This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
For a fourth year, Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium will host the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) on March 1-3. An Opening Night Party is scheduled for Friday, March 1 at 5 p.m.
Now in its 15th year, the Boulder International Film Festival is a four-day celebration of cinema and the arts. Each year the festival engages more than 25,000 film connoisseurs, media and industry members.
According to its website, BIFF has been called one of the most influential young film festivals in the U.S. and was named one of the “25 coolest film festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine.
The Longmont Museum's Stewart Auditorium will host screenings of nine BIFF feature films and three shorts programs.
The festival kicks off with the feature documentary "You Are Here: A Come From Away Story" at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 1. Producer Peter Gentile will be at the screening.
Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, $14 for seniors and $12 for Longmont Museum members. Longmont full festival passes are
$150 or $135 for museum members. The pass includes entrance to all 2019 BIFF films and events at the Longmont Museum.
You can purchase tickets by calling the box office at 303-651-8374 or online by clicking the links in the descriptions below.
This year’s BIFF films screening at the Longmont Museum:
YOU ARE HERE: A COME FROM AWAY STORY
Friday, March 1, 3 pm
Canada, Feature Documentary, 2018, 84 min
This lovely feature documentary shows the big heart of the little town of Gander, Newfoundland, when 38 airliners carrying 7,000 passengers were forced to land at their airport after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Although the Ganderites struggled with the dozens of new languages, they were ingenious in solving the huge logistical problems, like turning the hockey rink into a giant refrigerator. Among other things, the film pulls back the emotional layers surrounding the five days that the community housed, fed and took care of the dislocated passengers (or the “come-from-aways” in Newfoundland parlance). This beautiful, feel-good film ends appropriately with the opening of the hit Broadway musical “Come from Away.”
Directed by Moze Mossanen
Producer Peter Gentile (in person)
SHORT FILMS 1
Friday, March 1, 7 pm
- Life in Miniature
UK, Short Documentary, 2018, 5 min
Direct to BIFF from Sundance 2019
A proud Yorkshire woman reflects on her life and art as she carves her place in the precious world of miniatures.
Directed by Ellen Evans
- Magic Alps
Italy, Short Film, 2018, 14 min
Winner at Aspen and AFI Film Festivals
When an Afghan refugee arrives in Italy with his goat to seek asylum, an Italian immigration officer finds himself in a difficult position because he doesn't know what to do with the animal. SUBTITLED
Directed by Andrea Brusa, Marco Scotuzzi
France, Short Animation, 2017, 6 min
When marine wildlife must adapt to the pollution surrounding it, the rules of survival change.
Directed by Florian Brauch, Matthieu Pujol, Kim Tailhades, Yohan Thireau, Romain Thirion
Canada, Short Film, 2018, 16 min
Winner at 13 film festivals
Alone in the wild, two boys play a game around a surface mine. Will the game be as harmless as they think? SUBTITLED
Directed by Jeremy Comte
Ireland, Cuba, Short Documentary, 2017, 2 min
Made as a result of a conversation with Werner Herzog on a park bench in Cuba, this film examines a woman's unusual motives for visiting the beauty salon every day. SUBTITLED
Directed by Bob Gallagher
Bob Gallagher (in person)
Mexico, Short Film, 2017, 15 min
Winner at Chicago, Berlin, Palm Springs, Mexico and Seoul film festivals
The president of Mexico spends his final days in office making plans for his future. He even dances around his desk. Everything looks in order, until an international conflict disrupts his pleasant dreams of retirement. SUBTITLED
Directed by Alejandro Saevich
- Animal Behaviour
Canada, Short Animation, 2018, 14 min
Nominated for a 2019 Academy Award
Five animals meet regularly to discuss their inner feelings in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist.
Directed by David Fine, Alison Snowden
SHORT FILMS 2
Saturday, March 2, 10 am
- A New View of the Moon
USA, Short Documentary, 2018, 3 min
A man took a telescope around the streets of Los Angeles to give passersby an up-close look at a familiar object: the moon. They are astounded.
Directed by Alex Gorosh
- One Cambodian Family Please for My Pleasure
USA, Short Film, 2018, 13 min
Direct to BIFF from Sundance 2019
In 1981, a lonely refugee from Czechoslovakia paints an all-too-appealing picture of her American life as she writes a letter begging an organization to send a Cambodian refugee family so that she can help resettle them in her new “hometown of dreams”: Fargo, North Dakota. Based on the true story of the director’s mother, Helena.
Starring Emily Mortimer
Directed by A.M. Lukas
- Never Land
USA, Short Film, 2018, 16 min
This short film tells the story of an inner-city foster boy with nothing but himself and his imagination to keep him company. His only escape comes through his daydreams to Neverland, where all little boys without mothers and fathers go to fit in as Lost Boys.
Directed by Brett Smith
- Age of Sail
USA, Short Animation, 2018, 12 min
Shortlisted for a 2019 Academy Award
From Google’s immersive storytelling unit and set on the open ocean in 1900, Age of Sail is the story of William Avery, an old sailor who is adrift and alone in the North Atlantic. When Avery reluctantly rescues Lara, who has mysteriously fallen overboard, he finds hope in his darkest hours.
Directed by John Kahrs
- Armor del Amor
USA, Short Animation, 2018, 2 min
A kind of nature “documentary” that follows the mating rituals of the armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) to discover the dark underbelly of modern mammalian dating.
Directed by Kirk Kelley
USA, Short Film, 2018, 12 min
Winner at 10 film festivals
In 2005, three children are locked in a car in Texas on a hot day, and six-year-old Caroline must save them.
Directed by Logan George, Celine Held
Ireland, Short Film, 2017, 14 min
A man wakes from a coma speaking a fully formed but unrecognizable language, baffling linguistic experts from around the globe.
Directed by Benjamin Cleary, TJ O'Grady Peyton
THE WEIGHT OF WATER
Saturday, March 2, 12:15 pm
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 79 min
Award-winning filmmaker Michael Brown (Farther Than the Eye Can See, High Ground) returns to BIFF.
Making your first solo kayak run of the Grand Canyon is daunting, particularly if you are totally blind. Erik Weihenmayer has already overcome some stunning challenges for both sighted and blind people, including summiting Mount Everest. But whitewater kayaking is different; the water moves unpredictably, the rocks that make up the canyon walls are absolutely unforgiving, and the roar cuts Weihenmayer off from his guide’s voice and threatens his kayak. How will Erik react when disaster strikes on Lava Falls, the most dangerous rapid on the Colorado River? The Weight of Water is the story of a blind man balancing fear in the midst of chaos, and the powerful desire to be free from a prison of darkness. Directed by Michael Brown
Michael Brown (in person)
ONE LAST DEAL
Saturday, March 2, 2:30 pm
Finland, Feature Film, 2018, 95 min
Finnish director Klaus Härö’s film The Fencer (BIFF 2015) was shortlisted for an Academy Award
Elderly Finnish art dealer Olavi still dreams of “one last deal” that will make his retirement comfortable. His dream appears to be answered at an auction preview where he spots an unattributed painting that could be worth a fortune. Olavi is a wily businessman, but his lifelong obsession with art has long ago alienated his family. Then, out of the blue, his grown daughter reappears, along with his moody teenage grandson Otto, an art student who needs an internship. Together, Olavi, with his vast contacts in the art world, and Otto, with his prodigious tech skills, become a dynamic art-detective duo. SUBTITLED
Directed by Klaus Härö
BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE
Saturday, March 2, 4:45 pm
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 103 min
Narrated by Jodi Foster
Paris-born Alice Guy-Blaché was the world's first female film director. Before she pioneered the narrative film in 1894, movies were documentaries. She introduced dancing girls and romantic comedies. She wrote or produced more than 1,000 films, including some 150 with synchronized sound. She founded one of the first film studios in the US, but her success and accomplishments have been shockingly neglected for more than a century. Even worse, film historians have misattributed many of her greatest films to men. Pamela B. Green’s energetic film is a thrilling detective story, tracing how this brilliant founding artist was nearly erased from history and beginning Guy-Blaché’s reclamation. SUBTITLED
Directed by Pamela B. Green
SKID ROW MARATHON
Saturday, March 2, 7:15 pm
USA, Feature Documentary, 2017, 85 min
Winner of Best Documentary and/or Audience at 11 film festivals
Judge Craig Mitchell is the definition of inspirational. By day he presides over a criminal court for Los Angeles County but, by early morning, he trades his judicial garb for tennis shoes and running shorts as he jogs the darkened streets of LA among the people who call Skid Row home. He starts a running club comprised of homeless addicts, a recovering single mom and a paroled murderer who consider themselves among those least likely to succeed. As they train together to run in international marathons, they learn to dream big.
Directed by Gabriele Hayes, Mark Hayes
Judge Craig Mitchell (in person)
Sunday, March 3, 10 am
UK/USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 93 min
Everything that touches our daily lives, like social media, e-commerce and even emojis, had its original vision at General Magic, the most spectacularly successful business failure in history. In 1994, the company invented and produced the world's
Directed by Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude
Sunday, March 3, 12:15
Winner at 8 film festivals
The rollicking, foot-stomping heart of competitive bluegrass is the Old Fiddler’s Convention run by the Moose Lodge in Galax, VA. Sister filmmakers Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic, returning to their Appalachian roots, were given permission to film the festival for the first time in its 80-year history because Lodge members remember the sisters’ grandpa. From multi-generations jamming in the parking
Directed by Julie Simone
Director/Producer Julie Simone, Producers Jill Mazursky and Vicki Vlasic, Executive Producer Rick Vlasic and Associate Producer Lynn C. Levy (in person)
RETURN TO MOUNT KENNEDY
Sunday, March 3, 2:45 pm
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 80 min
Directed by Eric Becker
Bobby Whittaker (in person)
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
Sunday, March 3, 5 pm
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 91 min
When young urban foodie couple John and Mollie Chester get booted from their tiny LA apartment because of their barking dog, they leap into buying a run-down 200-acre-farm an hour north of the city. But the farm's soil is so depleted and drought-ridden that it will not even grow weeds, and John and Mollie know nothing about farming. So, they consult a Zen-farming expert named Alan York, who suggested a fantasy-utopian farm, one involving 70 different species of 10,000 fruit trees and 200 different crops, all laid out in Van Gogh whorls, with free-ranging animals like ducks, chickens and pigs to fertilize the soil. When the farm’s ecosystem finally begins to reawaken, so does the Chester’s hope. But as their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they realize that to survive they will have to reach a far greater understanding of the wisdom of nature, and of life itself.
Directed by John Chester
SHORT FILMS 3
Sunday, March 3, 7:15 pm
- Little Fiel
Mozambique, USA, Short Animation, 2017, 16 min
Winner of 14 film festivals
This short documentary, which uses puppets made from AK-47 parts, is based on the horrific childhood memories of renowned artist Fiel dos Santos. He grew up during the 16-year Mozambique civil war... another proxy war sustained by foreign powers. SUBTITLED
Directed by Irina Patkanian
Irina Patkanian (in person)
- Brian and Charles
UK, Short Film, 2017, 12 min
From Aspen Shortsfest 2018
Brian, by choice, has lived alone for many years in a cottage on the rainy moors, tending his sheep. This lovely Monty-Pythonesque tale involves Brian's up-and-down, emotional relationship with his friend Charles from the farm. (No, Charles is not a sheep...that's another movie). Charles is something completely different.
Directed by Jim Archer
Canada, Tunisia, Qatar, Sweden, Short Film, 2018, 25 min
Winner at 11 film festivals around the world
Mohamed, a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia with his wife and two sons, is deeply shaken by the return of his estranged son, Malik, from Syria, accompanied by a mysterious new wife. SUBTITLED
Directed by Meryam Joobeur
- The Frenchy
USA, Short Documentary, 2018, 14 min
Winner of Pure Joy Award at the 5 Point Adventure Film Festival
Jaques “The Frenchy” Houot is an 82-year-old ski racer, competitive mountain biker, incorrigible flirt and one of Carbondale's most famous characters. But the real story is how he inspires us with his contagious love of life, epic tales of survival, ability to counter aging through laughter, and his impact on the community over decades.
Directed by Michelle Smith
Michelle Smith (in person)
- Fire in Cardboard City
New Zealand, Short Animation, 2017, 9 min
Winner at Tribeca and LA Shorts film festivals
Best short film I've seen this year. - IMDb reviewer
When a city made entirely from cardboard catches fire, it is up to the local fire chief and his brave deputies to save Cardboard City and its citizens from impending doom. (“Cardboard City” has recently landed its own TV show).
Directed by Phil Brough
For more information about BIFF, visit www.biff1.com.