Cameras for Kids 2018


The City of Boise is ripe with potential, and it’s art community is growing exponentially. That being said, the opportunities for creative students who wish to explore the medium of film are surprisingly lacking. As the city grows, we want to grow with it--and provide the means for our younger generation to be exposed to, and learn about, filmmaking. This competition is not only an excellent opportunity for students to flex their creative muscle, but is a gateway into getting these young filmmakers involved with the growing Boise Film Community, and helping them make connections to further their interests.

What is the competition?

The prompt for this year’s Youth Competition is: “Your Story Starts Here: I am Boise.” Whether you were born here or have showed up last year, living in Boise is now a part of who you are. We want you to tell your story.

What does this mean? Well, it doesn’t have to be a serious documentary about Idaho’s history—it can be a documentary about your cooky neighbor, a classmate's battle with cancer, bullying, a ghost story about the haunted house at the end of your street, or an adventure story about the lizard people that live in Bruneau Sand Dunes.

It can be any genre: comedy, drama, silent film, documentary, horror, stop-motion, animation, a music video—you get to choose. Whether it’s real or imaginary, goofy or serious, funny or sad, it just has to be something that’ll make us say “Yeah, now that’s Boise.”

What are the rules?

We do have a few rules for you to follow, check them out:

  • Your film should fit in the time frame of 2-8 minutes long.
  • Please make sure that your film is PG—something you’d be ok with your parents or teachers watching.
  • Your story MUST be original! We know you have it in you!
  • Your film must be made between the time submissions open in May, and close in August.
  • This movie must be made by YOU.
  • Can you ask your parents to use that nice camera that’s been sitting in the hall closet? Absolutely. Can you ask your parents to make the movie for you? Absolutely not. This needs to be a film made by youth filmmakers!
  • You can submit as in individual or in groups.

We need to see a few things in your final project:

  • A title at the beginning
  • Credits at the end. This means you need to give EVERYBODY credit! Every person who did anything to help you make this film, please make sure they get credit at the end of your film.
  • When submitting your film, please include a 3 line synopsis, as well as picture release forms—anybody you show in your movie needs to sign a release form for us to be able to show it at the festival! 
  • Because of all the rules and regulations behind music, you must also only use music that is un-licensed (but don’t worry, we’ve got stuff for you to use).

This all seems like a lot, huh?

Maybe kind of overwhelming? Don’t sweat it! We bet you have a camera, or know someone who does. You can even use your phone! Nothing to edit on? No worries! We have a great list of free editing resources. No clue where to find un-licensed music? No problem! Here are some awesome resources you can use—and they’re all free!

Free resources, from your BFF:

Still think you might need some help? Well, you’re in luck. Throughout the summer we will be holding three classes with local professionals to help walk you through any problems, and give you some tips!

  • June 19: Storytelling and the Basics of Pre-Production
    • 4-6pm Gates Room at the Boise Public Library
  • July 11: Production Tips and Tricks
    • 4-6pm Gates Room at the Boise Public Library
  • August 14: Final Notes and Comments
    • 4-6pm Gates Room at the Boise Public Library

Email Alyssa Pearson, BFF Director of Events, if you are interested in attending:

Tell me more about the judging process:

Your films will be judged on a few different factors:

Originality: The uniqueness and originality of your story

Creativity: Show us your imagination!

Structure: Does your story have a beginning, middle, and end?

Theme: Does your story fit into our theme, “Your Story Starts Here: I Am Boise”?

Ok now for the cool stuff—what can I win?

Once we have received all of your submissions, our committee will watch and rewatch them, and pick three (yes, three!) winners, who each receive a DSLR camera package.

Please note that while we encourage you to work in groups, we’ll only be able to offer one prize to the entire group—how you split it between yourselves is up to you. Winners will be announced in September at the festival!

Whether you’ve made 20 movies, or none, we believe your story is worth telling! Don’t be afraid to submit!

Questions? Email Alyssa Pearson, BFF Director of Events:

11 Days, 3 BFFs, 1 Awesome Sundance

On a frigid January morning, Alyssa, Jordan, and Melinda bid their pets farewell and piled into a snack-filled car. Their destination? Sundance Film Festival, in the postcard town of Park City, UT. They fought through treacherous snow, conquered formidable crowds, saw some truly kick-butt movies, and made fools of themselves over and over again (anyone know how to put chains on tires? The package said easy-on...).

Read about what delighted us, what frustrated us, the stuff we want to bring back to Boise Film Festival, and what we're happy to leave in Utah: 

1. What is your favorite memory from Sundance? What excited/moved you most?

  • ALYSSA: The energy you feel is inimitable. Surrounded by others from around the world and sharing these experiences--everybody is open and passionate, and the atmosphere is contagious. 
    A moment that will forever remain the most notable for me was being in the theatre during Assassination Nation. I have not felt that moved by a film in a long time--it was honest, real, and empowering. You know you’re in the middle of something good when the audience stands and cheers, gasps, laughs, and cries--all within the first hour of the film. 
    Having the opportunity to see RuPaul Charles speak on stage was a dream come true. His insights on life and releasing the Ego to become who you truly spoke to me on a deep level. Getting to party with him later on was simply the cherry on top. 

  • JORDAN: Highlights include watching Assassination Nation months before it takes the world by storm, sitting in a crowd of RuPaul fans with the queen herself only feet away, making connections with fellow volunteers, and strengthening my relationships with Melinda and Alyssa, the ultimate BFFs. 
    Also, there’s a quality that embeds itself in the very air of a film festival: a shared excitement for film, a feeling that everyone gathered in this tiny town has at least one thing in common, the buzz of too many films and not enough time--let’s call it inspiration.

  • MELINDA: I loved getting to know our BFF team better as well as meeting all of our fellow volunteers. The camaraderie of the Sundance volunteer community is incredible and we felt very proud to be such an integral part of making Sundance happen. I was most excited to see how comparable BFF is to Sundance--while not on the same scale, BFF is also curating innovative and exciting programming for our Festival attendees and local film community that are right in line with the direction Sundance is taking (with a Boise twist).

2. What is the biggest lesson you learned at Sundance? What's one thing that you would like to bring back to BFF?

  • ALYSSA: In regards to running a festival, the most impactful thing I took away is that despite all of the preparations and practice, nothing ever goes perfectly. There will always be bumps in the road or things that need reconfiguring last minute. Even the most well-oiled machine still has its ups and downs! As Director of Events, this was a comforting realization to have.
    There are a million and one ideas running through my head after this festival, but something that struck me as paramount to integrate into BFF is all of the events outside of just watching films. We already have panels and workshops, but being at Sundance gave me ideas for so many other interactive facets of the festival. There is much more magic to be made outside of just the film programming, and I cannot wait to integrate it into BFF 2018! (Also having a bumper song that gets stuck in your head, so by the end of the festival you can’t stop singing it!)

  • JORDAN: I really admired how clearly the festival admired their volunteers and filmmakers. Before many of the screenings they played a spot that asked everyone to applaud the volunteers that made the screening happen, and when we were wearing our bright blue volunteer jackets--even when we weren’t on shift--Melinda, Alyssa, and I would often get thanked by passersby for volunteering our time. There was a volunteer appreciation day, a volunteer party, and a volunteer pass granted access to just about any screening, party, or panel (if you were willing to spend an hour or two in line, which was the case even if you’d paid for tickets). All that said, there was definitely some room for improvement in how the volunteers were trained and utilized while on-shift, but they deserve some slack for having to confront the task of managing ~2,000 of us. I’d love for BFF to have a volunteer program that equipped its volunteers to be effective and confident in how they help, as well as grants some sweet, sweet perks.

  • MELINDA: The biggest takeaway was how seriously Sundance took everyone's safety and enjoyment of the Festival. We'll definitely be implementing more systems for BFF2018 that take safety, security, and comfort into effect.
    On a lighter note, Sundance created a film poster coloring book for attendees, which is something I'd love to incorporate at BFF2018 with an Idaho film theme.

3. What do you wish Sundance had done differently?

  • ALYSSA: From the standpoint of someone who has attended Sundance a handful of times, attending this year was a bit overwhelming. There was such a large number in attendance, that I got the particular vibe that more people were there to be seen, make an appearance at parties, and be a part of the spectacle than they were to really immerse themselves into the programming. As a film festival developer, it truly opened my eyes to what I want the scale of BFF to be and gave me a more solid idea of where I see our festival in the future. We do not want to be the next Sundance or TIFF, we are Boise Film Festival.

  • JORDAN: Lines, crowds, and waiting, oh my! Standing in line for a couple of hours to see the world premier of an exciting new movie as a volunteer is one thing, but eleven days spent corralled in tents with hundreds of other people, none of whom are even sure whether they’ll get into a movie that’s apparently just so-so is, well, exhausting. 
    Sundance is one of the largest and most recognizable film festivals out there, so there are a whole lot of people dumped in a tiny, tiny town for just a few days. While some could view BFF’s smaller numbers as a shortcoming, I found myself absolutely craving the smaller audiences, the lack of lines, the much, much less intimidating parties. We skipped out on a lot that Sundance had to offer because we simply couldn’t afford to spend a minute longer as an anonymous member of a crowd, and I found myself really glad that that isn’t the case for our festival. 

  • MELINDA: We took a lot away regarding how their volunteer program is set up and what we would/wouldn't incorporate into ours. A better understanding of what was needed on a day to day basis for volunteers would have saved us a lot of painful sitting around time.

4. What advice do you have for someone who plans on making the trip down to Utah in the coming years?

  • ALYSSA: Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. Some of the greatest connections we made were with people standing in line with us, and everybody is there to network and meet potential collaborators. Also, fair warning, you’ll be standing in a LOT of lines. Oh, and pack twice as many socks as you think you’ll need!

  • JORDAN: Volunteer part-time for the second half of the festival! We calculated that that’d be the way to maximize the amount of time spent at screenings and parties without wasting your whole trip on-shift. Also, make friends early! Just like high school, everyone there will be nervous about making friends but too cool to show it--just cut through the crap and say hi!

  • MELINDA: Drive there with your friends to ensure countless sing-a-long time, utilize the bus and shuttle system, don't worry too much about all the parties - the films and fellow volunteers are what make it special.

New BFF Incoming!

Boise Film Festival Announced as 2018 DaviesMoore CareMoore Pro Bono Partner


Boise Film Festival couldn’t be more thrilled to begin working with our new BFFs at DaviesMoore as their 2018 CareMoore Pro Bono Partner! 🤩 We’ve long admired the work of DaviesMoore, and are ecstatic to be part of a program which boldly prioritizes the culture and wellbeing of Boise, which, at the end of the day, is what BFF is all about.

BFF and DaviesMoore are both passionate about educating and inspiring the commonwealth of the Treasure Valley through the art of storytelling. For this reason, we feel this collaboration is a match made in partnership heaven.

Melinda Quick, BFF Executive Director, remarked:

Boise Film Festival is beyond thrilled about having DaviesMoore as our new BFF! The innovative CareMoore Program embodies both of our dedication to growing the Treasure Valley’s art and film communities in a positive and expansive way. We are so excited for all of the creative growth to come from this partnership and are very grateful to be the chosen nonprofit for 2018.

Stay tuned for a whole year of collaborative creativity—we’re simply chomping at the bit to dive into all the possibilities that lie ahead!

Now in its fourth 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 worldwide acclaim for Idaho’s film industry.

BFF2017 Idaho Film Panel

Saturday, Sept 23 at 3:30 PM at JUMP Boise - Pioneer Room (6th Floor)

Join us for our third annual Idaho Film Panel! Participants included below.

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George Prentice (Moderator)

Writer/Reporter, Boise Weekly

George Prentice began writing about film nearly forty years, when he was a movie critic for daily newspapers. Through much of his career, George has been an investigative journalist, working for the Associated Press, United Press International, ABC and NBC news, and media outlets around the U.S.. In 2000, George returned to Idaho to retire (or so he thought). Since that time, he has served as the host of Morning Edition and Weekend Edition on NPR radio in Idaho and as News Editor for the Boise Weekly. George is also BW’s film critic, and remains the only print journalism film critic in Idaho. His weekly columns appear in BW and in newspapers across the U.S.


Ryan Dean Posey (Panelist)

Filmmaker, Posey Pictures

Ryan Dean Posey is an Idaho native. With his experience working on television shows and pilots for various high-profile networks, including FOX's “Mobbed”, HBO's “Chemistry” and Comedy Central's “Key And Peele”, he brings his real world production knowledge to your important projects. As a visionary storyteller, he will help you as a client build strong relationships with your customers through high quality media and a production mindset straight out of Los Angeles. His filmmaking career started as an intern on the movie “The Runaways” in 2009 where he worked extensively alongside Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Joan Jett, and Academy Award-winning production designer Eugenio Caballero. Since then, he's gained over 7 years’ experience in all aspects of videography and video production, including camera operation, directing, editing, set production, transportation driving, locations, set decoration, grip/electrical, and music composition scoring.

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Rebecca Evans (Panelist)

Writer/Producer and Host, Our Voice

Rebecca Evans is a Decorated Gulf War Vet, with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Boise State University and a minor in Psychology. She’s a graduate student in Creative Nonfiction Writing at Sierra Nevada College and the Producer and Host of Our Voice television show, capturing topics that matter. Her writing includes stories of heartbreak and hardships. She’s a former Girls on the Runprogram director. Her awards include Boise State University's “Women Making History in Idaho”.  She lives in Idaho with her sons, pugs, Chiweene, chickens and an endearing bearded dragon. She once served Sammy Hagar tequila on stage.

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Zach Voss (Panelist)

Filmmaker, Retroscope Media

Zach Voss is a filmmaker primarily working in documentary and comedic genres whose work has appeared at Telluride Mountainfilm and National Geographic. He is the director of Retroscope Media, a commercial video production company which has produced work for Treefort Music Fest and Rutgers University. Retroscope was awarded Best of Show by the Idaho Advertising Federation at the 2016 Rockies Awards.

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Erica Deshner Cornwall (Panelist)

Filmmaker, Argos Productions

Erica started as a cable page for local sporting events and saved enough money to travel to England in 2001. This is where she fell in love with film and video as an art. A Salvador Dali exhibit in a London Art gallery inspired her. Armed with a Analog camera she wanted to capture everything about England. Then in Bath Spa her future dreams started to take shape and she started a journey.

She returned to school and designed her own degree, an Interdisciplinary Art Studio Study. Combining her fine art, theatre, dance and Photography, then finally devoting her senior year to video  and learning how to shoot, light  and edit with the help of a communication grad student. Her first job out of college was a Photojournalist for KBCI channel 2, soon she moved over to KNIN entertainment television as a creative producer, this is where she became part of the Idaho International Film Festival. After a few years as the assistant to the Technical Director she took over as the Technical Director in 2008 and 2009.

Since then she worked for KTVB in the promotions department from 2010-2012 and moved over to the Public service department until leaving in 2014. Returning to her theatre family and working with rigging, lighting, audio and carpentry. The Morrison Centre provides her with opportunities to work on the traveling broadway productions, the most recent Phantom of the Opera.  In film and video production she’s recently been doing G&E for local films including Re/collection the Sun Valley Film Festival recipient of the 2016 One Potato. She enjoys running camera and audio for The Idaho SteelHeads and is a partner in her own production company Argos Productions.

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Kevin Nielsen (Panelist)

Filmmaker, 42 Acre Films

Kevin Nielsen is an Idaho native that has been a part of the Boise filmmaking community since 2003.  He's spent that time working on projects with the many talented artists here in the Treasure Valley.  A writer, producer, director, and editor, Kevin has worked on countless projects including short and feature films, documentaries, and commericals.  Recently, Kevin started his own production company, 42 Acre Films, and produced the short film See Yourself Out, which is screening its Boise premiere at the 2017 Boise Film Festival.

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Michael Tetro (Panelist)

Filmmaker/Program Director, Synimatica

Michael Tetro is an award winning American Producer/Director that currently resides in Boise, ID. Tetro has been involved in professional film production since 2012 and graduated Boise State University in 2016 with a Degree in Communication/Digital Media and a Certificate of Cinema. Since then Tetro has produced, shot, and directed multiple narrative films including Re/Collection, Netflicks and Kill, Neon Idaho, Swing Low, After Walpurgis Night, Accidents, and Almosting It, a micro budget feature film that hit national distribution with Gravitas Ventures. Tetro is currently working as the Program Director for Synimatica, (an international streaming platform), the Creative Director for the Sun Valley Film Festival, and a full time Director for Snosey, (a creative film agency).

BFF2017 Virtual Reality Panel

Saturday, Sept 23 at 12:00 PM at JUMP Boise in the Pioneer Room

Let's get virtual. Or augmented? We'll figure it out. Join us for our first annual Virtual Reality Panel - moderated by Jose Angel Sáënz, The Virtual Reality Project and Idaho Virtual Reality Council. Participants include:


Jose Angel Sáënz (Moderator)

Digital Marketing Manager, Oliver Russell

Jose Angel Saenz is the digital marketing manager for purpose-driven marketing agency Oliver Russell. Outside of Oliver Russell, he works as a multimedia artist, social entrepreneur, STEM education evangelist and amateur philanthropist. His work spans a wide-variety of expertise from Creative Design, Photography, Film,  Virtual Reality, Design Thinking and Advising Social Entrepreneurs. In September of 2018 Jose launched a new company called iOneiro AI, a machine learning and artificial intelligence company aimed at preserving and sharing the human experience.

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Amy Gile (Panelist)

CEO/Co-Founder, Silverdraft Supercomputing

Amy began her career in media and entertainment nationally and internationally. After spending time in front of the camera as an actor and then as a Producer she identified a need in the industry for a better solution for production and for the artist. The demands of rendering, animation, and visual effects required a sophisticated approach to computing. From that point on she dedicated herself to building the highest performance compact supercomputers on the market for media and entertainment. Today, those same needs she identified for Hollywood are needed across several industries.

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Brendan Smythe (Panelist)

Creator, VR1 Arcade

Brendan Smythe is the creator of VR1 Arcade, Idaho's First Virtual Reality Arcade. A place where all ages gather to share experiences together. Brendan was only 19 years old when he started VR1. Taking a break from business school at BSU to help push and drive the VR movement right here in Boise. Which is why he is also a proud member of the Idaho Virtual Reality Council. Brendan took a big risk with a small investment and he has now inspired and trained young minds in the valley and continues to be a community leader in introducing people to Virtual Reality. When Brendan is not managing VR1 with his 6 staff members he is volunteering with the IVRC. On his free time he invests in his families local architecture firm. Creating new ways to explore architecture in immersive Virtual Reality walk-throughs. Saving time, money and building supplies. VR1 is currently celebrating its 8th month in business as it continues to grow stronger.


Jennifer Lastra (Panelist)

CEO and Managing Director, 360 Immersive

U.S. Navy Veteran Jennifer Lastra has spent the majority of her career in the defense sector working with several of the largest security contractors that supply military equipment and services to help ensure our Nations’ safety.

A certified Project Management Professional, Jennifer’s skills found a niche and cofounded 360 Immersive, LLC at a time when virtual reality was on the cusp of a massive period of growth. 360 Immersive educates organizations about the benefits of immersive training, demonstrates how the technology can be applied within the industry, and collaborates with experts to develop curriculum that fosters a culture of safety and enhanced situational awareness.

As the CEO and Managing Director, Jennifer and her team are dedicated to the company vision of preventing fatal and non-fatal injuries from occurring, one training experience at a time.  In addition to her certificate in project management, Jennifer has also earned a BBA and MBA in Professional Studies.

BFF2017 Youth in Film Panel

Saturday, Sept 23 at 12:00 PM at JUMP Boise in The Loft (5th Floor)

A big part of our BFF hearts belong to the youth and student media-makers and filmmakers here in the Treasure Valley. Each Festival year, we showcase that talent by partnering with The Directors Cut and their student filmmakers, we bring our Youth in Film Panel to 2017 with a bang and a lot of youthful buck.

Panelist photos and bios are included below and also include students whose films will be screening the morning before the Panel at 10:00 AM with The Directors Cut. The panel will be moderated by our extremely talented intern and current Film and Media Studies student at Whitman College, Jordan Miller.

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Jordan Miller (Moderator)

Filmmaker/Student, Whitman College

Jordan is a senior at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where he spends his time studying Film and Media, practicing French, and pretending he can’t hear his housemates telling him to turn the music down. When he’s not at school, Jordan is likely in Boise using his dog’s tummy as a pillow at Camel’s Back Park.

His love for film takes on all forms: watching movies, talking about movies, making movies, not being able to settle on a movie for hours and hours and just going to bed instead. In addition to keeping up with his diet of film and TV, he hopes to improve his skills with the camera and in documentary filmmaking, befriend the filmiest people he can find, and learn a whole lot about the world of film in Boise and Idaho.

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Ethan Holt (Panelist)

Filmmaker, Errant Vision Films

Local writer / director and Idaho native, Ethan Holt, has a passion for storytelling. From an early age, he embraced film as a creative medium and collaborated on numerous projects with his childhood friends employed as actors and crew under his direction. Ethan continues to explore the creative, subtle, and powerful methods with which ideas can be communicated through film. Currently, he produces independent films under the Errant Vision Films label and is the head of video production for the non-profit organization, STEM Revolution.

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Grant Osman (Panelist)

Filmmaker/The Director's Cut

Grant Osman graduated Boise State University in 2014 with a degree in both Communication for Media Production and Theatre for Performance, as well as receiving a Film and Digital Media certificate.

Immediately following, he began working for The Director’s Cut, a digital media literacy program that focuses on teaching the fundamentals of filmmaking to kids in schools and summer camps around North America. After traveling and teaching in nearly all the company’s set up locations, he has since been working as The Director of Digital Curriculum, producing all the video and digital content for the company. In addition, he shoots and edits for both personal film projects, as well as studio productions. He also acts as Vice President for the U.S. division of The Director’s Cut.

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Ruby Walker (Panelist)


Ruby Walker was born in Boise Idaho. She attended elementary school at Washington and is currently in seventh grade at North Junior High.  She lives with her parents, Randi and Ed, and her crazy, fun dogs, Daisy and Baxter. She also has an older brother, Davis (24).

She enjoys reading, art, skiing, camping, basketball and softball.  She especially enjoys playing her acoustic guitar and the double bass in school orchestra.  Ruby is at her best being creative and isn’t afraid to try new things. Her summer camp experiences have been varied, including two years at the Director’s Cut camp where she got to explore her interest in filmmaking. She was part of Derpa the Explerpa in 2016 and Back to the Future to Save the Past in 2017.


Jack Zuckerman (Panelist)


Jack Abner Zuckerman is a 12 year old student at North Junior High.  Jack enjoys playing the drums, rugby, writing and voice acting.  He is serious about his food and is a connoisseur of fine steaks and root beer.


Kayden Humphries (Panelist)


Kayden signed with a manager and agent in January 2015. We moved (temporarily) from Wendell, ID to Los Angeles, CA so that he could live his dream. His first audition, he got the role. It was a UCLA Student Film, starring and backed by James Franco. His second role was a guest star role on Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger. He has done several commercials over the years including Cheerios, Pedia Sure and some You Tube commercials. His most well-known ones were for Certa Pro Paint, Hasbro’s Headbandz Game and the Junior NBA.

Kayden LOVES making his own videos using his MacBook Air (that he saved to purchase himself). He really loves the directing and editing side of the film making process.

Kayden is a very hard working student, intelligent and has a LOVE for everything Apple!


Alyssa Pearson (Panelist)

Director of Programming and Events, Boise Film Festival/Filmmaking Teacher, The Director's Cut

Alyssa is a native Idahoan, Boise born and bred. She moved away to California to pursue her passion for filmmaking, and in the process also discovered a love for teaching. 

After six years of school, working in film production, and traveling the globe, Alyssa is back in Idaho. She is teaching filmmaking classes to kiddos who are eager to explore their own creative capabilities, and is so thrilled and honored to be a part of the Boise Film Festival experience. 

Alyssa is an avid book reader, explorer of mountains, and ultimate live music rocker, with a twist of yogi and a splash of crafting queen. On the rocks. Cheers!


Kobe Humphries (Panelist)


Kobe signed with a Manager and Agent in Los Angeles, CA in March of 2015. Without any acting classes at the time, he booked his first job a week later. It was the starring role on a short film called “Love and Miss Lilly” which has been screened at many Film Festivals. He won “Best Actor under the age of 18” at the Arizona Film Festival for his role in an anti-war comedy called “Gonna Be a Soldier” in 2016. Kobe went on to book many student films and short films. His directors love him and always ask to work with him again and keep in touch. He is a very hard worker and makes sure to not only know his lines, but he always knows his co-stars lines as well!

BFF2017 Women in Film Panel

Join us for our third annual Women in Film Panel - featuring Bonnie Bruckheimer (Hocus Pocus; Beaches; The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood), Amy Gile (Silverdraft), Yvette Harper (Filmmaker/Actress), and Erin Westfall (Cloud); moderated by Peg Owens, Pegasus Productions.

Friday, Sept 22 at 6:45 PM at JUMP Boise - JUMP Room (Floor #5)

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Peg Owens

Pegasus Production Services/Photographer/Filmmaker

Peg is the owner of Pegasus Production Services as well as the Former Film Commissioner at Idaho Film Office. She has spent her most of her life working as a photographer and filmmaker while striving to better the Idaho film industry.


Bonnie Bruckheimer (Panelist)


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.

Bonnie is 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 (

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Amy Gile (Panelist)

Co-Founder/CEO, Silverdraft Supercomputing

Amy began her career in media and entertainment nationally and internationally. After spending time in front of the camera as an actor and then as a Producer she identified a need in the industry for a better solution for production and for the artist. The demands of rendering, animation, and visual effects required a sophisticated approach to computing. From that point on she dedicated herself to building the highest performance compact supercomputers on the market for media and entertainment. Today, those same needs she identified for Hollywood are needed across several industries.


Yvette Harper* (Panelist)

Actress/Graphic Designer

Yvette Harper was recently voted Best Actress at the i48 Film Festival 2017 (novice division) and has been in the film community for years. She is in two films “Sounds of Silence” and “Netflix & Kill” (both screening at BFF2017). She is a local Emcee, Social Media Coordinator (currently for the film The Unlost) and Graphic Designer. She is locally recognized for her light-hearted presentation at Ignite Boise 2015 about online dating. Ask her about social media/marketing for your film!

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Erin Westfall* (Panelist)


Erin Westfall is a filmmaker from Boise, Idaho. Starting in theater, she received a degree in Theatrical Lighting Design from Central Washington University in 2004. Since moving to Boise she has co-founded a theater company (Daisy's Madhouse), designed and acted with numerous theater companies in the area, and eventually decided to try out film. Erin has had the opportunity to work with many of the wonderful local film companies in the valley as an actor and as a crew member. Most notably, Erin was on the ground floor of the creation of Lady Les Bois, a film company dedicated to providing opportunities and training of women and girls in all areas of film production, as well as the soon to be OMGFemalefilmmakers!, a place for female directors and producers to let their visions come to life.

Wanting a challenge, Erin wrote, directed, and produced a short narrative, Cloud, in 2016 with a budget of only $100 (to feed the cast and crew). She is currently in preproduction for a short horror narrative, in production for staring in The Unlost, by Stephanie Cullen, and is co-writing a feature length script.

*Indicates the panelist has a film screening at #BFF2017

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.