April 11, 2008

2008 MSP Film Fest Ready to Roll

Break out the highlighter. The complete lineup for the 26th Annual Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival (April 17 - May 3) was released earlier this week by the fine folks at Minnesota Film Arts. Led by the resilient Al Milgrom (see his message on page 7), the festival continues to feature an impressive and expansive selection of world cinema in addition to several local features and shorts.

All but a few of the screenings will be held at St. Anthony Main, which lacks the charm of the Oak St. Cinema and Bell Auditorium but makes up for it with a full-time staff and electronic ticketing system (a veritable Christmas gift in April for festival volunteers like me). There will still be a handful of shows at the Oak St., including the Best of the Fest later in May, and the opening and closing night screenings will be at the Kerasotes Block E Cinema downtown.

For the second year in a row I'm going to be gone for the first five days of the festival and, after seeing the screening schedule, I'm officially crushed. Several films I've been waiting to see are screening only on the first weekend, and a few of them even include director appearances. What can I do? Get over it, despite the fact that some of them are on my radar as Best of 2008s. I'll probably see them all eventually, and I still have a chance for some solid screenings on the second weekend.

Here are my highlights:

I'm unfortunately going to miss:
The Visitor, Director present (Opening Night, 4/17)
Momma's Man
At the Death House Door, Director and Producer present
And Along Came the Tourists
Tuya's Marriage
Young @ Heart
Son of Rambow, Director and Producer present

I'm back to hopefully see (when I'm not assigned to volunteer):
The Edge of Heaven
The Grocer's Son

I Was a Swiss Banker

The Tracey Fragments

The Unknown Woman


Dry Season

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

Big Dreams, Little Tokyo

Black Coffee

Cabal in Kabul

Old Thieves and the Legends of a Trade

Jar City

Little Moth

My Brother is an Only Child


Tell No One

Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome

The Betrayal

The Planet

The Sky Turns

Up the Yangtze


American Teen

Bad Faith

Boarding Gate

Clash of Egos


Encounters at the End of the World
(Closing Night, 5/3)

Insane, right? Well I likely won't be able to hit all of those, but they're the ones I'd make an effort to see. I suggest you take the weekend to highlight your own from the 130+ films:

World Cinema
American Cinema
American Documentaries
International Shorts
Childish Programs

If you're a local, get to work. If you're not, be envious - and make recommendations if you've seen any from the list.


  1. Lucky you, and lucky MPS - that's a long festival. 17 days? Sweet.

    Now that I'm a festival regular (ha), the missus and I are sure to catch even more of next year's big festival.

    In the meantime, have fun!

  2. It is a pretty long one, isn't it? I think there are really only about 12-13 days of full screenings, but that's still a lot of movies. It's a good thing I only have access to festivals like this once a year. My schedule can be consumed by it.

  3. Sounds super awesome; enjoy it!

    *I am insanely jealous, mostly because while you are at a film festival, I will be back in school, joy*

  4. I plan to, Nick, despite missing the first weekend.

    And trust me, you're way ahead of where I was when I was a high school student. I wouldn't be surprised if you were hosting your own film festival in a few years...

  5. lol, that would rock. I seriously want to become a festival hopper when I leave highschool and take a year off before film school. Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Sundance, whatever, I want to be there. Even the MSP Film Fest. Just enjoy it and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the stuff you see.

  6. Oh, man. Can you imagine that tour? Best start saving up for it!

  7. I need to save every damn cent and steal several cars to aford it, but it should be no problem ;)


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