A go-to guide for the Minneapolis Film Festival for UMN students

The Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society’s annual festival has something for everyone to enjoy.

University alumnus Brady Knudson sells movie tickets at the St. Anthony Main Theatre on Tuesday night. The theatre is one of the venues hosting the 35th annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival from April 7-23.

Maddy Fox

University alumnus Brady Knudson sells movie tickets at the St. Anthony Main Theatre on Tuesday night. The theatre is one of the venues hosting the 35th annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival from April 7-23.

Katie Lauer

With over 350 films and events, the 36th Annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival has something for everyone.

Running April 13 to 29, the festival’s busy calendar can seem a little daunting. But Peter Schilling of the Film Society said they have worked to make it accessible for all — including University of Minnesota students on tight schedules and budgets.

“People are sometimes like, ‘I love this thing, but I look at this whole list and how do I even begin?’” Schilling said.

Here are a few tips for tackling the eventful festival:

Finding the films

Schilling’s main suggestion is to do a bit of research beforehand. With online and printed guides, there are calendar-style schedules available with information on the events and films.

Schilling said if people combine their personal schedules, film style tastes and critics’ opinions, they will have the most success in finding films to watch.

For those who want to attend an event but are tight on cash, Schilling suggested the XYZ party at The Soap Factory. For only $10, there will be music videos showcased, beer from Indeed Brewing and live music.

Film-wise, Schilling and one of the festival programmers, Kathie Smith, both suggested “Lake Bodom,” an intelligent Finnish slasher about a suspenseful, Hitchcockian teen camping trip.

Smith also suggested the conversation starter “Stranger in Paradise,” which looks into opinions about immigrants in the Netherlands, and “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” a story that follows the secrets of four women living in India.

For those worried about costs, students and those under the age of 25 can get movie tickets for $8. Additionally, the first film showing of every day has an early bird special for only $6.

Getting to the festival

With regard to location, the festival’s many events and showings will take place across 20 different venues. The majority of screenings will be held at St. Anthony Main Theater.

Headquartered above the theater, Schilling said the Film Society tries to center many screenings there. And it’s easily accessible to students.

“It’s right down the street from the campus, so it’s very easy for people to hop on their bike or the bus to get down here, camp out at St. Anthony Main and check out these films,” he said.

If sheer proximity isn’t enough, Metro Transit is even offering free rides to the festival during opening weekend. The passes can be found on the Film Society’s website.

The power of film

Beginning in the fall, the Film Society started curating the festival’s films from premiers all over the world. Smith said she and her fellow programmers looked for films that told stories in a new way or featured stories that hadn’t yet been told.

“For me, it’s something unique,” Smith said. “I guess I’m always looking for something that seems new or fresh and something I haven’t seen before.”

Especially for students learning about the world, Smith said they usually have a film from any country someone could think of, which isn’t something people can always experience otherwise.

“I think one of the great things that film brings to audiences is this ability to see something that we can’t see without the help of film,” she said. “It really does, to me, open the door on a culture that you either are familiar with and already love or a culture you want to learn about.”

Whether they are personal, global or fictional stories, Smith said that cultural communication is one of the main powers of film.

“Those can be powerful, emotionally and intellectually,” Smith said. “I would hate to think of a world without movies.”