A film festival for midwestern movie buffs

MINNEAPOLIS - There's no need to book a trip to Cannes or Sundance if you want to see world-class films and meet award-winning directors. Just stay home and attend the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.

"This is a great opportunity for people in the Twin Cities to come out and see films they wouldn't normally see," said Jesse Roesler, a Minneapolis filmmaker who is screening his documentary, "The Starfish Throwers," at the festival.

The film chronicles three people from around the world, including a five-star chef, a retired school teacher, and a sixth-grade master gardener who are fighting to end hunger.

"We've been at other festivals but there's really nothing as meaningful as coming home and showing your film at your hometown festival," said Roesler.

"This festival does such a great job of showing global films, but also local films and the support for local filmmakers has been really great," he added.

The largest film festival in the Midwest has over 250 films from 65 countries.

The films range from documentaries to dramas, and includes children's films. Aside from screenings, film fans can also attend panels where they can meet directors and industry professionals.

"Filmmakers will be talking about what the industry is like here in the Twin Cities," said Roesler.

One of those panels will be answering the ultimate question for local budding directors – how to make a living as a filmmaker in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Ultimately, the film festival gives local directors like Roesler the exposure they need to take their film and their career to the next level.

"This film festival helps Minnesota filmmakers by boosting their career and getting their work shown. It's great to see that celebration of film happening in our own backyard," said Roesler.

The festival ends on April 19th.

For information on screenings, tickets and events, log on to mspfilm.org.


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