Free Range Film Festival

Posted at: 07/24/2013 9:00 AM
Updated at: 07/24/2013 10:28 AM
By: Brittany Falkers

The Free Range Film Festival will celebrate it's tenth year this weekend, but that's not slowing things down.  The festival is known as a farm fresh alternative to stale cinema and this weekend's lineup is sure to live up to that promise.

Festival Director Annie Dugan stopped by Good Morning Northland Wednesday to preview the big event happening Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27.  She says all of the films this year have a truly unique voice.

"There are zombies, documentaries, cat flicks and some crazy animation. That's why we've done the festival for ten years - there  is always something new and wonderful and surprising to watch," she said.

Opening night kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. with short film Ski Boys directed by Benny Zenga. Throughout the weekend, we’ll be replaying some old favorites from past festivals. Like this old chestnut about farm boys doing dumb things with bicycles and mattresses.

Friday night's feature film will be a documentary by Found Magazine's Davy Rothbart and co-director Andrew Cohn called Medora.  It follows the losingest team in high school basketball history - the Medora Hornets of Medora, Indiana as they try to overcome more than just their sports record.  Learn more about the film and watch the trailer HERE.

The film Missing directed by Ewan McNicol will also be featured Friday night.  It's a quirky film about two missing cats and two dramatically different approaches to recovering them, according to Dugan.  You can preview the film and learn more about McNicol HERE.

Saturday afternoon's lineup will feature a unique double feature lineup with two documentary darling of this year's film festival circuit: The Harvest and Bending Steel.

The Harvest directed by Gabe DeLoach covers the odd paradox of terminally ill children hunting animals as their final wish. The Make A Wish Foundation won’t let kids have their wish if it involves hunting an animal. So where do those kids turn? And how do we feel about all of this? Sick around after the screening for a fascinating Q & A with director, DeLoach, after the film.  Preview the film HERE.

After that check out Bending Steel, directed by Dave Carroll & Ryan Scafuro. An old-time strongman battles performance anxiety and giant chunks of metal on his way to one of the most inspiring endings you’ll ever see in a barn-based film festival.  Learn more about Bending Steel and watch the trailer HERE.

Saturday evening's films will include a variety of mixed animation including the U.S. premiere of The Diver.  Another short, Sheepdog Wanted, directed by John Akre will show around 7:25 pm. This workplace cartoon is going to hit a little close to home for some of you amd the filmmaker will be there for a Q & A after.

Another unique short to hit the screen in at this years festival will be Marcel, King of Tervuren
directed by Tom Schroeder. You can check out a preview HERE.

The culmination of the Free Range Film Festival will feature the documentary The Last Shepherd directed by Marco Bonfanti. The film follows Renato Zucchelli.  He is the last traveling shepherd left in Milan, Italy. But he’s going to conquer the big city with nothing but a dream and a bunch of sheep. "We fell in love with Renato," Dugan said.  "I'm pretty sure the entire audience will too."

Screenings begin Friday, the 26, starting at 7 p.m. Movies continue throughout the weekend on Saturday, July 27 from 2-5 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. 

It all takes place at the big red barn at the junctions of Country Roads 1 and 4 just a few miles south of Wrenshall and about 25 minutes south of Duluth. The suggested donation of $10 goes toward maintenance of the theater and organization of the festival. 

For more information and the full Free Range Film Festival lineup CLICK HERE.