TCFF 2021 Reviews: A Northwest Passage + Everything In The End + Drunk Bus

tcff-2021-reviews

These film are currently available online throughout the entire Twin Cities Film Fest – Oct 21-30. 

A Northwest Passage 

ANorthwestPassage-MN-doc

Shot entirely in the neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis, A Northwest Passage tells the story of its residents, neighbors, business owners & employees, and activists who call that part of the largest city in Minnesota their home or place of business. Shot by Gregory Alan Paape and Tyler Paul Hudson during the four months between September and December 2020, the documentary deals with how people of various ages, faiths, skin color and sexual orientations have dealt with the events that came together in Northeast Minneapolis, in Minnesota and in the United States as a whole.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the unrest following the murder of George Floyd, the Presidential Election and  the ramifications of those events coming together made the year 2020 unique for everyone including the residents of Northeast Minneapolis. Paape and Hudson take us throughout one of the oldest neighborhoods of Minneapolis, as people are ordering takeout, catching a bus, shopping at Target or Cub Foods, or shooting hoops with their friends. The interviews they conduct with these strangers show that these people are more connected than they might realize. Even though they might not realize it, they share the same hope, fear and desire to make their community a better place.

I would strongly recommend this documentary for everyone who wants to learn about how one community survived the events of 2020 and came out stronger together.


tcff-2021-bnr

Check out my recommendations of which TCFF films to watch


Everything In The End

EverythingInTheEnd-indie-poster

The premise is quite simple; Paulo (Hugo De Sousa) has travelled from Portugal to Iceland, while still grieving from the recent death of his mother, a trip they were supposed to do together. While there, news the world has been waiting for finally arrives – earth will cease to exist in a matter of days. Unable, and somewhat hesitant to go back home to Portugal, Paulo is stranded in a small Icelandic village where not everyone speaks English, and he spends his last days wandering a delicate foreign land and encountering the people he will spend his final hours with. He makes intimate human connections with a mother and her son, bonds with another younger man with the help of a bottle of alcohol, and uses the help of a middle-aged man, who assists Paulo find his way around the Icelandic countryside. Each brief moment of human connectedness helps Paulo process his grief as he comes to accept the end.

EverythingInTheEnd-indie-film

Everything In The End is directed and written by Mylissa Fitzsimmons, in her feature directorial debut. It was shot in Iceland with a crew of seven people and beautifully showcases the quiet natural wonder of waves crashing along the shores, while also exploring subtle themes of climate change and Earths destruction through meaningful visuals. Also, the character of Paulo is written as a relatable, vulnerable and charming young man who shares in film’s main theme; who are we, as humans, as members of society and as inhabitants of this planet? The answers to those questions may not be easily told in words but the film does so by showing us that it’s the small details in life that make us human.

Everything In The End is one of my “can’t miss movies” of the 2021 Twin Cities Film Festival!


Drunk Bus

Drunk-Bus-indie-poster

This equally funny and outrageous film follows the life of Michael (Charlie Tahan), who recently graduated from college. In his mid-20s, Michael’s futures plans get derailed when his girlfriend leaves him for a job in New York City, and he is left stuck in Ohio without a new plan of his own. The only thing left for him to do is to continue the endless loop of driving the “Drunk Bus,” the debaucherous late-night campus shuttle that ferries drunken college students from parties to the dorms and back. After several physical altercations with drunken college students, the bus service hires a private security guard named Pinnacle (fun fact: his real life name is Pineapple Tangaroa) to watch over the night shift and keep Michael safe.

The 300-lb punk rock Samoan, whose tattooed face is impossible to forget, gives Michael a good ass-kicking to try to force him to break from his “Drunk Bus” loop and start living his own life or risk driving in circles forever. Partly a coming-of-age journey, and partially a crazy, wild night of partying, the movie finds the perfect balance between a rowdy, indulgent comedy and a poignant and heartfelt drama.

Interestingly, this movie would fit well in this year’s TCFF change maker series topic of mental wellness; because Michael’s mental state in the movie really changes 180 degrees from start to finish.


One Time Online Screening Tonight!

Check out the details + get your ticket!

americanish

Director: Iman Zawahry
Runtime: 91 Minutes

Set in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, the film follows a relatable and endearing storyline offering a fresh perspective on classic rom-com tropes. Americanish delves into the complexity of trying to both honor and break from cultural traditions while balancing personal values and career goals in a society that does not always accommodate both.


AdmitOneTicket

To learn more about TCFF or get tickets visit twincitiesfilmfest.org


TCFF 2021 Horror Reviews: Night at the Eagle Inn + The Curse of Raven Heights

tcff-2021-reviews

One of my favorite things about Twin Cities Film Fest is that it always takes place close to Halloween, so it’s the perfect time to check out independent horror movies I might not have heard of otherwise. While there aren’t quite as many this year as there have been in previous years (thanks, Covid), there are still some great ones to check out.

Even if you’re still trying to avoid large social  gatherings, there are several films, including a couple I recently watched, that are available for streaming. 

Night at the Eagle Inn

Director: Erik Bloomquist

night-eagle-inn-poster

My first film was Night at the Eagle Inn, in which twins Sarah (Amelia Dudley) and Spencer (Taylor Turner) visit the mysterious and secluded hotel in Vermont where they were born, their mother died, and their father disappeared 24 years earlier. While horror stories taking place in hotels is nothing new (this one even has one fun homage to The Shining), it’s still a great setting if it’s well done, and fortunately for this movie, it is. There’s plenty of suspense and genuine scares without any need for special effects, proving that simple horror tropes can be effective when done well.

night-eagle-inn-still

Both the score and set design are excellent. The lead actors have great sibling chemistry, and Beau Minniear as Dean, the handyman, gives a really fun performance, especially toward the end. My one gripe is that some of the dialogue between the siblings, especially when they meet the eccentric night manager (Greg Schweers) comes across as awkward and unbelievable at times. Overall, though, this is an incredibly enjoyable horror movie. 


tcff-2021-bnr

Check out my recommendations of which TCFF films to watch


The Curse of Raven Heights

Director: Blair Smith

The-Curse-Of-Raven-Heights

My second film was The Curse of Raven Heights, which follows a widowed father, Kyle (Paul Economon), and his young daughters Robin (Sally-Anne Hunt) and Angela (Hannah Rae Theisen) as they travel to the home of his deceased Aunt Ginny to settle her affairs. They soon discover that Ginny and her sister were part of a coven, and a tragic event may have set in motion a curse affecting the family generations later. While this film isn’t quite as solid as the previous one- the writing is a little unevenly paced, and they try to fit a bit too much into its hour and twenty minute run time- there’s still a lot to enjoy.

The-Curse-Of-Raven-Heights-still

It’s beautifully shot, the score is lovely, and the family dynamic between the father and daughters is really nice. Some of the performances are a little melodramatic, but it mostly works with the tone of the movie. While the writing is a little messy at times, this is still an engaging, unique horror film.

Night at the Eagle Inn has screened at TCFF on Saturday, October 23rd at 9:30 PM and The Curse of Raven Heights is screening on Friday, October 29th at 9:30 PM, or you can stream either of them on twincitiesfilmfest.org.


tcff-dailyrecap

Check out the Film Fest Daily Recap on TCFF YouTube Channel !


laura_post


AdmitOneTicket

To learn more about TCFF or get tickets visit twincitiesfilmfest.org


TCFF 2021 Reviews: Paradise Strong + Pretty Boy

tcff-2021-reviews

Paradise Strong

paradise-strong-doc

This film is available both in person at the Showplace ICON Theaters on Friday October 22 at 4:30 PM and online throughout the entire run of TCFF – Oct 21-30. 

This is the true life story of the Camp Fire, a wildfire that devastated the community of Paradise, California on November 8, 2018. Minnesota-based director Jonathan Vinson went out to California to interview the families directly affected by the Camp Fire. He showcased the courage of the survivors, which radiates not only in their efforts to save their neighbors and themselves, but also in their unwavering resolve to heal, to care for their neighbors, and to hold onto hope for the future. Search and rescue efforts turned out to be only search and recovery.

The Red Cross had to stay for longer than usual to accommodate individuals displaced by the fire. This would turn into the deadliest wildfire in California history, burning most of the homes in the community. After the fire, thousands of people in the Paradise area were trying to figure out how to rebuild and if it can ever be the same as before. Many families had to make the painstaking choice to leave Paradise forever, while others found a way to stay in the area and even attempt to rebuild. Needless to say, some families would never be able to return to Paradise as the adults and kids suffered PTSD from the flames of the Camp Fire that chased them out of town on that terrible day.

There are some glimmers of hope for those families, as some of them discovered precious and cherished items that the fire didn’t destroy. It is these little moments that make Paradise Strong an unforgettably touching documentary.


tcff-2021-bnr

Check out my recommendations of which TCFF films to watch


Pretty Boy

pretty-boy-slasher-2021

This film is only available in person at the Showplace ICON Theaters on Friday October 22 at 9:00 PM.

In 2019, Director Marcel Walz and Minnesota-born writer Joe Knetter’s film Blind, starring Minnesota born and raised actress Sarah French, was shown at the Twin Cities Film Fest and was well received by the Minnesota horror crowds. Two years later, the team of Walz, Knetter, and Fresh are back with their new film Pretty Boy, a follow up to the 2019 slasher. French reprises the female lead character Faye in Pretty Boy as does Jed Rowen, who plays the title character. The new film starts as a Hollywood Hills Valentine’s Day party is wrapping up.

The host, a record producer named Preston, and an aspiring singer and songwriter guest at the party named Rayna, are in talks about her future while other guests have found other parts of the house to hook up. The masked slasher Pretty Boy shows up carrying Faye, a famous blind actress that he has kidnapped from her home. While the masked slasher begins killing everyone he meets in order to have Faye all to himself, she escapes the Valentine’s Day party only to be taken in by a mild-mannered couple that seem a little off. This sets up the dramatic reveal or who Pretty Boy is and where he comes from. The only thing unresolved is whether he stays with Faye or if he will end up all alone.

The film is full of glam, glitter, pink lights and the ‘80s sounding tune Love is Blind by Mirko Hirsch. Hopefully the Midwest Premiere of Pretty Boy will be just as fun as the 2019 screening of Blind, which featured an appearance by Sarah French, Joe Knetter and masks for everyone in the audience. Be warned, there is plenty of blood, guts and gore in this glamorous horror slasher film.


AdmitOneTicket

To learn more about TCFF or get tickets visit twincitiesfilmfest.org


TWIN CITIES FILM FEST announces 2020 Awards Finalists

Nomadland, Sound of Metal, Take Out Girl lead this year’s class of nominees; first-ever hybrid event continues to screen and stream through Saturday


St. Louis Park, MN (October 29, 2020) – The Twin Cities Film Fest, presented by VumaTV, unveiled more than 25 finalists for its top awards Thursday morning, many of which can still be streamed during the event’s final weekend. Among the 2020 contenders for the top Best Feature Film Award are Darius Marder’s electrifying drummer drama Sound of Metal, Hisonni Johnson’s gritty urban thriller Take Out Girl and Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, which follows the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, Nomadland features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West. Winner of the 2020 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion and Toronto International Film Festival 2020 People’s Choice Award.

Frances McDormand in NOMADLAND

Nomadland screens Saturday evening as the official closing night film of TCFF 2020.

Other notable finalists this year include Lanie Zipoy’s The Subject, which stars Jason Biggs in a captivating performance as a white documentary filmmaker dealing with the fallout of a film that captured the murder of a Black teen on tape; Loira Limbal’s Through the Night, a verité documentary that goes inside the world of single mothers working multiple jobs and the 24-hour daycare centers helping them make ends meet; and Sonia Lowman’s Black Boys, which illuminates the reality facing Black males today through intimate, intergenerational conversations addressing such key issues as education, sports and criminal justice.

Actor Bill Murray is again serving as a special guest judge for this year’s Comedy Shorts Award. Murray will be choosing his favorite comedic short from the three finalists listed below.


2020 TCFF FINALISTS

Best Feature Film Award: Gossamer Folds, directed by Lisa Donato; Nomadland, directed by Chloé Zhao; Sound of Metal, directed by Darius Marder; The Subject, directed by Lanie Zipoy; and Take Out Girl, directed by Hisonni Johnson.

The Robert Byrd Best Documentary Film Award: Black Boys, directed by Sonia Lowman; The Falconer, directed by Annie Kaempfer; Normie, directed by Kurt Neale; The Reunited States, directed by Ben Rekhi; and Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal.

Best Short Film Award: Dame, directed by Foster Wilson; Long Ride Home, directed by Dame Pierre; and Vision — Seeing Is Believing, directed by Mark Anderson.

TCFF’s Indie Vision Award — Breakthrough Performance: Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal; Grace Kendall in Dame; Frances McDormand in Nomadland; Lili Taylor in Paper Spiders; and Hedy Wong in Take Out Girl.

Hedy Wong in ‘Take Out Girl’

TCFF’s Indie Vision Award — Breakthrough Achievement: Hisonni Johnson and Alberto Triana for their cinematography in Take Out Girl; Abraham and Darius Marder for their screenplay of Sound of Metal; Adam Mervis for his direction of The Last Days of Capitalism; Ahamefule J. Oluo for his music and score in Thin Skin; Malika Zouhali-Worrall for her editing in Through the Night

 Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedy Shorts Award: Men Among Men, directed by Savannah Reich; Pappy Hour, directed by Nell Teare; and Sugar Blasters, directed by Sean A. Skinner.

The TCFF 2020 Changemaker Award: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, for her work in advancing the cause of affordable living across the state


SPECIAL DEAL – 50% off – STREAMING PASS

Enjoy the final 3 day of TCFF for half price! 70+ Online Films Available Until October 31st.

Narratives, Documentaries, Short Films, Minnesota Connected Films
CODE: 2020TCFFpass50
To learn more about how to attend these screenings, please visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.


2020 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST SCHEDULE

In Theater Films:  ICON Theaters

(Only Available to Sponsors, Donors and Members – Reservation Required)

Friday Oct 30th
Herself,
Phyllida Lloyd – 6:30pm
Uncle Frank, Alan Ball – 8:30pm

Saturday Oct 31st
Nomadland
, Chloé Zhao – 6pm and 8:30pm

————————

Special Streaming Events on TCFF Website

Wednesday Oct 28th
Through The Night,
Loira Limbal – 7pm

Thursday Oct 29th
Women In Blue
, Deirdre Fishel – 7pm

Saturday Oct 31st
Black Boys
, Sonia Lowman – 5pm


To learn more about TCFF, events, film submissions or to donate, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org


TCFF 2020 Reviews: The Sound of Metal

It was only my second time back inside a theater since March, but I caught one of the Twin Cities Film Fest in-person screenings yesterday. The Sound of Metal, a film distributed by Amazon Studios, is set to be released theatrically on November 20th, and will stream on Prime Video in December 2020. The film stars Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke as Ruben, a drummer and his girlfriend Lou, a singer in the punk metal band Blackgammon. They live in their airstream trailer between gigs and make a living while on tour of metal bands. Ruben, a former heroin addict and metal head, starts out in euphoria as he furiously jams out on his drums as Lou screams the lyrics to their songs. Soon thereafter, Reuben gets a slight ring in his ears, which turns into a full blown dull roar. It leaves him only able to hear all surrounding noises muffled beyond recognition.

The situation that Ruben and Lou are in leaves them no choice but to put their tour on hold as Ruben seeks help for his newly diagnosed hearing loss. When Lou leaves in a cab to catch a flight, Ruben heads to a deaf community, headed by the calm and cool Joe (Paul Raci), who tells Ruben that he reads lips. Joe, a former addict himself, also tells Ruben that he lost his hearing in Vietnam War but he insists that he and everyone living at the deaf community believe that their deafness is not a handicap, but rather a tool to build community around. Soon enough, Ruben is immersed in this deaf community and even learns sign language and makes friends with others around his age and even some deaf kids, who are supervised and taught in the classroom by Diane (Lauren Ridloff – a deaf actress who I remember with fondness from AMC’s post-apocalyptic series The Walking Dead).

Ruben is determined to return to “being inside the sound” and is found at odds with Joe, who is a religious man. Ruben, a self-proclaimed atheist, doesn’t understand when Joe tells him “those moments of stillness, that place, that’s the kingdom of God. And that place will never abandon you.” He acts on his desires and tries to reconnect with Lou, but by that time, his ability to grasp his life-altering change has completely changed the kind of person he is. Even when he is given the chance of some hearing, he is much more at peace and relishes the stillness of his new-found life. Riz Ahmed brings inspiration and passion to his performance, but his ability to showcase the character’s vulnerabilities make this portrayal very real and believable. Olivia Cooke brings a sense of loss to her character (we learn something about her mother in the movie) and how singing in a punk rock band helps her cope with her circumstances. Director Darius Marder also does a great job putting his audience in Ruben’s head, hearing — or not hearing — everything as it happens.

The film features closed captioning throughout the film which helps us as viewers understand everything happening from start to finish. I can see The Sound of Metal competing for some awards this year, especially for Riz Ahmed’s performance as the confounded punk metal band drummer. This film adds to a growing list of strong films from Amazon Studio that will have limited theatrical releases and also stream on Prime Video in late 2020 or early 2021, including other Twin Cities Film Fest titles Herself, Uncle Frank and Sylvie’s Love.


The 2020 Twin Cities Film Fest has ONE pass available for purchase that you won’t want to miss out on. The All Access STREAMING Pass will give you access to all of our 70 films for only $50, that’s less than $1 per movie! This pass can be used as many times as you would like during the 10 days of the festival (October 22nd-31st) on our streaming platform and website.


2020 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST SCHEDULE

(Only Available to Sponsors, Donors and Members – Reservation Required)

Friday Oct 30th
Herself,
Phyllida Lloyd – 6:30pm
Uncle Frank, Alan Ball – 8:30pm

Saturday Oct 31st
Nomadland
, Chloé Zhao – 6pm and 8:30pm


To learn more about TCFF, events, film submissions or to donate, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org

TCFF 2020 Reviews: Gossamer Folds | The Father | Thank You 5

Twin Cities Film Fest officially kicks off today!!

For the 11th year, the film fest is going with a hybrid concept of online and in-theater screenings. There are 70 films that are available to stream during the fest, October 22nd-31st (scroll down below for more info).

Thanks to FC’s loyal contributor Vitali Gueron for these reviews!

GOSSAMER FOLDS

Lisa Donato follows up on the success of her first feature film Signature Move, which she co-wrote with Fawzia Mirza, with her feature length directorial debut of the indie film Gossamer Folds. This is smaller budget but very charming film, is set in the warm 1968 summer in a suburb in Kansas City, Missouri. The movie begins as we meet the Millikin family – the father Billy Millikin (Shane West), the mother Frannie Millikin (Sprague Grayden) and ten-year-old Tate Millikin (Jackson Robert Scott) – all trying to start a fresh life after a conflict-ridden past of city life behind them. They move into a small but quiet new home, which Tate isn’t a big fan of at first. Living next door to them is their transgender neighbor Gossamer (Alexandra Grey), who lives with her father Edward (Franklin Ojeda-Smith).

One day, while playing by himself in the front yard, Tate ends up meeting and befriending his new neighbor Gossamer, angering his father who calls Gossamer “the deviant next door.” It starts slowly, but sure enough Gossamer and Tate’s friendship starts to bloom as Tate’s own family dynamics fall apart. We learn that Billy was having an extramarital affair in the city before the family left for the suburbs. Unsurprisingly, Billy is quick to leave his wife Frannie and son Tate alone, while he goes to pursue his own desires. Thankfully, this leaves more time for Tate to spend with his new friend Gossamer, and not only does their friendship deepen but it also expands both of their horizons.

Gossamer shares with Tate that she has to deal with her own retired father, a former English professor, who is not only transphobic but also struggling to deal with Gossamer’s own sexual identity and freedoms. She has to deal with the constant fear of violence for the trans community, and even though she portrays a calm and cool manner, she is aware of these and other trans issues that are discussed in the movie. Tate’s ability to reject the hate that he’s been taught by his family and Gossamer’s ability to connect with others and accept them for who they are makes their friendship even stronger. Both Jackson Robert Scott (you might remember his as Georgie in the 2017 remake of Stephen King’s It) and Alexandra Gray (known from Amazon’s award-winning show Transparent and FOX’s hit drama Empire) are fantastic in their roles. Jackson is charming yet very level-headed and Alexandra is heartfelt, but also exudes strength and stability.

Gossamer Folds is one of those films that will embolden your will for acceptance of others, no matter what gender they identify with or whom they love. These issues are even more relevant today, with the current presidential election and ramifications of the judicial appointment to the Supreme Court.


THE FATHER

The Father is a very real and current story that can impact any one of us on a moment’s notice. Written and directed by Jonathan Oster and starring Kelechi Jaavaid and Lee Evans, The Father is a slow burn, but full of mystery and contemplation. The premise is basic and straightforward; suddenly having to cope with the trauma of the sudden death of his son, a father kidnaps and interrogates the man he knows is responsible. Kelechi Jaavaid is haunting and unnerving as the father, and Lee Evans is cold and unapologetic as a man who doesn’t take responsibility for his own actions.

It was fun to see many familiar places in the film, as it was shot in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of my favorite scenes comes towards the end, where the father is sitting on a street bench overlooking the Mississippi River, opposite downtown Minneapolis, on a snowy winter day. The father is joined there by someone who’s been on his mind during the entire movie. Who is that? Well, you’ll just have to watch The Father, streaming online during the 10 days of the 2020 Twin Cities Film Fest.


THANK YOU 5

Thank you 5, directed by Reid Estreicher and Michael Barnard, is a comedic movie but it felt more like watching a comedy improvisation troop. The Chicago-based actors including Meghan Murphy, Richard Kallus, Theo Koppel, Timmy Carroll, John T. O’Brien, Stevie Shale, Jason Amplo, Jodie Meis and the directors themselves Reid Estreicher and Michael Barnard.

The film begins on the first day of rehearsal for the production of ‘Prelude to a Tradition,’ an original work by playwright and director Kurt McAbbott. Each cast member has their own quirk, tick, and backstory. During the film, we follow the cast through their tech rehearsal, then their dress rehearsal and finally into the play’s opening night and after party.

Some of the actors obviously know each other and some are even in serious relationships together. Others are quick to pick fights with each other and/or with their play director. Each story is as unique as the unsung artists who endure so much, specifically each other, to create something memorable for audiences. My favorite scene comes towards the end, where one character forgets a fake gun in the dressing room, and has to run back to get it. She drops the blank bullets and doesn’t have time to load them before she’s due up on stage. What follows is a true comical moment that had me laughing out loud. To see this moment and others, you’ll just have to watch Thank you 5, streaming online during the 10 days of the 2020 Twin Cities Film Fest.


The 2020 Twin Cities Film Fest has ONE pass available for purchase that you won’t want to miss out on. The All Access STREAMING Pass will give you access to all of our 70 films for only $50, that’s less than $1 per movie! This pass can be used as many times as you would like during the 10 days of the festival (October 22nd-31st) on our streaming platform and website.


2020 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST SCHEDULE

(Only Available to Sponsors, Donors and Members – Reservation Required)

Thursday Oct 22nd
Black Boys,
Sonia Lowman – 6pm and 8pm

Friday Oct 23rd
Sound of Metal,
Darius Marder – 6pm and 8:45pm

Saturday Oct 24th
Sylvie’s Love,
Eugene Ashe – 6pm and 8:45pm

Friday Oct 30th
Herself,
Phyllida Lloyd – 6:30pm
Uncle Frank, Alan Ball – 8:30pm

Saturday Oct 31st
Nomadland
, Chloé Zhao – 6pm and 8:30pm


To learn more about TCFF, events, film submissions or to donate, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org

TWIN CITIES FILM FEST unveils 2020 lineup! 70+ Movies set to screen and stream online.

TCFF 2020

TORONTO STANDOUT NOMADLAND NAMED CLOSING NIGHT TITLE, CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED BLACK BOYS TO OPEN FEST OCT. 22

For first time ever, TCFF to showcase catalog of premieres, documentaries and Midwestern productions via hybrid model that includes physically-distanced screenings, live-stream exclusives as well as digital on-demand. 2020 program to include special series dedicated to technology, female filmmakers and BIPOC communities


Minneapolis, Minnesota (October 1, 2020) — The Twin Cities Film Fest, presented by VumaTV, announced its full 2020 film schedule Thursday, set to screen Oct. 22-31 via a ‘Hybrid’ format that will include online on-demand streaming through TwinCitiesFilmFest.org as well as select distanced screenings at the Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatres at The Shops at West End. TCFF 2020 marks the organization’s 11th anniversary and arrives at a time where many visual arts organizations are struggling to stay open and continue providing their service of bringing communities together.

“There was never a doubt that TCFF was going to take place this year,” said Jatin Setia, TCFF’s Executive Director. “We know the positive impact that film arts, independent storytelling, and unique perspectives can have on the fabric of our culture and community.  We wanted to lean into the opportunities and hit ‘fast forward’ on what our organization could bring to the wider arts conversation during this most difficult year. I’m so proud of my team and our supporters in making sure that TCFF not only happens this unprecedented year, but it leaps forward and innovates new ways to bring a cinematic community together to share a vision — and a conversation.”

The festival opens Oct. 22 with the acclaimed documentary Black Boys, an intimate, inter-generational story that offers profound insight into black identity and opportunity at the nexus of sports, education and criminal justice. Director Sonia Lowman will appear in a pre-recorded conversation.

This year’s closing night selection is NomadlandChloe Zhao’s festival award-winning drama starring Frances McDormand as a displaced widow who chooses a nomadic lifestyle. The film won the coveted people’s choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival, instantly catapulting it into the Oscar conversation.


Editor (Ruth’s note): I’m beyond thrilled that NOMADLAND is one of TCFF’s lineup this year!! That’s the one film I’ve been hugely anticipating, as I absolutely loved Zhao’s sophomore feature The Rider.

Nomadland‘s synopsis: Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West. Here’s the teaser:


Other notable 2020 selections: Sound of MetalDarius Marder’s directorial debut, which features a powerful performance from actor, rapper, and activist Riz Ahmed;

Sylvie’s LoveEugene Ashe’s new Harlem romance starring Tessa Thompson;

and Uncle Franka comedy by Alan Ball, the writer of American Beauty, True Blood and Six Feet Under, featuring an all-star cast including Paul Bettany, Steve Zahn and Sophia Lillis.

The majority of this year’s festival selections will be available via the TCFF STREAMS platform at TwinCitiesFilmFest.org, a new TCFF initiative that launched earlier this year to give a platform to MN Connected filmmakers.  The online platform will feature premieres of award winning narratives, documentaries and shorts curated from all across the country.  Several notable film categories include TECH Series, HER Series, MN Connected films, and the newly launched EMPOWER Series focused on BIPOC stories and storytellers.

Every year, the Twin Cities Film Fest identifies a Social Justice Cause and programs a special series of films to call attention to a specific social issue. This year’s cause is “affordable living” and the film series includes stories spotlighting housing, healthcare, childcare and eldercare.  Through the generosity of local companies (Spire Credit Union, Dominium Apartments, City of St. Louis Park and AARP Minnesota), all films in the Changemaker Series will be presented free to all viewers. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan is being presented with the 2020 TCFF Changemaker Award at the festivals’ Virtual Gala (Oct 2nd – 4th)  in recognition of her work towards affordability.


TCFF’s complete 2020 schedule is listed below.  Tickets are on-sale starting tomorrow, Oct 2nd. All of the In-Person theater screenings at the ICON Theaters will be reserved for TCFF Donors, Members and Sponsors on a first come first served limited capacity.  To learn more about how to attend these screenings, please visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.

For all of the ONLINE films, simply check out the lineup on the website and purchase the films.  All films will be available for purchase for $9/film with a few offered for free.

An ‘All Access STREAMING Pass’ is also available for $50 on the website providing access to ALL of the 70+ films online. Click on the banner above to purchase.

The passes are such an incredible deal!! Get it soon so you can order your tickets right away. Trust me, it’s SO worth it!!


2020 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST SCHEDULE

In Theater Films:  ICON Theaters

(Only Available to Sponsors, Donors and Members – Reservation Required)

Thursday Oct 22nd
Black Boys,
Sonia Lowman – 6pm and 8pm

Friday Oct 23rd
Sound of Metal,
Darius Marder – 6pm and 8:45pm

Saturday Oct 24th
Sylvie’s Love,
Eugene Ashe – 6pm and 8:45pm

Friday Oct 30th
Herself,
Phyllida Lloyd – 6:30pm
Uncle Frank, Alan Ball – 8:30pm

Saturday Oct 31st
Nomadland
, Chloé Zhao – 6pm and 8:30pm

————————

Special Streaming Events on TCFF Website

Sunday Oct 25th
Inside Lets Deal Live
, Steve Zahn/Rick Gomez – 5:30pm
The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, Jennifer Abbott/Joel Bakan – 7pm

Monday Oct 26th
Definition Please,
Sujata Day – 7pm

Tuesday Oct 27th
Hollywood Fringe,
Megan Huber, Wyatt McDill – 7pm

Wednesday Oct 28th
Through The Night,
Loira Limbal – 7pm

Thursday Oct 29th
Women In Blue
, Deirdre Fishel – 7pm

Saturday Oct 31st
Black Boys
, Sonia Lowman – 5pm


To learn more about TCFF, events, film submissions or to donate, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org


So yeah, TCFF 2020. BRING. IT ON!