Flyway Film Festival

Submissions are open. Flyway Film Festival takes place October 23-26, 2014 in Pepin & Stockholm, WI.

Sneak Peek at Flyway Film Festival’s First Official 2013 Selections

Jul 24, 2013
No Comments Yet
From William and the Windmill, by Ben Nabors

From William and the Windmill, by Ben Nabors

Pepin, WI, July 24 — The Flyway Film Festival has begun name-dropping a few of the films accepted into the 2013 lineup. Now in its sixth year, Flyway has gained a reputation as a world-class event, showcasing the best in new local, regional, and international film and providing the movie-loving public with access to filmmakers and film industry professionals from around the world. The festival will run from October 17–20 this year.

Two breakout hits from the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) will be making their regional debut at the Flyway:

William and the Windmill, an inspiring documentary about the impoverished young Malawian who catapulted to fame with his homegrown windmill system, effectively rescuing his village from famine. The film won the Grand Jury Documentary Award at SXSW 2013, and director Ben Nabors and cinematographer Michael Tyburski were recently named as two of Filmmaker Magazine’s25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

 White Reindeer (dir. Zach Clark), a darkly funny, touching sendup of Christmas traditions. Village Voice says: “…what begins as an exaggerated mockery of our most grotesque commercial custom…shifts toward a surprisingly earnest paean to the restorative power of the holidays.” Filmmaker Magazine raved about the film’s “over-the-top props and costumes, perfectly timed editing, clever use of fades, fine acting, snappy dialogue, and hilarious music.”

Committed to a mix of cutting-edge documentaries, narratives, and shorts, Flyway executive director Rick Vaicius and programmer Jim Brunzell are delighted by the range and quality of films submitted this year. “We received over 600 films this year for consideration,” says Vaicius. “It’s amazing how the quality of submissions seems better and better each year, which in turn makes our program better.”

Vaicius has long been a proponent of “crowdfunded” films: filmmakers seeking support through independent funding websites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to realize their vision. One such film selected for Flyway 2013 is Favor, a wry thriller whose director (Paul Osborne) raised the money for this microbudget narrative entirely through crowdfunding.

“It’s the most direct route to funding independent films,” says Vaicius. “We like to call it ‘reclaiming DIY.’ Filmmakers aren’t beholden to anyone – they’re pitching their ideas directly to audiences, rather than to a small pool of investors or grantmakers. Some of the best indie films in recent years have been crowdfunded projects.”

Two more crowdfunded films selected for Flyway are Shored Up (dir. Ben Kalina), an examination of the erosion of the Atlantic coast before and after Hurricane Sandy; and Down and Dangerous (dir. Zak Forsman), a tense drama about cocaine smuggling based on the real-life experiences of the director’s father.

Did you like this? Share it:

Is Flyway the love child of the Stockholm Art Fair and Al Milgrom?

Jul 18, 2013
No Comments Yet
Stockholm Art Fair poster by Glen "Sonny" Nelson

2013 Stockholm Art Fair poster by Glen “Sonny” Nelson

 Over 40 years ago, some artists from elsewhere settled in the little town of Stockholm, Wisconsin. Because they were hippies, they decided to have a groovy art fair. Because they were talented, they became nationally recognized artists, and their groovy little art fair turned into a big deal.

Around 20 years ago, a cinephile named Rick bought a farmhouse in Pepin. He had heard about all the artists in the area, so he figured it would be a groovy place to live. Because he couldn’t find enough independent films to watch, he started a screening series in Pepin and Stockholm. Because the screening series was a success, he banded together with other artsy people and turned it into an actual film festival.

When he was a U of M student, Rick volunteered at what was then called the Rivertown Film Festival, in order to get in and see films for free. He learned about film and about what it takes to run a festival. Al Milgrom, who basically force-fed independent and international films to the Twin Cities public until they learned to like it, started Rivertown (which later became Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival).

So, the answer to the above question is: YES.

Al Milgrom photo by Euan Kerr

Al Milgrom (photo by Euan Kerr/MPR)

 

Don’t miss the 40th annual Stockholm Art Fair this Saturday, July 20!

C004_211

Stockholm Art Fair 2012 (photo by Jay Olson-Goude)

 

Did you like this? Share it:

Harrowing hurricane documentary selected for Flyway 2013 lineup

Jul 15, 2013
No Comments Yet

Here along the Lake Pepin/Mississippi River flyway, we’re too busy bird-watching to worry about such things as the decimation of the oceanic coastlines. —I say! Was that a rose-breasted grosbeak? I daresay it was! —What’s this about rising sea levels threatening the lives of millions along the coasts? Tut, tut. Look there—an indigo bunting!

Shored Up, a new documentary directed by Ben Kalina and executive produced by 2009 Flyway keynote speaker Brian Newman, is about to shake us out of our ornithological complacency. The film looks at the impacts of a rising sea on coastal communities. Remember Hurricane Sandy? Kalina was already more than three years into shooting his film when that little event pretty much made his point: that our current “solutions” to rising sea levels are not working out very well.

The film uses animation, interviews with scientists, surfer footage, and policy debates to tell the story of coastal erosion. As Kalina told the New York Times, he had been struggling to find powerful imagery for his film when Sandy hit. The moral of that story: be careful what you wish for.

Put Shored Up on your list of must-see films at Flyway 2013. Watch the trailer and wring your hands in distress. Then see below for some pretty pictures of migrating birds on Lake Pepin.

The trailer:

Segue to birds. The Mississippi River is a “flyway” for migrating birds, meaning they follow the river up from Mexico in the spring, and down from Canada in the fall. Lake Pepin is the part where the river widens and slows, so we call it a lake. Birds consider it a commodious rest stop. Of course, the same climate forces that are destroying the coasts are also wreaking havoc on the birds…and everything else. Well, anyway.

Photos by David Meixner, who lives on the lake/river and takes these beautiful pictures right outside his house.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Meixner White Pelican

White Pelican

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

American Redstart

American Redstart

Did you like this? Share it:

Last chance to submit your film to the Flyway!

Jul 12, 2013
No Comments Yet

film reelThe final deadline to submit your film to Flyway 2013 is Monday, July 15. Just putting the finishing touches on your masterpiece? Well, hurry up. Here‘s the application info.

Did you like this? Share it:

Back by popular demand: “The Price of Sand” comes to Lake City on May 10

Apr 28, 2013
No Comments Yet

Lake Pepin-area viewers will have another chance to see “The Price of Sand,” Jim Tittle’s new documentary about frac sand mining, when the Flyway brings it to Lake City on May 10th.

“The film got a tremendous amount of positive buzz when it screened at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival last week,” says Flyway Film Festival director Rick Vaicius. “For some people, this film is the first they’ve heard about the frac sand mining boom. It’s a must-see for getting up to speed on the issue. And the film is entertaining as well — there’s some great local music.”

Watch “The Price of Sand” trailer here:

YouTube Preview Image

Directed by Red Wing native Jim Tittle, the documentary focuses on ordinary citizens affected by frac sand mining in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. While the rest of the country touts the idea of energy independence, people in the Midwest are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their health to the frac sand “gold rush.” He interviewed people whose lives have been dramatically affected by sand mining, for better and for worse.

“The goal of making this documentary was to find the real price of frac sand–not just in dollars, but in lives, friendships, families and the future of our region,” says Tittle.

The film will be shown at 7:00 pm at the Lincoln High School auditorium, 300 S. Garden Street, Lake City, MN.

Eventbrite - The Price of Sand at The Sheldon Theatre

Tickets are $5 (plus service charge) in advance and $7 at the door.

Did you like this? Share it:

THE PRICE OF SAND comes to Wabasha on April 26

Mar 28, 2013
No Comments Yet

Flyway’s presentation of “The Price of Sand,” a new documentary about frac sand mining, drew a crowd of 450 people to the historic Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing last week. If you missed it, don’t worry: you can see it in Wabasha at 7pm on April 26th at the Broadway Theater, 611 Broadway Ave.

Watch “The Price of Sand” trailer here:

YouTube Preview Image

Directed by Red Wing native Jim Tittle, the documentary focuses on ordinary citizens affected by frac sand mining in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. While the rest of the country touts the idea of energy independence, people in the Midwest are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their health to the frac sand “gold rush.” He interviewed people whose lives have been dramatically affected by sand mining, for better and for worse.

“The goal of making this documentary was to find the real price of frac sand–not just in dollars, but in lives, friendships, families and the future of our region,” says Tittle.

 

Eventbrite - The Price of Sand at The Sheldon Theatre

Tickets are $5 (plus service charge) in advance and $7 at the door.

Did you like this? Share it:
  • Nesbitt's Nursery
  • Prairie Organic Vodka
  • BNOX Gold & Iron