BELOIT—Films will be showing at seven downtown Beloit venues, offering a wide selection of drama, documentaries, horror and other genres during the 17th Annual Beloit International Film Festival.
The film festival, commonly called BIFF, will run from Feb. 25 through March 6.
BIFF Executive Director Greg Gerard, said ticket sales are moving along, but are not at the levels where they were two years ago, which was the last time the film festival held in-person events. Last year, BIFF held some outdoor film showings, but the rest were presented online. Also, tickets currently are only sold online, which may be affecting sales.
Gerard said he is hoping people will turn out for the film festival, but he knows some people may still have concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anything pandemic related is a bit of a coin toss,” he said.
However, film festival organizers are trying new ways to promote the film festival.
“We’re advertising in movie theaters. We have BIFF promotions running before movies in eight area movie theaters,” he said.
BIFF organizers will hold a Festival Eve Party as a fund-raising event from 6—9 p.m. Thursday at IronTek, 635 Third St. The cost for tickets is $50 each. The event will feature some musical performances by special guests as well as other surprises.
BIFF will show films at eight downtown Beloit venues this year. The number of people allowed in each showing has been reduced to continue some health safety measures.
Gerard said BIFF has some very special movies this year that he hopes will draw a lot of interest. One film, titled The Six, already has sold out in some showing times. The documentary tells the story of six Chinese men who survived the sinking of the Titanic, and what they went through following the traumatic event.
Another film he thinks will get a lot of interest is the film titled Americanish. It is a romantic comedy exploring the experiences of a group of Muslim women who are living in New York City and seeking husbands. The film also has appearances by actor George Wendt, who is mostly known for his role as Norm on the sitcom Cheers, and David Rasche, who is known for his appearances on TV shows such as Ugly Betty and Succession.
As a genre experiment this year, BIFF will feature some horror films. One film in particular pointed out by Gerard is the film Scarehouse directed by Gavin Michael Booth. The film focuses on a group of college girls who spend a night in a Halloween fun house, and that is where the trouble begins.
BIFF will feature some of its old standards that always are crowd pleasers. The BIFF Sing-a-long will feature Daydream Believers: The Story of the Monkees, which will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at The Castle, 501 Prospect Ave. The movie tells the tale of the 1960s musical groups who had their own sitcom TV show and multiple chart-topping records. Gerard said there will be musical performances before the showing, people in costumes and plenty of fun.
The other fan favorite each year is the BIFF Classic Film, which this year will be Steven Spielberg’s 1982 hit E.T. the Extraterrestrial. The film features a very young Drew Barrymore and loads of special effects. The film will be shown for free at 2:30 p.m. March 6 at the Eclipse Center. The showing is sponsored by First National Bank and Trust.
The festival also will feature its short film showcase, BIFF Cares films, BIFF in the Classroom and other events.
For more information, visit the website at https://beloitfilmfestival.org.