39th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - April 9-25, 2020Programs

Special Presentations
Catch the most talked about films before they’re talked about! Long before the awards buzz even starts humming, we bring a special selection of titles fresh from the festival circuit to the Twin Cities. With big stars and top directors, these new high-profile films from around the world are making their mark and staking their claim as the year’s most discussed movies.

Luminaries Tribute – Alice Guy-Blaché
The MSPIFF Luminaries Tribute Program recognizes notable filmmakers for their contributions to the medium of filmmaking and for artistic talents that have been instrumental in promoting a higher regard for the art of film around the world. For 2019, we are proud to honor the work of pioneering French filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché with a screening of the new documentary about her amazing career and a collection of her recently-restored films.

Women & Film
The #MeToo movement has underscored the inequalities in the film industry like never before, and our support for these industry professionals is stronger than ever. MSPIFF’s showcase of female directors from around the globe continues to grow every year, featuring a wide variety of outstanding fiction and documentaries.

Spotlight: Disruption
“For the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival’s annual Spotlight on the World program, the festival presents a selection of films united by their willingness to address momentous cultural, social, political or humanitarian issues facing the local and global community today. For 2019, the festival puts a Spotlight on stories of disruption, and those individuals who dare to put themselves in the way of the status quo in order to instigate change, challenge structures of power, reveal what is obscured, and make possible a more just and hopeful world. As the issues of the day seemingly pile one upon another fragmenting our communities and attentions, we turn in awe to the storytellers who share with us tales of tireless innovators in the arts, sciences, and technology, and those who blaze a trail toward social change shattering barriers of entry and presumption to reveal new trajectories of opportunity, understanding, and inclusiveness. Spotlight: Disruption showcases these stories and people that, above all else and against all odds, disrupt.”

Asian Frontiers
Asia encompasses a cinematic vision that is a symphony as diverse as it is discerning. As blockbusters make the headlines, we turn to independent voices that bring stories, both real and imagined, brilliantly to life. This year’s Asian Frontier program showcases bold new voices from China (Elephant Sitting Still and Girls Always Happy), Singapore (A Land Imagined), Thailand (Manta Ray), and Vietnam (The Third Wife) paired with seasoned auteurs Naomi Kawase (Vision), Eric Khoo (Ramen Shop), and Rithy Panh (Graves Without a Name).

Childish Films
“This year’s slate of 7 international features in the Childish Films section includes coming of age stories set in the U.S. (Brooklyn), Serbia, the Netherlands, Brazil, India, Kitasoo Nation (Canada), and a documentary that journeys to every continent on the planet. What are young people experiencing, observing, and voicing around the globe today? Our Childish Films program offers a glimpse into the future through diverse stories of a younger generation. This year the Youth Jury (ages 11-14) will give a new Global Lens award for the film that best expands audiences’ field of view. “

Cine Latino
Few cultures have had a greater influence on our country and region than those of Latin America and Iberia. The Cine Latino program celebrates the cinematic history and rich tapestry of Spanish and Portuguese language film, and the powerful and captivating cinematic storytelling emerging from three continents and ten countries.

Dark Out
Take a walk on the dark side of the festival with possessions, cursed dresses, criminals and the unexplainable. Covering action, horror, mystery, and sometimes a mix of all three, the thrills and chills of this program transcend borders with undeniable international flair.

Frame Forward
Avant-garde, experimental, lyrical, idiosyncratic—many terms have been used for films and filmmakers that work outside the box, exploring cinema’s potential. Frame Forward embraces non-traditional fiction and documentary features, shorts and performances that push boundaries and invite audiences to broaden their experience of the moving image.

Images of Africa
As African countries free themselves from colonization, its filmmakers simultaneously free themselves from convention, blazing a trail of innovation and identity. Their images and stories become part of our global cinematic language. Experience the vivid, innovative and inspiring stories, both real and fictional, that continue to emerge from countries all across the world’s second largest continent.

Midnight Sun
You don’t have to be a native Minnesotan to appreciate the Nordic spirit. Take in the sights and sounds of the far Northern climes where, for at least a few days each year, the sun never sets. This selection of fiction and documentaries from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland offers a snapshot of new Nordic cinema, and a nod to Minnesota’s heritage.

New American Visions
Celebrate the independent visions of American auteurs, whether they are one step away from Hollywood or completely outside the system. New American Visions features fiction and documentary films from filmmakers whose work is redefining the future of American filmmaking.

World Cinema
No program embraces the number of countries, languages, styles, and genres better than World Cinema. Travel the globe and rediscover it from a multitude of new perspectives in this showcase of new fiction and documentary films from dozens of countries. World Cinema is generously sponsored by Mary and Paul Reyelts.

Minnesota Made
Representative of the abundance of talent and diversity of vision in local filmmaking, Minnesota Made returns with a slate of new must-see feature length and short films from Minnesota-based and Minnesota-native filmmakers.

Limits can liberate. Due to their brevity, short films tend to exist in the now. Experience powerful first impressions, vivid yet momentary detail and compelling conflicts abound in a new year of international short-form cinema.