Highway 61 Film Festival rolls in Oct. 14-15

Movie lovers from all over Minnesota are getting ready to settle down to a feast of films this weekend at the first ever Highway 61 Film Festival in Pine City.
The festival will feature comedies, action, horror, drama, documentary and animation in 39 short and feature-length movies over Oct. 14-15. 
Doors open at the Pine Technical College Auditorium (900 4th Street SE) at 6 p.m. Friday for the first session of films, with a late-night session to follow at Danny C’s BeachRocks (10762 Lakeview Shore Drive) at 10 p.m.
On Saturday morning at 11 a.m., another session of films begins with a family-friendly selection of movies for young and old at Pine Technical College. 
Saturday goes back to the grown-ups at the 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. film sessions, and the night will be capped off with a horror double-feature and celebration at Danny C’s BeachRocks starting at 10 p.m.
Tickets for each daytime session of films at Pine Technical College are only $5, while there is free (donation requested) admission to the late-night shows at Danny C’s BeachRocks. All funds go to the nonprofit Pine Center for the Arts.
Each session of films promises its own highlights. Some of these include: 
  • Friday night’s 6:30 p.m. session includes a film by Shane Bauer, one of the American hikers who was recently released from Iran after two years in captivity. “Songs to Enemies and Deserts” was co-directed by Bauer and David Martinez. A special message from Bauer’s mother, Pine City native Cindy Hickey, will be read before the film. 
  • Friday’s late-night session at Danny C’s BeachRocks will feature “All Over the Walls,” a documentary featured at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. The short film “Night Surf” won directing and screenwriting honors at the MCTC Excellence Awards.
  • On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. the session includes a variety of intriguing dramas and comedies capped off by “Lambent Fuse,” the winner of the 2011 Twin Cities Film Fest for Best Minnesota Feature. 
  • On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., a series of exciting thrillers and hilarious comedies will come to an end with “Ghost from the Machine,” a psychological horror film which was recently picked up by Universal Studios to be remade into a major motion picture. 
  • Saturday’s late-night session at Danny C’s BeachRocks is a horror double-feature including “Attack of the Moon Zombies” by legendary Minnesota director Christopher R. Mihm and the horror/comedy freak-out “Potpourri.” 
For a full listing of films and their descriptions go to www.highway61filmfestival.org or visit the Highway 61 Film Festival Facebook page. 
Also, on Friday and Saturday nights, drivers and pedestrians will see the walls of Pine City come to life with photos projected by local photographers in “Pictures on Buildings.”
Come to one film session, or come to all – but don’t miss the Highway 61 Film Festival!
Read on to see more about the program and the films that will be shown.

FRIDAY EVENING 6:30 p.m. @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

What If?  • Director: Noah Schwell • Comedy • 6 min  • A boy discovers what it is like to have all of his wishes suddenly answered.
Boundary Waters • Director: Lee  Houghtaling • Drama • 36 min • A gruff loner who lives in a remote cabin faces financial pressures and the encroachment of outsiders that threaten his way of life. *2010 TrimMedia Film Festival “Audience Choice” Award*
Five Bucks Til Friday  • Director: Zach Hamill • Comedy • 28 min • Goofy slacker Scott wakes up Monday morning with five dollars to his name… and has to make it last for five frustratingly eventful days.  
Stories Next Door • Director: Jeff Weihe • Documentary • 28 min • A close up look at innovative programs that connect youth and seniors to record and celebrate local history as part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s statewide Sharing Community Stories initiative. Through projects as varied as a website, play or community cookbook, participants shared personal and community-based stories and worked with creative partners to create unique works inspired by those accounts.
Lumber Jill • Director: Tucker Lucas • Comedy • 29 min • Jill LeBlah, an urban misfit, decides to finally seek her birth parents. Her journey leads her to Cloquet, an old logging town in northern Minnesota, where she, in the midst of magical lumberjacks and talking taxidermy discovers … a home? *Official Selection – FreeRange Film Festival 2011*
Songs to Enemies and Deserts • Directors: David Martinez and Shane Bauer • Documentary • 35 min • In Darfur, an area of Sudan controlled by two factions of armed rebels, farmers and herders go about with their daily lives as they interact with the rebels. It’s been said that 95% of a war is waiting, and this film is about that part: when the conflict comes to a standstill, and the men with guns become part of everyday existence. Life is hard in Darfur, but it continues on nonetheless.

FRIDAY LATE NIGHT 10pm @ Danny C’s BeachRocks  (Adult Content) 

Recreation • Director: James Vogel • Documentary • 8 min• An observational documentary about drug use, and how it relates to our social activities.
All Over the Walls • Directors: Ryan Anderson, Greg Paape, Joe Galegher, Jake Johnson, and Alex Grangaard • Documentary • 77 min • This documentary follows eccentric and charismatic mixed media artist and body painter Jacob as he pursues his dream of building an art gallery that doubles as an underground party space in downtown Minneapolis. Experience the many difficulties and meet the collection of characters Jacob encounters. *Special screening – 2011 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival*
True Story of Peter Pan • Director: James Vogel • Comedy • 13 min • A mocumentary about what might happen if Peter Pan existed in the real world.
Night Surf • Director: Brittany Gustafson • Drama • 16 min
In an alternate reality where the Nazis won WWII and are now creating human-animal hybrids, the lives of five people intersect at a top secret medical facility.  *1st Place MCTC Excellence Awards Directing/Screenwriting • 2nd Place Cinematography • 3rd Place Editing*
Cocainine • Director: Jack Deflorin • Action/Horror • 20 min
A villainous plan to sell moondust as a drug brings chaos and murder to the city, and a detective is forced to get up earlier than he wanted to.  *Midwest Sci-fi Film Festival*
Your Mother’s a Hunt  • Director: John Karsko • Comedy • 14 min • Meeting her boyfriend’s mom for the first time, a young woman goes toe to toe with her when they discover each is hiding a supernatural secret.
Hunting Buddies • Director: Bill Cooper • Action/Horror • 77 min • Old friends gather for a weekend of fun and hunting. But when one of them goes missing, dark secrets emerge. *Minneapolis Underground Film Fest – Winner Best Sound*

SATURDAY 11:30 a.m. — FAMILY FRIENDLY SHOW @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

Rhythm Sticks • Director: Kristin Seuntjens • Animation (Not for competition) • 28 min
The whole family will love visiting the wonderful world of Rhythm Sticks, where learning about music is always fun!
Spaceman from Space • Director: Jack Deflorin • Comedy • 3 min • When a young space cadet crash-lands on an unknown planet he is forced to survive without a bunch of stuff, and in his search for stuff he finds himself in a battle of wits with the local inhabitants. *Midwest Sci-fi Film Festival*
Whistle • Director: Mike Gainor • Comedy (Not for competition) • 8 min • An unhappy boy looks for a cure for his sadness, and finds it … at the Pine County Fair!
Underwater Ocean Visit • Director: Bonnie Menigo • Documentary • 23 min • Join scuba divers as they discover underwater creatures in a world few people get to see.
Welcome to America: 50 states in 50 days • Director: Rodney Johnson • Documentary • 90 min • Roger Johnson and his travel partner Haley Chamberlain began a journey to all 50 United States in only 50 days. Starting in New York City, the two drove over 15,000 miles. *Real to Reel Film Festival – Best of the Fest*

SATURDAY AFTERNOON 2:30pm @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

Ink Blots  • Director: Sara Maki • Documentary (Not for competition) • 5 min • A trailer version of a documentary exploring the meanings and reasons for people’s tattoo choices. 
Out of Character • Director: Barbara P. Flees • Drama • 21 min • The world inside the mind of author Zander – once a heavy drinker and womanizer. He cleaned up his act and is ready to move on by killing his main character, Zeke, who represents Zander’s unpleasant past. As he considers his options, Zeke tries to dissuade Zander from ending his book series. 
Games Men Play • Director: Norm Barnhart • Comedy • 3 min • A news report on the destructive and addicting game that is sweeping the nation.
Cento • Director: Michael Thompson • Animation • 5 min • A strange and mysterious exploration of art and meaning. 
Sun Gods  • Director: Nial Hopkins • Drama • 16 min • When a stranger rolls into town with only a map to his name, he enlists two brothers to guide him on his journey.
Masquerade  Director: Jennifer Prettyman • Drama • 27 min • Two lost souls are brought together through an evening of drinks and conversation at a local bar. *Shamrock Film Festival “Best Film – People’s Choice”*
Payback Time  • Director: Mark Kopischke • Comedy • 7 min • An inventor uses his time-travel machine to wreak revenge on enemies and former girlfriends. 
Harold Crumb • Director: Christopher Jopp • Drama • 24 min • Poor Harold. Too many fortune cookies to fill, and that yellow rabbit always out of reach…
The Suit Director: Adam Chown • Comedy • 7 min • After receiving their tax refund, two friends purchase new suits with the sole intention of destroying them. 
Lambent Fuse • Director: Matt Cici • Drama • 99 min • The choices of a depressive man, a kleptomaniac, two amateur thieves, a mysterious chef, and a corrupt cop cause their intertwining lives and dynamic outcomes. *2011 Twin Cities Film Fest – Best Minnesota Feature*

SATURDAY EVENING 6:30pm @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

Love Notes • Director: Canyon Lalama • Action/Horror • 11 min • Lovelorn Victor is rejected by his beloved Henrietta. He is in the process of killing himself when he finds a magical accordion on the train tracks. He uses the accordion’s magic to try and seduce Henrietta, but it backfires when she is stabbed by a fork. Victor must defeat the evil accordion and come to terms with the rejection.  *Official Selection – 2011 South Dakota Film Festival*
Stitches • Director: Mason Makram • Action/Horror • 13 min • Jolene is wanted for the murder of a state trooper. Bullet wound in her stomach, she must do whatever it takes to get a passport to the border to Canada.
Bloodshed Love • Director: Mason Makram • Action/Horror • 17 min • 1927: Handyman Daniel Coyle is called to yet another job at the house of the beautiful Becky Darling. As love buds, his boss takes him to a speakeasy where he finds Becky in the lap of her procurer, McLintock, whom Coyle discovers is her procurer. Coyle convinces her to stand up for herself, but McLintock will have the final say. Instead of taking her to a new life, Coyle finds …  *MCTC Showcase 2010*
Roadside Assistance Director: Mark Kopischke • Comedy • 8 min • Stranded in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, an unhappy couple’s journey to find a jack turns into a bizarre adventure. *Shamrock Film Festival selection*
Dope Sick • Director: Elijah Woodcock • Action/Horror • 18 min • Todd Parker finds himself lost in a maze of a rundown hotel. Lovely Terra Crowe guides him through the twists and turns of his own mind in an attempt to escape his fate.
Birthmarked for Death • Director: Matt Olson • Comedy • 8 min • A reluctant hitman and an inept informant bond over substitute teaching on the way to an execution. 
Ghost from the Machine  • Director: Matt Osterman • Action/Horror • 86 min • A young man, raising his even younger brother after the death of their parents, plunges himself into the murky science of the supernatural and invents a machine intended to be a conduit to the other side. He reaches an unintended level of success that not only threatens his safety, but also those around him. *Film purchased by Universal Studios to be remade*

SATURDAY LATE NIGHT 10pm @ Danny C’s BeachRocks (Adult content)

The Missing Frame • Director: Elijah Woodcock • Action/Horror • 12 min • After finding his wife’s dead body in their motel room, Johnny Keys goes on a hunt to find the man responsible. His only clue a car with a busted out back window he sees fleeing the scene.
Attack of the Moon Zombies • Director: Christopher R. Mihm • Action/Horror • 99 min • On Jackson Lunar Base, scientists stumble upon a seemingly impossible discovery: alien plant life on the surface of the moon! Unfortunately, exposure to the spores of this otherworldly flora cause instant death. Too bad those killed by them don’t stay dead, and want nothing more than to replicate!
Some Fangs • Directors: Mark L. Nielson and Destiny Soria • Action/Horror • 9 min • A girl gets revenge on her human ex-boyfriend after a mysterious vampire turns her into one of the undead.
Potpourri • Director: Brandon Van Vliet • Action/Horror • 90 min • A group of students are faced with expulsion if their final philosophy papers are not satisfactory. As a result, the inept group of friends decides to experiment with a series of illicit drugs to help them understand some of the mind-bending concepts of the course – but the students begin to realize how severely they’ve underestimated the effects of the drugs…

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