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The Sound of Us

The Sound of Us" illustrates that during this critical time in world and U.S. history, music gives sound to hope and courage, allows us to grieve and be honest, and is the great, universal language that unites us all.

As the world grapples with unrest the profound truth remains that, through music, we are not alone.

The Sound of Us weaves inspiring stories about the beauty and goodness of music with interviews and performances by artists such as Ben Folds, Sarah McLachlan, Avery*Sunshine, Eric Whitacre, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Hiromi, Antonio Sanchez, Butch Walker, Will Wells, Patti Smith, and many more. Combined, these powerful vignettes illustrate how music heals us, gives us hope for the future through our children, keeps our heritage and history alive, allows us to have the most difficult of conversations, sheds light on current struggles, and continues to invite us back to the thing that unites us all - music.

The film is directed by Chris Gero, a Grammy nominated, American music industry executive, concert producer, record producer, songwriter, film director and composer, founder of Yamaha Entertainment Group of America and Chief Artist Relations Executive for Yamaha Artist Relations Group




The Sound of us wins Best Documentary Feature at Beloit International Film Festival: AND THE WHE WINNERS ARE...

"Thank you Beloit International Film Festival- humbled and honored to be here! @thesoundofus"

Chris Gero director of 'The Sound of Us' one of our BEST FOR FESTS




Beloit International Film Festival Honors Filmmakers with Annual BIFFY Awards







BELOIT, WI - After an exciting week that saw audiences once again fill screening venues in downtown Beloit to watch more than 130 independent films, the Beloit International Film Festival presented its annual coveted BIFFY Awards. Filmmakers and BIFF leadership gathered on Sat., March 4, for the presentations at the Hotel Goodwin in Beloit.


“Best” film awards were given in each of the BIFF categories and for regional winners in the annual WI/IL Showdown. In addition, special honors were presented in general categories.


The BIFFY for Best Narrative Feature went to Americanish, directed by Iman Zawahry. The Film is set in the New York borough of Queens where two sisters and their fresh-off-the-boat cousin try to earn the love and respect of the matriarch of their family.


The Best Documentary Feature BIFFY went to The Sound of Us, directed by Chris Gero. The film chronicles a series of wide-ranging, diverse stories that exemplify the power of music and the triumph of the human spirit.


Best Narrative Short award went to Ian – A Moving Story, a nine-minute Argentine film directed by Abel Goldfarb about a boy born with cerebral palsy who refuses to give up on his efforts to have friends, accomplishing something that will surprise everyone.


Best Documentary Short recognition went to The Roads Most Traveled: Photojournalist Don Bartletti, a 25 minute film directed by Bill Wisneski about a Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist who shares heart-wrenching stories from his forty-year career documenting the migration of Central Americans to the United States.


The Best Music Video BIFFY went to Canadian filmmaker Gavin Michael Booth for Everything All At Once which embraces the story of a ten-year-old who, obsessed with seeing his deceased mother again, builds a device in his family garage hoping to gain back the time cancer took from him.


The WI/IL Showdown recognition for Best Regional Feature went to director Joe Brown for Operation Wolf Patrol, a feature-length documentary about eco-activist, Rod Coronado, and his attempt to end wolf hunting in the U.S.


The Best Regional Short BIFFY went to Mittens, a six-minute narrative from director Justin Johnson that tells of the heartfelt journey of a pair of red mittens, created by a grandmother and gifted to granddaughter.


The Josh Burton Award, recognizing artistry in filmmaking and honoring a much-loved deceased local actor, went to Kafkas from U.K. filmmaker Nick Blake, a 17-minute narrative film that tells the story of a college-educated woman with a head full of philosophy and an unhealthy obsession with Franz Kafka.


The Executive Director's Award was shared by Dairyland, a 26-minute documentary from Taylor C. Pipes about a fourth-generation Swiss dairy farmer in Wisconsin who struggles to keep his farm open, and by I Want Him Dead directed by Daniel Pico, a narrative Short about a woman who finds no choice but to kill her cheating boyfriend.


The annual President’s Award went to Surviving Sex Trafficking, a documentary feature from director Sadhvi Siddhali Shree that examines the ongoing struggles of survivors as they fight to break free of their past, heal their bodies and minds and find hope for the future.


The 2022 People's Choice Award, based on audience voting at the weekly BIFF Year Round screenings in Beloit, was shared by Swing State: The Road to Friendship?, a documentary feature From Beloit director Bryan Oldenburg which bears witness to some authentic attempts at reaching that long-forgotten concept called the brotherhood of man, and Pompano Boy, directed by Andrew Paul Davis, a narrative feature about a conflicted minister who deals with his marriage and a new foster child.


The annual Power of Film BIFFY, given to films that change lives, the world, and the way we think, went to Synthetic Love, a 24-minute narrative short from French filmmaker Sarah Heitz de Chabaneix about a women who fantasizes about a man she works with who shares his life with someone very peculiar.


The Golden Laurels Award, an honor that has only been given once in BIFF history (All the Queen’s Horses, 2018), was presented to the runaway festival hit, The Six. The award is reserved for films that embody excellence in independent filmmaking, as well as outstanding performance at the box office.


An annual BIFF tradition, the Honorary Chairperson Award typically goes to someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support independent filmmakers, their films, the mission of the Beloit International Film Festival, and the Beloit community in general. This year’s BIFFY went to long-time beloved board member and volunteer, Jeff Livingston, who has continued to serve the festival, despite having recently gone through heart and kidney transplant surgery.





About Beloit International Film Festival




The Beloit International Film Festival this year marks its 17th season as the region’s major international cultural event. BIFF is generously sponsored by the Hendricks Family Foundation and Visit Beloit in association with Beloit College. Support for the Festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Critical individual support for BIFF is provided through gifts and membership in the BIFF Film Society of Beloit.






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