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)
At the Death House Door, Director and Producer present
And Along Came the Tourists
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
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
Big Dreams, Little Tokyo
Cabal in Kabul
Old Thieves and the Legends of a Trade
My Brother is an Only Child
Tell No One
Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome
The Sky Turns
Up the Yangtze
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:
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.