Rod, Greg & Travis

Top Flick Picks | BIFF 2014

Some help from your friends at BIFF

Each year, the staff selection committee screens hundreds of films, culling them for flashes of brilliance, comedic timing, and engrossing pathos, which draws viewers into creative, unique constructed worlds of the filmmakers.

Then these staff wrote up their two top lists of what tugged at their hearts or made them burst out in surprised laughter, for example, before the ending credits rolled.

If you need help navigating what films to see during the Ten Days of BIFF, the following lists sum up the 2014 staff selection committee’s personal favorites.

The following BIFF staff members watched 700 submissions for the festival, to bring to you the very best of what truly works in film: moving cinematography, swelling music, acting chops, and so much more.

Rod Beaudoin

Rod Beaudoin

Executive Director

I’m the executive director of the festival. I seek out innovative films that combine great cinematography with great music. I love films that capture everyday life and help the audience experience and empathize with a different view and way of life otherwise unknown.

Top 7 Features or Documentaries

  1. Jimmy in Pienk – Feature
  2. Jake Squared – Feature
  3. Go Down Death – Feature
  4. Buddies – Feature
  5. Mad Ship – Feature
  6. Musgo (Moss)Feature
  7. Putzel – Feature

Top 7 Short Films

  1. America 101Comedy
  2. LookAnimation
  3. Day of the DeadAnimation
  4. Studies in SpaceExperimental
  5. Strings of ColorsAround the World
  6. Vets Roll Documentary
  7. ChernoKidsExperimental  

Greg GerardGreg Gerard

Operations Director

I’m a singer/songwriter and an avid Packers fan. When screening a film I ask: Is this a worthy story? Is it being told effectively? Are the actors believable? Does the technical quality support the action? Will this film appeal to the BIFF audience? As a creative artist, I appreciate that each submission is someone’s labor of love and deserves respect and fairness in analysis.

Top 7 Features or Documentaries

  1. Hasta NuncaDocumentary
  2. Touring TalkiesFeature
  3. ConvenienceFeature
  4. Sign PaintersDocumentary
  5. Go Down DeathFeature
  6. PutzelFeature
  7. The Golden ScallopFeature

Top 7 Short Films

  1. Studies in SpaceExperimental
  2. America 101 – Comedy
  3. Sleight of HandAnimation
  4. Air Balloon CircusAround the World
  5. Rabbit and DeerFamily
  6. GoldtoothAround the World
  7. LookAnimation  

Travis Stowers

Travis Stowers

Administrative & Selection Committee

I’m a world-traveler born and raised in Beloit. At my best, I love features and shorts that effectively use the camera as a creative tool. At my worst, I enjoy comedies filled with filthy jokes and non-sequiturs. My favorite documentaries are more thought provoking than informative and usually center around international or humanistic themes.


Top 7 Features or Documentaries

  1. Vets RollDocumentary
  2. When the King TiltsWI/IL Feature
  3. Sign PaintersDocumentary
  4. The Human WarFeature
  5. The Golden ScallopFeature
  6. Hot Guys with GunsFeature
  7. Channeling –  Feature


Top 7 Short Films

  1. Studies in SpaceExperimental
  2. This is How You DieComedy
  3. Nefertiti’s HandFamily
  4. Harry Grows UpFamily
  5. The Golden TicketComedy
  6. Day of the DeadAnimation
  7. Air Balloon Circus Around the World

Kristin Peterson – Creative Director

Kristin Peterson | BIFFCreative Director

I have great appreciation of what it takes to put together a good film. I can respect and come to adore films that make me think with their intelligent scripts. I love films that are unique, with especially innovative cinematographic choices, such as an unexpected, but interesting lighting or a camera angle not normally used.


Top 7 Features or Documentaries

  1. Go Down DeathFeature
  2. ChannelingFeature
  3. Jimmy in PinkFeature
  4. The Human WarFeature
  5. Billy ClubFeature
  6. The InstituteDocumentary
  7. Heavy Hands –  WI/IL Feature

Top 7 Short Films

  1. Studies in SpaceExperimental
  2. USPSWI/IL
  3. The WheelWI/IL
  4. Nefertiti’s HandFamily
  5. Flytopia Experimental
  6. Strings of ColorsAround the World
  7. Vets Roll Documentary