Mitchell-area moviegoers will get a chance to expand their film horizons when the Fall Film Festival kicks off Friday in Mitchell.
The event will feature six different films and takes place from Sept. 13 to Sept. 19 at the Luxury 5 Cinemas in Mitchell.
Jeff Logan, president of Logan Luxury Theatres, sad the idea for a film festival in Mitchell was born out of a desire to bring films that might not otherwise normally play in a market this size to viewers who may be hungry for new film experiences.
“Basically, they’re movies that only play in the larger cities,” Logan said. “They are often critically-acclaimed, but they may not draw a huge audience. That doesn’t mean they’re not good, they’re exceptional, it’s just not the normal explosions and superheroes.”
Logan had considered trying something like this before, but the ability to get the word out to a receptive audience finally arrived when social media allowed for better communication between the theater and its patrons.
“So as people sign up for our newsletter, now we can ask them if they are interested in these kinds of films,” Logan said. “And hey, there’s a significant audience who would like to see these movies, and so we thought we’d give it a try.”
Six movies will be featured over the course of the festival.
- “The Biggest Little Farm” is a documentary about a young couple and their dog who move from their tiny Los Angeles apartment to a 200-acre farm. They dream of building a diverse farm in harmony with nature.
- “Bennett’s War” is about a wounded veteran of the army’s motorcycle corps who is wounded by an IED. Despite being told he would never walk again, he begins training to back to motocross racing in an effort to try and save his family farm.
- “Blinded By The Light” is a film from the director of “Bend It Like Beckham,” and explores the power of Bruce Springsteen’s music, generational differences, cultural expectations and the immigrant experience. It is based on a true story.
- “The Farewell” is the true story of a Chinese-born girl raised in the United States who reluctantly returns to China to bring her grandmother to America for the girl’s wedding. While the entire family knows that doctors have given the grandmother only weeks to live, no one has told her so as not to ruin her happiness at the wedding.
- “Wild Rose” is the story of a woman dreaming of leaving her rough life in Glasgow, Scotland and becoming a country music star in Nashville, Tennessee. But she’s a single mom who is fresh out of prison with an ankle monitor, and curfew and a mother more concerned that she spend more time with her children than with her music.
- “Booksmart” is a coming-of-age comedy about two academic superstars who decide on their graduation night that they should have worked less and played more. The girls decide to change that in one wild and hilarious night of partying.
The selections offer a variety of drama and comedy, with two rated PG, two rated PG-13 and two rated R. Logan said the films were selected based partially on their critical reviews, but more heavily on if the films received a good reaction from audiences. The films also cover an array of topics, but there is a general thread running through all of them, he said.
“It’s universal themes of family and celebrations and loss. They have universal appeal,” Logan said.
While some films, like “Blinded By The Light” have reached somewhat mainstream audiences, movies like “Booksmart” were actually designed for them. But, having been made by a small studio, it never got the promotion of other big studio productions, Logan said.
The six movies will get a chance to stand out to Mitchell audiences beginning Friday. Logan said two auditoriums at the theater will be dedicated to running the six movies throughout the festival, with showing times varying for each to allow audiences to best pick their viewing times. Each movie will show six times during the week with a balance of showings in the evening and at matinees. Logan said the festival will use regular ticket prices, with all discounts honored.
“It’s a great way to see these films that you’d have to travel to at least Sioux Falls or Minneapolis or Omaha to see. It’s a fun experience and they’re fun movies. They’re movies you’re going to remember and think about and talk about afterwards. Plan on going out for coffee or pie and or a drink after, because you’re going to want to sit around and talk about the movies,” Logan said.
Schedules for the festival can be found at the theater and at mitchellmovies.com.