I love film festivals. There’s nothing like watching a movie that hasn’t yet been released to the public, or will only be privately released, and in a packed house of young people. Especially when the stars of the movies join you for a Q & A afterward. Or when the films are playing in a really cool venue with fabulous restaurants nearby. Are you excited yet?
Yeah, you knew I wouldn’t tempt you if I wasn’t talking about something special that’s happening soon.
You guessed right.
I’m excited because…
The Second Annual Twin Cities Film Fest kicks off next week! And TC Jewfolk is a proud media co-sponsor of the festival, which runs from September 20 – 25th! All the films will be shown at the Showplace Icon Theatre in the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park (thus the close proximity to awesome restaurants – Cooper’s, CRAVE, and Little Szechuan to name a few).
What is the Twin Cities Film Fest? Well, the name does give it away just a bit, but there are two reasons that TC Jewfolk wanted to be a co-sponsor: (1) it’s a film fest with a slew of fabulous films, including nationally promoted and recognized box office films, feature Minnesota films, Minnesota Shorts Series, “Women in Film” programming, “India Independent” programming and more; (2) the Twin Cities Film Fest is a really cool Minneapolis-based 501©3 non-profit arts organization, that puts on this 6-day film festival to offer audiences access to the best films the global industry has to offer, to stimulate economic activity in the Twin Cities and to offer filmmakers a premiere venue at which to premiere their work.
You’ll have to go to the Twin Cities Film Fest website to read about all the different awesome films, but there are a few with Jewish content – note the Member of the Tribe (MOT) designations – that we wanted to highlight here. Each film is $10 a pop, but they’re cheaper in bulk with special multi-film festival passes (six films for $40, or 10 films for $80).
- Inspired by personal experiences, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places. MOTs Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Inception”) and Seth Rogen (“Knocked Up,” “Funny People,” “Super Bad”) star as best friends whose lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis in this new comedy directed by Jonathan Levine from a script by Will Reiser.
- September 21st, 8:15pm showing. Actress & female lead Anna Kendrick will conduct a Q & A after the film. The film is actually released in theaters on Sept. 30th.
With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story
- At 88 years old, MOT Stan Lee’s name appears on more than one billion comics in 75 nations in 25 languages! Arguably the most recognized name in comics, Stan Lee has co-created over 500 legendary pop culture characters including: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk. “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story” explores the vivid life and imagination of Stan Lee from the early days of his Great Depression era upbringing through the Marvel age of comics and beyond. The film uncovers original transcripts, illustrations, photographs and stories of Lee’s fascinating journey from his early years at Timely Comics, his World War Two military service, the comic book industry’s censorship battle of the 1950’s led by Dr. Fredric Wertham, the dawn of Marvel Comics and the legendary characters Stan co-created, to his current company POW! Entertainment.
- Told through the words of Stan himself, as well as numerous interviews with comic book creators, actors, film producers, family and friends, “With Great Power” paints a portrait of a man whose creativity knows no bounds and whose characters have grown from humble beginnings in the pages of Marvel Comics in the early 1960’s to power house properties in all media – including film, television, video games, toys, merchandising, and beyond.
- Midwest Premiere!
- September 25th at 3:15pm.
- “A. Hitler” is an unconventional cinematic exploration of the enigmatic tyrant who wreaked wholesale death and destruction upon the world. Previously released by Lions Gate Films as “The Empty Mirror,” this “A. Hitler” director’s cut is now being released under its original and more appropriate title on the 15th anniversary of its debut at the Cannes International Film Festival. The film is a phantasmagoric journey into the dark recesses of the mind of the most infamous villain of the 20th century as portrayed by Norman Rodway in a tour de force performance – a monster setting out to rationalize and rewrite his own personal history.
- Minnesota Premiere!
- September 22nd, 4pm and September 24th, 10:15pm.
- Fifty years after the Coen Brothers (MOTS, of course) were born right here in St. Louis Park, their greatest achievement returns for a special 15th anniversary screening in their hometown. A modern classic – the film earned the brothers screenwriting Oscars, and was inducted into the United States National Film Registry in 2006 – ‘Fargo’ exists as the hybrid of a crime drama and dark comedy, about a pregnant police chief (Oscar-winner Frances McDormand) investigating a series of homicides across the frozen tundra. Against a sprawling Minnesota landscape, William H. Macy stars as a car salesman who hires two criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife. But when the scheme goes sour, and wood chippers get involved, the haphazard kidnapping plot turns deadly serious.
- FREE screening September 25th at 12:15pm.
- Just days before MOT Bernard Madoff captured headlines as the largest ponzi schemer in U.S. history, MOT Marc Dreier, a prominent Manhattan attorney, was arrested for orchestrating a massive fraud scheme that netted over $700 million from hedge funds. Brazen forgeries and impersonations branded the white collar crime spree remarkable. “Unraveled” is set in the “purgatory” of house arrest, an upper East Side penthouse, where the Court has ordered Dreier confined until his sentencing day. The film weaves Dreier’s struggle to prepare for the possibility of life imprisonment with first-person flashbacks, which reveal his audacious path of destruction. Destroyed by his own hubris, Dreier attempts to grasp his tragic unraveling. With unprecedented access, “Unraveled” exposes a mastermind of criminal deception.
- Midwest Premiere!
- September 21st at 5:15pm
So hurry up and buy your tickets on Fandango or on the Twin Cities Film Fest website. I mean it. The one annoying thing about Film Fests? People love ’em – so the tickets can sell out if you don’t act fast enough! See you at the theater!