BFF Filmraiser: "Stolen Innocence"

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BFF is introducing a new part of our annual Festival program: BFF Filmraisers! 

These events focus on providing free screenings of films that speak to a certain social issue that also raises funds for that specific issue. Thanks to The Handlebar, we will host a FREE screening the incredible documentary "Stolen Innocence" and raising funds for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

"Stolen Innocence" delves into a hidden world; the untold story of young women captured and forced into a life of sex slavery. Without a voice, without a choice, these girls are violently trafficked into the worlds largest sex ring.

Filmmakers Casey Allred and Chris Davis compile shocking footage and emotional interviews, uncovering the secret sex trafficking industry throughout India, Nepal and Bangladesh. You can read more about the film here:

If you are unable to attend and would still like to donate, please contact us at

You can check out the full BFF2017 schedule and buy additional Festival passes here:

#BFF2017 #BFFilmraiser #StolenInnocenceDoc

Chad Miller at BFF2017!

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We are so excited to welcome Chad Miller to BFF2017 and to Boise. 

Chad Miller is the Founder of Cinema Machine Management, a consulting company focused on advising independent filmmakers on navigating the world of development, distribution and marketing. 

He has worked in the business of entertainment for more than 15 years. 

Chad started his career as a Story Analyst at the United Talent Agency and quickly moved through several production companies before joining AT&T on the team that developed their flagship product U-verse Television. 

For six years Chad helped build the AT&T U-verse video-on-demand division from a tiny test base of 32k around their headquarters in Texas to more than 3.5 million monthly subscribers across the USA.  [Side note: recently AT&T acquired DirecTV and their subscriber base is now more than 25 million.] 

In January of 2011 one of Inc Magazine’s Fastest Growing companies, Gravitas Ventures, hired Chad to join their team to lead their acquisitions and sales efforts. Over the next 5 years, Gravitas Ventures was twice more listed on the Inc Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing companies and became one of the largest distributors of feature films in the USA. Since departing Gravitas Ventures, Chad’s focus has been on building the clients for Cinema Machine Management, which now have included ITVS, BitMax, Comedy Dynamics, and his former employer, Gravitas Ventures, in addition to many independent filmmakers.

This is Chad’s first visit to Boise, Idaho and he looks forward to meeting the community of talent and fans here.

Please join Chad during the "Disrupting Distribution" break-out session with Michael Tetro from Synimatica on Saturday, Sept 23 at 12:30 PM in the JUMP's Inspire Studio. No ticket necessary!

Bonnie Bruckheimer at BFF2017!

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Producer Bonnie Bruckheimer to speak on BFF2017’s Women in Film Panel

BOISE, ID - Producer Bonnie Bruckheimer will be traveling to Idaho to promote her next feature film project, The Boy On The Lake, currently in development and based on the book of the same title about life experiences of local cancer survivor, Trevor Schaefer, whose personal struggles with cancer inspired Trevor’s Law (

Bruckheimer will be attending the third annual Boise Film Festival during the weekend of Sept 21 - 24, 2017, at JUMP Boise - including an appearance as a panelist in the Women in Film panel on Friday, Sept 22 at 6:45 PM. The full schedule can be found here.

Bruckheimer began her Hollywood career at Columbia Pictures, later forming All Girls Productions with Bette Midler, and producing such hits as Beaches, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. She is also currently serving as an adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

“We are unbelievably excited to welcome Ms. Bruckheimer to Boise; to Idaho; and to the third annual Boise Film Festival this year. Her willingness to mentor up-and-coming filmmakers while staying dedicated to relevant themes of work that speak to much larger dialogues within our society is exactly what BFF works to stand for and cultivate within the Idaho film industry.”  -Lana Westbrook, BFF Founder

Now in its third year, BFF celebrates innovative and original filmmaking for the Treasure Valley Community in one of the most thought provoking, entertaining, fun-filled, educational film festivals in Idaho. By becoming a positive force in Idaho with its annual Festival and through sharing the tradition each coming year, Boise Film Festival plans to greatly foster growth, collaboration, and world-wide acclaim for Idaho’s film industry.

Farewell to Intern Jordan and hello BFF Jordan!

The following is a note from our summer intern, Jordan Miller, who recently finished his 10 week internship with BFF. We wanted to assign him one last task that brought together all elements of his internship and a blog about his experiences seemed to fit the bill. We are so grateful for his time, his efforts, his humor, his dedication, and his openness to the craziness of BFF. Thank you, Jordan, for all that you have done and all that you will do! 

"I'm a stress Googler: my go-to method of procrastination from tough assignments and big projects is looking up graduate programs in puppetry, open apartments in Montreal, or careers at Trader Joe's - to name a few. Usually, these searches and introductory emails sent into the internet void yield nothing but more stress. There have been a tiny handful of exceptions, though - including, to my surprise, a film festival in my own hometown. 

The first time I met Melinda, BFF Executive Director, was at Goldy's Corner in the literal center of downtown Boise - I arrived twenty minutes early and spent them in a corner booth sweating bullets. When Melinda showed up, she gave me a hug and ordered a beer. We chatted for nearly an hour - she shared her journey after graduation, asked about my life and my interests, explained what she does at the Festival, talked about how I might be able to get involved. Our conversation was many things, but it was clearly not a critical evaluation of me. I didn't walk away with that slimy, post-job-interview feeling of being interrogated. Instead, I left the cafe feeling like I'd made a connection with someone whose work really interested and inspired me, and who I could tell felt the same way about me.

I didn't realize it at the time, but this first meeting told me so much about Boise Film Festival. 10 weeks of my internship later (and admittedly a lot of tacos from our weekly team meetings), and I still find myself so enamored by the culture of BFF and attitude of those who make it happen. It's been really special to work in an environment with people who clearly approach their work with an enormous amount of dedication, respect, and integrity, but without pretentiousness or haughtiness. Call me crazy, but I think that's what puts the Boise in Boise Film Festival. 

Once the thrill (and constant anxiety) of working in a new place began to wane, I met my first challenge: working from home. From drafting social media posts and blog entries to researching and compiling contacts, a sizeable chunk of the way I could be helpful to BFF involved a screen. It took me a couple of weeks to register that spending the day inside and on my own was beginning to wear on me, and I was also quickly learning the lesson that combining your space of work and your space of relaxation is a dangerous game. There is also plenty involved in a film festival that lies far, far outside of my comfort zone - what stands out for me is talking with local businesses about sponsorship and partnership with the festival. Each walkthrough of downtown, cold call, and meeting chipped away at my discomfort in approaching what were usually strangers with our organization, but my calcified discomfort is an incredibly important thing to have noticed throughout my internship.

One of my big goals for the summer was to develop an understanding of Boise as a cinematic city, and boy oh boy did people talk my ear off about the topic. There were people convinced that it's just not meant to be, that we're on the precipice of having a major studio open shop, that our city is a joke in the film department, and that we have some major talent. I wish I could say that I've solidified a complete portrait of Boise, but each person that I spoke to had some truth in what they were saying. There is indeed a lot of talent here, but at this moment we simply don't have the infrastructure for that talent to come together into something truly formidable. My main question now is whether that's what makes Boise a fun place to make film, or whether it's just foolish and exhausting to make film anything more than an occasional hobby in the Valley.

Heading back to Walla Walla for my last semester is bittersweet, but I'm really going to miss spending as much time as I did with Melinda and Alyssa and all the other friends of BFF. I've gained experience, perspective, skills, and friends, and I think of Boise Film Festival with exceptional fondness. I'll be back for the Festival weekend in September to help out and see the culmination of all the work that's been devoted, so please say hi! And be sure that I'll find a way to keep being a part of BFF - I could be in a hut in the middle of the Siberean tundra and at the least find a way to tap into some wifi to keep up with the posts. 

Many thanks and lots of love,


We are thrilled to mention that Jordan will be considering a continuing role with the Festival over the next month as he begins his last semester at Whitman College and figures out how he can best stay involved. Come say hi to him and the rest of the BFF team at #BFF2017!

FSTEM? STEFM? STEMF? Let's talk about STEM in film.

Categorization of art (such as genre and movements) often feels cheap and reductive, but it does help us make sense of sprawling artistic landscapes and talk to one another about broader patterns and trends. While the lines are sometimes blurry, genre is typically cut and dry: comedy makes us laugh, horror makes us scared, and drama makes us feel. Film movements and eras are a little tougher to call, but with some perspective, the trends throughout history become a little clearer. In the US, we learn about the (American) foundation of filmmaking: Classical Hollywood Style, where a film was akin to a recorded stage play: dramatic, static, and with intricate sets and meticulous staging. In the late 1950’s, the tightly choreographed style gave way to a new wave of instinct-driven, experimental, and anti-formalist filmmaking that rippled throughout France, Italy, Germany, and the US (think The 400 Blows, Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, etc.). While it’s hard to identify a movement while we’re in the midst of it, there are speculative murmurs of what the future’s film history textbooks might identify as the definitive features of today’s landscape: franchise filmmaking, flashy style over substance, or gritty superhero. For us at BFF, one thing that stands out in mainstream filmmaking is the role of digital technologies, computerization, engineering, and mathematics in film. So, although they may not seem to go hand-in-hand at first, we wanted to start a conversation of the interplay between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and our fav thing ever, film.

While it’s perhaps easier to spot the role of STEM in today’s filmmaking industry, left-brained thinking has been around from the beginning; it's built into the fundamentals of filmmaking. First of all, film as an art form couldn't exist without film as a constructed, physical, object. Plain and simple, the genesis of film wasn't artistic, it was technological. Before the Spielbergs, the Coppolas, and the Godards could make their name as cinematic artists and industry big-hitters, motion-picture cameras were technological novelties. In the 1880's, a camera that was able to capture motion onto a film strip in real-time, rather than by a series of posed stills (à la stop motion filmmaking), was constructed in order to better understand the gait of a galloping horse. Not long after, the first film was shot - and the years following introduced film not as an art form, but as a technological marvel. Over the next hundred years or so, technological advancements in film stock (and camera lenses) not only allowed for higher efficiency and quality in filmmaking, these different engineering methods permitted a great deal of stylistic control over the look, tone, and feel of a film.

Speaking of look, tone, and feel, any filmmaker understands that while scripts tell a plot, the real story of a film can often get lost without careful attention to a cinematic element that the untrained audience member may hardly even notice: lighting. Lighting a film requires an extraordinary comfortability and knowledge of lighting equipment, cables, generators, and accessories. Anyone that's spent time on a film can confirm that gaffers and their lighting crew communicate in what may as well be another language. Additionally, knowledge of the physics of how light moves, bounces, and casts shadows is fundamental in knowing what the subject of a shot will ultimately look like. Take a look at this video, and see the way one woman's face can change depending on the angle, the brightness, the movement, and the color of light cast upon her.

Similarly, sound design is a meticulous craft that greatly impacts how a film not only sounds but how it feels to an audience. Foley, the reproduction of sound effects added to a film in post-production, not only requires artistry and creativity, but a great and methodical knowledge of how materials interact and how the ear and brain react to different audible stimulus. Today, computers and digital sound-making are added to the equation: sound engineers work with technical aspects of sound during the processes of recording, mixing, mastering, and reproduction. Audio engineers work with microphone technologies, sound waves, frequencies, reverberation, and a whole lot of intimidating knobs and dials to create soundscapes that make up alien worlds, war zones, fantastical adventures, and even an ordinary rainy day:

On the topic of computers, it's time to address the elephant in the room (err, on the screen?). All modern movie-goers can attest to the miles and miles of names and titles that proceed any superhero or action movie that's come out in the last couple of decades: editors, colorists, rotoscopists, animators, visual FX coordinators, and many, many more. Plain and simple, most movies made today involve far, far more hours in front of a post-production screen than they do on set. In addition to hours, these new technologies require training and talent with computing, with coding, with software engineering, and with countless other elements built into STEM fields. 

STEM has a place in film - so what? Dialogue about the arts vs. STEM is more polarized than ever: Which should get funded? Which is employable? Which makes for a good college major? Well, we're beginning to think that the line between art and STEM isn't nearly as first meets the eye. 

What do you think? Does the role of STEM in film history and production surprise you? What do you think the growing inclusion of STEM fields means for the future of film? And, most importantly, what the heck acronym do we use?!

Look out, there’s a shark in the theater!

We’ve all heard the statistic: you’re more likely to die from a wayward vending machine than a shark attack. Despite the pleas of environmentalists and activists, movies just can’t seem to stop casting sharks--and their rows of razor-sharp and blood-stained-teeth--as frenzied killers. Jaws, The Shallows, Deep Blue Sea--the horror genre has been shark-infested for decades now. But what makes sharks so chilling? Why do filmmakers keep reminding us of the (mostly imagined) danger of sharks? And more importantly, why is it so fun?

In any good horror film, the best thrills come in the moments before the jump scare, the silent and breathless on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling before the Big Bad jumps from around the corner. For this reason, it’s worth considering a quintessential element of shark horror: water. More than any graveyard or a haunted house, water renders humans uniquely vulnerable. It's enormous, it’s disorienting, it slows us down and deafens our screams. Oh, and we also can’t breathe in the stuff! Submerged in a deep pool of water, there’s also a three-dimensionality to the threat of attack: something can come from behind, above, below. Even when you’re on a boat, the dark and distorted depths have a panopticon effect: you can’t see what may or may not be watching and stalking you from below. So, perhaps the creepy depths do most of the work, and sharks are simply the teeth-bearing poster child of the sea that finish the job.

Once the waters have gushed in an eerie sense of horror and tension, enter the shark: incredibly versatile and effective in the way that they instill a sense of dread and panic. They work alone and travel in frenzied packs, they can play the stalking long-game and suddenly dash in for a quick and violent attack, they can be lean and svelte or formidable and hulking. Heck, they even travel via tornado these days. No matter what you find scary about sharks, though, we can all agree about one thing: the most bone-chilling, horrific shark film ever made is Shark Tale. That animation is really the stuff of nightmares.

What do you think of the legacy that sharks have carved out for themselves in film? Have a favorite shark movie? Let us know!

And be sure to come celebrate all things shark and film with us at Sharks After Dark on Friday, July 21st from 7-10 PM at The Discovery Center! It'll be a frenzy of JAWS-dropping programming: live music from Red Light Challenge and Mighty Fang, sushi dumplings from Genki Takoyaki, drinks by Powderhaus Brewing, the world class Planet Shark Exhibition, of course a screening of Sharknado by yours truly, and much, much more. 21+! Get your tickets here!


Local Bronco Billy Expert Chimes In

With our upcoming screening of Bronco Billy as part of the Movies that Move series, we talked to Sandy Kershner, author of "On the Trail of Bronco Billy" about the film, her book, and the legacy of Bronco Billy in Idaho. Here's what she had to say:

"In September through November 1979, Clint Eastwood’s Bronco Billy was filmed in 20 locations in the Treasure Valley. Over 1500 local people were hired to be extras in this movie. 28 of the 42 speaking parts were filled by local people.

Whenever local folks watch this movie, they see the way places that play very important roles in their lives looked in 1979, and the way people they loved (children who have since grown up and older folks who have since passed away) looked back then. Whenever anyone in this country or beyond watches this movie, they see these people and places too.

'On the Trail of Bronco Billy'--a book which first came out in 2011--is about this filming--about the locations involved--their history and what people visiting them today would find. It is also about the memories local people still have of that experience--memories of what it was like working with Clint Eastwood.

Dennis Hackin shared with this book, a story about how his childhood inspired him to write the Bronco Billy screenplay. David Worth, the Director of Photography, shared many of his memories of the filming. … Clint Eastwood gave his approval to the photos in the book.

Local newspapers, especially the Idaho Statesman, shared articles they had printed about the filming, including the one in which Clint Eastwood says: 'Thank you! You’ve been great! The Idaho filming is finished and we wanted to express our gratitude to all the people we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Your warmth, hospitality, and generosity have been second-to-none. Though we have caused inconvenience to you, you have always been friendly, helpful, and patient. From all of us, thanks. We hope you will ask us to come back again.' (Sunday, November 11, 1979.)

'On the Trail of Bronco Billy: The Last Roundup' will hopefully be completed by September 2018. In addition to stories from more local people and from Alan Cartwright (Clint Eastwood’s double in the trick riding scene) and J.W. Stoker (Sam Bottom’s double in the trick roping scene), this book will include special events and displays involving the filming, including Boise Film Festival's screening at The Dutch Goose. I am hoping to meet some folks at this event who were extras in this movie or helped in other ways and would like to have their experiences included in 'The Last Roundup'."

Check out Sandy's book, "On the Trail of Bronco Billy" here.

And don't miss Boise Film Festival's screening of Bronco Billy on Friday, June 30th at 7 PM at The Dutch Goose--one of the original filming locations of Bronco Billy!

An Intern's Cinematic Focus

We asked our kickbutt summer intern, Jordan, his thoughts on Boise Film Festival and his expectations for his summer experience. Here's what he said:

Jordan's very excited about our potential "Cereal Cinema" events. Stay tuned for more details.

Jordan's very excited about our potential "Cereal Cinema" events. Stay tuned for more details.


"The Boise Film Festival (BFF) works to introduce and maintain the presence of film in Idaho through the avenues of education, collaboration, and showcase. My internship falls at the intersection of three projects: community outreach, marketing, and event programming. BFF engages in the mutually-supportive projects of inviting established and prominent filmmakers to the area, as well as making film an approachable platform for communities and individuals--particularly Idaho youth--who may have otherwise never thought or had the means to pick up a camera, all with the ultimate goal of making Idaho a viable hub for cinematic production, expression, and culture.

I was so excited to learn about an organization embarking in the project of using film to develop community in my hometown. As one of the few Film & Media Studies majors without plans to move to Hollywood to make it big after graduation, I’m thrilled with the possibility of expanding my own awareness of what I can do with my interest and major. I see this as an opportunity to utilize the education I’ve received about the businesses of media to gain knowledge about the Idaho film industry, to utilize programming and advertising skills that I’ve gained as an RA in running a Festival, and to capitalize and hone in on the technical and artistic skills I’ve developed at school via the internship’s creative facets (i.e. graphic design, marketing, and digital marketing, etc.). This will also be an incredible opportunity to network with other small-scale, independent filmmakers, as well as have the invaluable experience of being exposed to a unique type of work (and part of the country) in film.  

With such an emphasis in community outreach, my day-to-day interactions will prepare me to approach, communicate with, and work with people from all walks of life. I will focus on widening my bubble of engagement, to borrow some Whitman language, largely because I unfortunately don’t always manage to do so when I’m in Walla Walla. In addition, BFF has set up a variety of professional development meetings for me with different professionals in the film, graphic design, and art communities here in Boise, which is very exciting for me to have access to not just the film community and professionals, but all of the other applicable areas that fall under the Festival umbrella.

I hope to use film as an invitation to form community and ignite excitement, and in addition, to learn about the interests, concerns, and experiences of community members in my hometown via the work that they produce and/or exhibit through BFF.

I am so happy and proud to be BFF's newest BFF."

Picture Perfect Poster Auction

Remember when Boise Film Festival asked a bunch of local artists to reimagine classic film posters with Idaho landscapes? Well, the local artists did and now it's time to auction the work off! 

Join us for our inaugural Picture Perfect Poster Auction on Saturday, June 17 at 3:00 PM at Boise Brewing!

Artwork will be on display in the mezzanine level at Boise Brewing. You will be able to silently bid on the work between 3:00 PM and 4:30 PM, with the final winners of each piece being announced at 5:00 PM.

Thank you to Boise Brewing, BFF's Official Beer Partner, for hosting us! 
#BFF2017 #BFFppp #BFFauction17

Let us know you're attending by RSVPing to our Facebook event here.

Boise Film Festival Presents: Bronco Billy!

Yeehaw Broncos! This month's Boise Film Festival Movies that Move screening is the one, the only: Bronco Billy!

Friday, June 30 at 7:00 PM at The Dutch Goose (Boise)!

And, as usual, we're in the perfect venue to watch what the New York Times described as "the best and funniest Clint Eastwood movie in quite a while..." because yes, of course, this is Eastwood at his finest as both director and lead actor.

Wait, why is it the perfect venue to watch this classic American fable of the Old West? Oh yeah, because portions of the movie were filmed at The Dutch Goose - DUH! Super meta, right? Other scenes were filmed throughout Idaho because Clint ♥ Idahome.

"An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest." (Rated PG)

Thank you to Cracklin Gourmet Popcorn for providing once again some sweet popcorn for all of us to munch on. And thank you to The Dutch Goose Boise Idaho for hosting us and for always having great beer on tap and even greater food on hand! Check out all the awesome Boise Film Festival events at our website: #BFF2017 

Let us know we'll see you there by RSVPing at the Facebook event here.

Open for BFF2017 Submissions - Jan 1, 2017!


Boise Film Festival Open for Submissions on January 1, 2017


BOISE, ID - On Sunday, January 1, 2017, Boise Film Festival (BFF) will officially open for submissions in the following categories for local, national and international filmmakers to submit their films for the third annual Boise Film Festival in September 2017. Full access festival passes, VIP event entrance, hotel discounts and perks will be available to all filmmakers who are chosen to screen at the festival.


  • Idaho Film - Short and Feature

  • Student/Youth - Short and Feature

  • Documentary - Short and Feature

  • Narrative - Short and Feature


Any entries can be submitted via Filmfreeway:

*Entries filmed in Idaho or filmed by Idaho talent are able to use the code “BFFIDAHO” to submit a film for free.

BFF supports and promotes film arts within the local community as well as for filmmakers and their audiences worldwide. Through the production of our annual film festival, year-round events, and educational activities, BFF engages the entire community in the appreciation of the film arts.

The Festival is proud to not only showcase new creative talents, but also to provide an interactive experience where filmmakers and community can come together to share their art and ideas. BFF supports the growth of our local film economy by connecting our state to independent artists from around the world.

Now in its third year, BFF celebrates innovative and original filmmaking for the Treasure Valley Community in one of the most thought provoking, entertaining, fun-filled, educational film festivals in Idaho. By becoming a positive force in Idaho with its second annual year and through sharing the tradition each coming year, Boise Film Festival plans to greatly foster growth, collaboration, and world-wide acclaim for the Idaho’s film industry.





BFF + Idaho Laugh Fest = Comedy Shorts Film Festival


Join us at the 4th Annual Idaho Laugh Fest for our Comedy Shorts Film Festival!

Thursday, January 12 - Sunday, January 15, the Idaho Laugh Fest will be hosting screenings of selected Comedy Shorts from around the country at The Egyptian Theatre. 

Use our promo code "BFF" to get free tickets to any of the screenings and make sure to join us for all of the other incredible, laughter-filled events that weekend as part of Idaho Laugh Fest.

Join the Board of Directors!

Are you interested in helping to foster the creation, appreciation, and understanding of independent film in Boise? If the answer is yes, then we may have just the volunteer opportunity for you. The Boise Film Festival is open to considering qualified candidates for board membership.

We’re looking for individuals who are passionate about film and video as media for personal and artistic expression, and who believe in the potential of film and video to have strong social and community impact. Boise Film Festival is particularly seeking board members with interest in marketing and communications, experience in fundraising, legal expertise, and knowledge of the local community. Previous board experience is helpful but not necessary.

Board membership goes beyond traditional volunteering and into the highest level of visionary leadership for the organization, assuming legal and financial responsibilities while serving as a community ambassador for the mission. Serving as a board member provides a unique opportunity to put your passion for a social cause into action by applying your experience and expertise to help advance an organization’s impact. It’s a rewarding way to fulfill your need to serve your community while learning new skills that can enhance your own career.

If you are interested in supporting independent filmmaking by joining the Boise Film Festival’s Board of Directors, please email letter of interest and resume to