About BNF

Beyond Normal Films (BNF) was formed in October 1996. We are a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is to provide cultural and educational activities in support of the cinema arts in Bloomington-Normal and Central Illinois, and to research and recommend to the Normal Theater unique foreign, American independent, and documentary films of artistic quality.  BNF activities include:

Two annual BNF Farlee Film Festivals: 2-week showcases of BNF-recommended foreign, American independent, and documentary films in the spring and fall of each year. 

• Four members-only free Cinema Sessions films: one each quarter.

• Annual members-only BNF meeting each fall with prizes, refreshments, social networking, and a free film showing.

• Grant support for special film events in the Bloomington-Normal community through the BNF Cinema Arts Project.

• Opportunities during the year for members to offer their input on films to recommend to the Normal Theatre through BNF online polling. 

• Email notices and mailings promoting movies and events at the Normal Theater that are recommended to the BNF membership and aligned with our mission.

• The BNF website with the latest information on BNF-recommended films at the Normal Theater, events supported by the BNF Cinema Arts Project, and other film resources and historic materials of the organization (beyondnormalfilms.org).


Members of Beyond Normal Films are part of a community. We believe in the value of showing high-quality independent, international and documentary films on the “big screen.”  We support the unique role of the historic Normal Theater and want to ensure that it remains a viable, thriving venue where people come together to experience great film.

Members receive special email notices and invitations for upcoming films, festivals and other events. We also conduct members-only polls to suggest films to the management of the Normal Theater. Our recommendations reflect the diverse interests of our members, including compelling dramas, edgy comedies, and internationally acclaimed documentaries. 

With your membership dues, you’ll receive five invitations annually for you and a guest to attend specially selected members-only free films. You’ll benefit from an inside look at movies that are often overlooked by local big-screen theaters. You’ll be supporting the value of seeing great films as they were meant to be seen and heard. And, more important, your membership and contributions to our Cinema Arts Project will support an exciting range of creative endeavors in the cinema arts.  

Join now!

Mary-Margaret Simpson

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