Spring has finally arrived!! I’m excited for the warmer weather here in MN, though we’ve practically skipped Spring, and goes directly from Winter to Summer 😀 Yesterday and today, temps reached 80 degrees already, while the average temp for this time of year is only 55. One thing I’m always excited about in Springtime is the arrival of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival! MSPIFF returns Thursday, April 13 through Thursday, April 27.

They present another spectacular showcase of over 200 buzzworthy films from both skilled veteran and emerging filmmakers from around the world, plus a full array of exciting parties, special tributes, and secret screenings. MSPIFF42 will kick off tomorrow, April 13 at The Main Cinema with Director Bill Pohlad’s new film, DREAMIN’ WILD as its Opening Night film. It stars Casey Affleck, Zooey Deschanel, and Beau Bridges.



What if a childhood dream came true–-but thirty years later? Singer Donnie Emerson’s dream of success suddenly came true as he approached 50 years old. While it brought hopes of second chances, it also brought ghosts of the past and long-buried emotions to the whole family.

The complete line-up of films in MSPIFF42 is up on MSPfilm.org, and All-Access passes are on sale now on MSPfilm.org/mspiff. 


MSPIFF42’s Closing Night Film is IT’S ONLY LIFE AFTER ALL, the intimate and inspiring Indigo Girls documentary that just premiered as the Opening Night Film at Sundance. The film spans four decades of music and includes Emily Saliers and Amy Ray’s activism with Winona LaDuke and Honor The Earth. Director Alexandria Bombach will be in attendance.



MSPIFF42 will host a Special Screening of WILD LIFE, the latest documentary from Oscar-winning Directors Chai Vasarhelyi & Minnesotan Jimmy Chin (Free Solo). WILD LIFE is a heartfelt cinematic tribute to conservationists Kris Tompkins, (former CEO of Patagonia) and her late husband, Doug Tompkins (founder of NorthFace) and their fight to preserve one of the last truly wild places on earth. 

Other Minnesota Made Films and films made with Minnesota Connections cover a variety of topics and genres. There’s 40 BELOW: THE TOUGHEST RACE IN THE WORLD, an intimate look at one of the most brutal endurance races which take place in Northern Minnesota, the coldest, most desolate area in America, in the dead of January!! Congrats to producer Melody Gilbert, who’s back at MSPIFF after she screened her documentary Silicone Soul in 2018.

For sports fans, we’ve got MINNESOTA MEAN, which follows the inside track of the Minnesota Roller Derby. Directed by Dawn Mikkelson, another MSPIFF alum whose doc Risking Light was one of my fave docs in 2018. There’s also FOOD AND COUNTRY, Directed by Laura Gabbert (City Of Gold), who will be joined in conversation following her screening by James Beard-winning Author/Chef Amy Thielen.

For music fans, there’s CUE THE STRINGS: A FILM ABOUT LOW, Directed by longtime Low collaborator Philip Harder, which follows their entire 29-year career, from before they were signed to the last time they took the stage in Duluth last fall.



I wish I could take 2 weeks off and just watch all the movies, ahah. Unfortunately, a girl’s gotta work, but I’ll be covering the festival as my schedule allows. I got my press pass, thanks to Kelly Nathe, MSPIFF’s Programmer & Publicity Manager.

I’ve got 11 tickets so far, hopefully I can find time for more. My fellow Minnesota film critic Brian Eggert from DEEP FOCUS REVIEW will also be covering MSPIFF, so be sure to check out his in-depth reviews on his website: deepfocusreview.com 

So here’s the list of films I’ll be seeing. The ones marked with * (asterisk) are directed by women:

  1. Dreamin’ Wild (USA)
  2. Before, Now & Then* (Indonesia)
  3. Chevalier (UK)
  4. Flamin’ Hot* (USA)
  5. Two Tickets To Greece (France, Greece)
  6. Polite Society* (UK)
  7. The Night of the 12th (France, Belgium)
  8. Aliens Abducted My Parents And Now I Feel Kinda Left Out (USA)
  9. Pianoforte (Poland)
  10. The Hamlet Syndrome (Poland, Germany, Ukraine)
  11. Wild Life* (USA)

Stay tuned for my reviews of these films in the coming weeks!

4 thoughts on “2023 MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (MSPIFF) opens tomorrow – runs April 13-27

  1. I’m so happy for this weather but apparently we might get rain and snow this weekend, But at least the snow won’t stick and it should melt away pretty fast.

    I haven’t attended any film festivals in a long time but it’s nice seeing these type of festivals are back in full swing now that Covid is slowly going away.

    1. Yeah I sure hope I can FINALLY put away my shovels!! 😀

      I just went to a clinic recently and the nurses aren’t wearing mask as the mandate has lifted, woot!! I’m glad to be back to in-person film fest, the theater was abuzz w/ people excited to be back mingling w/ other people again.

    1. Yes! We also have TCFF in the Fall so you can’t go wrong with coming to MN either in Spring or Fall. When you do please let me know so we can meet up 🙂

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