BELOIT (BIFF) -- The Beloit International Film Festival Launched its sixth year today with the presentation of its 2011 top awards, the coveted BIFFYs, to ten film makers.
The awards were presented at the annual Launch and Laurels Party attended by hundreds of filmmakers and guests at Beloit’s Eclipse Center.
Two films came away with two awards each.
The Best Feature film, which also took the BIFFY for Best Screenplay, was A Lonely Place for Dying, produced and directed by Milwaukee filmmaker Justin Evans.
The Best Documentary award and Best Soundtrack recognition went to The Rescuers, produced and directed by Los Angeles filmmaker Michael King. This was the first showing of this holocaust documentary since taking top honors at its premiere showing in Palm Springs in January.
Kavi, produced and directed by Gregg Helvey, won the Best Student Film. The short film was nominated for an Academy Award last year also.
The BIFFY for Best Wisconsin Film went to No Pity, a 19 minute expose of pity-based fund raising, directed and produced by Drew Goldsmith. The young autistic filmmaker is a previous Beloit International Film Festival winner.
The BIFFY for Best Short Film went to director Adam Hall for Sudden Death!, a film about Los Angeles succumbing to terminal song and dance.
And the Best Animated Film award went to producer and director Jeff Chiba Stearns for his whimsical six minute film Ode to a Post-it Note.
In addition to the BIFFYs, two special awards were presented recognizing former creative spirits within the Film Festival. The Josh Burton award of Excellence went to director Ruben Burgos for his film Sixteen Forty-nine about homeless high school students.
The Ken Hendricks Impact award went to White Wanderer, a documentary directed by Shana Gilbert about four American students and a life-changing experience in Africa.
Finally, Emerging Artist Filmmaker Grants were presented to help support the work of three promising filmmakers. They went to Sixteen Forty-nine director Ruben Burgos, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican Canadian filmmaker Jules Hart, and Love and Valor - The Intimate Civil War Letters director Charles Larimer.
The Beloit International Film Festival continues through Sunday with films from noon on each day. BIFF 2011, sponsored by The Hendricks Group of Beloit in association with Beloit College and with a grant from Visit Beloit, marks the sixth year for the independent film festival. Approximately 140 films will be shown during the four day event, Feb 17-20. Information is available at www.beloitfilmfest.org.