MSPIFF’S INAUGURAL TRIBUTE TO HONOR & HOST PIONEERING FEMALE CANADIAN-INDIAN DIRECTOR DEEPA MEHTA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Film Festival also announces additional special events with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota and jam band The Big Wu
MINNEAPOLIS — February 18, 2016 — The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) announces a new series to honor important international film figures — “Tribute.” Its first honoree, in this 35th season of the festival, will be pioneering female Canadian-Indian director Deepa Mehta.
Mehta, who resides in New Delhi and Toronto, will make her first-ever visit to the Twin Cities for MSPIFF, accompanied by her producer and husband, David Hamilton. Well known as the award-winning writer-director of the Elements trilogy of films, exploring social issues in India, Mehta’s broad oeuvre also includes the film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (MSPIFF 2013) and the lighthearted romance Bollywood/Hollywood. Her latest work is the dark comedy Beeba Boys, set in the world of Vancouver’s Sikh gangs.
“I’m proud to be recognized by this groundbreaking festival, whose efforts over the past 35 years have been crucial in ensuring films like mine find an audience,” said Mehta. “As artists, we explore the human condition, and MSPIFF truly celebrates our exploration by setting it free from barriers formed by language or national and geographic boundaries and bringing it to audiences in the Twin Cities.”
Beeba Boys will have an initial screening at the Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. The film will also be the Midfest Centerpiece presentation at St. Anthony Main on Saturday, April 16, at 7 p.m. 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. Deepa Mehta and Beeba Boys Producer David Hamilton will be in attendance. Cast and crew are expected to attend.
A selection of Mehta’s other films will also be screened during the festival and Mehta will take part in one of the festival’s annual Women and Film panels, which have become important facets of the festival’s lineup of public, educational panel discussions.
“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. Our goal? To take festival attendees beyond the passive experience of merely watching a film,” said Susan Smoluchowski, executive director of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, the non-profit that produces MSPIFF. “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.”
In addition, MSPIFF will host numerous other special events during the festival. It will partner with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota for two extraordinary presentations of Voices of Light: The Passion of Joan of Arc, merging Carl Dreyer’s legendary 1928 silent film masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc, widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, with a live performance of a moving and powerful score by award-winning American composer Richard Einhorn. Voices of Light is scheduled for Friday, April 15 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul and Friday, April 22 at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. Visit www.oratorio.org for more information and tickets.
Also newly announced is a performance by longtime 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. Tickets for this show will be available at mspfilm.org.
Additional special events will be announced soon.
The full slate of films and events for MSPIFF 2016 will be released on March 1, and individual tickets will go on sale in mid-March. Festival Passes and 6-Packs are on sale now at mspfilm.org. MSPIFF is supported by Legacy Amendment Funding through the Minnesota State Arts Board, Cedarwoods Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, The Star Tribune, US Bank Wealth Management, numerous international Consulates and generous members of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, among many others. For details, visit mspfilm.org/festivals/mspiff.