Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Film festival 101: a guide to BIFF and Boulder
OK, you've got your tickets ordered. Your tux is pressed. You're ready to be amazed. You're going to all four days of the Boulder International Film Festival. You're going to see everyone and do everything. Without the aid of illegal drugs.
Here is our grab bag of tips, tricks and references for first-timers, culled from the memories and expertise of veteran BIFF staffers and festivarians:
Welcome to the People's Republic. Boulder, Colorado has a reputation as "25 square miles surrounded by reality." This is true.
It is stereotpyped as a bastion of outdoors-loving, super-healthy, eco-conscious, social-activist, medial-marijuana-dispensary-frequenting, hippy dippy trippy tie-dyed, bandana-wearing dreadlocked Croc-lovers.
This is NOT true -- some of us don't own a pair of Crocs. (And there are a few Republicans.)
Actually, Boulder is much more diverse and complex than that. Here are five websites that, collectively, tell you everything you need to know about the city: it history, food, lodging, recreation, and more:
City of Boulder
Colorado Convention and Visitors Bureau -- Boulder
Boulder Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Boulder Inc.
GetBoulder (courtesy Boulder Magazine)
Here's link to the National Weather Service's Boulder page: looks pretty good for this weekend, by and large. Still, the adage is true: "If you don't like the weather around here, wait 15 minutes." Colorado weather is CHANGEABLE. It can be 70 degrees and sunny on a Februrary day, then change to blizzard mode by sunset. Whether you are flying in, driving in, or walking over from your house, wear layers, please. It's bulky and uncomfortable, but it's handy to have a sweater or jacket to throw on in the evening.
We are 5,430 feet above sea level. That's more than a mile high, (so there, Denver!). Unless you live around her or are Lance Armstrong, the altitude will affect you -- and four days is not long enough to acclimatize yourself. Take it easy -- pace yourself -- DRINK WATER. Not coffee, not soda, H2O. This is the most effective way to keep from becoming fatigued, disoriented and nauseated. Unless of course that' the feeling you're after.
4. Boulder International Film Festival
We hope that our customer service is exceptional! We have a number of locales, reference points and services to help you with any and all questions related to BIFF. First and foremost, there's the website. It contains all the BIFF info, including an online program, maps, an FAQ sheet and more.
Our Info Booth is located this year at The Tent, at 14th and Pearls Streets downtown, near to all the festival venues. It is open during festival hours, and staffed by friendly and knowledgeable people. Also, our Festival Registration suite is located on the first floor of the St. Julien Hotel at 900 Walnut St. It's where VIPS check in, volunteers start their day, and special guests cruise by. It's open today until 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For live updates as to ticket availability, photos, news items and breaking events, you can turn to our Facebook page (Boulder International Film Festival) and Twitter feed (BoulderFilmFest and #BIFF1)-- these will be buzzing throughout the festival. And of course we are creating a file of stories here on our blog to help serve as a handy reference guide!
At a film festival, two virtues are paramount -- prioritizing and organizing. You can't possibly see everything, no matter how hard you try (buying a VIP pass is still the best way to get in and out of screenings quickly!). You've got to make a plan and stick to it. However, sprinkle in some random choices with the films you are determined to see -- sometimes it's the ones we didn't expect anything from that blew us away most profoundly.
Maintain energy. Fortunately, all our venues are close together, and the way is punctuated by eateries. As Grandma always says, KEEP EATING. Don't wait until late afternoon to dine.
Pace yourself. Give yourself a few time-holes to sit down, take a breather, chat about what you've seen, and clear your mind for the next film encounter. Don't party like a rock star on Opening Night! Save something for Closing Night, please. Put your feet up periodically, and really rest when you can. Wear comfortable shoes!
That's it! Welcome, and enjoy yourself!