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Monday, January 31, 2011

BIFF schedule released -- 54 films slated for 7th annual festival

"For Once in My Life" is a featured documentary at BIFF 2011.
The 7th Annual Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF), voted “one of the coolest film festivals in the world” by MovieMaker magazine, is already making headlines with a star-studded lineup of celebrity guests and today is rolling out its action-packed program. The Festival takes place in scenic Boulder, Colo., Feb. 17-20, and will bring films, filmmakers and international fans together for a four-day celebration of the fine art of filmmaking.

The Festival kicks off Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. with an Opening Night Red Carpet Gala and screening of “Troubadours,” directed by Morgan Neville and straight to BIFF from its world premiere at Sundance. Using rare, never-before-seen archival footage of legendary performances, Troubadours tells the story of The Troubadour Club in Los Angeles, which launched the performing careers of some of the best singer-songwriters of their generation, including Carole King and James Taylor. Neville will be in attendance for a question and answer session after the screening.
James Taylor and Carole King are just two of the many singer/songwriters whose stories are told in BIFF's Opening Night film, "Troubadors."
 The Opening Night Red-Carpet Gala will kick off with Colorado-based a cappella rock and roll group Cool Shooz, as well as appetizers prepared by Big Red F Restaurant Group, luxury chocolates from Seth Ellis Chocolatier and specially priced wines by Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

 “BIFF continues to grow and prove itself as a respected, must-attend film festival with celebrities, screenings, and special events,” said Kathy Beeck, director of BIFF. “We’re confident that this year’s program offers some of the best films the industry has to offer and that the selection will resonate well with our Boulder community and attract film enthusiasts from across the country.”

BIFF will also feature “A Conversation with James Franco” on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7:30pm and a Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., including a tribute to Oliver Stone, Oscar-winning producer, director and screenwriter. The event will also include appetizers from Whole Foods Markets, delicious desserts from the Cheesecake Factory, tea from Bhakti Chai, French-press coffee from OZO and wines from Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Cool Shooz will provide the musical entertainment for the evening.
Kristin Scott-Thomas is featured in "Sarah's Key" at BIFF on Saturday, Feb. 19.
Film highlights from the festival include:

“Freedom Riders”
With special guest Congressman John Lewis and introduced by Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Jared Polis, this film is part of BIFF’s Call 2 Action, a program that offers concrete ways for filmgoers to translate the energy and passion that film evokes into action. The Freedom Riders endured maniacal racism, beatings, firebombs and mob violence. They managed to bring the President and the entire American public face to face with the stark, irredeemable ugliness of institutional racism in America. As an original Freedom Rider, Lewis endured mobs, beatings and arrests as he traveled on bus rides across the Deep South to fight Jim Crow laws and end segregated interstate bus travel. View Trailer

 “Mother: Caring Our Way Out of the Population Dilemma”
World premiere from Colorado filmmaker Christophe Fauchere. “Mother” breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that lurks silently as the root cause of our planet’s largest environmental, humanitarian and social crises—population growth. View Trailer

“An African Election”
Direct to BIFF from its North American premiere at Sundance. Director Jarreth Merz returns to Ghana, the country of his childhood, and finds himself in the middle of a highly-spirited presidential campaign between Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party and Professor John Atta Mills from the National Democratic Congress. While the NPP hopes to retain its power and continue the economic growth it began, the NDC desperately needs to win. Merz will be in attendance. View Trailer

“For Once in My Life”
Winner at seven major film festivals. Mixing wildly infectious enthusiasm with a driving backbeat, this astonishing film will grab you by the heart. The 28-person band and chorus, the Spirit of Goodwill, just plain rocks, and the fact of their individual disabilities fades away quickly behind the band's extraordinary humor, tenacity and pure, raw talent. View Trailer
"Pigeon: Impossible" is one of the many films featured in our THREE short-film programs this year.
 Other BIFF films not to be missed:

·         ·     “Nostalgia for the Light,” from Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzm├ín. Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth. For astronomers, it’s the perfect place to build large telescopes. For archaeologists, it’s the perfect place to peer into our past because the dryness prevents rotting and mummifies human bodies intact. View Trailer
·         ·     “Bag It!,” Call 2 Action film from Colorado filmmaker Suzan Beraza. On Earth, 500 billion plastic bags a year are overflowing landfills, clogging rivers and creating vast wastelands of trash. Find out what you can do about it. Right now. View Trailer
·         ·     “The Edge,” Russia’s nominee for the 2011 Academy Awards. Krai is not your normal filmic image of a 1940's Stalinist labor camp; it's a ramshackle logging town on the Trans-Siberian Railway inhabited by bawdy Russian and German prisoners of both sexes whose passions include home-brewed booze and steam locomotive racing.
·         ·     “Sarah’s Key,” a special presentation by the Weinstein Company. Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10-year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released. Sixty seven years later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of an American journalist investigating the roundup. View Trailer

All festival tickets will go on sale today at www.biff1.com, or by calling the Boulder Theater at 303-786-7030. Individual film tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors 65 and older. All-access festival VIP passes can be purchased for $345.

Sponsors of this year’s Festival include: KBCO, Linhart PR, Comcast, St Julien Hotel and Spa, Daily Camera, Hotel Boulderado, People Productions, Flowcreative, Backpacker magazine, Big Red F Restaurant Group, Flatirons Subaru, Ted’s Montana Grill, Keen Footwear, Anvil Organics, Christie Digital, Whole Foods, First Western Trust Bank, Boedecker Theater, Coupe Studios, Bhakti Chai, Great Western Trust Bank, LUNAFEST, Lazy Dog Lounge, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, The Millstone Evans Group, 5280 Magazine, Boulder Magazine, RealD, Downtown Boulder, Inc.