Only celebrating its second year, the Twin Cities Film Fest, presented by the Shops at West End from September 20-25, came into its own with a beautiful venue, highly-acclaimed and thrilling films, and despite a few late starts after film Q&A’s, the entire event had a very smooth run from start to finish.
Showplace ICON Theatre at West End was clearly a solid choice as venue for the Film Fest this year. The sound and video quality for each film was fantastic, as well as the comfort of the seats, and beauty of the West End location as a whole. The ICON was lacking in one otherwise common movie-goer expectation and did not allow for free refills on large sodas unless a person was a card-carrying member to receive additional specials. Fans that prefer the full movie experience were disappointed, but not entirely turned away.
Among the films shown, 50/50 had a packed turn-out. It was unfortunate that planned guest Anna Kendrick, one of the main actors in the film, was unable to attend, but she very graciously sent ahead a video message for the audience with the hopes of coming another year. Viewers of the film, which comes out this Friday, September 30th, mentioned how much more the film is than what is shown in previews, calling it touching, well-balanced, and other than having perhaps a bit too much Seth Rogen at the beginning, clearly worthy of a 4 on the Film Fest scale.
Night Gamers: A Tale of LARP, one of many documentaries seen at the Film Fest, was an unfortunate disappointment for the small audience that attended, and understandable as the quality of the film was not up to par with other similarly lower-budgeted documentary films. The idea was interesting, but really only for those interested in the content of vampire LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing) already, or for the people involved in the film, not something that would be pleasing or give good information for someone on the outside. There were even a few viewers who left as the film was ending rather than stay for the Q&A with director Juliah Rueckert.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, while not as packed as 50/50, had an impressive crowd to fill the geek culture void left by Night Gamers: A Tale of LARP. The film allowed for a lot of laughs in its satiric-horror storyline and was very engaging for viewers, offering something unexpected and fun that brings home just how much of a variety of films were shown for the Film Fest.
Additionally, saving your ticket stubs at the end of each night allowed for free drinks at the after parties, sponsored by various nearby venues, such as Crave, also with locations in Edina, Mall of America, and downtown Minneapolis.
Delighted movie-goers who attended the Twin Cities Film Fest are already looking forward to what awaits them next year.