BIFF on the road

Boulder International Film Festival screenings also will be held in Longmont and Fort Collins this weekend. See a full schedule of films at biff1.com.

The Boulder International Film Festival kicked of Thursday night with costumed actors mingling with festivalgoers and a second line brass band outside the Boulder Theater — as is tradition.

BIFF Director Kathy Beeck said the festival has shaped up well this year and organizers are happy about the film lineup and guests David Crosby, Emilio Estevez and Jakob Dylan.

"We've got something for everyone this year," Beeck said. "We think it's going to be a very memorable festival this year."

She said that the youth pavilion is offering numerous free activities for kids, including cellphone movie-making and a zombie makeup workshop. She added that the XR Pavilion is featuring virtual- and augmented-reality films.

"We have a very carefully curated virtual reality film lineup," she said. "It includes some virtual reality components to some of the films in our main festival lineup."

The film festival kicked off Thursday with the Colorado premiere of the documentary " David Crosby: Remember My Name." Crosby, famous for his work with The Byrds and Crosby Stills and Nash, attended the red-carpet event before the screening.


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"My major contribution was just not to lie," Crosby said of his role in the film during a short red-carpet appearance. "The people who made it, Cameron (Crowe) and A.J. (Eaton), they know me really well and they did really great job. They didn't give me any place to hide."

He added that he has long history in Boulder and he loves it.

Boulder residents Robert and Virginia Guerrero came out Thursday night to see the Crosby documentary, because Robert is a big fan of the musician.

"I've been following him since the mid-'60s when he was in The Byrds," Robert Guerrero said. "His harmonies, he's just a fabulous singer. I often tried to imitate his style when I was a kid."

Virginia Guerrero said she enjoys the variety of films the festival provides and she is looking forward to seeing "The Weight of Water," a documentary about blind kayaker Erik Weihenmayer.

"We've done a few river trips," she said. "I can't imagine going down water without having the vision of what you are on and what you are doing."

Olyvia Beyette, an actor who works at BDT Stage in Boulder, roamed the halls of the Hotel Boulderado and Rembrandt Yard dressed as Felicity Shagwell from "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" along with fellow actor RJ Wagner, dressed as Austin Powers. Wagner was making his fourth appearance at the festival. Last year, he was King Arthur from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

It was Bayette's first year performing at the festival, but she said both her parents are performers, so it's in her blood.

"I'm happy to do it," she said. "They actually called me yesterday to fill in for someone, so I'm here with a moment's notice. I love it."

Estevez is expected to appear at the film festival's red-carpet event Saturday. He will participate in a question-and-answer session following the premier of his new film "The Public."

The festival concludes on Sunday with an appearance by musician Jakob Dylan, who appears in "Echo in The Canyon," a documentary about the musicians who shaped California's Laurel Canyon music scene.

Jim Packer, executive producer of "Loopers," a caddy documentary narrated by Bill Murray, said that film festivals help independent films because they create word-of-mouth buzz. "Loopers," which screens on Saturday afternoon, has been making the festival circuit, and Packer said it has gotten a good response from golf fans and non-golf fans alike.

"Obviously, there is a certain kind of fun and enjoyment about seeing a movie not everyone has seen," Packer said. "You can't get it on iTunes, and it's not in the theater. It's an exclusive thing."

Packer, a University of Colorado graduate, said the festival has improved over the years.

"There's a lot of very fresh films at this festival," he said. "I'm a big Boulder fan. I went to school here. It's really supportive of the arts. There's a lot of creativity. I'm really proud of the fact that he festival is coming on strong."

John Bear: 303-473-1355, bearj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/johnbearwithme