The Boulder International Film Festival wrapped up their final screening last night and closed out their 13th successful year showcasing independent films from around the world. Over the years, the festival has honored and hosted some of the great actors and filmmakers of our time, including Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Shirley MacLaine, Alan Arkin, Martin Sheen, Oliver Stone, William H. Macy, Peter Fonda, Chevy Chase, and many more.
This relatively young film festival has caught the eye of the filmmaking community as one of the most compelling new festivals for filmmakers, by filmmakers.
In 2004, two filmmaker sisters from Boulder, Kathy and Robin Beeck, decided that Boulder would be the location for the next great film festival. Both sisters had been to film festivals around the globe and felt that Boulder was the perfect setting to celebrate the “bold spirit of independent filmmaking.”
Throughout the years, the Boulder International Film Festival has only had one constant theme: great storytelling. The broad theme allows for a wide variety of submissions from local, shoestring budget films to expensive, international films and everything in between.
Over the years, the festival has grown to include not only great filmmaking, but great music and gourmet food as well. This year’s CineCHEF, series, a signature event that challenges the town’s favorite chefs to choose a movie theme and create film-inspired dishes for a fun, friendly and delicious competition, was inspired by and included a screening of Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table. The documentary is about the women at the center of the New Orleans food community for over 60 years.
The Youth Pavilion at the Boulder Public Library let kids play a role in this year’s festivities with workshops including an animation workshop, a zombie makeup class, parent/child filmmaking class, and had a teen short film competition on opening night.
This year’s BIFF had a new feature: Virtual Reality. Hosted at Galvanize, the VR Pavilion showcased several films designed specifically for virtual reality viewing. The festival organizers chose to feature virtual reality “in order to present to attendees and the Boulder community a new kind of storytelling experience.” Plus, with Boulder’s vibrant tech/startup scene, a merging of technology and creativity made perfect sense.
To stay informed about the happenings for the next Boulder International Film Festival, sign up for their newsletter.