Wisconsin and Illinois Filmmakers Set for a BIFF Showdown
There may be some differences, like the Packers and the Bears or tollways and freeways, but nothing beats the annual Beloit International Film Festival WI/IL Showdown. This special BIFF category provides a chance to catch and judge the work of a new generation of filmmakers in the region, with over a dozen narrative, documentary and short films.
“There is always a great turnout of filmmakers and their fans at the Showdown, hoping to win the votes of the critical Beloit selection team that will lead to the special WI/IL Showdown BIFFY recognition,” says Executive Director Greg Gerard. “The artists want the exposure for their work and audiences want a chance to spot the next potential Academy Award winner.”
Among the highlights this year are the return of several BIFF alumni. Ryland Tews and Mike Cheslik, who brought The Lake Michigan Monster in 2019, return with a new hilarious wintertime saga Hundreds of Beavers, a tale of a drunken trapper who defeats an army of beavers and becomes a legend.
Jim Lyke and Robert Jarzen are BIFF veterans from the Milton, Wis., area, returning with a new short film, Meeting Dad, a journey into the afterlife, when an elderly woman on her deathbed wishes that she could pass to the next world and meet her father who died before she was born.
The Madison 48-Hour Film Project has spawned three entries: Painted Smiles, by Jarrod Crooks and Wil Loper, A Thanksgiving Carol Time, by T.J. Hill, and The Disappearance of Savanna Grinnell by Daniel Pico, this year’s BIFF Artist In Residence. Hill and Pico will compete in this short form category and both filmmakers will do workshops during the first weekend.
This is the last year for the WI/IL Showdown. In 2024, BIFF will expand the popular competition to include all states adjacent to Wisconsin, including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan.
2023 marks the 18th season of the Beloit International Film Festival, the region’s major international cultural event. BIFF is generously sponsored by the Hendricks Family Foundation and Visit Beloit in association with Beloit College. Support for the Festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Critical individual support for BIFF is provided through gifts and membership in the BIFF Film Society of Beloit.