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Moving to summer 2021 the ‘hottest BIFF ever’ will host select film screenings at Chautauqua, parties downtown

Pending the pandemic, from June 24-27 cinephiles can participate in a red-carpet experience

Jesse Eisenberg, Academy Award-nominated actor, playwright and author, arrives at the Boulder Theater on March 7, 2020. He was presented with the BIFF’s Award of Excellence in Acting. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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Since 2004, Boulder International Film Festival has attracted a bounty of filmmakers, actors and cinephiles to the Front Range.

BOULDER, CO - Renee Malis, front ...
Renee Malis, front, and Amanda Rhodes, both dressed as characters from “Cats,” walk out of the Hotel Boulderado during the opening night of the Boulder International Film Festival in 2020. BIFF 2021 will be held June 24-27 with screenings at Chautauqua. (Daily Camera file photo)

While the pandemic has reshaped the entertainment industry and most all events, sisters Kathy and Robin Beeck — founders of BIFF —  have opted to not transform the cherished multi-day event into a cyber offering, but keep the red-carpet soul of it intact with in-person festivities.

The festival, normally held in March, will now move to summer 2021 and offer plenty of outdoor screenings, as well as indoor ones at Chautauqua Auditorium.

“We’ve attended some virtual film festivals this summer and fall, and they’re great, but nothing beats human interaction and community engagement,” said Robin Beeck. “Filmmakers love Boulder audiences, so we hope to bring directors and producers to the festival as always. We know they’ll love it here in the summer.”

Kathy and Robin Beeck, founders of the Boulder International Film Festival, created BIFF Drive-In, which showed films every Saturday evening throughout the summer on a field at Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder. (BIFF/ Courtesy photo)

The Beecks, wanting to offer the community a chance to gather safely during COVID, set up a drive-in theater at Boulder Municipal Airport in June. The makeshift outdoor cinema, that often featured sold-out showings, screened “Two Trains Runnin,’” “Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President,” “40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie” and others.

“We always have big ideas, and for next year, we are planning for anything,” said Kathy Beeck. “Our drive-in theater at the airport was hugely successful this summer, so one of the reasons we’re adding Chautauqua — besides the beautiful auditorium — is the possibility of adding outdoor parties and screenings. We’ve been talking with the great people there and at the City of Boulder about what that could look like at Chautauqua in June.”

From left, Boulder International Film Festival organizers Kathy Beeck and Robin Beeck, pose for a portrait at the Boulder Theater on Feb. 24, 2020. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

Music is always a constant that runs through BIFF’s repertoire. From documentaries that shed light on the backstories of some of the world’s most beloved bands to a steady-stream of live musicians performing outside of Boulder Theater and at nearby venues, live entertainment is at the forefront of this cinematic tradition.

Interviews with rock ‘n’ roll icons David Crosby and Robbie Robertson have been part of prior BIFFs. The festival has also brought Jesse Eisenberg, Martin Sheen, William H. Macy, Shirley MacLaine and other industry greats to Boulder.

It’s the Beecks hope that next summer’s BIFF will capture the same magic and star-studded lineup of previous years.

Dechen Hawk performs at The Post during the 2020 Boulder International Film Festival. (Mike Homner/ Courtesy photo)

“Pearl Street has been the heart and soul of the festival for the last 16 years and we plan to continue that with world-class films, our talkback/music tent on the mall and great parties downtown,” Kathy said. “We have a lot of long-time hotel and restaurant sponsors near Pearl Street, so we will continue to have big things happening there.”

While the festival won’t take place till June 24-27, the Beecks and their team have been busy narrowing the collection of next year’s films.

“With the date change, we extended the submission deadlines a few months,” Robin Beeck said. “Entries have been steadily coming in and our selection committee is busy watching a fantastic selection of films. The 2021 program will be outstanding. And, with the festival in late June and, now after some big premiere film festivals, we’ll be able to highlight some great content we might not have been able to if BIFF was in March. We haven’t seen many films come through yet about the craziness of 2020, but we have no doubt we will see more of that in 2022.”

Chautauqua is one of the locations set for BIFF 2021. (Courtesy photo)

All access festival passes for BIFF 2021 —  that retail for $395 —  go on sale Wednesday. Buyers can also purchase gift packs available in denominations of $30 for two films, $60 for four films and $90 for six films.

“We were the last big party in town in early March before COVID hit and we’re hoping to be one of the first big parties back next summer,” Kathy Beeck said. “We plan to take full advantage of the warmer temps in June. It’s going to be the hottest BIFF ever.”

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