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An African Election

The 7th Annual Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF), voted “one of the coolest film festivals in the world” by MovieMaker magazine, is already making headlines with a star-studded lineup of celebrity guests and today is rolling out its action-packed program. The Festival takes place in scenic Boulder, Colo., Feb. 17-20, and will bring films, filmmakers and international fans together for a four-day celebration of the fine art of filmmaking.

The Festival kicks off Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. with an Opening Night Red Carpet Gala and screening of Troubadours, directed by Morgan Neville and straight from its world premiere at Sundance. Using rare, never-before-seen archival footage of legendary performances, Troubadours tells the story of The Troubadour Club in L.A. which launched the performing careers of some of the best singer-songwriters of their generation, including Carole King and James Taylor. Neville will be in attendance for a Q & A session after the screening.

“BIFF continues to grow and prove itself as a respected, must-attend film festival with celebrities, screenings, and special events,” said Kathy Beeck, director of BIFF. “We’re confident that this year’s program offers some of the best films the industry has to offer and that the selection will resonate well with our community and attract film enthusiasts from across the country.”

BIFF will also feature “A Conversation with James Franco” on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7:30pm and a Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., including a tribute to Oliver Stone, Oscar-winning producer, director and screenwriter.

Film highlights from the festival include:

“Freedom Riders” A screening with special guest Congressman John Lewis. As an original Freedom Rider, Lewis endured mobs, beatings and arrests as he traveled on bus rides across the Deep South to fight Jim Crow laws and end segregated interstate bus travel.

“Mother: Caring Our Way Out of the Population Dilemma” World premiere from Colorado filmmaker Christophe Fauchere. Mother breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that lurks silently as the root cause of our planet’s largest environmental, humanitarian and social crises — population growth.

“An African Election” Direct to BIFF from its premiere at Sundance. Director Jarreth Merz returns to Ghana, the country of his childhood, and finds himself in the middle of a highly spirited presidential campaign between Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party and Professor John Atta Mills from the National Democratic Congress. Merz will be in attendance.

“Nostalgia for the Light,” Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth. For astronomers, it’s the perfect place to build large telescopes. For archaeologists, it’s the perfect place to peer into our past because the dryness prevents rotting and mummifies human bodies intact.

“Sarah’s Key,” a special presentation by the Weinstein Company. Paris, July 1942: Sarah is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard and promises to come back for him. Sixty seven years later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of an American journalist (Kristin Scott Thomas) investigating the roundup.

Festival tickets will go on sale today at or by calling the Boulder Theater at (303) 786-7030. Individual film tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors 65 and older. All-access festival VIP passes are $345.

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