Bigfork Independent Film Festival returns for its fifth year
The Bigfork Independent Film Festival (BIFF) returns to Flathead this fall for its fifth annual screening October 8-10, with 25 diverse films shot in Montana or by filmmakers in Montana.
“We mixed things up,” said festival organizer Steven Shapero. “We try not to classify everything by showing only the mountains and skiing. It’s all kinds of movies in Montana.
Festival organizers received 75 film submissions last year, at least 25 more than normal, Shapero said, most of them higher quality than in previous years.
Due to the higher volume of films, Shapero says organizers were able to choose more diverse genres and topics this year, which range from a documentary on the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP), to a fictional story. about a retired college professor and his transgender daughter.
“We’re exploring topics we’ve never touched on,” Shapero said.
Several films feature local talent from Northwestern Montana, including “The Deal,” a music video featuring Flathead Valley singer Halladay Quist, “Black Ram,” a documentary filmed in the Kootenai National Forest, and “The Irish. Ballad, ”featuring musicians from Mission Valley. .
Unique at BIFF, an international documentary entitled “Peckinpah Suite” will be presented. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Gonzalez Burmudez, the film documents the daughter of famous Hollywood director Sam Peckinpah who travels to her father’s last refuge in Livingston, 35 years after his death.
Film workshops return to the festival on Friday, October 8 after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. Flathead Valley filmmaker Ridge Mallery will present fundraising strategies and share how he got his movies on streaming services in “Make Your Movie Make Money”. In the afternoon, Barbara Schiffman, Hollywood History Analyst and Screenplay Consultant, will present “How to Launch Your Movie and Screenplay in 3 Minutes or Less”.
In addition to the film screenings, several filmmakers will be at the BIFF to answer questions from the public.
BIFF is also collaborating with the Winterland Film Festival and Technology Summit, which will hold its inaugural event in March 2022 in Whitefish.
“The Winterland Film Festival is a cross between a film festival and a TED talk,” Shapero said. “They’re having an international film festival and we’re focusing on things in the state, so we thought we could partner up. We handle the making of local films and they take care of the rest. “
Shapero says the organizers of BIFF and Winterland have a mutually beneficial collaboration, helping each other with festival design and logistics, while some of BIFF’s award-winning films will premiere in March.
A launch party will be held at the Riverview Bar in Bigfork on Thursday October 7th with a free screening of “Your Musical is Canceled: The Musical”, a film directed by local talent from Flathead Valley.
The BIFF will be presented October 8-10 at the Bigfork Center for Performing Arts and will include an awards ceremony on Saturday at the Bigfork Inn.
Some rows will be blocked off to encourage social distancing, hand sanitizer will be available, and there will only be packaged food at the concession stand. Masks will not be compulsory.
For more information and to watch the festival virtually, visit www.mtbiff.com.