A Utah film festival founded to celebrate bad movies is trying something new this year: movies that some people think are pretty good.
The Bicknell International Film Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the music event known as Woodstock with two movies, one by an Oscar-winning director and the other an acclaimed documentary featuring many of the artists who played at the 1969 event in upstate New York.
The film festival, revived in 2018 after a five-year hiatus, is set for Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, at the Bicknell Theater in the south-central Utah town west of Capitol Reef National Park.
The theme is “BIFFStock: All the Fun Without the Mud.”
The Saturday night movie is Ang Lee’s 2009 comedy-drama “Taking Woodstock,” starring comedian Demetri Martin as the young entrepreneur who organized Woodstock and had to deal with the craziness that it wrought. The movie, based on Elliot Tabor’s memoir, also stars Imelda Staunton, Eugene Levy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Liev Schreiber.
The Sunday night movie is “Festival Express,” released in 2003 but comprised of long-buried footage of a 1970 concert tour across Canada, whose performers partied by train between stops. The acts captured in the film include Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, the Band and Buddy Guy.
Festival organizers previously announced two special guests of the festival: Bobbi Kelly and Nick Ercoline, who became icons of the concert when a photo of the couple, huddled in a quilt, became the cover for the album “Woodstock.” Kelly and Ercoline had been dating a few weeks at the time, married a couple of years later, and are still together now. They will talk to the Bicknell audience about the social and cultural impact of the 1960s.
Screenings start each night at 7 p.m.
Woodstock is considered one of the signal moments of the 1960s, when some 400,000 people descended on a dairy farm near White Lake in Bethel, N.Y., in the Catskills, on Aug. 15-17, 1969.
BIFF was launched in 1995, playing B-movies and oddities in late July every year until 2013. The festival returned in 2018, under the umbrella of the Entrada Institute.
Tickets are available in advance at paybee.io/@entradainst. Tickets are $15 each night, which includes admission to that night’s movie and afterparty. Sales are limited to six tickets per person.