September 17, 2010

Fall Film Festobonanza, Part 2: Twin Cities Film Fest

What: 1st Annual Twin Cities Film Festival
Where: Block E & Mall of America
When: September 28 - October 2

I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure how, but a second citywide international film festival has arrived in the Twin Cities:

"The Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) is a Minneapolis–based 501(c)3 non–profit arts organization that will have its inaugural event, a major mainstream 5-day film festival in downtown Minneapolis, during the fall of 2010. The goal is a simple one: 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."
It would be a massive mistake to confuse TCFF (in its first year, privately organized) with MSPIFF, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (in its 29th year, organized by Minnesota Film Arts). However, what TCFF appears to lack in programming exclusivity, foreign language diversity, and overall scale, it nearly makes up for in its glossy website. MSPIFF improved its website somewhat this year, but it's still Drupal-based and not particularly user-friendly. TCFF wins the day there.

But film festivals are about films, not websites, so let's see what TCFF has to offer in what I consider the most important categories - Documentary, Independent, and Studio. Additional films are also featured in the categories of Shorts, Mexican (?), and Minnesota Features (Phasma Ex Machina being the only name I recognize).

180 South
9/29, 4:00pm | AMC Block E 15

The Cove (my review)
10/1, 2:30pm | AMC Block E 15

The End of the Line
10/1, 2:00pm | AMC Block E 15

What’s On Your Plate
10/2, 10:00am | Theatres at Mall of America

Waiting for “Superman”
9/28, 7:00pm | VIP Theatre - Theatres at Mall of America

The Two Escobars (my capsule review)
9/29, 5:00pm | Theatres at Mall of America

Channel News
9/30, 4:30pm | AMC Block E 15
10/2, 3:00pm | AMC Block E 15

Toxic Soup
10/1, 4:30pm | AMC Block E 15

World’s Largest
9/29, 9:30pm | AMC Block E 15
10/2, 1:30pm | AMC Block E 15

Percy Schmeiser – David versus Monsanto
9/29, 4:30pm | AMC Block E 15

10/1, 10:00pm | AMC Block E 15
10/2, 11:00am | AMC Block E 15

Fanny, Annie & Danny
9/29, 9:30pm | AMC Block E 15

A Good Day to Die

10/2, 6:00pm | AMC Block E 15

Night Catches Us (my capsule review)
9/30, 7:00pm | AMC Block E 15
10/2, 1:00pm | AMC Block E 15

Down Terrace
9/30, 9:30pm | AMC Block E 15
10/2, 4:00pm | AMC Block E 15

Fair Game
10/2, 7:00pm | AMC Block E 15

Nowhere Boy
9/29, 7:00pm | AMC Block E 15

9/30, 8:00pm | AMC Block E 15

10/1, 7:00pm | AMC Block E 15

The Studio category doesn't appear to be all that special (three of the films are scheduled to open in Minneapolis within a week of the festival), the Documentary category features three films that have already played in local theaters, and the Independent category, well...six of the nine in that category are actually documentaries, so shouldn't they be in the Documentary category? No matter, these are minor details.

The takeaway is that TCFF appears to have legit funding and some solid energy behind it in Year 1, so Executive Director Jatin Setia will probably have a running start next year. I'm open to the idea of another festival planting a seed here, but in coming years the expectations will be higher for more exclusive screenings, maybe a couple premieres, and so on.

Meanwhile, tickets for all shows for this year's TCFF are on sale now

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