A movie that was filmed in Minnesota is coming home and an Oscar contender is getting its area premiere at this year's Twin Cities Film Festival, which runs Oct. 19-28.
"Downtown Owl," based on a novel by Chuck Klosterman, will be the closing night movie at the festival's home, Showplace Icon in St. Louis Park. The drama, which premiered in June at the Tribeca Film Festival, was shot in the spring of 2022 in St. Paul (including at Highland Park High School and Spot Bar), Elko New Market and Independence.
Ed Harris, Lily Rabe (who co-directs with Hamish Linklater) and Vanessa Hudgens star in "Downtown," set in the fictional city of Owl, N.D. The ensemble comedy/drama, part of which takes place in a blizzard, is about an old-timer (Harris) who meets with buddies in a bar and a high school teacher (Rabe) who tries to forget her woes there. Rabe learned of Klosterman's novel when she was hired to perform for its audiobook.
Coincidentally, Harris' real-life wife, Amy Madigan, also just wrapped a made-in-Minnesota movie, "Rebel Girl."
The Oscar contender is from Alexander Payne, who already has won two Academy Awards for the screenplays for "Sideways" and "The Descendants." Payne has reunited with "Sideways" star Paul Giamatti for "The Holdovers," which kicks off the film fest on Oct. 19.. It's about a crabby school headmaster (Giamatti) who ends up spending the Christmas holidays with a trouble-making student and a grieving cook (Da'Vine Joy Randolph).
Another Oscar-touted title is Oct. 23 melodrama "Foe," which stars Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal as a couple whose marriage is upended when he is invited to participate in a lengthy space mission and she is asked to spend their time apart with a replicant. And Oscar nominee Terrence Howard ("Hustle & Flow") will appear Oct. 27 and 28 to receive TCFF's Indie Vision Legacy Award, participate in a screening of his film "Showdown at the Grand" and take part in a conversation about his work.
Other titles in the festival include writer/director Andrew Haigh's "All of Us Strangers," which received strong reviews when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival; "A Little Prayer" starring David Strathairn; and "Fingernails" with Jessie Buckley and "The Bear" star Jeremy Allen White.
Local titles featured include "A Winter Love," which was written and directed by its star, Rhianna Yazzie, and which premiered at last year's Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. TCFF's Changemaker series will focus on films that shine a spotlight on health care disparities in the United States.
Festival passes, ranging from $55 (for a streaming option) to $165, and individual tickets, ranging from $9-$20, are now on sale. Some screenings are free. For a complete schedule and to buy tickets, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org.