Don’t consider yourself a film buff, but love watching movies? Chances are, you’ve heard of Sundance Film Festival. And maybe you’ve also heard of Cannes Film Festival. You might not be able to pronounce Cannes properly, but you at least know what it is. Now, what you hopefully know is that you can find something like Sundance or Cannes right here in Beloit, Wisconsin, Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF).
BIFF is a 10-day event featuring over 100 films from all over the world, but one of the most appealing aspects is the involvement of filmmakers. Locals and visitors fill venues around Beloit to meet filmmakers who come from throughout the United States and abroad to feature their creations in the genres Narrative, Documentary and Short. They present their screenings, participate in Q&A following their films’ screening and can be seen around town to chat, all of which make for an inviting experience.
Going on its 12th year, BIFF isn’t the same as it started out, but the staff and volunteers are still committed to the power of film. As technology changes and audiences crave more, BIFF has been able to keep up with such demands throughout the years while staying true to its roots.
There are films for kids, a Wisconsin/Illinois showdown and so much more packed into 10 days that you’re going to wish BIFF happened more than once a year. With screenings taking place at some Beloit restaurants, dinner and a movie is that much easier, and you’re supporting independent filmmakers, some of which are local. It’s a win-win.
BIFF runs from February 24 to March 5, so pack a bag and trek to Beloit for a few days to immerse yourself in film. Sing along with A Hard Day’s Night. Watch Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner on the big screen. Listen to Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Orchestra while watching the silent film, The Freshman. Strike up a conversation with a filmmaker or two. Maybe you’ll meet the next Steven Spielberg.