As it approaches its seventh birthday, the Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) has grown into a pretty solid local cultural shindig. The new festival, running Oct. 19-29th looks like one of the most interesting entries yet with a wide lineup of films in diverse genres.

This year’s buzzy group includes:

“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s intimate, small-scale drama of identity and connection. It’s told in three chapters over a period of 16 years, viewed through the life of a young black man from a rough neighborhood of Miami. The story follows him from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world amid the temptations of the drug trade.

“Lion,” starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman, follows a five-year-old Indian boy who is lost on a train that carries him to the crowded streets of Calcutta, far from home. A couple in Australia adopts him; 25 years later, he sets out to return to India and reconnect with his lost family.

“Blood Stripe,” acclaimed by the movie bible Variety as a “polished feature debut” by Twin Cities-based director Remy Auberjonois, focuses on the career of a female career Marine troubled by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on her return to civilian life.

Also in the crowded lineup are a rich selection of Halloween-friendly horror and science fiction; a documentary about how everyday sound effects are created in post-production by coconut-thumping, glass-breaking, paper-folding Foley artists; a tribute to the visionary Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky; and DreamWorks' “Trolls,” an animated musical comedy voiced by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani and Russell Brand.

TCFF has become a fall counterweight to the spring’s Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF). Headquartered in the ShowPlace ICON cinema in St. Louis Park, TCFF delivers big star-focused major studio filmslike “Room,” “Wild” and “The Imitation Game,” and films with connections to the area. In contrast, MSPIFF presents art-house indie offerings and subtitled international fare. TCFF focuses on appearances by Minnesota natives, with Alexandria’s veteran actor John Hawkes on hand last year to present the festival’s main feature, his detective noir “Too Late.” The festival honored Rochester's Lea Thompson with its lifetime achievement award at its preview gala earlier this month.

For more information about TCFF’s full film calendar and ticketing, visit

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