39th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - April 9-25, 2020MSPIFF38 Best of Fest

Before the Frost
April 21, 1:00pm
Director: Michael Noer
Country: Denmark | Fiction Feature

An aging farmer in rural Denmark must make some difficult decisions in this gripping period piece. Faced with the prospect of starvation during another tough winter, Jens makes a deal with a wealthy, neighboring farmer that he comes to regret.

BUY TICKETS

Chuskit
April 21, 1:10pm
Director: Priya Ramasubban
Country: India | Fiction Feature

A young girl loses her ability to walk and attend school. Battling her traditional grandfather and the physical barriers of her remote Himalayan village, Chuskit perseveres, refusing to give up on her education.

BUY TICKETS

Balloon
April 21, 3:10pm
Director: Michael Herbig
Country: Germany | Fiction Feature

In this German thriller based on true events, two families, the Strelzyks and the Wetzels, attempt to elude the GDR regime and escape into West Germany using a handcrafted hot air balloon.

BUY TICKETS

Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary
April 21, 3:30pm
Director: Lindsey Seavert, Ben Garvin
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

Minnesota-based directors Lindsey Seavert and Ben Garvin follow the students of Lucy Laney Elementary School in North Minneapolis, providing an inspiring inside look into early childhood development, the school’s infrastructure and current needs.

BUY TICKETS

Shorts 10 – Passing the Torch
April 21, 5:45pm
Director: Liam Saint-Pierre, Krissa Nelson, Robert Machoian, Sandra Winther, Gayle Knutson, Tess Wagman
Country: USA | Shorts Program

Getting by with a little help from my (younger or older) friends. Featuring The Last Storm, Lowland Kids, The Minors, The Next Acre, The Wagon, Great! Lakes

BUY TICKETS

Yuli
April 21, 6:00pm
Director: Icíar Bollaín
Country: Spain, Cuba, Germany, United Kingdom | Fiction Feature

This dazzling drama tells the story of Cuban ballet sensation Carlos Acosta, known as Yuli, and his captivating rise from a life on the streets of Havana to ballet legend as lead dancer with London’s Royal Ballet. Adapted from Carlos Acosta’s memoir.

BUY TICKETS

An Elephant Sitting Still
April 21, 8:00pm
Director: Hu Bo
Country: China | Fiction Feature

Worlds collide in Hu Bo’s triumphant debut feature An Elephant Sitting Still. Taking place over the course of one day in China’s industrial north, four characters discover their physically and emotionally interconnected fate.

BUY TICKETS

The Song of the Tree
April 21, 8:15pm
Director: Aibek Daiyrbekov
Country: Kyrgyzstan, Russia | Fiction Feature

Tradition and modernity clash in Kyrgyzstan’s first ever musical set in a nomadic equestrian culture. An Old World patriarch, his rebellious daughter and her outcast sweetheart feature in a tale of star-crossed lovers, maternal angst and tribal authority.

BUY TICKETS

Eating Up Easter
April 22, 5:00pm
Director: Sergio M. Rapu
Country: USA, Chile | Documentary Feature

As booming tourism and development threaten to the future of Easter Islands, locals from the Rapanui community fight to protect and preserve the sustainability of the land even as the future grows less certain.

BUY TICKETS

Always in Season
April 22, 5:15pm
Director: Jacqueline Olive
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present. Sundance Film Festival Winner – Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency.

BUY TICKETS

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love
April 22, 7:00pm
Director: Nick Broomfield
Country: USA | Fiction Feature

Renowned filmmaker Nick Broomfield’s most personal and romantic film of his storied career focuses on the early life of Leonard Cohen and his muse, Marianne Ihlen. With never-before-seen footage captured by Bloomfield and D.A. Pennebaker in the 1960s, Marianne & Leonard is a unique portrait of an idyllic 1960’s bohemia.

BUY TICKETS

The Wild Pear Tree
April 22, 7:30pm
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Country: Turkey, France, Macedonia, Germany | Fiction Feature

Returning to his home village without a job, a young graduate must choose his first steps towards his future. Become a teacher like his father before him, join the military or chase his dream of being a writer. Turkey’s official submission to the 91st Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film.

BUY TICKETS

Go Back to China
April 22, 9:10pm
Director: Emily Ting
Country: USA, China | Fiction Feature

Actor, filmmaker and Youtube sensation Anna Akana stars in this hilarious dramedy about wealth, family, and overdue adulthood. After burning through her trust fund, Sasha Lee (Akana) is forced to return to China and work for her family’s toy company. Richard Ng, Lynn Chen and Kelly Hu co-star.

BUY TICKETS

Volcano
April 23, 2:15pm
Director: Roman Bondarchuk
Country: Ukraine, Germany | Fiction Feature

A series of misfortunes leaves Lukas, an OSCE interpreter on a military checkpoint inspection tour, stranded near a small southern Ukrainian steppe town, amidst a lawless universe beyond his imagination. Visually rich and strange, Volcano evokes a Kafka-esque Alice In Wonderland.

BUY TICKETS

Looking for the Wild
April 23, 3:00pm
Director: Andoni Canela
Country: Spain | Documentary Feature

For over a year, Ten-year-old Unai and his family take an extraordinary trip around the planet to photograph an endangered species on each continent. Unai shares his observations from jungles, deserts, and glaciers, as his family learns, plays, and looks for wildlife.

BUY TICKETS

Land of Hope
April 23, 4:30pm
Director: Markku Pölönen
Country: Finland | Fiction Feature

This atmospheric period love story, the second most popular Finnish film of 2018, unfolds from 1945 – 1952 and highlights how female power was essential in rebuilding the country during and after the war.

BUY TICKETS

The Interpreters
April 23, 5:00pm
Director: Sofian Khan, Andrès Caballero
Country: USA, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey | Documentary Feature

During a time of war, Afghan and Iraqi interpreters were essential to the US armed services. This story picks up after the war effort, examining the true depth of consequences the interpreters face for their work.

BUY TICKETS

Tel Aviv on Fire
April 23, 7:00pm
Director: Sameh Zoabi
Country: Israel, Luxembourg, France, Belgium | Fiction Feature

This ingenious dramedy comments on Middle East affairs with the lightest of touches and is the latest from Brooklyn-based Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi. Best Actor, Venice Film Festival; Best Film, Haifa Film Festival.

BUY TICKETS

Singin’ in the Grain – a Minnesota Czech story
April 23, 7:10pm
Director: Al Milgrom, Daniel Geiger
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

All-singing, all-dancing, this is the lively, lovely story of a village polka band and its city cousins, shot in the bread-basket of southern Minnesota. Singin’ in the Grain captures what it means to be a Czech-American today and, by extension, one’s own identity as an American.

BUY TICKETS

Where Are You, João Gilberto?
April 23, 9:15pm
Director: Georges Gachot
Country: Switzerland, Germany, France, Brazil | Documentary Feature

Legendary Brazilian musician João Gilberto is credited for the creation of Bossa Nova, the popular style of Brazilian music that became a sensation during the 50s and 60s. But when João Gilberto unceremoniously disappeared into obscurity, society at large was left without answers. Filmmaker Georges Gachot takes audiences on a journey to find out what really happened to the legendary musician.

BUY TICKETS

Manta Ray
April 23, 9:40pm
Director: Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
Country: Thailand, France, China | Fiction Feature

When a Rohingya refugee who refuses to speak is found by a Thai fisherman after washing ashore on the Thai-Myanmar border, a tenuous friendship is struck between the two men.

BUY TICKETS

The Silence of Others
April 24, 2:30pm
Director: Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar
Country: Spain, USA | Documentary Feature

An eye-opening look into the aftermath of General Franco’s 40-year dictatorship of Spain, documentary filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar shine a light on the realities of lasting effects of a political stronghold, told through the eyes of its victims.

BUY TICKETS

Burning Memories
April 24, 2:50pm
Director: Ellen-Astri Lundby
Country: Norway | Documentary Feature

Independent filmmaker Ellen-Astri Lundby’s documentary traces the past and current traumas of war in Norway. Interviewing six elders in the present day, they tell their stories of growing up during a time of war. Ellen juxtaposed the elders’ stories with those of children refugees now living in Norway who have escaped conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

BUY TICKETS

Ladies in Black
April 24, 4:45pm
Director: Bruce Beresford
Country: Australia | Fiction Feature

High fashion catalyzes an indelible change in the life of a young Sydney woman in this feel-good dramedy. It’s set in the summer of 1959, when the impact of European migration and the rise of women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever.

BUY TICKETS

The Golden Harvest
April 24, 4:50pm
Director: Alia Yunis
Country: Palestine, Greece, Italy, Spain, Israel | Documentary Feature

In this illuminating and artistic documentary from Alia Yunis, we follow the history and relationship between olive trees and the Mediterranean people that have overseen its cultivation and well-being for thousands of years.

BUY TICKETS

Stalag Luft III – One Man’s Story
April 24, 7:00pm
Director: Louise Woehrle
Country: USA, France | Documentary Feature

A journey of unbelievable hardship and heroism in a time of war, this documentary feature follows WWII vet and former prisoner of war Lt. Charles Woehrle as he, now 93, shares his account of survival against near impossible odds.

BUY TICKETS

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins
April 24, 7:10pm
Director: Janice Engel
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

This awe-inspiring documentary feature from Janice Engel profiles trailblazing journalist Molly Ivins, a media powerhouse who made it her mission to stand against political corruption, raising hell one full-bodied laugh at a time.

BUY TICKETS

The Scoundrels
April 24, 9:15pm
Director: Hung Tzu-Hsuan
Country: Taiwan | Fiction Feature

Disgraced basketball player Ray finds himself caught in the web of an infamous car thief called the Raincoat Robber. Soon after, Ray is forced to go on the run when he is marked as suspect in the Raincoat Robber’s latest heist.

BUY TICKETS

Sasha Was Here
April 24, 9:30pm
Director: Ernestas Jankauskas
Country: Lithuania | Fiction Feature

Sasha is 12-years-old, his energetic personality stifled by life in an orphanage. Spurned by his biological father, Sasha dreams of joining a family. Enter Jurga and Tomas, a married couple in search of a child to call their own.

BUY TICKETS

Seder-Masochism
April 25, 2:10pm
Director: Nina Paley
Country: USA | Animated Feature

A loosely inspired, animated adaptation of the Passover Seder story, Nina Paley’s daring musical feature adds a few twists to this Biblical tale, such as a female Goddess who confronts the adversarial powers of the patriarchy.

BUY TICKETS

Personal Statement
April 25, 2:20pm
Director: Juliane Dressner, Edwin Martinez
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

During their senior year of highschool, students Christine, Enoch, and Karoline work to finish their college applications while also serving as peer mentors to fellow students facing an uphill battle to achieve their dreams. Personal Statement is their story.

BUY TICKETS

Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary
April 25, 4:00pm
Director: Lindsey Seavert, Ben Garvin
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

Minnesota-based directors Lindsey Seavert and Ben Garvin follow the students of Lucy Laney Elementary School in North Minneapolis, providing an inspiring inside look into early childhood development, the school’s infrastructure and current needs.

BUY TICKETS

The Little Comrade
April 25, 4:30pm
Director: Moonika Siimets
Country: Estonia | Fiction Feature

A six-year-old Estonian girl sees her school principal mother arrested during the Stalinist terror visited on the Baltic countries during the 1950s in this poignant coming-of-age story. Based on autobiographical novels by Leelo Tungal, one of Estonia’s most beloved writers.

BUY TICKETS

Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary
April 25, 6:30pm
Director: Lindsey Seavert, Ben Garvin
Country: USA | Documentary Feature

Minnesota-based directors Lindsey Seavert and Ben Garvin follow the students of Lucy Laney Elementary School in North Minneapolis, providing an inspiring inside look into early childhood development, the school’s infrastructure and current needs.

BUY TICKETS

The Grizzlies
April 25, 7:00pm
Director: Miranda de Pencier
Country: Canada | Fiction Feature

In this inspiring drama based on a true story, a group of Inuit students in a small, struggling Arctic community are changed forever through the transformative power of friendship, aspiration and sport.

BUY TICKETS

X – The eXploited
April 25, 9:00pm
Director: Károly Ujj Mészáros
Country: Hungary | Fiction Feature

This intense and stylish crime drama shows how the unsettled heritage of the communist past still haunts Hungary. In present-day Budapest, talented investigative detective Éva must overcome her panic attacks in order to save her country – and herself.

BUY TICKETS

The Deposit
April 25, 9:15pm
Director: Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir
Country: Iceland | Fiction Feature

When Gisella falls into financial straits, she decides to rent out her spare bedrooms to two immigrant women. The arrangement begins well for all parties, but eventually turns into a vicious psychological power struggle.

BUY TICKETS