Hollywood has a long tradition of rolling out the red carpet for world premiere movies. Polson has brought that tradition to northwest Montana with its third annual Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, or FLIC as the locals like to call it, slated for Jan. 23-25 at the Showboat Cinema in Polson.
FLIC was recently recognized as one of the top 15 Winter Film Festivals in the United States by the Audience Awards. “This is a great honor for all who work tirelessly on the festival and for our community,” says Daniel Smith, co-chair of FLIC. “We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in our three years of offering independent films to our audiences.”
This year’s theme, “Visually Captivating! – Wonderfully Diverse!,” sets the tone for a varied slate of films that includes full-length features, shorts, animation and documentaries, and a broad array of international films. In addition, FLIC is collaborating with Salish Kootenai College in Pablo to offer a rich selection of indigenous films.
“The film line-up has something to please everyone’s taste, reflecting this year’s ‘Visually Captivating! – Wonderfully Diverse!’ theme,” said FLIC co-chairperson Daniel Smith. FLIC’s program offers 82 independent films representing 13 countries from around the world, as well as 21 Montana filmmakers.
Among the standout entries: “One Armed Man,” directed by Tim Guinee, written by the Oscar-winning writer Horton Foote and produced by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman; “Sitting Bull’s Voice,” a documentary about Sitting Bull and his living relatives; “Where God Likes to Be,” a documentary that takes a personal, cinematic and lyrical journey into the heart of the Blackfeet Indian reservation; and “Mousse,” a French comedy/drama about a tobacco-shop heist that coincides with the year’s biggest horse-race event.
The festival officially kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, with an Opening Night Party at KwaTaqNuk Resort. This year’s theme is “SPECtacular SPECtacle,” and attendees are encouraged to wear spectacles that reflect their favorite movie. NBC Montana News Anchor Steve Fetveit serves as emcee. “We hope people will have fun with the theme and wear attire representing movies like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘The Matrix,’ and ‘Top Gun,’” explained Smith. Hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be served from 5-7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at the FLIC website.
Friday’s films begin at 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. at the Showboat Cinema.
Saturday’s jam-packed schedule launches at 8:30 a.m. with a free kids’ movie, “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” sponsored by Polson Rotary. Free breakfast will be provided and kids are invited to wear their pajamas for a comfortable morning event. Films continue throughout Saturday until midnight.
In addition, Saturday’s events include FLIC Jr., a competition for budding filmmakers 22 years and younger; a “Women in Film” panel discussion including Brooke Pepion Swaney, Vera Brunner-Sung and Jeri Rafter; and an “After Hours Meet-the-Filmmakers” event at the Lake Bar.
On Sunday, film blocks begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5:15 p.m. The “Best Of” awards will be announced at the Closing Party, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sunday at Showboat Cinema.
Saturday’s events include a free screening of the family movie “How To Train A Dragon 2” at 8:30 a.m.; FLIC Jr., a competition for budding filmmakers 22 years and younger; a “Women in Film” panel discussion including Brooke Pepion Swaney, Vera Brunner-Sung and Jeri Rafter; and an “After Hours Meet-the-Filmmakers” event at the Lake Bar. The festival closes Sunday with a “Best Of” awards show.
The 2015 festival schedule of films and events may be viewed and tickets purchased online from the FLIC website at www.flicpolson.com. Tickets are also available at Showboat Cinema, 416 Main St., Polson, 406-883-5606.