sazeracWhen filmmakers come to town for the Flyway Film Festival each year, they come with a mission: to see films, meet other filmmakers, connect with audiences, and have a ridiculous amount of fun.

This year, filmmakers and film fans are invited to connect at free coffee hour and happy hour sessions on Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21. The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 10:30am, Thursday: General filmmaker coffee meetup at The 404 Coffee Shop, Pepin’s new coffee shop at 404 First Street. 

    Everyone who needs some restorative coffee and conversation is welcome, especially those recovering from too much fun at the Wednesday night Flyway Kickoff Gala (tickets available here).

  • 5:00pm, Thursday: “Crowdfunding Pep Talk Happy Hour” at the Filmmaker Lounge (408 Second Street). 

    Is your crowdfunding campaign driving you to drink? Jen West, a talented emerging filmmaker who won the Seed&Spark short film award at Flyway 2015, has offered do a FREE Seed&Spark crowdfunding presentation for anyone interested in the topic. That and free beer should cheer you right up. Everyone welcome (with valid ID for drinks, obviously).

  • 10:30am, Friday: “Film School Coffee Time” at The 404 Coffee Shop. 

    Dreaming wistfully of film school? Paying off film school? Bitterly resenting film school? A group of film MFA students from the University of Texas-Austin (Mira Lippold-Johnson, Huay Bing-Law, Rachel Bardin, Lizette Barrera), along with recent UW-Milwaukee film school graduate and Pepin native Louie Fisher, will lead a discussion about the pros and cons of film school vs. just plain going out and making films.

  • 5:00pm, Friday: “Drinkin’ ‘n’ Pitchin’ Happy Hour” at the Filmmaker Lounge.

    Why is pitching your film idea so hard? Jen West will lead you through the scary process of convincing others that your film will be The Next Big Thing. Whether you’re working on an actual pitch or just curious about filmmaking, please stop by. Did we mention free drinks? Should we stop mentioning that?

The Flyway is happy to showcase our beverage sponsors, Joia All Natural Soda & Cocktails and Prairie Organic Spirits. We invite you to drink RESPONSIBLY.

And while we’re on the subject of coffee and booze, here’s more good news: 

  • The Homemade Cafe (809 Third Street/Hwy 35, Pepin), which has been closed for the season during previous Flyways, will be open for breakfast and lunch. And by “breakfast,” we mean BIG FREAKING BREAKFAST.
  • Lena’s Lucky Star Cafe (formerly Gelly’s), across from the WideSpot screening venue, will have Flyway happy hour specials on food and drink.

Films begin on Thursday, October 20th and run through the 23rd. More than forty documentaries, narratives and short films will screen at four locations along the Mississippi River: the Villa Bellezza Winery in Pepin, WI; Big River Theatre in Alma, WI; WideSpot Performing Arts Center in Stockholm, WI; and the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing, MN. 

Tickets for films are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Festival passes for unlimited screenings are available on the Flyway website through the ticketing vendor Elevent.

Photo: From James Martin’s The New Orleans Sazerac, screening with Norah Shapiro and Kelly Nathe’s Minnesota 13: From Grain to Glass on Friday and Saturday. Tickets here.

See you at the Flyway!