Gearing up for Twin Cities Film Fest 2014 – Indie & Documentary Spotlights + Meet the talents in attendance

Finally! Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) is coming tomorrow!! In the next 10 days, movie lovers in Twin Cities and beyond rejoice as TCFF features nearly 80 films, with a fun mix of highly-anticipated studio releases, with a bunch of indie films of various genres, some with homegrown Minnesota flavors! I’m glad TCFF has made a home in Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatres in St. Louis Park, which has been my cinema of choice for the past few years!

TCFF2014posterI have highlighted some of the lineup in this post, including documentaries and short films, broken down by themes in a block of a half dozen or so. There are still many more films I want to highlight, but before that, I’d like to draw your attention to TCFF Membership ….

At Twin Cities Film Fest, members enjoy several events per year that benefit both film lovers and filmmakers alike. The following benefits are available to all members beginning at just $100/year, which you can write off your tax as our organization is a 501(c)3 non profit. There are LOADS of benefits listed here, but I think the best one is the fact that TCFF members will enjoy year around programming with free screenings for members +1 guest. I mean, that alone makes your membership practically pays for itself.

TCFFMembershipChallenge

Great News! The Pohlad Family Foundation has offered a 1 to 1 match for all new TCFF Memberships! Yep, That means they will donate $100 for every new $100 Membership. TCFF Members receive exclusive benefits – like discounted tickets and festival passes in addition to  Members-Only Screenings and special offers from TCFF Sponsors.

BecomeAMember

FULL SCHEDULE is now online as well, click the image below to download a handy schedule in PDF format.

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In addition to screening films, Twin Cities Film Fest also have a bunch of great panels where you get to meet and learn from filmmakers and actors in attendance. Here are just a sampling of the actors who’ll take part in the Red Carpet festivities, check out this Red Carpet schedule, and some would also take part in the Actor Panel.

TCFF_ActorInAttendance

Saturday, October 18th, 4-5pm ICON Theatre Lobby

The workshop will include working actors with films screening at the 2014 Twin Cities Film Fest.  They will discuss their journey, training, projects, and the ups and downs of establishing and maintaining an acting career in both film and television.

Panelists include:

  • Haley Lu Richardson – Lead Role in The Well and The Young Kieslowski
  • Sean Maher – Lead Role in BFFs
  • Ryan Kiser – Lead Role in The House of Manson
  • Marisa Coughlan – Moderator, Space Station 76, Freddie Got Fingered, Super Troopers

TCFF14BannerI hope you’ll stop by FlixChatter in the next couple of weeks as a team of bloggers bring you TCFF coverage. I’ll be interviewing some of the talents, starting with Haley Lu Richardson on Friday AM. So stay tuned! 😀


Indie Spotlights

On top of the studio releases such as Men, Women & Children, The Imitation Game and Wild, there are a boatload of intriguing indie narratives you absolutely should check out! I’ve highlighted seven of them already [you can see all the trailers here], but there are so many more, starting with this latest addition:

Laggies (Sat, Oct. 25th, 3:00pm)

Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast:
Keira Knightly, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Rockell

In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan panics when her boyfriend proposes, then, taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika, who lives with her world-weary single dad.

Big Significant Things (10/17 – 3:00pm, 10/24 – 2:30pm)

Director: Bryan Reisberg
Cast: Harry Lloyd, Krista Kosonen, Sylvia Grace Crim

A week before they move across the country together, Craig lies to his girlfriend in order to go on his first road trip — to the south. Alone.

Old Fashioned (10/18 – 2:00pm, 10/22 – 4:30pm)

Director: Rik Swartzwelder
Cast:
Rik Swartzwelder, Elizabeth Roberts, LeJon Woods

A former frat boy and a free-spirited woman together attempt the impossible: an “old-fashioned” courtship in contemporary America.


BFFs (Sat, 10/18 – 6:00pm)

Director: Andrew Putschoegl
Cast:
Tara Karsian, Andrea Grano, Sean Maher, Larisa Oleynik

Kat and Samantha have been best friends for years. Kat is given a couples weekend workshop as a birthday gift by her mother (never mind that her relationship with her ex-boyfriend has been over for six months). Samantha never seems to have a problem finding men to date -they just never seem to last. Samantha convinces Kat to take advantage of the idyllic retreat by pretending to be lovers – how hard could it be? They expect some down time by the pool and maybe a few good stories to bring home with them. What they don’t expect is to get immersed in a world where they are surrounded by couples who are fighting to keep their relationships strong, and by default, make Samantha and Kat face their own shortcomings as they find themselves having to work on their relationship that isn’t really a relationship.

 

The Young Kieslowski (Sun, 10/19 – 3:00pm)

Director: Kerem Sanga
Cast: Ryan Malgarini, Haley Lu Richardson, Joshua Malina

Audience Award Winner, Los Angeles Film Festival: Grand romantic gestures need not apply in this comedic tale of star-crossed young love. Instead, freshman Brian Kieslowski displays endless reserves of bumbling awkwardness as he goes home with a girl for the first time… and then learns that he got her pregnant… with twins… all while she’s going through a rather inconvenient Christianity phase. Could it be that being the good guy and doing what’s right are two very different things? With writer/director Kerem Sanga presenting a seriocomic gauntlet for them to negotiate, Ryan Malgarini and Haley Lu Richardson deliver delightfully nimble performances, hitting all the right off-notes as two kids in just over their heads, whose luck seems as bad as their instincts. The fates may have conspired to prematurely drag them into adulthood, but they intend on going kicking and screaming.

Wild Canaries (Sun, 10/19 – 6:00pm)

Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
Cast: Lawrence Michael Levine, Sophia Takal, Alia Shawkat

A Brooklyn couple suspects foul play when their rent controlled neighbor suddenly drops dead.


Solitude (Tues, 10/21 – 8:45pm)

Director: Taylor Scott Olson and Livingston Oden
Cast: 
Armin Habibovich, Victoria LaChelle, Brent Latchaw, Alex Cotant, Glen Stone, Kelly Lavasseur, Amy Correll

After his mothers death, James Erikson discovers an old storage locker she had, that is filled with journals and newspapers of his family’s history. As he researches it, he finds out about the evil that his family has tried to contain for several generations.

 

Comet (Wed, 10/22 7:00pm)

Director: Sam Esmail
Cast: Emmy Rossum, Justin Long

Set in a parallel universe, Comet bounces back and forth over the course of an unlikely but perfectly paired couples six-year relationship.

No trailer available but here’s Emmy’s interview at LA Film Festival:


Ink & Steel (Sat, 10/25 – 5:30pm)

Director: Jonathan Ehlers and Patrick Ward-Perkins
Cast: Marc Basch, Jason Beckmann, Dennis Blazek, Molly Ryman

In this upstate New York drama, when a turf war engulfs the city, aging mob enforcer Michael retrieves the Don’s troubled son from his college partying. After they survive an attempted hit on the road home, Michael seeks refuge at a rural farm, imposing on a single mother and her teenage son living there. As violence escalates in the city, Michael is ordered to wait it out, keeping the boss’ son safe while coexisting as unwelcome house guests. But, when dark pasts threaten to collide, Michael, a man more comfortable solving problems with force, must find a way to keep the peace, and decide if he should break the Don’s son free of the cycle of violence which has haunted the family for generations.


Documentaries Spotlights

I always catch some intriguing docs during film festivals and this year is no different. I’ve mentioned three documentaries I’m planning to see, here are two more exciting ones I’ll be checking out:

Where The Trail Ends (Thurs, 10/23 – 5:00 pm)

Director: Jeremy Grant

“Where the Trail Ends” is a film following the world’s top free-ride mountain bikers as they search for untraveled terrain around the globe, ultimately shaping the future of big mountain free riding. This unparalleled story, told in glorious, gobsmacking high-definition, documents man’s challenge of mother nature and himself showcased through a cast of colorful characters. One of the most ambitious extreme sports documentaries ever attempted.

 

Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter (Thurs, 10/23 – 8:30pm)

Director: David Zellner
Cast: Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Shirley Venard

kumiko-poster

Kumiko lives in a cluttered, cramped apartment in Tokyo with her pet rabbit, Bunzo. She works as an office lady, robotically preparing tea and fetching dry cleaning for her nitpicky boss. But on her own time, she obsessively watches a well-known American film on a weathered VHS tape. Rewinding and fast-forwarding repeatedly, she meticulously maps out where a briefcase of castaway loot is buried within the fictional film. After hours of intense research—convinced that her destiny depends on finding the money—Kumiko heads to the United States and into the harsh Minnesota winter to search for it.

[No trailer available yet]

….


Meet the TCFF Bloggers!

Both Sarah and Adam are back to contribute reviews for you dear readers. Feel free to peruse the TCFF Archive page to read some of the films they’ve reviewed here, including We Are What We Are and The Liability starring Tim Roth.

TCFF_SarahJohnsonTCFF_AdamWells

And look who’s the new kid on the block this year! It’s Josh from JJames Reviews who’ve been long absent from the blogosphere [we miss you man!]. Well, he’s helping me review a whole bunch of indie films this year, woo hoo!

JoshP_review

And of course, yours truly 😉

TCFF_RuthMaramis


TCFF’s Silver, Gold & Platinum Passes are now available!

TCFFPasses(Silver and Gold Packages do not include Opening or Closing Tickets).

GET THEM EARLY
(while supplies last)

TCFFtickets

Individual tickets are on sale now at twincitiesfilmfest.org

2014 Ticket Prices are as follows:
General Admission $10; Opening Gala $25 (proceeds going to local charities); Closing Gala $20.

 


Hope you’ll stop by during FlixChatter’s TCFF coverage!

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28 thoughts on “Gearing up for Twin Cities Film Fest 2014 – Indie & Documentary Spotlights + Meet the talents in attendance

  1. Hope you all have fun – of the films you mentioned above – I’ve seen Laggies at the very recent Mill Valley (CA) Film Festival back on the 2nd of this month,

    Last Spring (April) I saw both Canaries and Kumiko at the SFF (Sarasota Film Festival) a hometown event that I’ve had press credentials four years running.

    I’ve reviewed all three films , but you should see the films before checking out my reviews. Enjoy!

    1. Hey there Mike! Very cool that you got to attend lots of film festivals. I’m looking forward to Kumiko the most, I quite like Rinko Kikuchi. I’ll definitely check out your reviews after I saw the films, so we’ll compare notes 🙂

    1. Hi Josh! I’m thrilled that you’re blogging for TCFF this year. Hey take your time man, we’ll all be back reading your blog again whenever you come back. In the meantime, I look forward to your reviews! 😀

              1. Ohhh you’re close by then 😉 Hope the weather is nice today Cindy, it’s actually quite nice here today, it’s supposed to get up to 70 degrees, yay! But of course tomorrow is back in the 50s again.

                1. It’s been overcast and rainy all week. That’s okay. I have plenty of sunshine back home in AZ. I came for the people and the maple trees turning. I wasn’t disappointed 😉

                  1. Hmmm, seems like we have better weather here in MN. But yeah, you are blessed to have plenty of sunshine & warmth in AZ. Well, enjoy your family time & the gorgeous Fall foliage!

      1. Thanks, Cindy!

        The school year is zapping my time, so the indies I’m watching for this fest are the only films I’ve seen since August. I miss it.

        Need to find time for movies again. At some point.

        1. I hear you. Making the time for the things you love is very important and very difficult when others depend on you. I have been slotting Sunday matinee once a month and squeezing in rentals. Good luck!

  2. Ooo, lots of good movies here. I already had heard of Laggies and have been looking forward to seeing it! The other ones that pique my interesting are Big Significant Things, Old Fashioned, and The Young Kieslowski. Really looking forward to all of the upcoming reviews! 🙂

    1. Glad we got Laggies kind of at the last minute. I just saw The Young Kieslowski and was very impressed w/ it. I’ll be chatting w/ Haley Lu Richardson on Friday so I’m looking forward to that, she’s definitely a great young actress in the vein of Jennifer Lawrence & Shailene Woodley. Thanks for stopping by Kris, wish you and Matt could be here but I totally understand that under the circumstances it’s not possible yet. Hey there’s always next year right? And you both are welcome to visit anytime 😉

      1. That’s super exciting! I imagine you are having a ton of fun at the festival right now, and I’ll definitely be checking out your posts soon! I wish we could, too, but I appreciate you understanding. I may just have to plan a trip out for next year so I’m better prepared for it! Thanks for the open invite . . . we’d love to see you guys again!

  3. Yay, love your coverage of the event. Looking forward to everything! I hope Laggies isn’t disappointing. I like Keira Knightly even though she annoys many. I hope she delivers a strong performance.

    1. Thanks Cindy! I don’t mind Keira in certain roles, but sometimes I do find her a bit annoying. I’m curious to see her in Laggies though, as it seems like a role I don’t typically associate her with. Plus I like Sam Rockwell!

  4. Ted S.

    I ran into Jatin and Bill last night after Fury screening. It sounds like they’re quite busy with getting things ready for the opening. I’ll try to see as many movies this year as I could.

    1. Hey thanks for stopping by Mariah, hope you’ll check out the reviews! Is there a local film fest where you live? It’s quite fun to get involved in one 😀

  5. Cool post Ruth. I’d love to go to a festival some day. I’m eagerly anticipating Laggies, and Comet – never even heard of it – sounds good.

    1. So there’s no film fest where you are, Josh? I couldn’t make it to Laggies as I had to rush to publish an interview. I hadn’t heard of Comet either before TCFF, it was good though not great.

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