TCFF Day 3 Interviews: Forev’s director Molly Green, Winter in the Blood’s Chaske-Spencer, & Bahamian Son’s director Andrew Melby

TCFF_2013CoverageBnr

It was another fun day at TCFF yesterday! Following the Women in Film panel, the fun continues with the rom-com Forev, Bahamian Son and Winter in The Blood.

I got a chance to meet up with Forev director Molly Green, which is as awesome as she is talented! It’s so great to meet with a young female filmmaker who’s on her way to making her mark in Hollywood. I really enjoyed her film, it’s funny, engaging and best of all, well-written and well-acted. That’s why I was intent on talking with her about how she got her start in making film and the filmmaking process of her debut.

Interview with Molly Green, director of FOREV

Forev_posterWhat’s your film background? I heard that your early experience was in film casting?

Yeah I did work in casting. I started out when I first moved to L.A. with a casting director called Randi Hiller who had a contract with Marvel. So I spent about a year and a half working on THOR which was awesome as I got to hang out in a room with Kenneth Branagh all day. It was awesome because I got to see how he worked with actors, which as a director it’s one of the best experiences you could ever have. Since then Randi has become head of casting at Disney and has been an amazing mentor. So it’s been a great foundation as a director to see a master director and master actor work with other actors. So yeah, it made me feel confident about working with our actors as I knew how to talk to them.

So how did you come up with the film concept for FOREV?

My directing partner James Leffler and I thought about doing a feature film. And this is a time in our lives where we’re starting to get wedding invitations from our college friends, and you start to see marriages as less of an abstract but more of a concrete concept. People in our lives are actually getting married which was bizarre, so we had that idea floating around in our heads. Then Matt Mider and Noël Wells who play Pete and Sophie in our film came to us and asked if we’d do a comedy sketch. We told them no but we said we’d do a feature film if they’d be in it so they agreed to do it.  So that’s what happened.

When you thought of doing the film, I know it’s a rom-com genre, but did you want to want to add the ‘road movie’ element to it?

I don’t think we thought about making a road movie, I don’t think any of us did. But we know that we’d get more production value from the desert. So we knew that having that desert scenery and backdrop would be valuable for the movie so it’s just a matter of getting the characters there. So we didn’t really follow the the convention of a road movie but it just happens sort of naturally. Recently someone called it a screwball comedy, which is a good way to describe it. It’s a weird, modern take of screwball comedy aside from rom-com.

Me_MollyGreene
Yours truly w/ Molly Green at the red carpet

You mentioned a bit about the casting for Pete and Sophie but how about the rest?

Amanda Bauer who plays Pete’s sister Jess is actually a friend I knew from my casting days. She was in a film that played at SXSW called The Myth of the American Sleepover. She’s really young and really smart so we wrote her and hoping she’d do it and she thankfully said yes. As for the rest, most of them are my neighbors. I live in a building full of actors so the scenes of partying and at the bonfire, those are all my neighbors. And that’s pretty much like a typical Friday night, that bonfire scene. So that’s how it all came to be.

So what’s your favorite part of the FOREV’s shoot and filmmaking process?

To me, it was incredible to go out to the desert with a group of really close friends and make something we’re all be proud of. That’s just so super fun to y’know all thrive together. We’re in this road trip, we’d stay in a house together, working in this beautiful scenery, it was the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s been really nice to premiere with those people. We premiered in L.A. so it was nice to be able to stand up with everybody, it’s so nice.

What’s next for you? Also talk a bit about the distribution of FOREV.

James and I have been writing the whole time, we have like three different projects we’re working on. We don’t know which one will be the next one but hopefully we’d be in production on something very soon.
As for distribution, we haven’t signed the paper yet but I’m anticipating FOREV will be available on direct TV or VOD or Netflix by Spring.


ChaskeSpencer_WinterInTheBlood

One of the major highlights of TCFF this year is Winter in the Blood starring Chaske Spencer who’s thus far best known as the alpha male werewolf Sam Uley in the Twilight series. Check out my fellow blogger Mitch Hansch’s interview with the actor. Here’s an excerpt from his conversation:

On how James Welch’s book gives him an insight into his character Virgil:

So the book was a great blueprint map to finding this character, but I don’t know how much I have in common with him.  I think I had to find correlation at some point with him but it was just very simple.  Alex and Andrew helped me out a lot by finding where I could substitute certain aspects of my life into Virgil’s life, but you know at the end of the day that it’s just acting.

On working with directors Andrew and Alex Smith

Well, I’m just speaking from my experience but they were very spot on.  I don’t know what happened between scenes because I really focused on my job but they were very helpful, very supportive, and I felt very safe with them, and also my performance was being guided in the safe hands of those two gentlemen.  They’re very intelligent, they know what they want.  They’re very specific on what they want and that helps us out as a actor when the director specifically knows how he wants the outcome to be.

Check out the rest of the interview over on Mitch’s blog!


Now, this dramatic feature has Minnesota connection as it’s based on the true events of its writer Reggie Henderson. It’s set in Minneapolis as well as The Bahamas. Check out my conversation with its director on how the project came to be.

Interview with Andrew Melby, director of Bahamian Son

BahamianSon

1. How did project come about to you? Did you know Reggie Henderson before making this, if so please tell us how you first met him.

I know Reggie from the working with him in the music business. He produces music with Toki Wright and we met and a set of the music video we were shooting for Toki’s A Different Mirror. After the video wrapped we started talking about the project.

2. How long did it take you to make the film? Seems that the film was shot on location both in Minneapolis and The Bahamas?
From principal photography (the beginning of shooting) to final sound mix Bahamian Son has taken about 3 1/2 years. We shot roughly two weeks in MN and just over two weeks in Nassau, Bahamas.

Andrew Melby, Bahamas Film Commissioner, Craig Woods and Reggie Henderson
Andrew Melby, Bahamas Film Commissioner, Craig Woods and Reggie Henderson in Nassau

3. The end of the trailer promises a dark and gripping scenario. Without revealing any spoilers, what would you say are the main themes of this film?
There are obvious themes in the film. Family, fatherhood, are a couple of the obvious ones, but to me, the film is also about the human experience. We go through our lives trying to figure out who we are and where we fit into this big life thing we are all experiencing. Bahamian Son is about one man’s story. Some of us can relate directly to his experience and others in the abstract, but the hope is that we all get more clues on this big show goes. It’s a bit cliche, but when you take a leap or a chance expecting one outcome, and you get another, it can be so much more rewarding because you are still further then when you started.

sdgds
TCFF host Ingrid Moss interviewing Reggie Henderson and Andrew Melby on the red carpet

4. Reggie Henderson himself wrote the script, so tell us how it was like collaborating with him on this film.

Reggie and I went into this project as professional friends and came out brothers who LOVE to disagree. (Laughs) I mean that in the best way possible. Reggie is an amazingly creative mind and I learned a lot from him. At the end of the process I think we both learned from each other.
5. Now lastly, please tell us a bit about your filmmaking background. I read here that you worked on music videos, NBC’s The Biggest Loser and as part of the crew on the film Souvenirs. So what’s your biggest challenges as well as favorite experience of working on a feature film?
I think I benefit from all the different production jobs I’ve had, and have. I’ve done corporate video, commercial, music videos, reality shows, features and docs to name a few. While they are all in the production world, they have their own challenges that give you a new technique and insight into the craft. When you shoot 3,000 feet beneath the earth in a mine, travel with musicians across Europe, then come home and shoot an interview at the IDS with a big shot executive, you encounter a lot of personalities and styles of living. I love that part of the job.

TCFFTickets

Ticket Prices are as follows:
General Admission $10; Opening/Closing Gala $20; Centerpiece Gala $20; Sneak Preview Galas $20. Festival Passes can also be purchased: Silver $50 for 6 films; Gold $70 for 10 films; or Platinum $120 for 12 films + 2 tickets to Opening, Closing or Gala. (Silver and Gold Packages do not include Opening, Closing or Gala Tickets).

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.


Hope you enjoy these interviews! Thoughts on the films featured here?

TCFF Day 3: Women in Film panel & film highlights: Forev, Winter in the Blood, Truth or Dare & More!

TCFF_2013CoverageBnr

It’s another gorgeous Fall Day in the Twin Cities… and with TCFF underway, all is well in the [cinematic] world 😀

Here are some of the film highlights of Day 3 from our hosts Doug Sidney and Ingrid Moss:

My day starts with the Women in Film Education Panel, featuring three filmmakers/talents whose films are premiering at TCFF:

WomenInFilmPanelist

Jessica Cameron, writer, director, producer, actor, “Truth or Dare”
Hannah Campbell, co-producer, actor, “Screwed”
Molly Green, writer, director, “Forev”
Meighan McGuire – moderator

Check out their bio at TCFF site. I’m so glad every event now takes place on the Festival Lounge right at the Showplace ICON Theatre venue. It’s so convenient for everyone involved.

Here are the films my blogger staff and I are going to catch tonight:

FOREV

Forev_Still
October 19th at 4pm
Special Guest: Molly Green – Director
Sophie and Pete are kind of friends, but mostly they’re just neighbors. On their way to pick up Pete’s sister Jess from her sorority house, a joke about getting married escalates and their car stalls out. Forev is a romantic comedy about how far you can go without saying what you mean.

Hot and Bothered
(short film, screening before Forev & Screwed)

Special Guest: Jake Green
Desperate Singles get all tangled up when a compulsive internet dater loses track of her accounts.


Winter in the Blood

WinterInTheBlood_still

October 19th at 6:30pm and 11pm (additional screening due to popular demand)
Special Guest: Chaske Spencer, Actor (Twilight) and Alex Smith, director

Virgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer) wakes in a ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana, hungover and badly beaten. He returns home to his ranch on the reservation, only to find that his wife, Agnes, (Julia Jones) has left him. Worse, she’s taken his beloved rifle.


Bahamian Son

BahamianSon

October 19th at 6:45pm
Special Guests: Andrew Melby – Director, Reggie Henderson-Writer and StarToki Wright-Actor
An independent feature film, based on true events from the life of the writer Reggie Henderson. The story follows Kevin as he sets out to find his father, whom he hasn’t seen in more than thirty years.

Stay tuned for my interview with Andrew Melby which will be posted together with the review!

Truth or Dare

TruthOrDareBnr

Saturday October 19th at 9:15pm
Special Guests- Jessica Cameron-Director, Ryan Kiser-Actor, Brandon VanVliet – Actor

Six friends find internet stardom after making truth or dare videos that go viral. They go by the names, “The Truth or Daredevils” and are surrounded by a huge media storm from their latest video. Everything is fun and games until their number 1 fan decides he wants to play…


TCFFTickets

Ticket Prices are as follows:
General Admission $10; Opening/Closing Gala $20; Centerpiece Gala $20; Sneak Preview Galas $20. Festival Passes can also be purchased: Silver $50 for 6 films; Gold $70 for 10 films; or Platinum $120 for 12 films + 2 tickets to Opening, Closing or Gala. (Silver and Gold Packages do not include Opening, Closing or Gala Tickets).

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.


So there you have it folks! Which of these films capture your attention?

TCFF Day 2: Trust, Greed, Bullets and Bourbon: Review and interview with Director Scott Kawczynski

TCFF_2013CoverageBnr

It’s two for two once again on Day 2!

After watching a well-crafted and eye-opening documentary Gladiators: The Uncertainty of American Football, it’s time to see the heist thriller I’ve been looking forward to. In between films, I caught up with director Scott Kawczynski right after his red carpet interview.

TCFF_ScottKawczynskiConnecting with filmmakers/talents is always a highlight at TCFF, especially someone as gracious as Scott! He flew here right from another film festival in Orlando promoting his film. Best of luck with your film, Scott, thanks so much for coming down to visit us and for making the film!

Now check out the review … and the Q&A questions below:

TrustGreedBulletsBourbon_bnr

Trust, Greed, Bullets and Bourbon: Bourbon not needed

I love a good heist movie. With a stellar cast and smartly written script, “Trust, Greed, Bullets and Bourbon” is sure to be one of my favorites at the Twin Cities Film Fest. Mixing elements of “The Italian Job” with “A Simple Plan,” the story begins five years after the group’s diamond heist and shortly after one of them nabbed in the job has gotten out of jail. They get cryptic invitations to meet at a cabin in the Catskills where they will be given clues as to where to recover the stolen loot. This may be where the “greed” in the title comes in since they all show up.

The movie was very well cast- Max Casella as Tyler, the tough guy in gambling debt (in a “Sopranos” type role…and then I remembered he was in “The Sopranos”), Larisa Polonsky as Samantha, the sassy blonde accomplice, Eric Morris as David, the pretty boy, and Kathryn Merry as Circe, the granddaughter of heist mastermind Franky. I also enjoyed Danny Burstein’s interludes as Hector, the backwoods gun-toting yokel.

TrustGreedBulletsBourbon_pics

At only about 85 minutes writer Scott Kawczynski’s directorial debut moves along crisply with moments of ironic hilarity. When David tells Tyler in front of the crew, “I can’t even trust a word out of your mouth,” Tyler responds with a confused look on his face, “Of course not. You can’t trust any of us…we’re all thieves.” Another time, as they are dragging a body into the woods searching for the hole they dug, one of them says “It seemed closer earlier.” And who doesn’t love a hit man who searches for extra bullets in his car’s glove compartment?

What could have been a tired conclusion is a pleasant surprise cleverly told so I don’t want to give any more away. A note on the “bullets” part of the title: although there are multiple murders in this movie there isn’t any gratuitous violence as the “hits” are designated by red dots streaking on screen. Maybe this was done because it’s cheaper but it appealed to me because as much as I love heist films, I have never understood movies with violence for the sake of violence. Bourbon doesn’t really come into play- maybe “Trust, Greed, Bullets and Bourbon” just sounds better than “Trust, Greed and Bullets.” There is something to be said for alliteration, after all.


4 out of 5 reels

TCFF_reviewer_Sarah


Interview with director Scott Kawczynski

1. What was the inspiration for your film? Have you been interested in doing a heist concept?

I’ve always loved heist films, especially heist films that go awry (ex: Rififi, Reservoir Dogs, Dog Day Afternoon). The exploration of the failed heist and how it effects the characters involved was very intriguing to me. You look at the situation, these people were so close to getting away with it, but one detail collapses the entire endeavor.

2. Congrats on being picked as Project of the Day by Indiewire and successfully raised your funding goal on Kickstarter. What was the biggest challenge in getting that accomplished?

Winning Indiewire’s Project of the Week was A pretty big deal. It opened lots of doors in terms of potential distribution for the film down the road, as well as a huge amount of traffic from people that might never have heard of the film.

I handled my Kickstarter differently than most, by raising money after the production was done. The money raised on Kickstarter covered the final aspects of post-production, sound mix and color correction, and the overflow money is going toward distribution costs. So the film was completely finished and locked before i even created the Kickstarter campaign. All costs previous to this, pre-production through post production editing were all self-funded. In the end I believe this was one of the smartest choices I made because I could sell the fact that the film was done and that I wasn’t looking for money to make the film – which seemed important to me for a completely unknown writer/director trying to raise funds. The majority of my funders were family, friends and friends of friends. However, my two biggest funders were people I had never met, and I truly think that having a completed project to show was key to them coming on board. My advice to anyone thinking of doing Kickstarter is to have a goal that is realistic and you believe you can raise.

3. How does the title come about? It reminds me a bit of Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels which is in similar genre. Speaking of which, who are your film/filmmaker inspirations?

In simplest terms, the title words are the basic themes and vices explored by the characters in the film. The shooting script was actually titled Trust, Greed, Beer & Bourbon, but halfway through production we realized there were more bullets than beer. I like the title because it is like a mixed drink, a smidgen of Trust, a couple shots of Greed, a couple Bullets and a whole lot of Bourbon.

TrustGreedBulletsBourbon

In terms of film inspiration, in addition to the heist films I listed earlier, A Simple Plan, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Rear Window, Rope, 12 Angry, Men, Millers Crossing and Fargo I watched over and over. The Hitchcock films and 12 Angry Men were integral in studying shooting an entire film in primarily a single location.

My list of filmmakers is probably similar to many people interested in similar subject matter: Hitchcock, Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Lumet. Some newer filmmakers I really enjoy are Rian Johnson, Jeff Nichols, Shane Carruth and Duncan Jones.

4. I enjoyed looking at the pics on your blog on the shoots in NYC. What’s the most memorable moments for you in shooting/working on this film?

TrustGreedBulletsBourbon_director
The most memorable moments I had on shooting the film were watching the actors really make the characters their own, and how the characters grew into something better and beyond what was on the page. In general, the production went pretty smoothly, there were no real disasters while filming. It was also really great shaping the story. It was very important to me that the cast and crew be an integral part of making the story as good as possible, so before shooting a scene we would discuss what was about to happen, how it related to the story as a whole and if any adjustments needed to be made.

5. Lastly, you talked briefly about the casting process on your blog, but is there something else you’d like to share about that and how you assemble your crew as well?

TrustGreedBulletsBourbon_cast

First I should mention that this was an insanely low budget film, you’ve heard of Ultra-Low Budget productions, well, this is a mile below that. So because of that, I had to be very, very conscious of what everything cost. My biggest ally was the script I wrote. The actors loved it. That was huge, especially in getting Max Casella and Danny Burstein to sign on. They loved their characters and wanted to be part of the film no matter what. Dara Coleman I knew from working with him on Ed Burns films in the past, and Eric Morris, Larisa Polonsky and Kathryn Merry were found through auditions – which were done at my house (actually Kathryn’s audition was taped and she posted it for me to review).

The crew all started with my DP Rick Siegel. In the past, I had been Production Designer on a couple jobs Rick was cinematographer on. He has around 30 years of experience and has connections galore. He brought in Mike O’Brien, our awesome sound guy, the two grips and lighting assistant. The final piece of the puzzle was Associate Producer Erik Trinidad, who I have known for years from working in Advertising, he was the glue that kept everyone together.

From there it was beg and borrow. Everyone involved in the production was paid (all at a very reduced rate), but lights were provided at a very discounted price, locations were either free or reduced price (we lived in the house we shot at up in the Catskills Mountains) and everyone pitched in whenever needed. It was a complete collaboration and the essence of independent, super low-budget filmmaking. And it was fabulous.


Hope you enjoy the review and interview! If you’re a fan of heist film or who-dunnit type of thriller, check out Trust, Greed, Bullets and Bourbon when it plays in your area!


Thoughts on this film and or the interview? I’d love to hear it!

TCFF Day 2 Film Highlights: The Search for Simon, Gladiators Football doc, Trust Greed Bullets and Bourbon & more!

TCFF_2013CoverageBnr

The Opening Night went on without a hitch! I can’t post my review for Nebraska yet but suffice to say I highly recommend it! It was wildly entertaining and amusing. If you like The Descendants which also deals the quirky family dynamics, I think you’d enjoy Nebraska. Kudos for Alexander Payne for crafting such an engaging, poignant but also hilarious film, boasted by great performances by the cast, especially Bruce Dern. That Best Actor win at Cannes is well-deserved, here’s hoping for more award love for the man.

It was fun to see all the buzz at the Showplace ICON Cinema with everyone mingling and people talking/posing on the red carpet area. There’s even a flashmob going on at the lobby! As people come in the door, our vehicle sponsor FIAT with TCFF logo emblazoned on its shiny exterior is on display!

TCFF_FIAT

Speaking of which, did you know there’s a complimentary FIAT Drive-In event on Tuesday night (10/22) from 7-9:30pm right at the Shops at West End. Check out the link for more info.

It’s now DAY 2!

Here are some of the film highlights for today:

SearchForSimon

The Search For Simon

TCFF Showing: Friday, October 18, 2013 at 12:00pm + Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 9:30pm

In 1979 David Jones’ younger brother Simon, aged 7, disappeared without a trace and was never seen again.

34 years later David is still looking.

This is The Search for Simon.

Directed by: Martin Gooch
Starring: Carol Cleveland (Monty Python), Tom Price (Torchwood), Sophie Aldred (Dr. Who), Lucy Clements (The ABCs of Death), Millie Reeves, Noeleen Comiskey and Chase Masterson (Star-Trek Deep Space 9).

I LOVE British sci-fi comedies and I’ve heard people calling this Shaun of the Dead meets the X-Files! Director Martin Gooch was kind enough to make this specially-made video to answer my questions about the film, check it out!

On behalf of TCFF, THANK YOU Mr. Gooch for your kindly making that video for us. I will post the review after I see the film.


TrustGreedBulletsBourbon

Trust Greed Bullets and Bourbon

TCFF Showing: Friday, October 18, 2013 at 6:45pm (with director Scott Kawczynski attending)

Five years after a simple heist goes awry, a group of thieves reconvene at a cabin in upstate New York, hoping to recover the diamonds they initially stole. Tensions rise as allegiances are made and broken, backs are stabbed and the dirty past is dredged up as the group searches for the diamonds and answers.

Directed by: Scott Kawczynski
Starring: Max Casella (THE SOPRANOS, BLUE JASMINE, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS) and 4 times Tony-nominated actor Danny Burstein (BOARDWALK EMPIRE).

Check out the trailer:

Stay tuned for a special interview post with Scott Kawczynski as well as the review for the film!


Gladiators: The Uncertain Future of American Football documentary

TCFF Showing: Friday, October 18, 2013 at 4:30pm + Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:45pm

GladiatorsFootballA historical film that tells the story of a game that was always dangerous, and whose dangers, though controversial, were also desired. Since its beginnings in the late nineteenth century, football has become not just Americans’ favorite spectator sport but also a supposed training for manhood; a fundamental part of the American educational system; a pathway for social and economic mobility, with millions of dollars now paid to top players and coaches; a source of personal and communal identity; an unparalleled social ritual; and some of the most powerful stories America tells about itself.

Directed by: Todd Trigsted
Written by: Michael Oriard

Check out the trailer on TCFF Official page.


WeAreWhatWeAre

We Are What We Are

TCFF Showing: Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:00pm

The Parkers, a reclusive family who follow ancient customs, find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area, forcing daughters Iris and Rose to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family.

Directed by: Jim Mickle
Written by: Jim Mickle and Nick Damici

This horror mystery has been playing in the film festival circuit and got some great critical reviews (85% on Rotten Tomatoes). Seems like a perfect Friday night film for horror fans just in time for [almost] Halloween.

Check out the trailer:


TCFFTickets

Ticket Prices are as follows:
General Admission $10; Opening/Closing Gala $20; Centerpiece Gala $20; Sneak Preview Galas $20. Festival Passes can also be purchased: Silver $50 for 6 films; Gold $70 for 10 films; or Platinum $120 for 12 films + 2 tickets to Opening, Closing or Gala. (Silver and Gold Packages do not include Opening, Closing or Gala Tickets).

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.


Stay tuned for more TCFF coverage. So any of the films above that caught your eye?

TCFF Opening Night featuring Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA premiere

TCFF_2013CoverageBnr

Twin Cities’ cinephiles rejoice! Twin Cities Film Fest annual film festivities is upon us again, can’t believe it’s our fourth year already.

10 Days, 75 Films, 8 Top Awards Contenders & 22 Red Carpet Events. World premieres, Minnesota breakthroughs, one-of-a-kind treasures and Oscar front-runners.

Yes, TCFF is back!

But on top of all those movies, TCFF also feature educational panels, Q&As with filmmakers, as well as special events and after parties! All taking place at the SHOWPLACE ICON THEATRE at The Shops at West End. Special thanks to Wade Financial Group who’s our Auditorium Sponsor.

I’m thrilled to be the official blogger again and this year I’ve got two blogging volunteers, Sarah Johnson and Adam Wells, so stay tuned for reviews and other coverage from the three of us throughout the film fest!

TCFFLogo_Theater

If you live in the area and you haven’t visited the TCFF Official site by now, well what are you waiting for? The full schedule is online, complete with info and trailers. Getting your tickets have never been easier and more affordable. The more you watch the more you save with TCFF passes, available from Silver to Platinum.

In case you haven’t seen the awesome trailer yet by WonderVision, check it out below:

This year we open the film fest with a film that’s been receiving Oscar buzz! In fact, the 76-year-old lead actor Bruce Dern won Cannes’ Palme d’Or, whilst director Alexander Payne garnered a nomination.

NebraskaPoster

After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk

Here’s a clip from the Cannes premiere:

When I saw the trailer (which you can see on the TCFF page), I wondered why it was shot in B&W. Well, this is what Payne had to say when asked the inevitable question at the Cannes’ press conference:

“It just seemed like the right thing to do for this film,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful form, and it’s really left our cinema because of commercial, not artistic, reasons; it never left fine-art photography. This modest, austere story seemed to lend itself to being made in black and white, a visual style perhaps as austere as the lives of its people.”

Source: Vulture

It’s also been 25 years since Dern was the first-billed star of a major motion picture, having worked with auteurs such as Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock, Douglas Trumbull, Francis Ford Coppola, and Quentin Tarantino in his long, illustrious career. I was quite impressed with Payne’s last film The Descendants, so I’m looking forward to seeing this one tonight!


TCFFTickets

Ticket Prices are as follows:
General Admission $10; Opening/Closing Gala $20; Centerpiece Gala $20; Sneak Preview Galas $20. Festival Passes can also be purchased: Silver $50 for 6 films; Gold $70 for 10 films; or Platinum $120 for 12 films + 2 tickets to Opening, Closing or Gala. (Silver and Gold Packages do not include Opening, Closing or Gala Tickets).

For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.


Stay tuned for more TCFF coverage folks! So which of the TCFF films are you looking forward to most?

Question of the Week: What’s your favorite film festival/event experience?

Hello everyone! I’m gearing up for Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) coming Thursday. I hope you all will stick around in the next week and a half for the TCFF coverage I’ll bring you, which includes reviews, education o coverage, interviews and more!

FilmFestLogos

I’m super excited for the dozen plus movies I’ll be watching in the next 10 days, which is one of the major perks of having a film fest in town, but also for the excitement that such an event brings. As a film fan, there’s something so exhilarating in being a part of a film event such as this one. It’s my fourth year blogging at TCFF and I can’t wait for what film-related adventure and who I’d get to meet this year 😀

Now, before TCFF, the only film fest I’ve been to was TIFF, but that was nearly 10 years ago in 2005! I hadn’t even started blogging yet at the time, but I did recount my experience of meeting my then crush Gerry Butler following Beowulf and Grendel screening. I hope to visit more film festivals in the future, a friend of mine actually works for a catering company who gets sent to Sundance yearly so I might meet up with her there.

Now, some of you have likely been to either a film festival (either in your town or elsewhere), some have even covered them (check out Bonjour Tristesse VIFF coverage and Terrence’s WSIF coverage). But a film event isn’t just confined to film festivals. Perhaps you attended a red carpet film premiere and got to see the stars up close? Or it can also be something like a special/anniversary screening of a classic film. I know my friend Michael often highlights such an event, such as this one at the Los Angeles Chinese Theater.

So for the fun of sharing amongst film lovers, would you share your most memorable film event experience?

(Feel free to include links and/or photos :D)

TCFF: 6 Films. 2 Days. 1 Programmer’s Personal Picks

Call it the Ultimate Film Fest Experience. With only 2 more days to go, there are still a bunch of great films playing at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre through Saturday. If you haven’t been able to catch any of the films during the weekdays, but you’re ready for a TCFF movie marathon this weekend, then you’re not too late!

Earlier today I sat down with Steve Snyder, TCFF’s Artistic Director—who’s also TIME.com’s Assistant Managing Editor—to list his recommendations for the last stretch of the film fest. After screening about 200 submissions including a mix of features and shots, and circling other film festivals around the country with executive director Jatin Setia, here are Steve’s picks are that you can still catch at TCFF.


Get your tickets now before they sell out!  Oh and check out this
Amazing Ticket Deal of Saturday Movie Marathon.


FRIDAY:

6pm – Things I Don’t Understand (independent)

I’ve mentioned this on yesterday’s post when I met with director David Spaltro. Well, this film has won Best Feature Film and Best Actress for Minnesota-born actress Molly Ryman in various film festivals. Steve calls Molly a ‘MN star is born’ and this is one of the films that he’s most thrilled about that he was able to get it screened at TCFF. Both David and Molly will be in attendance for a red carpet spotlight and Q&A after.

Having recently chatted with him, I’m even more intrigued by his film and can’t wait to see it. I will post the transcript of the interview when it’s ready, but check out the trailer below:

///

9pmA Late Quartet

This is also on my most-anticipated list. I mean the cast alone should get you to rush to see it. Christopher Walken + Philip Seymour Hoffman + Catherine Keener playing members of a string quartet struggling to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and in-suppressible lust. Great thespians making beautiful music together? Steve said you can’t miss this, and I tend to agree. You can view the trailer here.

SATURDAY:

10:45Bay of All Saints

Winner of Audience Award, Documentary at SXSW 2012: In Bahia, Brazil, generations of impoverished families live in palafitas, shacks built on stilts over the ocean bay. Steve said that not only is the subject matter intriguing, but the incredible access director Annie Eastman was able to get to shoot this film gives it a uniquely intimate portrait of the individual stories of poverty shown in the film.

12:45 After I Pick the Fruit

This is a documentary that follows the lives of five immigrant farm worker women over a ten-year period as they labor in the apple orchards and fields of rural western New York, migrate seasonally to Florida, raise their families, and try to hide from the Bush-era immigration raids that were conducted in response to September 11, 2001. This doc is more of an investigative journalism of sort, which illuminates a community that is nearly invisible to most Americans. Director Nancy Ghertner will be in attendance.

These two documentaries are also my picks I’ve listed on this post.

3 pm Take Care

Two estranged women tread cautiously into each other’s lives and their newfound friendship creates a mirror of self-discovery in this character-driven indie drama. I actually have had the pleasure of seeing this one earlier this month and I absolutely agree with Steve that this one is definitely worth checking out. It’s rare to see a meaty role written for a woman, let alone two in one film. Both Ryan Driscoll and Elise Ivy are both fantastic here, and the revelation for both characters are quite intriguing to watch. Don’t miss Ryan Driscoll and director Scott Tanner Jones in attendance for Q&A.

5:30 Dead Dad

When their dad dies unexpectedly, estranged siblings Russell, Jane and their adopted brother, Alex, come home to tend to his remains. Don’t be put off by the title, even though it deals with the loss of a loved one, it’s also about a celebration of family and how they come together to achieve a proper goodbye. Steve said he’s very impressed how the actors could pull off such complex characters. He even went so far as calling it some of the best acting performances of this year. Trailer below:


So, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now »