Sponsors & Partners Venue Hosts
Snappy D. Turtle | BIFF 2021 Honorary Chair

Our BIFF 2021 Honorary Chair

Snappy!


Snappy, beloved mascot of the Beloit Snappers for decades, will begin his “Farewell Tour” in February as Honorary Chair of BIFF2021. He will join a long and distinguished list of filmmakers and promoters in that hallowed post.

“We are honored to have Snappy recognized by BIFF,” says manager Riley Gostisha of Gateway Professional Baseball. “We want everyone to know that Snappy is not leaving us. He will pass the torch to a new character, but he will remain in service to the organization. He is vitally important to the history of area minor league baseball.”



The BIFF 2021

Power of Film Award


After that first BIFF event in 2006 we realized that we had unleashed something truly significant. As you well know, film can be a potent force. It can make people laugh, it can make people cry. It can touch them deep inside and make them look at the world in a whole new light.

As its name suggests, this award was created to spotlight that awesome power. It is given to a film that shares with the world a powerful, life-changing message. The winner this year absolutely fits this description.




Behind The Glass

Directed by Mehdi Irvani


Mehdi Irvani, Director | Behind The Glasses


Films foreign to a culture may sometimes be hard to follow given the difference of context and language, but still compels you with a different perspective.

This film is not that, because it is wholeheartedly universal in its cinegraphic language. Through only a few minutes, it takes but a simple concept and creates an overwhelming sense of joy and wonder out of a dark place.

This film IS joy incarnate, a personification of an emotion without the need of dialogue that anyone can watch and enjoy.



Behind The Glasses, poster | Mehdi Irvani, Director


Best Narrative Feature


Materna

Directed by David Gutnik



David Gutnik, Director | Materna





Some events bind people together, regardless of their personal differences.

Forever after, you are The People Who Were There.  Materna is a film about such an event, which deftly avoids focusing on the event itself.  Instead, director David Gutnik pulls the viewer into the inner life of the four women affected and digs deeply into the aftermath.

The seamlessly woven narrative skillfully trusts the viewer to see the film through the lens of their own experience.  Written and directed with striking realism and compassion, the portrayal of the main characters is complex and nuanced. The film offers a rewarding viewing experience for anyone who is seeking a rich depiction of womanhood that goes far beyond the standard representation of female characters in film.



Materna | David Gutnik, Director


Best Documentary Feature


Stromboli

Directed by Hanspeter Aliesch



Stromboli – As Long as the Heart Beats - Hanspeter Aliesch





From the moment Stromboli begins, to the final credits, it pulls you in to its story, wrapping you in layers of history, local legend, and stunning cinematography.

Shot over six years by director Hanspeter Aliesch, Stromboli is a profoundly personal look into the lives of Maria and others who reside in the shadow of the eponymous volcano.

Narrated by Maria and set against the backdrop of the glorious Italian countryside, Stromboli offers a breathtakingly beautiful look at the duplicity of the nature of the volcano.

It is both the bringer and the destroyer of life.  It fascinates with its beauty, even as it terrifies.  Aliesch interweaves intimate stories and dramatically beautiful scenery with the deft touch of a master of his craft.



Stromboli – As Long as the Heart Beats - Poster


Best Narrative Short


The Saverini Widow

Directed by Loïc Gaillard


The Saverini Widow - Loic Gaillard





Film is at its core a visual medium, telling stories through what we see on the screen; this film not only proves this point, but down right perfects it.

The set is grounded but eye-catching, the cinematography tells you what you need to know when you need to know it, the music tempers the pace, and the actors (or actress) deliver a compelling and downright chilling performance.

It tells a tale of loss and revenge, all without any need of dialogue and relying on it’s simple to follow film language.



The Saverini Widow - Poster


Best Documentary Short


The Khe Sanh Peace Garden

Directed by Tinh Mahoney


Tinh Mahoney, Director | The Khe Sanh Peace Garden





People say that truth is stranger than fiction, which is what can make Documentaries so compelling; this film’s story proves that concept wholeheartedly.

What this film may lack in pacing or compelling cinematography, its story more than makes up for it for showing how something so beautiful can rise from the ashes of such horrible events.



The Khe Sanh Peace Garden, poster | Tinh Mahoney, Director


People’s Choice Award


Take Out Girl

Directed by Hisonni Mustafa


Take out Girl - Hisonni Mustafa


Take Out Girl





Best Screenplay


Touch

Directed by Aleksandra Szczepanowska


Touch - Aleksandra Szczepanowska


This taut dramatic thriller takes us to a unique Chinese setting and an even more unique story of love, honor, trust, infidelity, lust and
cultural traditions.

The film describes the experience of an assimilated caucasian wife and mother who, due to a variety of influences and pressures, finds herself entangled in an affair that threatens her domestic world, and possibly her life.

The writer/director, who also holds down the lead role, deftly takes us on a journey that includes a marvelous script, sensational photography and enchanting sets and costumes.

Perfectly cast, with mystery and edge-of-your-seat dynamics abounding, one can almost hear the strains of a Bernard Herrmann Hitchcockian score underpinning  the drama.

Masterful and mesmerizing, the screenplay is passionately constructed and provides the filmgoer with all the components that are required of an engaging thriller.



Touch Poster





Best Score / Soundtrack


Mambo Man

Directed by Mo Fini & Edesio Alejandro


Mo Fini, Director | Mambo Man


Based on a true story emanating from Cuba, and described by the filmmakers as a musical drama, this film follows the experiences of a
man who the director calls “a local music producer, promoter, farmer and small-time hustler who lives by his wits and imagination.”

In many ways the story is told by the music it shares with the filmgoer. Love, happiness, the positive spirit of the latin way of life, are all celebrated in songs that fill one the with joy and excitement through each passing scene.

The soundtrack features the music of Cuban legends such as Candido Fabre and Arturo Jorge, as well as members of the famed Buena Vista Social Club.

Truly a wonderful film in so many ways, but the music often steals the show, and during those moments, it becomes the star.



Mambo Man Movie Poster | Mo Fini, Director




Best Comedy Film
(Feature or Short)


DannyBoy

Directed by Ferdia Mac Anna


Ferdia Mac Anna, Director | DannyBoy


Anyone can make a movie, but it takes a true artist to breathe life into a story.

Director Ferdia Mac Anna brings his formidable experience in writing and film to this wonderfully light-hearted comedic film, and the result is a warm and inviting coming-of-age tale which will cause the viewer to alternately smile and cringe in recognition and sympathy.

The setting – 1981, Kildare County, Ireland – gives generous opportunity for a glorious display of historically accurate costume, hair, makeup, and music choices that plunge the viewer into the heady swirl of young romance in the club scene of the madcap early ‘80s.



DannyBoy Poster | Ferdia Mac Anna, Director




Executive Director’s Award


Love Is Not Love

Directed by Stephen Keep Mills


Love is Not Love - Stephen Keep Mills




This ode to the human search for love takes the universal concept of mating and deconstructs it through the experiences of a long-time-married mature gentleman who is dabbling in and grappling with a late-in-life dalliance, which drives the action.

That part of the story is not new to any of us. But the way in which the writer/director tells it is completely new, refreshing and illuminating.

Presented entirely in black and white, the construction is wildly inventive, blending sturdy drama, light comedy, whimsy, and tragedy.

The script is often Shakespearean in style and could easily be mounted as a stage play, which adds a unique atmosphere to the production.

Sequences of exposition are analyzed in a variety of formats that combine laugh-out-loud comedy and poetic mystery.

The cast is compact, seasoned and absolutely brilliant. An example of true cinematic art, it has been a pleasure for us to hold this film up to the light. Bravo and Brava!



Love is Not Love - Poster


Best Music Video


You Knew It Was Me

Directed by Gavin Michael Booth


Rent Do - Gavin Michael Booth





This is the first year that BIFF has included the music video as a competitive category. There was an extremely wide array of styles, concepts and genres submitted. Some were traditional music videos, while others were better described as music films. This year’s pick for top prize is of the latter form.

A sprawling 22 minute presentation, this remarkable work uses captivating musical moods matched with an almost wordless performance that, in a most unique way, tells a story of joy, passion, heartbreak, pain, resiliency and hope, as a young dancer faces her future after a debilitating automobile accident.

The director chooses a sweetly intimate portrayal of the central character, captured deftly by the cinematographer, giving the story-telling a moving eloquence.

Built over a six-song, mostly-instrumental, music collection by the brilliant Canadian composer, SYML, the film is sonically spellbinding.

The director comments that this work was conjured from pandemic boredom. It is true that pandemics are killers. But from the midst of them, some beautiful things can be born.



You Knew It Was Me | Gavin Michael Booth, Director

Wisconsin/Illinois Showdown


Best Wisconsin Feature


Small Town Wisconsin

Directed by Niels Mueller


Niels Mueller, Director | Small Town Wisconsin




It’s difficult to conceive how filmmakers could inject humor into a storyline so complex — alcoholism in the Midwest and its effect on the family — but writer Jason Naczek and director Niels Mueller, along with stellar acting performances, pulled it off.

The protagonist’s problems were set up in the film’s first fifteen minutes and his desire to overcome the human condition gave him the unending redeemability so necessary with such a gut wrenching topic. A solid backstory provided a compassionate view of Wayne (David Sullivan) and a tried and true friendship between he and Chuck (Bill Heck) lent to the small midwest community vibe of Main
Street USA.

The film followed a linear path through rural Wisconsin, with a brilliant instrumental piece playing in much of the background. Onward to Milwaukee, with it’s unique architecture and Brewer’s Stadium, giving us just a glimpse of the many filmmaking opportunities available in Wisconsin. The ending was in no way tied up neatly but it did give a strong feeling of hope.

As Deidra (Tanya Fischer) pleaded, “Try, Wayne.” Small Town Wisconsin is great selection for Best Wisconsin Feature film category for all the reasons above. And as director Niels Mueller (Milwaukee native) put it, “Wisconsin people are known as aggressively friendly and we’ll definitely return when the opportunity arises.”



Small Town Wisconsin, Poster | Niels Mueller, Director


Best Illinois Feature


Roy‘s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago

Directed by Rob Christopher


Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago - Rob Christopher




Inspired by the stories and illustrations of a native Chicagoan who has been described as “William Faulkner by way of B-movie film noir, porn paperbacks and Sun Records Rockabilly,” this film chronicles life in 1950s Chicago.

This through the memories of a poet, author and screenwriter who David Lynch turned to for the sources of iconic masterpieces like WILD AT HEART and LOST HIGHWAY.

The film’s director uses a wide, wide array of visual and sonic devices that whisk the filmgoer back to a time when Chicago, and the US in general, was transitioning through the Beat Generation era.

The film uses clever artwork, unique animations,  remarkable period photography and 8mm film clips, underpinned with a cool jazz soundtrack to create a smoldering hybrid atmosphere.

With narrations by Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon and Lily Taylor as icing on the cinematic cake, this film is a treasure trove of Windy City lore. It doesn’t get any more Illinois than this.



Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago - Poster


Best Wisconsin Short


A Lark and a Swallow

Directed by Parker Winship


Parker Winship






While much of this film is remarkable, what strikes us first is the strength of the performances of Jay Winters and Valerie Lighthart, whose handling of their complex interactions were finessed and feeling.

Notably, both Winters and Lighthart balance both the fun and the fraught of soured friendships.  As no other medium can do just as well as film, Director Parker Winship weaves this non-linear narrative through space and time with a deft hand and an obvious attention to detail.

The fact that the performances and direction of this film feel “lived in” as well as cinematic is accentuated by the Director of Photography Spencer Ortega’s ability to play with light and movement in a story that explores mind altering substances, and the “she said, she said” quality of a friendship gone awry.

‘A Lark and a Swallow’ is an example of pulling together a dream team of filmmakers in Wisconsin and shows off the strength points of filmmaking in our region.



A Lark and a Swallow, poster | Parker Winship, Director


Best Illinois Short


Keep The Change

Directed by Tom Doherty


Tom Doherty, Director | Keep The Change






Log line reads “A comedian pulls a dine and dash in hopes of luring the owner of a restaurant to his show.”

Writer Gunnar Ulrich takes off from there with a storyline that begs the question “did this really happen?” This intense ten minute drama is indeed compelling. A terrific restaurant setup accompanied by rock music in the background and smacking of Midwestern roots, begins the story.

Cinematography used by filmmaker Tom Doherty lends a murky “feeling” to the scenes and crisp visuals to others, so much time and thought given to the camera. Stellar performances by Nelson Owen Gutierrez (Simon) and Dave Juehring (Troy) bring to the forefront the emotions of anger, sadness, fear, shame, hurt — emotions that force the audience fo experience the lifetime consequences of a terribly wrong decision made in a split second of panic.

And the cliffhanger ending leaves the audience fearing yet another tragic decision with devastating consequences. It’s a lot…. The Beloit International Film Festival continues to fortify the relationship with our Stateline filmmaker neighbors.

There is a plethora of talent in the Rockford area and this film is an excellent opportunity for WI/IL to realize and appreciate our collaboration possibilities, including location, talent, resources, and most importantly, provide us with a group of great filmmaker peers.



Keep the Change

BIFFY Awards Night

If you need hi-res images contact us at
webmaster(at)beloitfilmfest(dot)org

Peer Canvas Photography and Video
BIFF 2021 Festival Schedule

BIFF 2021 Film & Event Schedule

The BIFF 2021 Festival Schedule

No Guarantees. Hard to project how long they’ll last.

Do you have an establishment in the region that’s open to the public and want program books?
We’ll accommodate if we can. 773-818-5010



Beloit Area


Applebee’s
Austin’s Barbershop
Bagels & More
Beloit Art Center
Beloit Auction
Beloit City Hall
Beloit Clinic
Beloit Club, The
Beloit Family Eyecr
Beloit Family Rest.
Beloit Hist. Soc.
Beloit Public Library
Beloit Rgnl Hospice
Bagels & More
Bessie’s
Blackhawk Bank
Blackhwk Com C.U.
Blue Collar Cafe
BMO Harris Bank
Boundaries B & G
Buffalo Wild Wings
Bushel & Peck’s
Carom Room
Casey’s General St.
CELEB
Century 21
CheezHead
Classic Cinemas
Cornelier Shell Stn
Culvers
Ditta’s
Domenicos
Educator’s C.U.
Edward’s Ice Arena
Finley Buick GMC
First National Bank
Flying Pig
G5 Brewing Co.
Grand Ave. Pub
Grinell Hall
Hanson’s Bar & Grill
Hotel Goodwin
Ironworks Hotel
Jersey’s Bar & Grill
La Casa Grande
Life Circle
Lucy’s #7 Burger B.
Northwoods Conf.
Medical Grd Aesth
Merrill & Houston’s
Pilot
Pizazz
Roadway Inn
Rock, The
SENB Bank
Super America
Teacher’s C.U.
Tex’s Grocery
Tilly’s Pizza House
Truk’t
Turtle Creek Bkstr
Velvet Buffalo
Villager, The
YMCA
Zen Sushi & Grill


Southern
Wisconsin


Beloit Township:
Beloit Dental
Benedetti’s
Parkway Hair Fashion
Sophia’s


Clinton:
Box Cars
Cougar Lanes
Country Pride Meats
First National Bank


Delavan:
Burger King
Chili’s
Culver’s
Lake Lawn Resort
Panera Bread


Delavan Lake:
Village Supper Club
Waterfront Pub & Grill


Edgerton:
Bank of Edgerton
Cafe on Main
Casey’s General Store
Kwik Trip


Elkhorn:
Calabria Cafe
Duesterbeck’s B.C.
Friends on Sqr.
Kwik Trip


Fontana:
Avani Spa (Abbey)
Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn
Coffee Mill
Gordy’s Boat House


Ft. Atkinson:
Fireside Dinner Thtr.
Johnson Bank
Mr. Brews Taphouse


Janesville:
Anne Rosa
Bessie’s Diner
Citrus Cafe
Drafthouse
Forward Jnsvl
Hedberg Library
Jnsvl Conv & Vis Ctr.
Jnsvl Perf Arts Ctr.
Kwik Trip
Lark Restaurant
Mocha Moments
Ravin’s Wish
Rock Cnty Brewing
Rock County Crths


Lake Geneva:
Chamber of Com.
Champs Sports Bar
Culver’s
Fat Cats
Flat Iron Tap
Hogs & Kisses
Paws for Treats
Popeye’s
Public Library
Speedo’s Hbrsd B&G
Starbucks (3)


Madison:
Harmony Bar
Main Depot (bar)
Mother Fool’s Cofhs
Next Door Brewing
Robin Room
Willy Steet Co Op


Milton:
Bank of Milton
Cafe 26
Community Bank
Gathering Place
Kwik Trip
Milton Public Lib.
Northleaf Winery


Monroe:
Baumgartner’s
Corner Cafe
First Natnl Bk
Kwik Trip
Monroe Arts Ctr
Monroe Pub Lib
Monroe Thtr Gld
Red Apple Rest.
YMCA


New Glarus:
Casey’s
Chalet Landhaus Rest.
Sugar River Pizza Co.


Newville:
Anchor Inn
Lakeview Bar


Orfordville:
Citgo
Knute’s Bar


Turtle Township:
Butterfly Club
Shopiere Tap


Walworth:
Siemers Cruise-in
Sweeneys Pub


Whitewater:
Brew House
Casey’s Gen. Str
Cultrl Arts Ctr.
Second Salem Brw Co
UW-Whtwtr Ctr Fr Arts


Williams Bay:
Harpoon Willies
Public Library
Red Dog Sandwiches


Northern
Illinois


Machesney Park:
Chili’s
Pig Minds Brewing


Rockton:
Fibs
First National Bank
North Pointe Wellns
Ray’s Family Rest.
Rookie’s Pub & Grill
Talcott Public Library


Roscoe:
Fire House Pub
Jessica’s Restaurant
Mary’s Market
Sophia’s Restaurant


South Beloit:
Artisan Pub
Neli’s Restaurant
Nora’s Diner
South Beloit Pub Lib

Rockford Area


Chili’s
Franchesco’s
Fuzzy’s Bar & Grl
Garrett’s
Lexus of Rkfrd
Mary’s Market
Octane
Old Chicago
Portilo’s
Rockford City Hall
Rockford Public Lib.
Rock Pho’d
Rock Valley College
Stone Eagle
Tavern On Clark

No Guarantees. Hard to project how long they’ll last.

Do you have an establishment in the region that’s open to the public and want program books?
We’ll accommodate if we can. 773-818-5010



Beloit Area


Applebee’s
Austin’s Barbershop
Bagels & More
Beloit Art Center
Beloit Auction
Beloit City Hall
Beloit Clinic
Beloit Club, The
Beloit Family Eyecr
Beloit Family Rest.
Beloit Hist. Soc.
Beloit Public Library
Beloit Rgnl Hospice
Bagels & More
Bessie’s
Blackhawk Bank
Blackhwk Com C.U.
Blue Collar Cafe
BMO Harris Bank
Boundaries B & G
Buffalo Wild Wings
Bushel & Peck’s
Carom Room
Casey’s General St.
CELEB
Century 21
CheezHead
Classic Cinemas
Cornelier Shell Stn
Culvers
Ditta’s
Domenicos
Educator’s C.U.
Edward’s Ice Arena
Finley Buick GMC
First National Bank
Flying Pig
G5 Brewing Co.
Grand Ave. Pub
Grinell Hall
Hanson’s Bar & Grill
Hotel Goodwin
Ironworks Hotel
Jersey’s Bar & Grill
La Casa Grande
Life Circle
Lucy’s #7 Burger B.
Northwoods Conf.
Medical Grd Aesth
Merrill & Houston’s
Pilot
Pizazz
Roadway Inn
Rock, The
SENB Bank
Super America
Teacher’s C.U.
Tex’s Grocery
Tilly’s Pizza House
Truk’t
Turtle Creek Bkstr
Velvet Buffalo
Villager, The
YMCA
Zen Sushi & Grill


Southern
Wisconsin


Beloit Township:
Beloit Dental
Benedetti’s
Parkway Hair Fashion
Sophia’s


Clinton:
Box Cars
Cougar Lanes
Country Pride Meats
First National Bank


Delavan:
Burger King
Chili’s
Culver’s
Lake Lawn Resort
Panera Bread


Delavan Lake:
Village Supper Club
Waterfront Pub & Grill


Edgerton:
Bank of Edgerton
Cafe on Main
Casey’s General Store
Kwik Trip


Elkhorn:
Calabria Cafe
Duesterbeck’s B.C.
Friends on Sqr.
Kwik Trip


Fontana:
Avani Spa (Abbey)
Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn
Coffee Mill
Gordy’s Boat House


Ft. Atkinson:
Fireside Dinner Thtr.
Johnson Bank
Mr. Brews Taphouse


Janesville:
Anne Rosa
Bessie’s Diner
Citrus Cafe
Drafthouse
Forward Jnsvl
Hedberg Library
Jnsvl Conv & Vis Ctr.
Jnsvl Perf Arts Ctr.
Kwik Trip
Lark Restaurant
Mocha Moments
Ravin’s Wish
Rock Cnty Brewing
Rock County Crths


Lake Geneva:
Chamber of Com.
Champs Sports Bar
Culver’s
Fat Cats
Flat Iron Tap
Hogs & Kisses
Paws for Treats
Popeye’s
Public Library
Speedo’s Hbrsd B&G
Starbucks (3)


Madison:
Harmony Bar
Main Depot (bar)
Mother Fool’s Cofhs
Next Door Brewing
Robin Room
Willy Steet Co Op


Milton:
Bank of Milton
Cafe 26
Community Bank
Gathering Place
Kwik Trip
Milton Public Lib.
Northleaf Winery


Monroe:
Baumgartner’s
Corner Cafe
First Natnl Bk
Kwik Trip
Monroe Arts Ctr
Monroe Pub Lib
Monroe Thtr Gld
Red Apple Rest.
YMCA


New Glarus:
Casey’s
Chalet Landhaus Rest.
Sugar River Pizza Co.


Newville:
Anchor Inn
Lakeview Bar


Orfordville:
Citgo
Knute’s Bar


Turtle Township:
Butterfly Club
Shopiere Tap


Walworth:
Siemers Cruise-in
Sweeneys Pub


Whitewater:
Brew House
Casey’s Gen. Str
Cultrl Arts Ctr.
Second Salem Brw Co
UW-Whtwtr Ctr Fr Arts


Williams Bay:
Harpoon Willies
Public Library
Red Dog Sandwiches


Northern
Illinois


Machesney Park:
Chili’s
Pig Minds Brewing


Rockton:
Fibs
First National Bank
North Pointe Wellns
Ray’s Family Rest.
Rookie’s Pub & Grill
Talcott Public Library


Roscoe:
Fire House Pub
Jessica’s Restaurant
Mary’s Market
Sophia’s Restaurant


South Beloit:
Artisan Pub
Neli’s Restaurant
Nora’s Diner
South Beloit Pub Lib

Rockford Area


Chili’s
Franchesco’s
Fuzzy’s Bar & Grl
Garrett’s
Lexus of Rkfrd
Mary’s Market
Octane
Old Chicago
Portilo’s
Rockford City Hall
Rockford Public Lib.
Rock Pho’d
Rock Valley College
Stone Eagle
Tavern On Clark

BIFF 2021 Festival Schedule

For 2021 most of the film festival will be an online, streaming or “virtual” experience.
This to include:

  • All regularly screened films; Feature length narratives, documentaries and short films
  • All filmmaker Q&A sessions
  • A special presentation from guest Academy Award winner Rachel Portman
  • Filmmaker Workshops (open to the public)
  • The vintage radio play

BIFF’s popular special events will be presented in a drive-in format.
This to include:

  • The Family Film (New this year)
  • The Family Independent Film (New this year)
  • Our Celebrity Artist Film (New this year)
  • The Silent Film
  • The Sing-A-Long
  • The Classic film

For 2021 most of the film festival will be an online, streaming or “virtual” experience.
This to include:

  • All regularly screened films; Feature length narratives, documentaries and short films
  • All filmmaker Q&A sessions
  • A special presentation from guest Academy Award winner Rachel Portman
  • Filmmaker Workshops (open to the public)
  • The vintage radio play

BIFF’s popular special events will be presented in a drive-in format.
This to include:

  • The Family Film (New this year)
  • The Family Independent Film (New this year)
  • Our Celebrity Artist Film (New this year)
  • The Silent Film
  • The Sing-A-Long
  • The Classic film

NOTE:
The festival film streaming technology is such that a ticket purchase provides immediate access to view the film(s). It does not accommodate advance purchase for viewing at a later date. As such, tickets will be available for sale Fri. Feb. 19th. More ticket information available here.

BIFF Films are available for streaming at any time during the ten days of the festival.
The scheduled “Filmmaker Q&A Events” are a different thing. These are when we get to interact with guest filmmakers.
These are scheduled as you see below.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19th

1:00: Filmmaker Workshop
FREE and open to the public
Academy Award Winner, Rachel Portman
Composing For Film
Sponsored By:
Beloit FilmWorks
6:30: Drive-In Presentation
FREE and open to the public
Family Independent Film
Isle Of Dogs
Sponsored By:
Collins & Henderson, LLP
Blackhawk Bank

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20th

4:00: Filmmaker Workshop
FREE and open to the public
The Yin & Yang of Writing and DirectingSponsored By:
Our Generous 2021 Sponsors
6:30: Drive-In Presentation
FREE and open to the public
BIFF Sing-A-Long
The Wizard Of Oz
Sponsored By:
Brennan & Steil S.C.
The Rock Bar & Grill

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21st

12:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventA Lark and a Swallow
Behind the Glasses
Head to Head
Sponsored By:
Culver's
1:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventA Good Person
New Abolitionists - The
Teddy Out Of Tune
Sponsored By:
Culver's
3:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventBloom
Customer Support
Real Soul: A Gospel Music
Sponsored By:
Culver's
4:00: Filmmaker Workshops
FREE and open to the public
The Best Laid Plans #1 (Zoom)Sponsored By:
Our Generous 2021 Sponsors
5:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventHe
Scutly
Washed Away
Sponsored By:
Culver's

MONDAY FEBRUARY 22nd

5:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventThe Beevangelist
Diagnosing Healthcare
Drought
Gossamer Folds
Sponsored By:
Culver's

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23rd

5:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventBig Scary S Word
Burren Girl
Road Up - The
Sponsored By:
Culver's
7:00: Filmmaker Q&A Event / Not-So-Late Show with Greg GerardBehind The StringsSponsored By:
Culver's

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 24th

5:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventFreeland
Love Is Not Love
Pungjeong Radio
Sponsored By:
Culver's
7:00: The Not-So-Late Show with Greg Gerard

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 25th

5:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventIn These Parts
PBFA
Small Town Wisconsin
We Demand
You Knew It Was Me
Sponsored By:
Culver's
6:30: Drive-In Presentation
FREE and open to the public
Celebrity Artist Film
Benny & Joon
Sponsored By:
Wells Fargo Advisors
7:00: The Not-So-Late Show with Greg Gerard

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26th

1:30 Filmmaker Q&A EventBlackbird, Fly
Smile - AV Super Sunshine
Sponsored By:
Culver's
3:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventBelly Of The Beast
Saverini Widow - The
Touch
Sponsored By:
Culver's
5:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventDad's Apple
Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago
Safe
Sponsored By:
Culver's
5:30: Vintage Radio Play
FREE and open to the public
The Postman Always Rings TwiceSponsored By:
1230 AM
Beloit Regional Hospice
6:30: Drive-In Presentation
FREE and open to the public
BIFF Silent Film
Modern Times - Charlie Chaplan
Sponsored By:
BMO Harris Bank

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 27th

12:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventBrain Wave
Repossession
Rockford Taking Flight
You Can Go Now
Diagnosing Healthcare
Sponsored By:
Culver's
1:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventA Wolf Comes At Night
Materna
WomanSpace
Sponsored By:
Culver's
3:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventBinate
We Left As Brothers
Take Out Girl
Sponsored By:
Culver's
4:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventEat Your Heart Out
Santa Claus
Stromboli - As Long As The Heart Beats
Sponsored By:
Culver's
6:30: Drive-In Presentation
FREE and open to the public
BIFF Classic Film
Sixteen Candles
Sponsored By:
First National Bank and Trust
7:30: Filmmaker Workshop
FREE and open to the public
Designing The World of FilmSponsored By:
Our Generous 2021 Sponsors

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 28th

11:00 The BIFFY Awards Show!
Facebook Live Event
See Who Won!
Hosted by Greg Gerard
12:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventKiller In Cursed Water
Philanthropy
Rent Do
Sponsored By:
Culver's
1:30: Filmmaker Q&A EventMaestro - The
Me The People
Royalty Free
Sponsored By:
Culver's
3:00: Filmmaker Q&A EventKeep The Change
Out Of Stock
Samaritan
Sponsored By:
Culver's
4:00: Filmmaker Workshop
FREE and open to the public
The Best Laid Plans #2Sponsored By:
Our Generous 2021 Sponsors
5:30: Filmmaker Q&A Event2 In A Million
Cardinal
Fly
Ships In The Night
Sponsored By:
Culver's
6:30: Drive-In Presentation
FREE and open to the public
BIFF Family Film
Kubo and the Two Strings
Sponsored By:
Beloit Health System

Donate

Film Society Membership DONATE

Dear BIFF Fan,

Thank you for supporting BIFF simply through your attendance.
Some of you are BIFF Film Society Members. Thank you for that.
And some of you are sponsors. Thank you for that.
Some of you are our founders. You started something enjoyed by many.
Still others of you are volunteers. Thank you specially.
(Even though we don’t need so many this year, we know who you are and you’re very special to us.)

The fact that you and so many others attend and otherwise support BIFF in various ways it validates that we must be doing something right that people like you appreciate and value the experience.
Thank you. It means a lot.

Keeping it brief; we realize that there are many entities both public and private that are working very hard to keep the doors open and the lights on. We realize that arts programming like BIFF is not more than it is within the broader mix of community needs. That said, our fiscal stewardship with your help, has allowed us to present this, our sixteenth season with quality, positioned to absorb what comes this season and live to fight another day.

To help us get there we would ask that you consider:

  • Becoming a BIFF Film Society Member
  • Making a donation to help ensure BIFF for next year and the years to come

Again this year we have some truly amazing films crafted by some truly gifted independent filmmakers.
Our chief regret is that together we are not able to visit with each other. Great films are the vehicle. It’s about getting together with friends, family and loved ones around a shared experience of compelling storytelling. There’s the magic.
We’re building community here. Amen?

Enjoy the films and the filmmaker Q&A’s in particular.
And thank you for being here.

Your friends, neighbors and even sometimes family :-)
The BIFF Team
(Including members, sponsors, founders and volunteers)



Film Society Membership DONATE


Or
Text BUILDUP to 44-321


BIFF Photography Courtesy Of:
Marjorie & Brenton


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The Beloit International Film Festival 2020

Rachel Portman, Composer

Rachel Portman – Composing For Film | 2021 Filmmaker Workshop

Composing For Film

A Special Presentation with
Academy Award-Winning Composer

Rachel Portman

FRI, FEB 19th, 1:00 PM
FREE & Open to the public

Facebook Live

Composing For Film
With Academy Award Winning Composer

Rachel Portman

FRI FEB 19th, 1:00 PM

FREE & Open to the public

Facebook Live

Composing For Film
With Academy Award Winning Composer

Rachel Portman

FRI FEB 19th, 1:00 PM

FREE & Open to the public

Facebook Live

Composing For Film


Join us for an intimate event with lauded Oscar-winning film composer Rachel Portman, who will speak on her career of composing for such films as Mona Lisa Smile (2003), The Cider House Rules (1999), and Benny & Joon (1993). BIFF’s Executive Director Greg Gerard, a talented musician in his own right, will dive deep into her approach to the craft, her experiences composing over the years and across many technologies, and of which projects she’s most proud.

The second half of this program welcomes Beloit natives Jonathan Bartz and Pierre Charles to join the conversation with burning questions of their own. Bartz and Charles both have promising careers in film and TV composition in Hollywood – and we welcome them back to their hometown’s festival to shed light on that ever-essential element of film: the music.

photoRachel Portman:



Jonathan BartzJonathan Bartz

Composer
Website
IMDb


Pierre Charles

Pierre Charles

Film Composer, Pianist
Website
IMDb



All virtual events will be held over Zoom or streamed live across Facebook


Facebook Live (SOON)


Benny & JoonThis virtual conversation is in companion with the Drive-In screening of her film Benny & Joon (1993).






Sponsored by:


Beloit FilmWorks

Sponsored by:

Beloit FilmWorks

Composing For Film

Join us for an intimate event with lauded Oscar-winning film composer Rachel Portman, who will speak on her career of composing for such films as Mona Lisa Smile (2003), The Cider House Rules (1999), and Benny & Joon (1993).

BIFF’s Executive Director Greg Gerard, a talented musician in his own right, will dive deep into her approach to the craft, her experiences composing over the years and across many technologies, and of which projects she’s most proud.

The second half of this program welcomes Beloit natives Jonathan Bartz and Pierre Charles to join the conversation with burning questions of their own.

Bartz and Charles both have promising careers in film and TV composition in Hollywood – and we welcome them back to their hometown’s festival to shed light on that ever-essential element of film: the music.

photo

Rachel Portman:

All virtual events will be held over Zoom or streamed live across Facebook

Facebook Live (SOON)

Benny & JoonThis virtual conversation is in companion with the Drive-In screening of her film Benny & Joon (1993).

Downtown Beloit Wisconsin

BIFF Stew — February/March 2021

It is time to BIFF!
What a year it has been, and what a film festival we are going to enjoy. Feb. 19 is around the corner so reserve your seat (on the couch) and check the popcorn supply.
BIFF is playing in the big leagues this season. Our competition is international. From Cannes to Sundance, the world’s major film festivals are all virtual. We are proud to say that the same technology facilities that support those major festivals are also behind the production of BIFF. We are uploading films as we speak.

Benny & Joon | Jeremiah S. Chechik, Director

Benny & Joon | Celebrity Artist Film

Thursday Feb. 25, 6:30 PM

Date change from Sun. to Thu. due to inclement weather.


Drive-In Presentation

Ironworks Drive @ North End of Third Street
Parking Lot on the IronWorks Campus


FREE and open to the public. Parking is limited so arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure a parking spot.

Tune in to the 94.7 FM station to pipe the film’s sound into your car.


Sponsored by:

Wells Fargo Advisors

Benny & Joon

Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik
Celebrity Artist Film
USA | 98 min | 1993


A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.


Benny & Joon poster | Jeremiah S. Chechik, Director

Jeremiah S. Chechik, Director | Benny & JoonJeremiah S. Chechik
Director

Jeremiah S. Chechik was born in 1955 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a director and producer, known for Benny & Joon (1993), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) and Gossip Girl (2007).

Film Information


Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Country: USA
Year: 1993
Language: English
Runtime: 98 min.
Rated: PG

Credits


Writer: Barry Berman, Lesley McNeil
Producers: Susan Arnold, Bill Badalato, Lesley McNeil, Donna Roth
Music: Rachel Portman
Cinematography: John Schwartzman
Editor: Carol Littleton
Full Film Credits

Connect With This Film


Isle of Dogs | Wes Anderson, Director

Isle of Dogs | Family Independent Film

Friday Feb. 19, 6:30 PM


Drive-In Presentation

Ironworks Drive @ North End of Third Street
Parking Lot on the IronWorks Campus


FREE and open to the public. Parking is limited so arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure a parking spot.

Tune in to the 94.7 FM station to pipe the film’s sound into your car.


Sponsored by:

Collins & Henderson | Blackhawk Bank -- Sponsors

Isle of Dogs

Directed by Wes Anderson
Family Independent Film
USA | 101 min | 2018


An outbreak of dog flu has spread through the city of Megasaki, Japan, and Mayor Kobayashi has demanded all dogs to be sent to Trash Island. On the island, a young boy named Atari sets out to find his lost dog, Spots, with the help of five other dogs… with many obstacles along the way. Written by Mike202


Isle of Dogs movie poster | Wes Anderson, Director

1. The Inspiration

The creative process for “Bloom” has been a very personal experience for me. All the characters and the plots come from my own memories of the past. From the very beginning, I wanted to create a non-linear film that flows freely like a person’s mind – this idea was strongly inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film “Wild Strawberries”.

During the winter of 2016, I was staying in New York City to finish up post production on a short film that I also directed. It was snowing, and I had gotten news that my lover from my time in college had flown in from Indiana to celebrate New Years. Although we never ended up seeing each other, even just the message of her arrival made me miss the time that we had together.

Since then, I found myself constantly indulging in my past. Those memories would slip into my mind quietly and unconsciously, when I was waiting in the subway, reading in a cafe, or in my dreams.

I knew I would never be able to travel back in time, but eventually I realized that I could use art (in my case, film) to preserve the most precious moments in my life. Thus, “Bloom” was born.

2. The Script

It was a warm evening in the spring of 2017. After collating all of my thoughts and ideas, I sat down at my computer and created a new document titled “Sui Yi”. That title, in Chinese, translates to “the fragments of memories”. The main reason why I chose “Sui Yi” was because every part of the story and the characters were borrowed from various pieces of my memories. I also wanted to edit the film in a non-linear way: showing each memory piece by piece, which is exactly how our minds read memory. Eventually, I decided on the title “Bloom” as a metaphorical translation for the title.

The approach I used to write this script had been vastly different from any previous scripts I had written. By listing out all of the memories that had tenderly touched me in the past and running through a tremendous amount of possible combinations of those memories, I would challenge myself to find the connections between all the memories. I wanted to compose a story with the aim to diminish the feeling of “telling a story” to create a more unique and refreshing experience for the audience.

Since the beginning, there was this one idea I had become extremely obsessed with. I wanted to create a place where Mu Ke, the main character, could meet his young self and share stories with each other. I wanted the place to be bright, serene, and dreamy. By creating the beach scenes, I solved a major concern of mine: how can I unfold the memories in an interesting way?

I wanted the beach to be an important theme throughout the whole film. And by opening with it, I wanted to end with it as well. We conclude the film with little Mu Ke meeting a little girl, just how he met with adult Mu Ke in the very beginning. Little Mu Ke asks the girl “Who are you? How did you get here?” She replies “Many people come to this place. My name is Songyu.” From then on, little Mu Ke encounters all the people from his past. Even the flower that had died in his classroom can be seen in full bloom in this beach.

I wanted the end to be bittersweet. Throughout Mu Ke’s story in this film, he eventually understands how to deal with all the painful farewells he had experienced. Nevertheless, he chooses to refuse to live a life like that. Instead, he finds his own solution to dealing with farewells, and instead of fully accepting a farewell and moving on, he decided that he’d rather live like a naive child in his own world through his writing.

After completing the script towards the end of March in 2017, I returned to China to start pitching the project to numerous production companies in Beijing. Unfortunately, the outcomes had been very disappointing. On top of that, I started having my own doubts and complex feelings about the script: it felt unfinished, and missing something in its core.

3. Evolution

It wasn’t until January of 2018 when I had a revelation. The short film that I directed in New York had been selected to a film festival in Los Angeles, so I booked a small apartment to stay in for the event. As soon as I stepped into the apartment, I was shocked by how familiar the place seemed to me. The scent of the place gave me a sudden rush of nostalgia as I began to feel myself living in the apartment that my lover and I had lived in our college town. As soon as the film festival in LA ended, I booked a flight to Bloomington, Indiana with nary a plan.

Before meeting her, I decided to revisit all the places that we had been to together. One of the most memorable places was Monroe Lake. It was a vast body of water which, when standing on its shores, looks as endless as an ocean. I suddenly realized why I was so obsessed with the beach and ocean portion in my script; the ocean in my subconsciousness is just this lake that I had been hiding away deeply within my memory. From there, I discovered that all the impulse and passions of writing this script came from the purely stunning feelings that I had for my lover.

After seeing her again, I spent the next few months doing an extensive re-write of the script, paying particular attention to the relationship between Mu Ke and his love interest in the film, Songyu.

It wasn’t much longer until I received news in May of 2018 that a production company in Beijing decided to produce the newly revised “Bloom”. I couldn’t have been happier when the producer, Ali Yang, told me that he had spent the entire day reading and re-reading the script that I sent him. He loved it. “Bloom” began its stages of pre-production.

4. Pre-Production

The production company Ali was a part of provided many benefits. They had a full outfit and network of talented young filmmakers with an impressive list of previous credits under their belt already. With most of the positions already filled with people from the production company, I was able to focus my energy in finding the heads of department. It wasn’t easy, as our budget was rather limited, we were working with a very strict schedule, and had many distinct locations. I decided I also wanted to maintain a strictly “Western” style union shoot. A lot of Chinese film productions are extremely difficult with overtime, with many shoots consistently going way over 12 hours per day. I hired my 1st AD, whom I met during my time in New York and who I worked with closely very often and was fluent in Chinese, with the intention of keeping all of our days manageable to keep morale up.

My original choice for cinematographer had to cancel due to a major issue, and time was running out. We had a firm plan to shoot starting mid-August, but it was already July with nobody to fill the DP position. Fortunately, the 1st AD had a connection to someone she’d worked with, and within two weeks, my DP friend Joey Wang had his passport visa expedited and flew from Houston, Texas to Beijing with less than 3 weeks before the start of principal photography. My gaffer, who himself is a cinematographer, was fluent in English and Chinese, and my worries for language issues disappeared, and I felt relieved that we had established a great team in such a short period of time.

During the scramble to find the remaining heads of departments, Ali and I were doing intensive research on locations. Ali was incredibly helpful in establishing connections to people in the Anhui Province in Southern China – an area known around the world for its stunningly beautiful landscapes.

We eventually acquired permission to shoot at the top of the great Mount Huangshan, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. We also obtained the permission to shoot at the beautiful Lake Taiping – famous for its strikingly clear blue waters. Hong Village, one of the most famous ancient rural villages in China, also gave us permission to use their facilities for our shoot. I fell in love with these locations, not only because they all have rich historical values, but they are absolutely beautiful and had a kind of an “isolated” and “sweet” feeling that I’m familiar with.

When it came to hiring the actors, I wanted people who could be a reflection of my thoughts and actions during the times in my memory. One particularly lovely memory was of my homeroom teacher when I was in elementary school, Ms. Ye. After I had graduated, she left the school to teach Educational Theatre. Not only did she provide the inspiration for the film’s Ms. Ye, but she also assisted in casting all of the children actors. She told me that she was very happy that I named the character after her: the film became a special way of “farewell” to the time of her teaching me and my fellow students in elementary school. She then also told a story of a treasured memory that she had during that time:

It was an autumn day, and she was teaching Chinese as usual. Suddenly, it became very windy outside. Along with the sound of wind, the sound of the fallen leaves became louder and louder. We all turned our heads, looking outside. The golden leaves fluttering in the wind outside was so beautiful that she decided to pause the class and took everyone outside. We spent the remainder of the time running around, jumping, and playing under the trees and the swirling leaves, purely enjoying this moment.

This romantic memory eventually became the most important images in the “farewell” sequence in this film.

5. Principal Photography

During the two and a half weeks Joey was here, we spent the majority of the time on a final location scout to all the places we’ve locked down. We also spent a large amount of time revising the entire shot list and coming up with new floor plans for every single scene. We took extra care in making sure that all of the scenes with the children were as planned out as possible.

Most of the children were ages 6-8, which meant that our time spent with them had to be incredibly efficient, despite the fact that we were working with, well, children. The ballet and taekwondo scenes were the most worrisome, as many of the children had very little experience with those concepts. The location had zero air conditioning and we were shooting in some of the hottest months of the year. I constantly worried that the children would give up at some point, however I was pleasantly surprised when they all did a fantastic job without complaining at all.

The last two days of filming were at the top of Mount Huangshan. It was definitely the most physically challenging endeavor for all of us, seeing as how we had to hike over 300 pounds of camera equipment, food and water up a steep 3 mile trail comprised of over 60,000 steps that even people carrying nothing have difficulty with.

We started the climb in the afternoon. After spending hours knocking our shins around with large, bulky equipment cases, climbing in the dark of night with only our phones to light our way, and taking long water breaks in between, we finally reached the hotel near the top of the peak late at night, around 10PM. Seeing that we needed to capture the sunrise in this scene, and the fact that the peak was still another half an hour of climbing away, we had to get up early at 3AM.

A major worry was the weather. Mount Huangshan has a reputation for being completely covered in fog with extremely limited visibility in the mornings. The hotel staffed informed us that there was only a 0.1% chance to get completely clear views of the surrounding mountaintops and the “sea of clouds” below us in this season. It must have been our lucky day, because when we set out to climb the final portion of our journey, everything was clear.

The whole ordeal was more than completely worth it. When we reached the peak, the most dazzling view appeared before us. We saw not only a sea, but an ocean of soft, fluffy clouds blanketing the world below us, with the iconic peaks of the mountain range cutting cleanly through. Even though it was almost freezing up on top of the peak, most of the crew sat outside silently, just taking in the view while we waited for the official sunrise.

We were able to obtain two gorgeous scenes from the hike up. Not only did we get the dazzling sunrise, but we also shot the same scene but with the gorgeous sunset in the background. My plan was to edit this scene with two versions. The first half of the dialogue took place during the sunrise, and the second half took place during the sunset. The purpose was to convey a feeling that the conversation between Mu Ke and Songyu has been constantly happening. It increases the tension by putting their relationship in more danger.

As soon as we wrapped on the mountain, we hiked back down and immediately started our wrap party. During which, Ali, and another producer, Leo Yuan, expressed that this production had been the happiest and most fulfilling one in their entire 10+ years in this industry. After the wrap party, we all said our farewells, as most of the crew went their own separate ways.

During the return trip to Beijing, I had the feeling that we would probably finish the post-production very quickly, considering everything had been so smooth. However, the worst was yet to come.

6. Post-Production

During pre-production and principal photography, I had a very clear image on how to cut the film, so I began to edit as soon as we got back to Beijing. A devastating issue rose up quickly. The feedback from almost every production company this film was sent to said the same thing: they didn’t understand it, and if they didn’t understand it, the audience won’t either.

As the writer and director, I probably have unconsciously edited out lots of necessary information while adding in the ones that the audience probably doesn’t care about. I didn’t want this film to be a straightforward A to B to C story. I was at a crossroads. A lose lose situation even. If I chose to edit down and dilute the film, audiences might overlook the film. If I tried to keep pushing the film as it was, I might jeopardize my reputation and the faith of the production company who put money into making this.

Luckily, a good friend of mine who works with a very experienced editor in Taiwan made the connection, so I was introduced to Mr. Hsiao Ju-Kuan, who had edited Chinese cult classics like “Three Times” by Hsiao-Hsien Hou and “Beijing Bicycle” by Xiaoshuai Wang and many other beautiful films.

I met up with Mr. Hsiao in hopes that he might provide some insight on how to reorganize the film to keep the original themes and feeling of the script. Our meeting ended up starting from 3 in the afternoon until 11 late at night. Not only did he patiently watch my film, but he came up with a plan to re-edit it. Once I got back home from the meeting, I put his ideas in action and indeed, the film was surprisingly smooth. As soon as I could, I persuaded Ali and the production company to hire Mr. Hsiao to officially edit the film.

While I spent time with Mr. Hsiao, I explained to him a lot about what each shot conveyed and how I wanted to use them. It was almost like he understood what I wanted even better than I did myself, and the result was a much more clear, much more emotionally charged film. Finally, I had a film that flows freely like a person’s mind, like I had always wanted.

Besides the edit, the choice of music was also to point out the fact that the majority of the film is composed of Mu Ke’s past memories. I wanted the music to play a part in reinforcing this idea as well, so lots of classical music were used in this film.

I think it’s quite common in Asian families that the parents are extremely strict to the kids about their academic grades and school life. Many of us have been encouraged (or say “forced”) to learn a music instrument like piano or violin when we were little. As a consequence, lots of classical music, especially Bach’s music has become a part of the memory of our childhood. Even now, whenever I hear Bach, it reminds me of my childhood. I hope this choice of music will also resonate with the audience who have similar experiences as I do.

Finally, “Bloom” was completed on September 16, 2019. There had been a number of frustrations and difficulties that I had to overcome to finish the film. And there were moments that I really felt hopeless. Without the helps and supports from my dear friends, this film will never happen. When the film is finally presented in front of my eyes — what started out in the winter of 2016 as a way to preserve the most precious moments I had has turned into a whole new journey which has created dozens of new memorable moments that I shall treasure forever.

Wes Anderson, Director | Isle of DogsWes Anderson
Director

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson’s parents divorced when he was a young child, an event that he described as the most crucial event of his brothers and his growing up. During childhood, Anderson also began writing plays and making super-8 movies. He was educated at Westchester High School and then St. John’s, a private prep school in Houston, Texas, which was later to prove an inspiration for the film Rushmore (1998).

Anderson attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he majored in philosophy. It was there that he met Owen Wilson. They became friends and began making short films, some of which aired on a local cable-access station. One of their shorts was Bottle Rocket (1993), which starred Owen and his brother Luke Wilson. The short was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was successfully received, so much so that they received funding to make a feature-length version. Bottle Rocket (1996) was not a commercial hit, but it gained a cult audience and high-profile fans, which included Martin Scorsese.

Success followed with films such as Rushmore (1998), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and an animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The latter two films earned Anderson Oscar nominations.

Film Information


Director: Wes Anderson
Country: USA
Year: 2018
Language: English
Runtime: 101 min.
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writer: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura
Producers: Ben Adler, Wes Anderson, Eli Bush
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography: Tristan Oliver
Editor: Edward Bursch, Ralph Foster, Andrew Weisblum
Full Film Credits

Connect With This Film