Opening Night Green Carpet Gala Kicks Off on Friday, June 25, 2021, with the Boulder Premiere of Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) is pleased to announce its annual Opening Night Gala and the Boulder premiere of the film Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. Summer of Soul will screen Friday, June 25, 2021 at 7:30pm at Chautauqua Auditorium and is preceded by the Green Carpet Gala at 5:30pm on the beautiful green space outside Chautauqua. There will be an additional film-only screening at 4 pm on June 25. The festival is limiting indoor capacities at all of its venues. 

"We're thrilled to feature Summer of Soul at Chautauqua Auditorium on Opening Night. It’s an incredible film, featuring music from some of the best singers and musicians of all time, and reflecting upon a turning point in Black life in America. It's going to be a very special Opening Night for our 17th year,” said Robin Beeck, BIFF’s Executive Director. "BIFF 2021 will be one of the first big events in Boulder since the 2020 festival last March, and we're excited to come together and celebrate with our community."

Friday, June 25, 2021
Chautauqua Auditorium - Opening Night Film:
Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

USA, Feature Documentary, 2021, 117 minutes
4:00 pm: Opening Night Screening 1, $35 Film Only
7:30 pm: Opening Night Screening 2 plus Gala, $95/Free for Passholders (Tickets for Film + Gala are very limited)
5:30 – 7:00 pm: Opening Night Green Carpet Gala preceding the 7:30pm screening

Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park).  The footage was never seen and largely forgotten—until now. Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Staples Singers, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.

SUMMER OF SOUL premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. It will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s the Onyx Collective; Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically. 

Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. 
Produced by: Joseph Patel, p.g.a., Robert Fyvolent, p.g.a., David Dinerstein, p.g.a.

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm BIFF Opening Night Green Carpet Gala
The Opening Night Green Carpet Gala is an outdoor celebration and will be held on the Chautauqua Green outside the auditorium. Pasta Jay’s, Red F Catering and Provisions, and Savory Cuisines will provide a selection of tasty bites to enjoy alongside wines from Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and local beers and Spiked Snowmelt hard seltzer from Upslope Brewing. Note: The Gala is not included in the 4 pm film-only $35 ticket. 

Film-Only Screening

4 pm film-only screening - $35
Does Not Include Gala
Film + Green Carpet Gala Screening
7:30 pm - Film+Gala - $95
 Gala starts at 5:30 pm
Buy Tickets Now!

Festival Passes on Sale Now!

More big announcements coming soon! BIFF 2021 is June 24-27. Summer dates give BIFF the opportunity to present an award-winning lineup of films, while featuring Boulder’s world-renowned venues and adding outdoor spaces for events, parties and film screenings. Passes are limited due to seating limitations - full festival pass price is $495. We will be following Boulder County Public Health requirements and protocols in order to present the festival in the safest way possible for festival volunteers, staff, and attendees.


For the ultimate film lover who wants guaranteed entrance to almost all BIFF film programs, parties, and events! The Festival Pass price is $495*. The Festival Pass includes entrance to:

  • Friday, June 25 Opening Night Red Carpet Gala and Film
  • Closing Night Awards & Film
  • VIP Filmmakers Reception
  • BIFF Outdoor Cinema
  • Four Select Films in the BIFF Virtual Cinema
  • Priority access to film venues (ahead of ticket buyers)
The full 2021 lineup of films and events will be available online at in early June. For more information, email

• BIFF will offer refunds if the festival is cancelled due to public health or other reasons. Programs/Venues are subject to change.
• The CineCHEF Fundraiser is a stand-alone event and is not included in the Festival Pass. 

Buy Festival Pass

Volunteer Positions Still Available!
It's not too late to sign up to volunteer for BIFF 2021!

Volunteers are at the heart of BIFF's success in the Boulder community. Whether you have volunteered in the past or attended the festival as a patron and want to be more involved, we want you to join the BIFF volunteer team!

We are currently seeking additional security volunteers to help support some of our special events this year including Opening Night and our new Boulder Community Fair, both on Chautauqua Green! Some security experience is preferred, but not required. For more information, please email Volunteer Director, Abra Allan, at

If you are a new volunteer, please register through our volunteer database, Shiftboard, HERE and we will contact you shortly with more information and work to find you the perfect role.

If you are a returning volunteer, please log into Shiftboard and click "YES To 2021" to let us know you'll be joining us for another amazing Festival Season. If you have any questions, email

If you signed up to volunteer for BIFF 2021 keep an eye out for more news and updates in our Volunteer Email going out tomorrow, Friday!

Want to invite someone to become a BIFF volunteer? Forward this email or click HERE to share a new volunteer registration form with friends and fam

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