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FLIC finishes strong, plans for 2016

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News from Flathead Lake International Cinemafest

POLSON — Credits have rolled and the lights have been turned up. Flathead Lake International Cinemafest ended its third film festival on Thursday, Jan. 29, after seven days of showings. The Showboat Cinema allowed FLIC the use of both screens at the Polson theater for three days during the festival and one screen for extra nights of Encore Screenings — a true community-minded business. 

Final numbers indicate impressive support for FLIC. Organizers are planning its fourth festival for Jan. 22-24, 2016. Each year increases in audience numbers and enthusiasm, plus filmmaker attendance and participation in weekend activities, providing a motivational gift for those of us who work on the film festival. In addition, the strong support we receive from the media, local businesses and the public keeps us working to bring a diverse program of international independent films to the Mission Valley. 

Working through Envision Polson’s Year-Round Committee, a group was formed under the Greater Polson Community Foundation, tasked with a mission to offer events and activities to the greater Polson community. A Film Festival Committee was created and Daniel Smith and Frank Tyro became co-directors. Their passion for film helped them develop FLIC. Daniel, owner of double entendre design, is a professional in creative arts, and Frank a Salish Kootenai College professor since 1984, producing television documentaries and teaching, have worked to develop a strong festival committee and program. 

This year 82 films were screened from 13 different countries. Three Native American themed films were strong competitors for the People’s Choice Award in addition to the judges’ “Best Of” awards for both short-and feature-length documentaries. International films from Kurdistan, Canada, Russia, Sweden, and Kosovo won “Best Of” awards. 

FLIC films informed, inspired and entertained. Filmmakers, directors, writers, actors and a music composer attended and shared experiences and information in question and answer sessions following the screenings of their films. Steve Fetveit, NBC Montana anchor, again emceed the opening party, led question and answer sessions and presented the FLIC awards to cap off festival weekend activities. 

Montana filmmakers were well represented in this year’s program. Local favorite “The Raving” was a five-minute film written, directed and produced by Polson resident Jim Ereaux with the help of four enthusiastic friends, Mike and Hilary Lozar and Wendi and Joe Arnold. The film shot in Polson, and inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” has developed a “cult following.” Jim, interested in filmmaking for years, received the Best Picture Award at Montana’s first film festival in Lewistown in the early 1970s. 

In addition to Daniel and Frank, the FLIC Committee is fortunate to include David W. King, owner of David W. King Pictures. He moved to Polson in 2012, and his film and television career spans 30 years. David wears several FLIC hats as a judge, producer/projectionist and trailer creator. He also produced two local films screened during the festival, “I Love Polson” produced as a promotion for the Polson Chamber of Commerce and “Mission Mountain Wood Band - Barging In” the band’s July 4, 2014 concert on a barge floating off Sacajawea Park on Flathead Lake. Becky and Gary Dupuis, Polson Theatres, Inc., not only gives FLIC use of their Polson theater screens, but also their employees. 

We are proud that after two years FLIC was named as one of the country’s top 15 Winter Film Festivals by Audience Awards. 

Volunteers help us produce a successful festival weekend and we are adding new volunteers for 2016. Check us out online a www.flicpolson.com or email info@flicpolson.com.

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