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The Boulder International Film Festival
by Kirsten Greco

The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) was founded in 2004 by sisters Kathy and Robin Beeck, filmmakers who had traveled extensively to film festivals around the world and resolved to start something similar in their hometown of Boulder, Colorado. In its 15th season this year, BIFF showcased films from around the world in four venues in Boulder plus venues in nearby Longmont as well as Fort Collins the following weekend. Activities during the festival include: films; TalkBacks (discussions after the films); a Singer-Songwriter showcase with live music; a Youth Pavilion with free programs for kids, teens and families; a Virtual Reality pavilion showing special VR short films; parties; CineCHEF (chefs create film-inspired dishes followed by a food-themed film); and red carpet events that featured singer David Crosby and actor Emilio Estevez this year.

I have volunteered with the festival for the last four years in Community Marketing, which is a group that helps promote BIFF films that have more niche audiences. I specialize in foreign language films, including Spanish, French, and of course, German! It's always fun to reconnect with my German contacts each year – which include the German-American Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Chapter; the University of Colorado's German language department and German club; three German/international language schools in the area; and several German Meetup groups – to let them know what German films will be featured and when. The support for German films is always strong, and in fact, the film that was voted BIFF's Best Feature Film this year was the German/Austrian film Styx!

Each winter, BIFF is a great way to escape from reality for three days and hang out with thousands of other film fans! Plus, having a Community Marketing Staff badge allows me (and my husband, who has volunteered with me for the past two years) to attend non-sold-out films for free. And our 12-year-old son has come along with us (with purchased tickets) to lots of films on a variety of topics over the years, which has been a great education for him. Great films from around the world in our own backyard – what's not to love?!