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Valley Journal

POLSON – The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest premieres its eighth annual winter film festival during the weekend of Jan. 24-26 at the Showboat Cinema on Main Street.

FLIC screens full-length features, shorts, animation, student films and documentaries. FLIC 2020 once again offers a broad selection of international films from over a dozen countries. In addition, there are thirteen films produced in Montana.

About thirty filmmakers plan to travel to Montana from across the nation and globe, including several cast and crew from Germany and South Korea.

FLIC has become a destination film festival for all the right reasons, chief among them being that the area’s attendees are so supportive of independent cinema. Spirited discussions between audience and filmmakers cap off most screening blocks.

FLIC’s judges enjoyed discovering this year’s gems. Included among them is “The Last Beyond,” a 1930s period piece shot in Montana. This beautiful film features Stephen Small Salmon, a Pend d’Oreille tribal member from the Flathead Reservation. Small Salmon and the film’s director, Graham DuBose, will be in attendance and will participate in a Q&A following the screening. The “Last Beyond” is nominated for seven FLIC awards, including Best Picture. “The Last Beyond” screens at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24th.

DuBose said: “‘The Last Beyond’ confronts the loss of identity for two American icons: the American Indian and the cowboy. Both were defined by self-sufficiency but most of all by their deep connection to the land. When they lose property, they forego all that they are. In a desperate bid to restore that connection, the American Indian and the cowboy in our story undertake an enterprise that makes them fugitives from twentieth century America.”

Another standout this year is “Wuthering Heights,” Emily Bronte’s classic tale of undying love and tormented passion, produced and directed by Bryan Ferriter, a Montana native. Ferriter said: “I was introduced to this story when I was 21 years old by my friends, Kailey Portsmouth and Jordyn Auvil (who wrote the screenplay), and after journeying through Europe when I was 24, I read the novel in England and Ireland and knew I needed to tell the story.”

“I was able to, many years later, be in the heartland of Emily Bronte, the author of this incredible and haunting tale of love, passion, vengeance and obsession. I put my hand on the very house she grew up in in Haworth, England and asked for her blessing to find our perfect location for the exterior of “Wuthering Heights.” Not one hour later we stumbled off the road and miraculously came across Ponden Hall and were granted permission to film at the very Manor that inspired “Wuthering Heights” and “Thrushcross Grange” and where Emily spent much of her time writing in that great hall. This film adaptation is for her brilliance and will to bring such a bold story to life in the 19th century. I am excited to share it with the world.”

“Wuthering Heights,” which runs 180 minutes and is nominated for six FLIC awards including Best Picture, screens Sunday, Jan. 26th at 1 p.m.

From Germany, comes “Effigy – Poison and the City,” directed, written and produced by Udo Flohr, who is traveling from Germany to attend the festival, and some cast members are considering coming as well.

The story takes place in1828 in the German port city of Bremen: Two very different women collide in an age that has no place for either of them. One strives for a career in law, at a time when women aren’t even admitted to universities. The other has lived life outside the law and may now have to pay the tab. One of them needs to get her head together – while the other would do anything not to lose hers.

Mr. Flohr holds an M.A. in linguistics and psychology and studied directing at filmArche Berlin, Medienakademie Wetzlar, Adrienne Weiss’ School NYC, Baltimore Film Factory. As a science and technology journalist, he previously worked for TV and radio and wrote for Der Spiegel, Byte magazine, then 15 years at MIT Technology Review. “Effigy,” which has received six FLIC 2020 nominations, is Mr. Flohr’s first feature.

FLIC kicks off on Friday, Jan. 24 with an informal gathering from 4 to 6 p.m. at Perfect Shot Tavern, 218 Main Street. Complimentary food will be served, with optional food and drinks available. Film showings on two screens begin that evening at 6 p.m. at the Showboat Cinema, 416 Main Street.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, screenings resume at 8:30 a.m. with a free animated children’s film (title to be announced) and breakfast sponsored by the Polson Rotary Club. Festival film screenings resume at 10 a.m. and continue on two screens into the evening. There will be a break in film showings from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for an informal gathering at The Cove Deli and Pizza, 11 3rd Ave. West. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served with optional menu items available.

The FLIC 2020 weekend draws to a festive close with our Awards Show and dessert reception on Sunday, Jan. 26, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Audience Award will also be given to the FLIC audience’s overall favorite film, free to the public. Location is the Showboat Cinema, 416 Main Street.

If you miss FLIC weekend, the Showboat Cinemas will host FLIC 2020 encore screenings from 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, through Thursday evening, Jan. 30. Monday through Thursday screenings are at 4:30, 7, and 8:30 p.m. The encore-screening schedule will be available at in January.

All film times and events are subject to change. The FLIC 2020 program and screenings schedules will soon be available for download at, where festival passes, individual screening tickets, and FLIC merchandise may also be purchased. FLIC is also on Facebook and email at