If you live on the Front Range, chances are you think of Boulder first and foremost as a college town. The People’s Republic, however, is a growing hub for techie types—Forbes magazine named Boulder one of the country’s “Geekiest Cities“—and also recently garnered some love as a hot spot for filmmakers. Boulder ranks third among smaller towns on a new list by MovieMaker magazine of the best places to live and work as a filmmaker. (Asheville, North Carolina, and Ashland, Oregon, ranked first and second; MovieMaker ranked larger cities in a separate category.) In the piece, the magazine quotes Louie Psihoyos, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Cove, as saying “Boulder is becoming the Silicon Valley for documentaries.”

The good press comes at a good time: This month, the town will host the 10th annual Boulder International Film Festival. (Here, a few films to look out for at the upcoming festival.) Sisters Kathy and Robin Beeck started the popular festival a decade ago, and might just know the Boulder film scene as well as anyone. They grew up working at the town’s local theaters and always thought Boulder would make a perfect setting for a film festival. 5280 recently spoke with Kathy and Robin about the film festival, how it got started, and how they narrow down the long (read: thousands of submissions) list of possible films to show at the festival each year.

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