Counting Down to TCFF! Featuring ‘The Bully Project’ & ‘Like Crazy’ on Opening & Closing Night

In less than three weeks from today, the Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) opens on September 20. The festival organizer has kindly asked me to be the lead blogger this year so I’ll be covering the event extensively, hopefully more so than I did last year on TCFF’s debut.

I’m excited that this year the event will take place at Showplace ICON Cinemas with The Shops at West End as the main sponsor. I love this cinema, it’s definitely a great alternative to AMCs with their state-of-the-art technology and reserved-seating feature, plus it’s a heck of a lot cleaner than most theaters in town.

I received the Press Release via email last week, and whilst I’m still waiting for the official line up to be announced, we’ve got info on the two movies that will open and close the event.

The Bully Project – Opening Night, Sept. 20

Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch will present The Bully Project, a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Hirsch will introduce the film and conduct a Q&A afterwards.

Here’s the summary per IMDb:
This year, over 5 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. The Bully Project is the first feature documentary film to show how we’ve all been affected by bullying, whether we’ve been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness.

Hirch’s previous work include Amandla! a Revolution in Four Part Harmony, Discovery Channel’s series documentary Next World, and a History Channel special, Act of Honor. The Bully Project is slated to open in the Twin Cities March 2012.

Like Crazy – Closing Night, Sept. 24

I love movies about bittersweet romances and Anton Yelchin is one of my favorite young actors working today, so I’m quite excited about this one. Like Crazy won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner and it tells the story of a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. Being a US immigrant myself, the subject matter is certainly something I could relate to, though I’m very blessed that I ended up falling for someone from my own homeland 😉

Director/Co-Writer Drake Doremus (Douchebag) and star Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night) will introduce the film and host a Q&A following the screening. Yelchin has such a likable presence on screen, he was great as Checkov in Star Trek and I even like him as Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation. He was also at Comic Con to promote Fright Night and he seemed like a cool guy. I hope I’d be able to get at least a couple of soundbites from him later this month!

I quite like the trailer, despite its inherently romantic subject matter, it doesn’t look corny or overly-schmaltzy. There’s believable chemistry between Yelchin and the English-born Felicity Jones and their struggle to make their relationship work seems heartfelt and genuine. The music sounds good one as well, I love the Ingrid Michaelson’s rendition of Can’t Help Falling in Love playing in the background towards the end. Check out the trailer below:

I will post the 2011 TCFF complete schedule as soon as I have it, which hopefully will be Tuesday as the PR sheet says tickets is available beginning September 6th. I’m desperately hoping Machine Gun Preacher will be shown during the Fest as my friend Ted told me last week, fingers crossed!!

For more information & last year’s recap of TCFF, visit the official website.

If you live in the Twin Cities area, are you planning to attend TCFF this year? As for everyone else, are you interested to see either one of these films?