BELOIT (WIFR) -- The Beloit International Film Festival will focus on social issues affecting teens in Rock County in two important films created locally this year.
The films will deal with issues that impact young people in Beloit and Janesville, and citizens from both communities will come together to discuss the films following their screening to further engage local citizens and groups.
The films are Sixteen Forty-Nine, a film that examines the lives of homeless teenagers in the schools in Beloit and Janesville, and Somewhere Else in Life, looking at the significant number of teenage pregnancies in this region. The themes of both films are universal but they reflect the particular concerns of local young people.
Sixteen Forty-Nine, directed by Ruben Burgos and produced by Robin Stuht of the Beloit Public Schools, looks at the lives of three unaccompanied students and examines the time, precisely sixteen hours and forty-nine minutes, between the final bell at the end of the class day and the first bell the next morning.
Somewhere Else in Life, created by Beloit College senior Cayetana Polanco gives an overview of the area’s teen pregnancy challenge, offered through the eyes of teen mothers, community members and news agencies.
The films will be shown in separate programs. Following each screening audiences will have an opportunity to talk with the filmmakers and the students featured in the film. There will also be a panel of community leaders to discuss the community response to the films.
Diane Hendricks, chairperson of ABC Supply, will lead the panel discussion of “16:49.” She will be joined by Jim Melvin, Senior Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Janesville, and John Wong, financial advisor with M&I Wealth Management in Beloit and Janesville. They will be joined by Ann Forbeck of the Janesville Schools.
Community leader Heidi Eldred, will be joined by Prudence Harker, President of LifeCircle Wealth Management and former Rock County juvenile probation officer, Marion Fass, professor of biology at Beloit College, and others in a discussion of the issues raised in Somewhere Else in Life and the challenges facing the community in the area of teenage pregnancy.
Sixteen Forty-Nine will be shown at the Eclipse Center in Beloit on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Pontiac Convention Center in Janesville. Somewhere Else in Life will be shown at 5 p.m. Friday at Domenico’s Restaurant and at noon on Saturday at the Beloit Public Library.
Tickets are $8 and are on sale now at www.beloitfilmfest.org and at the BIFF box office at Visit Beloit.
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.