The Fargo Theatre’s biggest annual event kicks off Tuesday, March 19, and the organization’s Executive Director, Emily Beck, hopes the 19th Fargo Film Festival has the movie house rolling in the green.
The event is the biggest fundraiser for the 93-year-old landmark.
“Funds raised this week will keep us shining all year round,” Beck said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
She said as many as 7,000 people could attend part of the five-day festival, bringing in as much as $30,000 for the Fargo Theatre.
All together, more than 90 films will be shown, not including Friday night’s 2-Minute Movie Contest. There were about 275 applicants from 27 countries, she said.
“I think we have a little something for everybody,” Beck said, adding that there would be comedies, dramas, documentaries, thrillers, romances and animation titles, among others. “If you like movies of any kind, you’ll find something to see.”
Screenings started Tuesday afternoon.
Opening night feature “Bathtubs Over Broadway” will be screened at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The winner of the Best Documentary Feature category follows Steven Young, former joke writer for David Letterman, on his quest to collect and learn more about industrial musicals made by corporations in the 1950s and ’60s.
The film has been out for nearly a year and was picked up for limited release by a distributor, but filmmaker Dava Whisenant says promoting the film is still critical.
“It’s still important to show the film and talk about it with audiences,” she said. “We hope it will be shown in North Dakota. As long as people will have us, we’ll come out.”
From Wednesday through Saturday, films are screened from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. until about 5 p.m. Evening sessions start at 7 p.m. on the main screen.
Thursday night's feature is a screening of the comedy "Napoleon Dynamite," followed by a conversation with stars Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez.
Friday night includes a conversation with Fargo native Richard Edlund, the Oscar-winning visual effects master behind the first three "Star Wars" movies, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Poltergeist," "Ghostbusters" and more.
Saturday evening highlights the best of the festival, starting with the 2-Minute Movie contest winner at 7:10 p.m., followed by the true-crime winner for Best Animated Film, “The Driver is Red,” and “Beneath the Ink,” the Best Documentary Short winner about a tattoo artist who covers hateful designs. Best Narrative Short winner, “Caroline,” follows a big decision made by a 6-year-old.
The festival winds down with “Little Woods,” a thriller set in North Dakota. It won Best Narrative Feature, Best Director for Nia DaCosta and Best Actress for Tessa Thompson.
Other films of regional interest include “Rosewood Ledge,” starring Fargo’s Kristin Rudrud, which screened at 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.
“Prussia,” a feature documentary on Fargo MMA fighter Mariah Prussia, produced by Click Content Studios, part of Forum Communications Co., screens at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The Fargo Film Festival features the world premiere of “RIPLIST” at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. The feature documentary, from Moorhead native and festive regular Mike Scholtz, follows celebrity deadpool drafts held by locals Matt Olien, John D. Peterson, Skip Wood, Travis Jensen, Kriste Ross and former Fargoans Jason Branby and Bruce Asbury.
"We Are Still Here" looks at a band of the Hidatsa Indian tribe dedicated to saving its language and traditions. The 34-minute documentary show will screen at 10:10 a.m. Thursday.
Former Fargoan Jeremiah Hammerling won the Prairie Spirit Award for his documentary “My Country No More.” The 70-minute film looks at the impact of the most recent oil boom in North Dakota and shows at 1:55 p.m. Friday.
“To the Stars,” a drama produced by Fargo-based production team Jeff Schlossman and Erik Rommesmo of Northern Lights Films, shows at 3 p.m. Saturday. It stars Kara Hayward (“Moonrise Kingdom”) and Liana Liberato (“Light as a Feather”), with Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham, Malin Akerman and Tony Hale.
If you go
What: The Fargo Film Festival
When: Tuesday, March 19, through Saturday, March 23
Where: The Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway N.
Info: Tickets range from $5 student single session, $7 adult single afternoon and $9 adult single evening passes to $125 for an all-access pass. For a full list of times and descriptions of films, go to https://fargofilmfestival.org or call 701-239-8385.