Thursday, November 18, 2010

Film festival planning begins

By Jessica LaCanne
Arts & Entertainment Editor

As the temperature slowly gets colder, the Frozen River Film Festival committee gets ready to put together a weekend filled with activities that attract all age groups.

According to the FRFF website, the festival “identifies and offers programs that engage, educate and activate viewers to become involved in the world. These programs provide a unique perspective on environmental issues, sustainable communities, extreme sports, adventure travel and diverse cultures, presenting issues not often covered in the local media.”

Crystal Hegge, festival director, said this year the festival will focus on garbage and the big sky. To compliment the theme of garbage, films will be shown about where garbage comes from, what it is made of, and ways to cut down on producing garbage, said Hegge. One of the films Hegge said she is excited about is called “Bag It,” which focuses on plastic materials and how they affect the world. Films to highlight the big sky theme will include topics of pollution, birds and sound, said Hegge.

Along with the films is the new addition of a wellness lounge this year. According to Hegge, this lounge is a free area where people can go for wellness activities, which will include meditation, yoga, tai chi, chair massages, and mats to take a nap on. Hegge said the lounge is a place for audience members to come and journal about their experience and reactions to the films. The “idea is for people to relax and reflect” on the festival, said Hegge.

This year, Hegge is especially excited to see the audience’s reaction to the films. By watching the reaction of the audience, Hegge said, you can “really see the energy that comes out of the films.” Watching the films as a group, instead of alone, promotes awareness of the film’s topic, fosters discussion and allows people to watch films they may not have access to personally, said Hegge.

The 2011 festival will take place Jan. 26-30 at Winona State University. A Big Muddy pass, which allows access to all festival related events, is $50. A Headwaters pass, which allows access to everything except special music performances and the reception on Friday, is $40. All students 14 and under are free. High school students can get in free with an ID. College students can get free passes prior to the festival.

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