The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is quickly approaching its 36th opening night. MSPIFF has become one of America’s biggest, best-attended movie galas, with tens of thousands of film fans lining up at the annual gathering.

Which movies most matter among the hundreds of debut screenings this year? Which will be the must-see special events and notable film professionals on hand?

Find out at the Festival Preview Party on Wednesday.

Join Star Tribune movie critic Colin Covert, festival programming director Jesse Bishop and programmer Craig Laurence Rice for a discussion about the inner workings of a cinema celebration drawn from 70-plus countries.

Their chat will be followed by an audience Q&A session offering insights on developing a respected, smartly programmed event and how to navigate MSPIFF’s 17-day run.

And then cap off the evening at the showing of “Page One: Inside the New York Times.” It’s a colorful, acclaimed documentary about the state of America’s press, featuring the late Twin Cities journalist David Carr during his tenure as a star reporter for the Times.

Schedule

6 p.m.: Appetizers and cash bar at Aster Cafe River Room, 125 SE. Main St., Mpls.

7 p.m.: Conversation at St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE. Main St., Mpls.

8 p.m.: Screening of “Page One: Inside the New York Times” at the theater.

Tickets: $15 general public, $12 Film Society members.