Breckenridge Film Festival (BFF) is one of the country’s longest running film festivals at 36 years and counting. “We run an annual four-day festival each fall, plus additional year-round activities in the community, schools and with partners. Our mission is to inspire, educate and entertain our community through the art of filmmaking,” said Janice Kurbjun, executive director. The festival crams more than 60 diverse and independent films, free forums, activities and dialogues – comparable to an entire season of performances – into four dynamic days each September.
“What we provide is an awesome opportunity for the community to witness a myriad of topics presented through film, and engage with the filmmakers passionate about making these films,” Kurbjun added. “Film helps us understand our hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. As Roger Ebert said, ‘It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us.’”
Even more important than film is the ability to connect with it behind-the-scenes, with filmmakers. In 2016, the festival hosted actor Rex Lee, Disney animator Elise Scanlan and Pixar Studios animator Andrew Coats and producer Marc Sondheimer, in addition to more than 30 independent filmmakers representing their films. In 2015, the festival brought in Laika Entertainment, the makers of “The BoxTrolls,” for three community-wide stop-motion animation presentations. Another event linked the film “True Story” with its author, Michael Finkel, who has unique ties to Summit County.
“These relationships are so important to the film experience,” Kurbjun said. “The costs keep going up, but it’s critical we can bring this type of talent to the community to add layers of value for audiences, which includes the community, students, families, and visitors. These are some of the most impactful experiences we can provide.”