The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) is back for its 19th year with an exciting lineup of films, parties, events and gatherings.
“There are a lot of spectacular films at this year’s festival,” says Kathy Beeck, BIFF’s co-founder. “It’s one of our best programs ever.”
This year, BIFF will take place March 2-5. The festival begins at 5:30 p.m. on March 2 with CineCHEF, a “culinary showdown” in which top chefs in Boulder and Denver produce tasty bites inspired by BIFF’s films.
Participating chefs include Patrick Balcom, executive chef and co-owner of Farow in Niwot; Rich Byers, executive chef of Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro at St Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder; Linda Hampsten Fox, executive chef and owner of The Bindery in Denver; Jeremy McGinty, chef de cuisine of River and Woods Restaurant in Boulder; Chris Royster, executive chef at Flagstaff House in Boulder; Bob Sargent, executive chef and owner of Savory Cuisine in Boulder; Cesar Tamariz, executive chef of Kachina Cantina in Denver; and Mike Thom, executive chef of Spruce Farm & Fish at Hotel Boulderado in Boulder.
Then, on the evening of March 3, BIFF will host its beloved opening night Red Carpet Gala and feature film. Before heading to the Boulder Theater for the screening of “Immediate Family,” check out two pre-film parties at the Hotel Boulderado and the Crystal Building in downtown Boulder. Enjoy live music by Tie Dye Sushi and Miguel Espinoza Fusion, then follow the Guerilla Fanfare Brass Band to the theater for the movie.
“Immediate Family,” directed by Denn Tedesco, tells the story of a session band that elevated the music of artists like James Taylor, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Keith Richards, David Crosby and others. After the screening, Ron Bostwick of 105.5 The Colorado Sound will interview Tedesco, band members Russ Kunkel and Steve Postell, and the film’s executive producer Dan Braun.
The festivities will continue throughout the weekend with a special live episode of the popular Awards Chatter podcast, hosted by the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, on March 4. BIFF is also hosting its Singer Songwriter Showcase, featuring eight local musicians, on March 2 and March 4.
Returning this year from March 3-5 is the BIFF Adventure Film Pavilion, which showcases some of the best new adventure shorts and feature-length films, plus discussions with adventurers.
“We have been searching for the past year for the best adventure films out there, and the line-up at the AFP is amazing,” says Beeck. “From white-water kayaking to highlining to BMX biking to surfing to shorts programs, there are some incredible stories being told on the screen at the AFP.”
For even more films spotlight outdoor endeavors, the festival is also partnering with the Reel Rock Tour, which is in its 17th year. Put on by local Sender Films, the Reel Rock Tour features some of this year’s best climbing documentaries and will take place on March 4 at Macky Auditorium.
BIFF will host its awards ceremony and closing night film on March 5. This year’s closing night film is “Still Working 9 to 5,” which explores the impact of the 1980 film “9 to 5.”
All told, the festival will screen 66 films, including 13 made by Colorado filmmakers. One genre that Beeck says she’s particularly excited about is BIFF’s slate of music films. In addition to “Immediate Family,” BIFF is also showing films that feature musical artists like Roberta Flack, Little Richard, Buffy Sainte-Marie and the Indigo Girls, to name a few.
Though you really can’t go wrong with any of the movies in this year’s line-up, one of Beeck’s personal favorites is “Squaring the Circle: The Story of Hipgnosis.” The film follows a group of British friends in the 1970s who produced some of the most iconic album covers of all time, including Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy,” says Beeck.
“The back-stories on these and many other covers are fascinating, and any fan of ‘70s music and beyond will love this film,” she says.
You can see the full BIFF schedule and buy tickets and passes on the BIFF website.