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Valley Journal

The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC) celebrates its 12th winter film festival during the weekend of Feb. 16-18, 2024 at the Showboat Stadium 6, 416 Main Street, Polson.

FLIC screens full-length narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, and student films. FLIC 2024 once again offers a diverse selection of domestic and international films, featuring entries from 12 countries as well as many homegrown Montana films.

As with previous years, many filmmakers plan to travel to Polson to participate in the festival in person. FLIC has become a destination film festival, known for its local audience that enthusiastically supports independent cinema. Spirited discussions between audience members and filmmakers cap off most screening blocks, and friendships take root between screenings as film lovers from across the globe converge in Polson to connect over their mutual love of independent cinema.

FLIC’s judges enjoy discovering each year’s cinematic standouts. Included among them this year is the documentary feature film Out There: A National Park Story, which is masterfully directed by filmmaker Brendon Hall. About his film, Hall shares, “In these trying times, our national parks are more important than ever. Without our collective stewardship, these protected landscapes and havens of human experience may be lost to future generations. With this film, we hope to shed light on their significance and encourage viewers to appreciate and protect our public lands. The individuals featured in the documentary have profoundly impacted my own life throughout the years. Their stories are a testament to the power of nature and its transformative influence on the human spirit.”

FLIC 2024 also features a full slate of exceptional short films. One narrative short is the Academy Award-nominated Danish film On My Mind, by director Martin Strange-Hansen. This quirky, brilliant film tells the simple yet profoundly moving story of Henrik, who wants to sing a song for his wife. It has to be today, it has to be now. It’s a question of life, death and karaoke. And it’s a must see.

Another top narrative short is Hedgehog, in which six-year-old Nina is sent to a remote Ukrainian village to live with her grandma while the girl’s parents defend their country from invasion. The plot takes a dramatic turn when Nina discovers a wounded Russian soldier in her Grandma’s barn. One FLIC judge shared the following about Hedgehog: “Brilliant, sweet, heart wrenching. Beautiful pace and structure combined with elegant cinematography and a powerful performances.”

FLIC 2024 gets underway at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16 with the second annual “Taste of Polson” gathering in the lobby of the Showboat Stadium 6, 416 Main Street, Polson. As with last year, many of Polson’s local eateries will offer samplings of their fare as filmmakers and FLIC attendees mingle. FLIC screenings then commence at 6 p.m. on multiple Showboat Stadium 6 screens.

On Saturday, Febr. 17, at 9:30 a.m., FLIC and the Polson Rotary Club offer their traditional free animated children’s film (title TBA) and egg burrito breakfast. The Polson Rotary Club will serve breakfast in the Showboat Stadium 6 lobby beginning at 9:15 a.m. Festival film screenings then resume at 12:30 p.m. and continue on multiple screens into the evening. There will be a break in screenings from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for an informal filmmaker/attendee mixer from 4:30-6 p.m. at a to-be-determined location.

On Sunday morning, March 18 at 9:30 a.m., The Good Coffee Roasting Company, 214 Main Street, Polson, hosts a light breakfast mixer for filmmakers and festival attendees – who can purchase a wide variety of drinks and delicious fresh baked food. This will provide a fun jumpstart to FLIC’s final day of weekend screenings.

The FLIC 2024 weekend draws to a festive close with an awards ceremony and dessert reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Audience Award will also be given to the FLIC audience’s overall favorite film. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public at the Showboat Stadium 6.

If you miss FLIC weekend, the Showboat Stadium 6 will host FLIC 2024 encore screenings from 7 p.m. Sunday evening, Feb. 18 through Thursday evening, Feb. 22.

All films, times and events are subject to change. In late January, the FLIC 2024 screening schedule will be available to view at, where festival passes and individual screening tickets may also be purchased. FLIC is also on Facebook, where information is updated regularly. For more information email: