Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival announces new series, special events

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The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) announced a new series, called “Tribute,” to honor important international film figures today via press release.

“We wanted to make our 35th anniversary something special, so we’ve created this new Tribute series to pay homage to the luminaries that make world cinema great,” said Susan Smoluchowski, executive director of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. “Our goal? To take festival attendees beyond the passive experience of merely watching a film. By hosting important film figures, and delivering special events like panels and parties, MSPIFF creates opportunities for in-depth exploration of the people and circumstances behind these works of art—it’s what makes our festival such a singular event.”

Its first honoree will be pioneering female Canadian-Indian director Deepa Mehta, who will make her first-ever visit to the Twin Cities for MSPIFF.

Mehta is the award-winning writer-director of the “Elements” trilogy of films, exploring social issues in India; the film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”; and the lighthearted romance “Bollywood/Hollywood.” Her latest work is the dark comedy “Beeba Boys,” set in the world of Vancouver’s Sikh gangs.

“Beeba Boys” will have an initial screening at Uptown Theatre on Thursday, April 14, and will also be the Midfest Centerpiece presentation at St. Anthony Main on Saturday, April 16. That night will be capped off by the MidFest Party, which welcomes directors who have made the journey to Minnesota to join in the celebration.

MSPIFF will also host numerous other special events during the festival, including two presentations of “Voices of Light: The Passion of Joan of Arc,” which merges Carl Dreyer’s legendary 1928 silent film masterpiece “The Passion of Joan of Arc” with a live performance of a moving and powerful score by award-winning composer Richard Einhorn. The presentation will take place thanks to MSPIFF’s partnership with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota.

Also newly announced is a performance by Twin Cities jam band favorites The Big Wu, who will play a concert at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul before a screening of its new documentary “The Big Wu Way” on Saturday, April 9.

Learn more about all these and other special MSPIFF 35th anniversary events at mspfilm.org.


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