By Peter Friesen
The seventh annual Flathead Lake International Cinemafest brings an eclectic blend of film, entertainment and festivities to Polson.
This year’s FLIC has 56 films on tap, from China, France, Austria, the UK, Canada, Iran and America. Eight of those films are Montana-made.
There’s documentaries and features, eight French animated shorts and a documentary about Missoula musician (and Betty’s Divine model) Kaylen Alan Krebsbach.
Other Montana films include “Drawback,” about a first-time bowhunter and “In the Spirit of Atatice,” about the “untold story” of the Montana Bison Range.
The sole narrative feature made in Montana is “The Thin Line,” a dark comedy about a young woman who moves to Whitefish to escape her rough family life. She gets a job at a beach-themed coffee shop and strikes up a strange relationship with one of the regulars.
Billy Thompson, one of three brothers who worked on the movie, told the Missoulian in 2013 that “Whitefish will be playing itself. The only thing not authentic to Whitefish is the beach-themed coffee shop, but everything else will be set at Whitefish locations with Whitefish scenery.”
“The story is about Jessica discovering her independence,” Thompson said. “It is very much a movie about women empowerment, even though it takes place in a beach-themed coffee shop. There’s something for everyone.”
Other main features include St. Ignatius native Tim Ryan Rouillier’s PBS musical “My Grandpa’s Fiddle.” The one-hour live performance presents music from Rouillier’s childhood, which was full of music taught to him by his grandfather.
The PBS special was shot at UM’s Dennison Theatre with help from Mike Morelli, the executive director of entertainment management.
Rouillier will be in attendance at two screenings to host a Q&A.
The festival’s lineup of big-name guests include Adam Yenser, whose comedy career intersects more with stage and television performances, over film appearances. Yenser is a writer and performer on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and met FLIC director King during a 2010 stand-up comedy show that King produced in Los Angeles.
Yenser’s visit will feature clips from his recurring “Ellen” segment, “Kevin the Cashier.”
His website says he “mixes sharp observational humor with a uniquely conservative political perspective” and he was named “Best New Political Comedian at Politicon in 2015.”
Producer Gerald Molen, a native of Great Falls, will be in attendance to discuss the 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” which he produced with Steven Spielberg. The Flathead Lake Cinemafest is showing “Schindler’s List” Sunday, which is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Molen produced several of Spielberg’s films including “Jurassic Park,” “Minority Report” and Hook.”
After producing “Minority Report” in 2002, Molen took a long break from producing major films, before working on a series of Dinesh D’Souza documentaries including “2016: Obama’s America” and “Hillary’s America: the Secret History of the Democratic Party.” His most recent credit was executive producing the Jason Statham action/comedy “The Meg.”
“It’s always fun to watch a film and then have filmmakers share with us about the process of getting it made,” Director David King wrote in a press release.