The snow is melting, the birds are chirping, and once again, thousands of film fans are preparing to spend more time indoors than out.
That’s because the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival is once again set to draw crowds at the St. Anthony Main in northeast Minneapolis.
That’s right. For the second year running, cross-cultural cinephilia will be a one-stop shop. Last year’s fest was the first for The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul’s new digs on the riverfront. In previous years, festival-goers would find themselves dashing madly from downtown to Dinkytown and all points south just to catch all the movies on their checklists.
The five screens of St. Anthony Main were a perfect fit for the two-week fest. At least they were last year. This year, the culling efforts of, among others, principal co-programmers Al Milgrom and Tim Grady have exceeded all expectations.
This year’s slate easily outdoes all previous editions of MSPIFF for breadth and ambition. The selection is so stuffed that this year’s fest is scheduled to go on an extra week.
In all, there are nearly 200 feature-length films, and no less than 10 programs collecting shorts. That tally includes countless international premieres, new works from major artists (such as Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme), high-profile documentaries and tomorrow’s cult sensations.
How pleasantly bloated is this year’s slate? There are no less than three — count ’em, three — opening night selections.
- Page One, a documentary about one year in the life of the New York Times. Director Andrew Rossi and subject (and native Minnesotan) David Carr will be present.
- Trollhunter, a splashy looking faux-documentary creature feature. Call it Norway’s answer to Cloverfield.
- Score: A Hockey Musical, a hybrid sports musical (Glee by way of The Mighty Ducks) featuring appearances by Olivia Newton-John and Nelly Furtado, Score also opened the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. Lead actor Noah Reid will be present.
There’s so much going on at this year’s MSPIFF, one’s tempted to hand out an award. Luckily, there will be several by the closing night. This year’s festival will culminate in an awards ceremony for the films selected to be in competition. Festival coordinator Ryan Oestreich said this year also marks the first time an award will be handed out specifically marking the best Minnesota-made feature.
Starting tomorrow, WCCO’s Movie Blog will feature at least one highlight per day for the next three weeks, and also keep you alert of some of the other interesting selections available at St. Anthony Main.