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BIFF holds 14th annual film festival throughout downtown Beloit

The annual Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) has just come to an end. The fourteenth season went on from Friday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, March 3.

Films were screened at many Beloit staples: Bagels & More, Bushel & Peck’s, Domenicos, the Hendricks Art Center, La Casa Grande, Beloit Public Library and Schubert’s Luxury 10.

The mission of the festival is to “tribute to the power of film and the excitement of independent film from around the world.  Local residents and visitors from across the nation fill venues, ranging in size from 40 to 400 seats for more than 100 films, and to meet scores of filmmakers who come from throughout the U.S. and as far away as Europe, Asia and Latin America,” according to Beloitfilmfest.org.

The festival showed many films including narrative features, documentary features, short films WI/IL Showdown films and special events. Most films required tickets, which could be purchased through the BIFF website. At many of the showings, their makers were in attendance.

“BIFF promises crowds of interested viewers filling venues, questioning them at the films, and stopping them on the street to talk about their shared passions and projects in independent filmmaking,” says Beloitfilmfest.org.

This year, BIFF had an “informal sub-theme” surrounding the celebration of women in film. The executive director of Women in Film and Video in Washington DC, Melissa Houghton lead a panel in the rooftop room at the Hotel Goodwin with female filmmakers of BIFF. The Beloit Daily News says of the event, “The lively discussion will focus on how far women have come in the industry, where they are going and, likely, talk of what the #MeToo movement has meant for women in film.”

Films with the sub-theme of women’s empowerment have been denoted on the website and in the program book with a special symbol referring to the genre.

As for BIFF awards, many were lucky enough to take home their very own BIFFY. Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin took home the Power of Film award for their film “The Providers.” The best narrative feature went to “Guest Artist” directed by Timothy Busfield. On the documentary side, the film “Liyana” directed by Aaron and Amanda Kopp won for the best documentary film. More winners and awards can be found on Beloitfilmfest.org.

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