Opening night red carpet gala
When: 8 p.m. March 2
Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St.
Cost: $50, free for passholders
Pre-party: 5:30-7:30 p.m.at Hotel Boulderado and Rembrandt Yard
Screening: "Their Finest" (2016, United Kingdom, 116 minutes), a rousing romantic comedy following a female screenwriter during World War II, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Clatlin and Bill Nighy.
When: 7:30 p.m. March 5
Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St.
Cost: $30, free for passholders
Screening: "Chasing Coral" (2017, Boulder 93 minutes), fresh from winning an audience award at Sundance, BIFF's closing night film follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists on an ocean adventure to discover why coral reefs are vanishing around the world. Directed by Boulder's Jeff Orlowski; produced by Longmont's Larissa Rhodes
More information at biff1.com
A truck delivering the Boulder International Film Festival's programs may have severed the power to the festival's office on Friday, but co-founder and director Kathy Beeck's excitement in sharing the 2017 lineup and details for the March festival far outweighed her tinge of concern.
New this year, BIFF will expand its boundaries beyond the real world with its Virtual Reality Pavilion.
"It is going to be pretty cool," Beeck said. "We'll have eight virtual reality films screening at Galvanize, and we'll have a whole variety of different headsets — from very high tech to cardboard ones."
Boulder technical school and co-working space Galvanize, 1023 Walnut St., will be one venue the festival will utilize for its programming. Over the long weekend, films will be screened at various spots in Boulder and Longmont.
The Virtual Reality Pavilion will be free and open to the public March 3 and 4, and will have Google's Nicholas Whitaker on hand to moderate a few of the talks, Beeck said.
"Swing by, put on a headset and learn about the future of storytelling," Beeck said.
BIFF will screen 58 films, three of which are Sundance Film Festival award-winning films and four are nominated for Academy Awards. And 23 of these films were directed by females, Beeck said. The popular shorts programs, which Beeck said are always the first to sell out, expanded to include four different programs this year.
"We are so excited about this year's program," said BIFF executive director Robin Beeck, Kathy's sister, in a news release. "This is a stellar lineup with award-winning films from the world's greatest directors and from fresh, new filmmakers just hitting the scene. We're thrilled to be able to present a feast of the best films today."
Kathy Beeck said there will be eight Colorado films screened — and she realized during the interview that all eight of those local filmmakers are from Boulder.
"That just tells us something about how much is happening in film in Boulder," Kathy Beeck said. "We are so proud of the major filmmakers in this town."
Among Boulder highlights is the closing night film "Chasing Coral," a documentary produced by a local company that just won the Audience Award for best U.S. documentary at Sundance.
Boulder filmmaker Jeff Orlowski and Longmont producer Larissa Rhodes, the team behind "Chasing Coral," also produced "Chasing Ice," the 2012 Emmy award-winning documentary on climate change.
"Chasing Coral" explores the danger the world's coral reefs face amid global warming. A local team of filmmakers (with many University of Colorado graduates, Rhodes said in an interview last month) from Boulder's Exposure Labs created the documentary.
Kathy Beeck said festival-goers can also see "Chasing Coral, the Virtual Reality Experience" premiere at Galvanize.
• "Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back," (4:30 p.m. March 3) produced by Boulderite Maura Axelrod, about contemporary pop artist Maurizio Cattelan, which Kathy Beeck said is "a fabulous movie, really well done."
• "Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World" (7 p.m. March 3), is a film about the role of Native Americans and indigenous influence in popular music history. "It goes back into history in the film, and it's so stunning to realize that Jimi Hendrix and Robbie Robertson (The Band) have Native American heritage," Beeck said. "Tony Bennett is in the film talking about his early influences."
• Cinechef 2017 (5-7 p.m. March 3) at Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery and Event Center, 1301 Spruce St., is in its third year as a part of BIFF and will feature eight of the best chefs in town, Kathy Beeck said. "It's a foodie event that highlights the spectacular food scene in Boulder while we highlight Boulder filmmakers," she said. "I'm loving this event."
The festival runs March 2 through 5 and tickets are on sale at biff1.com.
Christy Fantz: 303-473-1107, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/fantzypants
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