By Rick Vaicius

One of the greatest benefits of running Flyway is getting to meet so many great filmmakers, bringing them into our little community, building this awesome collegial atmosphere and then turning them loose with one another. The conversations are outstanding and I love hearing filmmakers exchanging ideas or developing plans to collaborate on future projects…

‘cuz Flyway rolls like that.

My biggest regret of the 2010 festival was the scheduling of the screening of Triumph67 on late Sunday afternoon– Sunday being the day most of the filmmakers in attendance depart, depriving Director Dan Tanz and Cinematographer Jeremy Wilker of much of  that peer feedback. I’m sure it would have been interesting to hear… or in my case eavesdrop on.

Triumph67 Cinematographer Jeremy Wilker and Flyway founder Rick Vaicius

T67 Cinematographer Jeremy Wilker and Flyway's Rick Vaicius during opening night

For me, Triumph67 is “one of those films.” It has stayed with me, inspired me, and fed me intellectually. It’s refreshing to see a story involving Palestinian-Americans that doesn’t involve rock-throwing or Kalashnikov-wielding.  This is a “real” story– a slice of the Palestinian-American experience and a search for identity in the Midwestern United States.

Triumph67 should find its ideal audience in the arthouse and film festival world where its deliberately languid pace and its subtle and nuanced story can be fully appreciated.

Mohannad Ghawanmeh’s performance suits Triumph67 like the well-worn leather jacket he dons or the vintage motorcycle from which the film’s title springs. His voice and onscreen demeanor draw you ever further into Heidi Haaland’s story until you almost feel a part of it.

Haaland’s script, Dan Tanz’s direction and Jeremy Wilker’s cinematography, in combination, are a deft homage to the great Japanese master, Ozu, whose distinctive technical style and allusive onscreen treatment of defining events might seem forced in less skilled and loving hands. They work in Triumph67 as Ghawanmeh’s character must face his past as he looks for his own identity.



A special thanks to Jeremy and Dan for allowing Flyway to screen Triumph67 as a work in progress during our 2010 Festival. We at Flyway look forward to more from you both in the future.

Triumph67 has its world premier at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival. St. Anthony Main: Friday, April 15, 7:00 p.m.