tugg logoNicolas Gonda, who was recently named one of Variety’s “10 Producers to Watch,” Details Magazine’s “Digital Mavericks,” and Indiewire’s “Influencers,” will provide the keynote address at the Flyway’s Kickoff Gala on Thursday, October 23rd. Gonda co-founded Tugg, Inc., a rapidly-expanding web platform that enables audiences to choose the films that play in their local theaters.Nicholas Gonda, Shot by Daniel Bergeron

Gonda began his film career at Focus Features in New York City, working on the publicity, marketing, and worldwide distribution of a number of Academy Award® winning films such as THE PIANIST and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. In 2005, he joined the production of Terrence Malick’s THE NEW WORLD, and he went on to work with Malick as co-producer of THE TREE OF LIFE, Oscar™ nominee for Best Picture and winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and producer of TO THE WONDER.

“Nick Gonda represents what the Flyway is all about: getting good films by independent filmmakers to audiences everywhere,” says Flyway Executive Director Rick Vaicius. “Our local audience will be excited to learn about Tugg as a way to bring more movies to this area, since we’re in a bit of a film desert in Western Wisconsin. Except for the new Flyway Minema, of course,” he adds. The Minema is a 40-seat microcinema in Pepin, recently started by Vaicius and his wife Diana.

Gonda continues to produce a number of projects with Malick, including A.J. Edwards’ directorial debut THE BETTER ANGELS, starring Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke and Brit Marling. THE BETTER ANGELS premiered at Sundance and will screen at the Flyway on Saturday, October 25th at 3:00 PM.

axeFollowing the keynote address, Vaicius will present the Festival “Axe” awards, designed by Wisconsin sculptor David Culver. Awardees will be announced in the categories of narrative, documentary, and Wisconsin/Minnesota films, as well as several special jury awards and the “Spirit of Flyway” award. The evening continues with music by the up-and-coming Minneapolis band Sun Gods to Gamma Rays. Called “restrained, powerful, potent and cool” by l’etoile Magazine, the band’s “trippy, ethereal sounds will make you want to get up and dance” (Minnesota Monthly).

Everyone is welcome at this event. Tickets are $35 here or at the door, with food and drinks included in the ticket price. Full Festival Pass holders are admitted free.