TCFF Day 5: Fair Game concluded the 5-day film festival

Bill Pohlad (far right) with Naomi Watts and the writers of Fair Game at Cannes

The Twin Cities Film Fest concluded its five-day event with a festive Fair Game screening, attended by Minneapolis-native film producer William (Bill) Pohlad (who’s also part owner of the Minnesota Twins). The Pohlad family foundation was one of the primary sponsors for the festival and played a huge part in funding this event, the Pohlad Family Foundation offered a dollar-for-dollar matching grant if consumers and film lovers can collaboratively donate $5000 leading up to the festival. Many moviegoers outside of Minnesota might not have heard of him, but most likely you’ve heard of the films he’s produced. Some of his biggest projects include Brokeback Mountain, A Prairie Home Companion, and the Sean Penn-directed Into the Wild. According to bizjournal, Pohlad launched a new production company Apparition last year, which was the company behind the Jane Campion period drama Bright Star and the upcoming Terrence Malick’s drama Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. That movie marks the third collaboration between Mr. Pohlad and Sean Penn (who also stars in Fair Game) and reportedly a fourth one is forthcoming, according to Filmofilia, Pohlad will direct Penn in book editor Max Perkins’ biopic.

I finished my shift late afternoon last night, which gave me enough time to grab some dinner and back in time to see Fair Game. About 10 minutes before the movie started, Mr. Pohlad arrived dressed in jeans, white shirt and black sports coat. He also introduced the movie, a political drama based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) whose covert identity was exposed by a politically motivated press leak.

Well, this week was a record for me as far as movie-watching is concerned, I don’t think I have seen that many films within a 5-day period! In my post last week, I was hoping to catch these five movies during the film fest, and guess what, I got four out of five! Tuesday I got to see Nowhere Boy (read my review), followed by the documentary World’s Largest and Secretariat on Friday, and Fair Game on Saturday. As the festival attached two short films in front of some feature films, I also got to see Per Bianca and Flourtown shorts, the latter combined live action and animation, which was quite a visual feast.

Glad to say that all the movies I saw were all enjoyable, my favorite of all of them was probably Nowhere Boy, with Secretariat a close second. I should have my review of this one and Secretariat sometime early next week, I was hoping to get ’em done tonight but I’m kind of taking a bit of blogging break after such a hectic week.

My first time volunteering at a film festival was a blast, I probably was a bit ambitious trying to fit everything in: blogging, on-site volunteering and watching the films, so maybe I’ll just do two out of three next year 🙂 World’s Largest‘s director Amy Elliot held a Q&A after the screening and she said that the highlight of making the movie was meeting the people she met along the way, some of which became personal friends. Well, I would have the answer if someone asked me what the best part of this whole volunteering experience was. Of course watching the movies were great, but the highlight of being a part of TCFF for me was getting to know the staff and fellow volunteers, a lot of them from the local film community. Ulysses, Lee Jordan, Kathleen, Holly, Michael, Melissa and MJ, it was a pleasure knowing you and hope we’ll meet again at some point. Becky, a.k.a. Prairiegirl, thanks for signing up to volunteer with me, it wouldn’t have been as fun without you!

Congratulations to Jatin Setia and co. for the success of the TCFF debut, it was truly a feat to transform your vision into reality. Of course it helps to have such a great staff alongside you: Bill Cooper, Robyn Johnson, Erin Halvorson, Naomi Dahlgren, John Mellesmoen, and the rest of the staff – great job everyone, I’m sure you all deserve the much-needed sleep by now! 😀 As a passionate movie fan, I thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful event. Here’s hoping for continued success for TCFF in the years to come!