A Return to Film Festivals – MSPIFF 2022

Image from Taiwanese film Tank Fairy by Erich Rettstadt. Photo by Manbo Key
Image from Taiwanese film Tank Fairy by Erich Rettstadt. Photo by Manbo Key

From its inception, the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) has offered Minnesotans an unparalleled opportunity to watch innovative and interesting films from across the globe. Whether a piece is crafted in Brazil, Finland, or right here in Minnesota, MSPIFF is always looking for beautiful pieces of art that entertain and inform movie-goers of all kinds. This year MSPIFF is back to in-person screenings and events, and it has a solid roster of virtual content available for those who want or need accommodations.

Program director Jesse Bishop was kind enough to fill us in on what MSPIFF has to offer this year and let’s just say that there is a lot to look forward to. “The 2022 festival will present around 130 feature length fiction and documentary films and 80 shorts,” says Bishop. 

The expansive selection of films this year “showcases the wide array of film styles and genres that audiences have come to expect over the years at our festival, with work by established and emerging filmmakers alike.”

Of course, here at Lavender we are most excited about the impressive collection of queer content that MSPIFF has programmed this year. There are a total of 18 LGBTQ+ films programmed this year and the diversity reflected in those selections is great: both in country of origin and in alphabet mafia representation. 

For example, Warsha is a beautiful Lebanese film. Directed by Dania Bdeir, it asks one question: what if the person working at the top of the tallest crane in Beirut used the seclusion of their workplace to explore their gender identity?

Wildhood is a stunning Canadian film. The follow up to director Bretten Hannam’s short film Wildfire, this is a story of two brothers trying to find and reconnect with their mother, a Mi’kmaq woman who their abusive, white father told them was dead. 

The First Death of Joana is a coming-of-age film directed by Cristiane Oliveria. A 13-year-old Brazilian girl begins uncovering family secrets after her great aunt’s death and, in the process, learns new truths about herself as well. 

These three films barely scratch the surface of the available titles, so make sure you check out the MSPIFF website for even more films, details, and screening information.

Movies are available both on-line and in person this year. “All films selected for MSPIFF41 will have in person screenings at our festival venues, including our freshly renovated 5-screen cinema, MSP Film at The Main (formerly St. Anthony Main Theatre, Minneapolis), Capri Theater (North Minneapolis), Landmark Center (Downtown St. Paul), and Gray Duck Theater (Rochester),” says Bishop.

If the last few years have taught us anything it is that virtual accessibility is key, and that is a lesson that MSPIFF is bringing to this year’s festival. “The majority of films will also be available on the festival’s virtual platform,” says Bishop, “Audiences can watch on MSPfilm.org, or through the MSP Film Roku Channel, Apple TV App, or Amazon Fire TV.” For further instructions viewers can check the MSPIFF website, listed below.

There are a few different ways to experience the film festival. “For avid movie lovers, the MSPIFF All Access Pass is the best way to take full advantage of the festival,” says Bishop, “It grants access to the Opening and Closing Presentations and Parties, all screenings, including Virtual and Best of Fest screenings, Priority Status in ticket holder lines, and access to all festival parties, events, filmmaker conversations and panel discussions.”

If you’re less interested in the festival and more interested in the films, Bishop recommends taking advantage of the MSPIFF 6-pack, which essentially a buy five, get one free ticket. “It’s very versatile,” he says, “You can see 6 movies yourself or bring 5 friends with you to 1 film!”

Of course, half of the fun of a film festival is the events, and MSPIFF has a lot in the works: “We are planning a full slate of parties, including Opening and Closing Night,” says Bishop, “We will also have a full array of filmmaker conversations, tributes, and panel discussions.”

There is a lot to see and do at MSPIFF this year. Tickets are available online right now, so start planning your festival and get ready to meet some more movie lovers at the 41st year of the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival!

MSPIFF runs from May 5-19, 2022
Phone: 612-331-7563
[email protected]

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