Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival
May 9, 2012 Posted in: Blog/News 0

Strange things happen sometimes. When we first completed this film, we applied to several US-based film festivals without much success so we decided ours was just not a “festival film.” We moved on and focused on independent and community-based screenings that proved to be very popular.

And then, a few weeks ago, we received a phone call from a man named Al Milgrom who asked us to send a screener to the Minneapolis/St Paul International Film Festival.  Al was apparently traveling to the Berlin Film Festival and on the plane, he happened to be sitting next to one of Olia’s friends, Tom, an American living in Kyiv, who had seen our film when it had screened there back in November. Naturally, one of the first things Al asked Tom was what good Ukrainian films he had recently seen.

“I can’t promise you anything” – told us Al on the phone – “because it’s the programming committee that decides what films are selected, but go ahead and send a DVD, your friend said it was one of the best films he’d seen.” Three Stories of Galicia was in fact selected, and last weekend, we took a trip to Minneapolis and St Paul to present the film at the festival.

When we got to the Twin Cities, we found out that The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul (the host of the Film Festival to which we were invited) is one of the most diversified film-arts organizations in the country and the largest exhibitor of artistic and international films in the Upper Midwest, exhibiting some 400 titles annually.

And our initial contact with the festival, Al Milgrom, is actually the one who founded the Minneapolis/St Paul Film Society in 1962 and then ran the festival for over 50 years. It didn’t take us long to realize that Al is a legend in the Minneapolis art scene and a true walking encyclopedia. We had the privilege of taking a tour of the Twin Cities with Al along and got to know everything about Minneapolis and St Paul. We visited the neighborhood of Dinkytown where Bob Dylan used to live, the house of Scott Fitzgerald, the Cathedral of St Paul as well as many other landmarks that may not be in your typical tour book like the Somali neighborhood.


In front of Scott Fitzgerald's house with Al and the filmmaker and main character of the documentary "The Entertainers"

The two showings went very well; we had a good crowd and very interesting discussions afterwards; and the film was subsequently selected to screen one more time as part of the “Best of Fest” category.

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