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Twin Cities Film Festival using streaming to bring audiences to the movies

Oct 08, 2020 04:34AM ● By Editor

Credit: Twin Cities Film Festival

By Shelley Stridsberg of KARE-11 News - October 8, 2020

"We absolutely feel like we want to be in the forefront of what the future is going to be to bring stories to people." 

To do that, the Twin Cities Film Festival is turning to streaming. It's a model that Managing Director Bill Cooper says brings a different energy.

"One of the biggest reasons people support festivals is to get together and talk with the filmmakers, and meet the actors, and you know, the experience of it . When you don't really have the ability to have that experience, you have to find other ways of trying to get people engaged," explained Cooper.

For them, that means making the featured films more accessible and affordable.

Beginning on October 22nd, 50 films will be available to stream for $9 each. Or, you can buy an all-access pass for $50. But, 20 films will be free.

"We feel like having our festival online kind of gives people an alternative to Netflix, which you've already seen everything," said Cooper.

The change is also opening new possibilities for filmmakers.

"It's an opportunity to reach out to new audiences and just have an intimate conversation," said Phillip McGraw. 

His film, "For Justice Forgotten," explores what is described as 'the abuse of power by the justice system in relation to the Jamar Clark case.'

"I really wanted dive deep into that conversation and tell what's going on in the streets and going on in people's lives," described McGraw.

He further explained, saying "I just wanted to galvanize our base and just share information to people who want to learn more about activism, want to learn more about just the other side of the story." You will also see some changes to how some stories are told moving forward:

Cooper said one film is entirely a zoom call.  These creators aren't slowing down, even in this pandemic.

"They are writing, they are singing, they are composing, they are painting. Creative juices start flowing when challenges face us," said Cooper.

The Twin Cities Film Festival runs from October 22nd through the 31st.

There will be virtual panels and Q&As, plus 10 limited, in-person screenings for members, donors and sponsors.

If you'd like to see what's playing, you can browse all 70 films on the film festival's website. New this year, is an EMPOWER Series which will focus on BIPOC stories and storytellers.

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