Kathleen VinehoutPEPIN, WI, October 15, 2013—She hasn’t said yes – but she hasn’t said no, either. Wisconsin State Senator Kathleen Vinehout  (D-WI 31st District) is emerging as a possible contender in the upcoming Wisconsin gubernatorial race. Now that former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke (D) has thrown her hat into the ring, state Democrats are wondering who has the best chance of taking down Republican Governor Scott Walker. Rumors abound that Vinehout will make an announcement soon.

You can ask Senator Vinehout yourself at the Flyway Film Festival’s opening night “Kickoff Gala” on Thursday, October 17 at 6:00pm. Vinehout, an ardent supporter of the arts in Wisconsin, will make opening remarks before the keynote speech and awards ceremony. She will also be present to answer questions after the Festival’s closing night film Citizen Koch, a controversial documentary about big money in Wisconsin politics. Citizen Koch will screen at 7:00pm on Sunday, October 20th, at the Widespot Performing Arts Center in Stockholm, WI.

The Kickoff Gala will take place at Villa Bellezza, a new Mediterranean-style villa and winery in Pepin, Wisconsin. The evening will begin with a reception of hors d’oeuvres and 2013 signature Flyway cocktails, featuring Twin Cities-based Joia sodas, organic Prairie vodka, and other local brews.

San Francisco-based Emily Best will deliver the keynote speech.  Best is the CEO and founder of Seed&Spark, a cutting-edge platform for crowdfunding, distribution, and interaction for independent filmmakers.

Flyway Film Festival Director Rick Vaicius will present the awards for best films and accomplishments in several categories. Each winning filmmaker will take home a “Flyway Axe” award designed by David Culver, a nationally-recognized artist living in Bay City, Wisconsin. Live music follows the awards ceremony.

Full Festival pass holders, Kickoff Gala ticket holders, and specially-invited Festival guests and sponsors are welcome at this event. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased from the Flyway website or at the door.