PEPIN, WI, October 1, 2014— The Flyway Film Festival, one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “Twenty-five Coolest Film Festivals,” today announced its official program selections for the seventh edition of the festival. The Flyway’s annual celebration of artistic excellence brings together cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers and artists to discover the best in independent film in the beautiful Mississippi River towns of Pepin, Stockholm and Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, and Red Wing, Minnesota. The Flyway will highlight 45 feature-length and short films from as nearby as Menomonie to as far away as the Ukraine, along with special filmmaker awards, a keynote address, education programs and festivities.
The Flyway Film Festival takes place on the Wisconsin side of the river on Thursday, October 23 – Sunday, October 26, 2014. A shorter program will be presented in Red Wing, MN on Saturday, October 11, as part of the Red Wing Fall Festival of the Arts.
“I’m thrilled beyond words to share our excellent film lineup this year,” says Festival programmer Jim Brunzell III. “Our opening night film, Margaret Brown’s astounding documentary The Great Invisible, about the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico,is the best and most important documentary I’ve seen in 2014 and a film everyone will be talking about. Writer/director Alex Johnson’s suspenseful crime drama Two Step brings to mind classic neo-noirs such as Night Moves, The Long Goodbye and the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple. I haven’t stopped thinking about since I saw it at SXSW in March.
“The Tribe, a Ukrainian feature set entirely in the world of the deaf, is another cinematic treat unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And we’ll have not one but two terrific features by up-and-coming director Josephine Decker, exemplifying the power of Flyway to support filmmakers with unique and singular visions.”
Over the past seven years, the Flyway Film Festival has grown from a tiny local effort in Pepin, Wisconsin to a nationally-recognized four-day event, spanning towns on both sides of the Mississippi and attracting film fans from across the country. Festival Director Rick Vaicius points out that the increasingly strong reputation of the Flyway allows him to program a wider variety of excellent films.
“A few years ago, sought-after films like The Tribe and Two Step wouldn’t have been available to us,” Vaicius says. “Now that we’re becoming known in the festival world, not only will national distributors work with us, but the best of Minnesota and Wisconsin filmmakers vie to screen their films at the Flyway.”
Some of the exceptional regional films slotted for the festival are Jesse Roesler’s The Starfish Throwers, which is winning dozens of festival awards for its moving portrayal of individual perseverance in the face of world hunger; Amy Elliott’s hilarious Wicker Kittens, about competitive jigsaw-puzzling at the St. Paul Winter Carnival; and Jan Selby’s Beyond the Divide, filmed in Missoula, Montana, where a huge graffiti peace symbol provides a touchpoint for a town still struggling with the repercussions of the Vietnam war.
The 2013 Flyway Film Festival attracted over 2,000 visitors to Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin, which host the primary film screening venues: the Villa Bellezza Winery in Pepin and the WideSpot Performing Arts Center in Stockholm. With the 2014 expansion of the Festival to Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, which will host the Festival seminars at the Maiden Rock Inn, and the special Flyway program at the Saint James Hotel in Red Wing, Minnesota, that number is expected to increase.
About the Flyway Film Festival
The 2014 Flyway Film Festival runs October 23-26 in Pepin, Stockholm, and Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, and October 11 in Red Wing, Minnesota. Over 40 national and international independent films will be shown in four venues, with many filmmakers and industry professionals in attendance to interact with audiences via Q&A and networking events.
Regular screening and full festival passes, which will include the Kickoff Gala & Awards Ceremony and access to the Festival, are available online now at www.flywayfilmfestival.org. Individual tickets are available online and during the Festival at the festival box offices.
The festival venues are approximately a 60-minute drive from Rochester, Minnesota or Eau Claire, Wisconsin and 85 minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. For more information, please visit www.flywayfilmfestival.org or contact Rick Vaicius at (855) 800-8008 /firstname.lastname@example.org / Facebook: Flyway Film Festival / Twitter: @flywayfilmfest.
The 2014 Flyway Film Festival opens on Thursday, October 23rd with the annual Kickoff Gala at the Villa Bellezza Winery in Pepin. Featuring food, libations, music, a keynote address, and the Festival awards ceremony, the Gala is a must-attend event for independent film aficionados and industry professionals alike. Join the Lake Pepin “glitterati” as we roll out the red carpet for our film friends from across the globe!
The evening begins at 6:00 with an array of drinks and hors d’oeuvres catered by local restaurateurs. At 8:00 award-winning producer Nicolas Gonda, one of Variety’s “10 Producers to Watch,” will give the keynote address. Gonda is co-founder of the rapidly-expanding company Tugg, Inc., a web platform that enables audiences to choose the films that play in their local theaters.
Following the keynote, Flyway director Rick Vaicius will present the Festival “Axe” awards, designed by Wisconsin sculptor David Culver. 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).
Full Festival Pass holders, Kickoff Gala ticket holders, and specially-invited Festival guests and sponsors are welcome at this event. Tickets are $35 here or at the door.
Registered Gala guests are asked to check in at the Box Office at the Villa Bellezza Winery upon arrival.
The knock-your-socks-off film lineup is almost ready, festival passes are selling briskly, and the pies are in the oven as the villages along Lake Pepin spruce themselves up for the Flyway. We had a bit of a website disaster recently, but don’t panic: the little elves who work on that kind of thing, all of whom are volunteers, incidentally, are in their little workshops with their little hammers and wrenches putting everything back together. In the meantime, you can definitely buy your festival pass here and start anticipating the beauty and fun that is the FLYWAY FILM FESTIVAL!