The 2017 Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC) drew to a festive close Sunday afternoon with its Awards Show and dessert reception. Local film-lovers, sponsors, volunteers, and filmmakers from across the nation converged on Friday, January 20th for a rich, moving celebration of film and people.
FLIC 2017 screened full-length features, shorts, animated films, and documentaries. True to its name, FLIC once again offered a broad array of international films from countries that include Australia, Canada, Spain, Taiwan, Croatia, France, and the USA. In addition, there were 16 films produced in Montana, which is more than in any previous year. There will be encore screenings of FLIC’s best films from Monday through Thursday. The encore screening schedule is below and can be found on FLICPolson.com.
One of the more powerful FLIC 2017 moments was the standing ovation given 89 year-old Montana resident Bob Hayes, who runs about 30 races each year, cuts his firewood by hand, and does things the hard way to remain active and alive. Bob’s inspirational story is the subject of the documentary film, The Hard Way. The spry Hayes walked up front with his son Tom and Co-Director Jeremy Lurgio. The packed Showboat Cinemas theatre was electric that night. That same screening block featured this year’s FLIC 2017 Documentary Feature, the breathtaking North of Known, which profiles Gavin McClurg’s full, unsupported traverse of the Alaska Range by foot and paraglider. McClurg was in attendance, and also received a standing ovation as he went up front to answer questions. Gavin’s feats of bravery, skill, and endurance were amazing to behold, so, when he took the microphone and said he felt like a “wimp” compared to 89 year-old phenom Bob Hayes, the audience erupted in laughter. And that is when FLIC transcended film to touch the stars.
Many other special films, people, filmmakers, and film aficionados converged at FLIC 2017 to make it arguably the best in its 5 year run. Billed as “the most beautiful festival in the world”, FLIC got off to a delicious start at Lake Bar on Friday afternoon, where attendees met to celebrate the launch of the festival over Hors D’oeuvres. Screenings commenced at 7pm on the Showboat Theatres’ two screens, and continued through late Sunday afternoon, followed by the Awards Show and dessert reception. On Saturday evening, another packed social gathering was hosted by Vine & Tap. It’s exciting to see this much enthusiasm and celebration of the film arts on a cold winter weekend in late January.
FLIC keeps gaining in popularity, credibility, and recognition in the local community as well as the broader film community. Filmmakers traveled from New York, Connecticut, California, Idaho and across Montana to share their films and personal stories with enthusiastic audiences. Binge TV watching is popular in our connected culture. FLIC 2017 had its fair share of binge-movie-watchers! FLIC Co-Chair and Producer David W. King noted:
“Most people pick out a few films of interest and are happy with that. Then there are the hard-core FLIC Cinephiles – who stick around all day and into the evening, moving with resolve from one screening to the next, barely taking food breaks! And, regardless of film genre, they expressed delight over their self-imposed movie marathons of sorts! It was fun seeing them and exchanging knowing smiles over the fun we were all having.”
“All in all, I’d say FLIC 2017 was our best yet,” King said. “The films keep getting better (because we get to choose from a bigger pool of entries each year) and our audience and filmmakers are growing in their support and commitment. I sense that FLIC is here to stay and we already can’t wait for FLIC 2018!”
FLIC 2017’s winners and other honorees:
FLIC 2017 HONORABLE MENTION
POLSON THEATRES, INC.
Gary & Becky DuPuis and Howard & Ayron Pickerill
Many thanks to you and your ever-helpful staff for 5 years of giving this film festival a home. Without you, FLIC would be a pipe dream.
With much gratitude,the FLIC Committee and beyond
FLIC 2017 EXEMPLARY FILM JUDGE
Thank you for adjudicating over 500 films with characteristic panache; and for your five years of keen insight, good taste, and cinematic jurisprudence.
With much gratitude, The FLIC Committee and beyond.
FLIC Junior 2017 Best Picture – Honorable Mentions
Cradle, from the Republic of Iran, tells the charming story of a little Iranian girl who just wants to do her homework, but looking after grandpa and her baby sibling complicates things.
51.7HZ, from Taiwan, follows a space alien, a tribal youth, and a solitary whale, who conspire to transport the whale to a planet where its unique frequency can be understood.
FLIC Junior 2017 Best Picture
Praxis, from Taiwan. In this touching and poignant story, a young boy runs to keep ahead of a garbage truck in order to recycle what would otherwise be put in a landfill. He seeks maternal approval and dreams of luxury.
FLIC 2017 Best Film – Animation – Honorable Mention
Lilly Hits the Road. This is the third Lilly entry from Calgary, Canada’s Bum Family, a group of six cousins, ages 7 through 14. FLIC salutes young creatives like the Bum Family kids.
FLIC 2017 Best Film – Animation
Notorious Corn, the salty story of a small grain of corn with dreams about stardom and glory. Sometimes dreams of glory don’t go as anticipated.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture – Documentary Short – Honorable Mentions
The Hard Way tells the inspirational story of 89 year-old Bob Hayes, who runs 30 races each year, cuts his firewood by hand and does things the hard way to remain active and alive.
Travel Light follows American filmmakers as they backpack 500 miles across Spain’s Camino de Santiago, and capture their own experiences and the intimate stories of other pilgrims seeking truth on the Camino.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture – Documentary Short
The Walk, Polson resident Jim Ereaux’s third annual FLIC entry and second award. His brilliant film The Raving won the FLIC 2015 Judge’s Honorable Mention. The Walk depicts the Coast to Coast walk across Northern England in images and poetry.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture – Short – Honorable Mentions
My Life is Cinema, a quirky foreign film about filmmaking & the tensions of real life amidst fiction.
Audition, about a middle-aged actor who waits nervously for an audition that could salvage his career.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture – Short
La Vie, which was produced in Spain. La Vie tells the story of an old married couple, who embark on a journey that causes them to relive forgotten memories, even those deeply buried.
FLIC 2017 Best Female Actor – Honorable Mentions
Joely Fisher as Judy in Search Engines, in which a Thanksgiving gathering runs off the rails when people lose their cell reception.
Samantha Lyn Parry as Amy in Coming Clean, a touching love story about a young man with a mental health disorder who meets a young woman with troubles of her own.
FLIC 2017 Best Female Actor
Molly Pepper Piccirilli as Gala in Gala and Godfrey.
FLIC 2017 Best male Actor – Honorable Mentions
Steven Molony as Aaron in Oxenfree, the beautifully realized story of three estranged foster brothers who rediscover the ruins of their childhood kingdom ‘Oxenfree’…and face down the monster living within.
Adam Green, as Godfrey in Gala & Godfrey, a quirky love story about a divorced couple who remain attached in life and love in mysterious ways.
FLIC 2017 Best Male Actor
Bryan Ferriter as Danny in What Separates Us, portraying a young man immersed in a life of drinking and fighting, who meets Parker, a beautiful, talented art student with a bright future.
FLIC 2017 Best Indigenous Film – Honorable Mention
RezMade, the inspiring story in which Local Two Eagle School photography class students head to New York City for their first public show and have a life changing experience.
FLIC 2017 Best Indigenous Film
Ice Cream Man, an uplifting documentary about two brothers who defy the odds and launch their Kool Breeze Ice Cream truck business on Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation.
FLIC 2017 Documentary Feature – Honorable Mentions
Between, a visual and visceral tour de force in which women ski pros travel to some of the most exotic and challenging slopes in the world.
The Violin Alone, the unlikely pairing of two modern visionaries, Hungarian violin virtuoso Vilmos Olah, and Eric Funk, a contemporary classical composer from the heart of Montana.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture – Documentary Feature
North of Known, in which professional paragliders and adventurers Gavin McClurg and Dave Turner attempt a full, unsupported traverse of the Alaska Range by foot and paraglider.
FLIC 2017 People’s Choice
Travel Light, in which American filmmakers backpack 500 miles across Spain’s Camino de Santiago, and capture their own experiences and the intimate stories of other pilgrims seeking truth on the Camino.
FLIC 2017 Judges’ Honorable Mention
The Bug, the story of the most popular and beloved vehicle on Earth, the Volkswagen Beetle. This is Montana filmmaker Damon Ristau’s sequel to last year’s FLIC best documentary feature winner, the Bus.
FLIC 2017 Best Director – Honorable mentions
Scott Sterling, for The Violin Alone
Bryan Ferriter, for What Separates Us
FLIC 2017 Best Director
Kristin Ellingson for Gala & Godfrey, a film based on Ms. Ellingson’s outstanding screenplay and directed with panache and confidence.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture, Feature – Honorable Mentions
Oxenfree, in which three estranged foster brothers rediscover the ruins of their childhood kingdom ‘Oxenfree’…and face down the monster living within.
What Separates Us, the powerful personal journey of a young man immersed in a life of drinking and fighting, who meets Parker, a beautiful, talented art student with a bright future.
FLIC 2017 Best Picture – Feature
Gala & Godfrey a time-spanning love story about a divorced couple who remain attached in life and love in mysterious ways.