Take a glance at what you can expect at this year's Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

By Nora Allen

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is in their 36th season, and there’s no end to this tradition in sight. Focused on bringing cross-cultural education and entertainment to the Twin Cities, The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul has been working diligently to bring independent films to our neighborhoods since 1981. Their film festival, the main staple of their organization, is the largest of its kind in the region, showcasing more than 350 films from more than 70 countries annually. Finding the cross-section between informing and entertaining through film has been their mission from the very beginning, and this year, it’s no different. The event is already in full swing, but there’s still plenty left to participate in.

For this event, you’ll need a ticket to gain access to all of the excitement. They have plenty of options for every movie fanatic. For those who just want to get their toes wet, every film has single ticket options: $13 for general admission, or $11 if you become a film society member. If you’re a student or under 25 years old, there’s a “Youth” option for $8 per film screening. For moviegoers that want the full experience, there are a few ticket packages for you. Spend $68 ($57 if you’re a member) for a 6-pack package, allowing you to have access to up to six regular screenings. A silver pass, $385 for non-members and $320 for members, allow you to access all regular screenings, best of fest screenings, and panel discussions. There are also gold passes, allowing you to gain access to all screenings, festival events and parties, and panel discussions for $435, or $370 if you’re a member. For the ultimate experience, spend $795 for a platinum pass for all perks of a gold pass, plus guaranteed access to all films, reserved seating, and access to the industry lounge. Order tickets online, or get tickets in person during regular business hours to see what all the fuss is about!

Of course, as with any film festival, you are bound to view at least one film during this event. Everyday, at Saint Anthony Main Theater in Northeast, there will be five theaters showing four movies each, as well as a selection of other theaters or venues, such as the MSU Film Space or Rochester Marcus 14 showing films as well. Films will cover topics ranging from the tragedies happening in Aleppo to the experiences of a teenager just trying to make it big. Check out their website for descriptions of the films they’ll be showcasing, and peek at the schedule to decide which days you’ll take advantage of.

Film and the arts are always something to celebrate, so tag along to one of the many events or gatherings to take part in the excitement of the week. Attend the Centerpiece Part at the A-Mill Artist Lofts just down the block from Saint Anthony Main Theater this Saturday, or a Film Rave in Aster Café’s River Room next Friday. There are also multiple Virtual Reality Exhibitions at St. Anthony Main to learn a bit more about the new age of technology and film. There’s sure an event for everyone’s favorite aspect of film.

Panels and Discussions
Want to get to know the brains behind the creation of the films you’ve seen? Want to discuss the overtones of identity or culture in film? Are you one of those moviegoers that needs to talk about a film’s message once it's over? Attend one of the many panels provided by The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. Listen in on intellectual discussions of societal norms, or laugh about a silly scene that happened in the film. Part of this event’s mission is to encourage learning and understanding, and this is a great way to hear new perspectives, and maybe even provide perspectives of your own.

Playtime, Rain or Shine
There’s no doubt that Minnesotans have their fair share of cold, rainy days, and this event gives you the best of both worlds. With warm weather comes the Minnesotan urge to get outside and go have new experiences, and movies can be just the thing to fulfill that urge. But as the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” even if there’s rain, you’ll still be able to cuddle up and relax with a film. Either way, there’s always room for a good movie in one of the best neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, thanks to The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul.

Ticket Stub Deals
Don’t throw that ticket away! Bring your ticket to participating locations for special deals, such 2-for-1s on all drinks at Pat’s Tap, or $3 off your purchase at Punch Pizza NE.

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