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Winter film festival opens soon

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POLSON – During this year’s winter Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, a range of topics from the comedic to the dramatic are scheduled to hit the big screen Jan. 22 to 24 at the Showboat Cinema theater on Main Street. 

“Winter is known as the offseason for this town, but we want to bring more awareness that Polson is a year-round town, so we are having a winter film festival and because we love films,” explained David King, FLIC co-chair. 

Filmmakers from all over the world sent films into the festival, and only the best were selected. The films range in length from a few minutes to over an hour. It is possible to watch all sixty films during the three-day showing with an all-festival pass for $90. For those that like to pick and choose a few films, tickets are $5 each.

“Most people pick what interests them,” he said. 

The opening “Cinema Royale, 00FLIC” party is themed after the James Bond movies this year. Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite Bond attire. The party starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, at the KwaTaqNuk Resort. 

A variety of film styles are featured during the three-day event including documentaries, narratives, animation and student films. Several indigenous films about Native Americans are also being shown within those film categories. 

The best film in each category is recognized with an award from the judges on the last day. The winners are announced on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Showboat.

“We have some spirited discussions,” King said of the selection process for the winning films. “We are looking for a quality story and good production value.”

The public also gets to vote for their favorite film in the People’s Choice category. 

“You just fill out a slip of paper in the lobby,” he said of the voting process.

The independent film festival decided to include a rating system for each film this year.

“We decided to do this so that audiences know what they are getting into,” King said, explaining that some of the films are animated and kid friendly but others can have violence, language or sexuality. 

During the selection process, the most violent or explicit films were not chosen for the festival.

“We don’t want to be a prude festival, but we also don’t want to go over the top the other way,” he said. 

The festival first opened four years ago.

“We are still developing and looking for the best way to do this,” King said. “But we did get voted as one of the top fifteen winter film festivals by the Audience Awards.”

And he hopes it continues to grow.

“I would like it to become one of the prestigious film festivals,” he said. 

Tickets can be purchased at the theater or online at A list of films and showtimes is also available on the website. 








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