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Flathead Lake International Cinemafest presents 3rd annual film festival in Polson

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News from Flathead Lake International Cinemafest

Judging is complete and the schedule is set. Now, the public is invited to join emerging and veteran filmmakers at Polson’s third annual Flathead Lake International Cinemafest film festival Friday through Sunday at the Showboat Cinema in Polson. Festival highlights include 21 filmmakers from Montana and several are local Polson residents.

A schedule of times and synopses can be viewed at the FLIC web site Tickets purchased online can be picked up at the registration will-call table after 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the KwaTaqNuk Resort lower level and Saturday and Sunday at Showboat Cinema beginning at 8:30 a.m.

An Opening Party “SPECtacular SPECtacles” runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. where hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be served. Partygoers are urged, but it is not mandatory, to wear SPECS (spectacles) and dress from a favorite movie or movie character. Film screenings begin at 7 and 7:15 p.m. at the Showboat Cinema.

Saturday begins with a free breakfast for kids and the movie “How to Train Your Dragon 2” at 8:30 a.m., sponsored and served by Polson Rotary. Kids are invited to wear their pajamas.

FLIC, Jr., a film block on Screen 1 from 3:30-5:50 p.m. Saturday, is a competition for young budding filmmakers 22 years and younger. This block will feature films from Havre High School and Montana State University students. The block is sponsored by Montana State University School of Film and Photography.

An “After Party” begins at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Bar and will be a time for the general public to meet filmmakers.

The festival closes on Sunday, Jan. 25, with a “Best Of” awards show from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Showboat Cinema. The reception is sponsored by the Salish Kootenai College and will be free of charge. Approximately 21 awards will be given including the People’s Choice Award.

This year the festival will show on both theater screens, and two-hour blocks of the best films will play at Showboat Cinema during the following week.

Featured guests

Featured guests are filmmakers and actors who will share their experiences in creating film. Several FLIC films have strong Native American story lines, filmmakers and actors. 

Andrea Running Wolf and Doug Fitzgerald, two of the stars of the documentary film, “Where God Likes To Be,” will answer questions following the festival kickoff showing Friday on Screen 1, 7- 9 p.m. at the Showboat Cinema. The film was directed by Kalispell native Nicolas Hudak with help from his wife Anna and filmed on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. This film will show a second time on Screen 2, 3-5 p.m. Sunday, again followed by a Q&A session with the two actors.

Music for “Where God Likes To Be” was composed by Tobias Wagner, a double Hollywood Music Awards nominated composer of contemporary classical music, film-scores, as well as electronic styles and jazz. Born in Hamburg, Germany, Tobias grew up in a musical household and started to write music at an early age. His music can be heard in international films from around the world.

Earnie LaPointe, great-grandson of the famous Hunkpapa Lakota headman Sitting Bull, and Bill Matson, writer, director, editor, narrator and multi-award winning documentary filmmaker, will share and answer questions following the screening of “Sitting Bull’s Voice,” Screen 1, 8-10 p.m. Saturday.

LaPointe presents the family tales and memories told to him about his great-grandfather. In many ways the oral history differs from what has become the standard and widely accepted biography of Sitting Bull. LaPointe was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He is a Sundancer and lives the traditional way of the Lakota and follows the rules of the sacred pipe. He lives in South Dakota. 

Matson has performed his craft since 1989. His credits include “Raw Power,” “Journey of the Heart,” a six-hour four-part documentary called “The Authorized Biography of Crazy Horse and His Family” based on the Crazy Horse’s family history, and a three-hour two-part documentary called “The Authorized Biography of Sitting Bull By His Great Grandson” based on the oral history of Sitting Bull’s only surviving great grandson. He most recently directed, wrote, filmed, and edited the award winning film “Sitting Bulls Voice.” He spent the past decade building with and working with Lakota families and video taping them telling over 100 hours of their oral histories so that these stories will be preserved.

Panel discussion

A Montana Filmmakers panel discussion, “Women in Film,” screen 2, 7-8:30 pm, Saturday, features three local filmmakers who collaborated on feature film, “Bella Vista,” that will show following the discussion, screen 2, 8:30-10:30 pm, Saturday. The Montana Film Office is sponsoring the panel discussion.

Panelists are Vera Brunner-Sung, writer/director/producer, has shown her short experimental documentaries at festivals, galleries and museums around the world. She holds an M.F.A. in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts and lives and works in Missoula. “Bella Vista” is her first fiction and first feature film. Jeri Rafter, producer who has worked on feature films including Jimmy P. and Winter in the Blood,. She got her start in the industry working with producer Megan Ellison (True Grit, The Master). She also had a pivotal role on the production team for Rob Reiner’s latest film,...”And So It Goes.” She is currently a Production Manager at Warm Springs Productions in Missoula working on unscripted television projects. 

Brooke Pepion Swaney, of Blackfoot and Salish decent, holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from New York University. She is presently a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow and a Time Warner Fellow through the Sundance Institute. Brooke has researched the portrayal of American Indians in the media and has worked to add dimension to otherwise stereotypical representations of American Indians through her films. Brooke currently resides in Polson

More information is available at, by emailing, or by calling (206) 947-0681.


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