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107 Mothers

Award-winning Slovak documaker Peter Kerekes (Cooking History) dips a toe in the fiction world with the rigorously researched 107 Mothers, set inside a women’s prison in Odessa, Ukraine. Made over five years and 86 shooting days, it reveals a cloistered world populated only by women: inmates, nurses and wardens, wives and widows, daughters, sisters, pregnant women and women with children.

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Any Day Now

Age 11+, coming of age drama

Any Day Now is a humanist coming-of-age story of 13-year-old Ramin and his Iranian family living in a refugee center while seeking asylum in Finland. Ramin starts a new school, makes friends, and dances with a girl, but underneath the excitement and light-hearted comedic moments lies uncertainty and fear of deportation.

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As Far As I Can Walk

A re-imagining of a traditional medieval epic in which contemporary African migrants take the place of Serbian national heroes. Urgent and timeless at the same time, the adaptation raises questions about identity, tradition, race and love. Winner, Crystal Globe, Karlovy Vary, along with Best Actor, Europa Cinemas Label and Ecumenical Prize.

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As in Heaven

Set on a West Jutland farmstead in the late nineteenth century, this compelling period drama rings true as a portrait of young female consciousness. The protagonist, 14-year-old Lise, the eldest of eight siblings, will soon become the first in her family to go away to school. But then a dramatic turn of events puts her future in doubt. Winner, Nordic Dragon, Gothenburg; Best Director, Best Actress, San Sebastian.

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Back Then

The “back then” of this delightfully performed, laugh-out- loud funny, family dramedy is the mid-1980s in the People’s Republic of Poland. Based on the writer- director’s own life and quirky family, this is a true audience pleaser.

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Boycott

What do a publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas have in common? They’re being punished under anti-boycott legislation that has now been passed in 33 states. Filmmaker Julia Bacha exposes this disturbing new threat to freedom of speech and profiles those courageous enough to fight back.

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Broken Keys

An endangered musician in a Syrian town controlled by ISIS must sell his beloved piano in order to escape the country. The 20-something pianist Karim shelters in a bombed-out building with his cousin and many neighbors, together they hide from the war outside while making covert plans for escape. 

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Carajita

Teenager Sara’s powerful family from Santo Domingo has just moved to the coastal town of Las Terrena. With them comes Yasira, Sara’s nanny and confidante, whom the girl considers to be like family. When a tragedy occurs, threatening the family, their relationship is tested.

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Casablanca Beats

A maverick rapper helps his students try to break free from the weight of restrictive traditions and live their passions. This powerful and exuberant film shows how art can change the trajectory of a young person's life, and how freedom of expression can unwrite a history of repression.

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Children of the Mist

Like a lot of 12-year-olds, Di spends her free time hanging out with friends or glued to her phone. But, as a Hmong girl from the mountains of northern Vietnam, marriage — or even the practice of “bride kidnapping” — is not uncommon. Will Di follow in the footsteps of her mother and sister or choose her own path?

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Commitment Hasan

Making his living from gardening and farming the Anatolian land he inherited from his father, Hasan tries to deflect the power pole set to be installed in one of his fields. But his impending pilgrimage to Mecca sparks some soul searching into his past. Winner, Best Film, Critics’ Prize, São Paulo.

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Dear Future Children

Age 15+, YA documentary

Join three Gen Z activists on the frontlines of social and environmental change in Chile, Uganda, and Hong Kong. Winner of the Audience Award at Hot Docs, Dear Future Children tells their stories as a way to foreground the human side of the growing surge of young activism worldwide.

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Drowning in Silence

When her 3-year-old son drowns in a friend’s backyard pool, Chezik Tsunoda, who also directed the film, goes on a heartbreaking but, ultimately, healing journey to connect with parents who have experienced similar tragedies. Searching for answers, she finds hope in the work of other parents and activists to make a difference in this preventable tragedy.

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Drunken Birds

Willy works for a Mexican drug cartel and falls in love with Marlena, the boss’ wife. Big mistake. When Marlena flees to Montreal, Willy follows her to Canada in the hopes of reconnecting. He works as a migrant worker on a family farm whose secrets begin to entangle with his own. Ivan Grbovic’s stunning feature was Canada’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.

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Elektra, My Love

At once a love letter to Beirut’s long-destroyed Piccadilly Theater–once the largest cinema screen in the country–and an experimental staging of Sophocles’ Elektra, Elektra, My Love is a largely unscripted and heartbreaking look at people struggling to endure chaos and trauma through art. 

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Experimental Curator: The Sally Dixon Story

What is “experimental film”? Now a mainstay at modern art museums, these non-commercial movies, typified by the work of Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas, were once so underground virtually no one knew of them. Enter Sally Dixon, who helped place these beautiful pieces of art into museum and university archives permanently. Dixon’s legacy is felt locally through her influential position at the media arts center, Film in the Cities and collaborations with Walker Art Center.

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Exposure

An all-woman team made up of Arab and European women, heads to the North Pole on an unprecedented expedition. As the women endure everything from frostbite and polar bear threats to sexism and self-doubt, they encounter a shocking amount of melting sea ice. Their journey could be the last-ever, over-ice expedition to the North Pole.

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The First Death of Joana

15+ YA drama (LGBTQ)

Following the death of her beloved great-aunt, 13-year-old Joana grows curious about family secrets. How could her aunt have lived to age 70 without dating anyone? As Joana and her friends are exploring their own sexual identities in a provincial Brazilian town, stories about the women in her life reveal many mysteries.

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Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down

In 2011, Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was the target of an assassination attempt, a horrifying shooting that killed six people. Giffords survived but suffered a severe brain injury that left permanent damage. Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s (RBG) fierce documentary is a portrait of this brave and resilient American.

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Girl Picture

Mimmi and Rönkkö are inseparable. Mimmi is short-tempered and always ready for a battle; Rönkkö is intelligent and fun-loving; and they almost literally couldn’t live without one another. Being teenagers, both are working hard to understand themselves, their sexuality, and exactly where they fit in, in Alli Haapasalo’s charming film.

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Glob Lessons

When an insecure, closeted gay man from Minnesota–his name is Alan–is paired with an unpredictable, enigmatic woman from West Virginia–meet Jesse–on a low-budget children’s theater tour across the frozen Upper Midwest of all places, a genuine friendship blossoms, in Nicole Rodenburg’s charming road trip comedy debut.

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Goodbye Happiness

When their beloved father dies, four estranged brothers return to the family’s summer home in the Magdalen Islands in Quebec to settle the estate and relive the glory days one last time. Revisiting memories and places of their youth, the brothers attempt to come to terms with each others’ vast differences.

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Hinterland

1920, Vienna. This boldly expressionist drama set in the aftermath of The Great War finds a former police inspector called upon to solve the sadistic murders of his fellow comrades-in-arms. From the director of Oscar-winner The Counterfeiters. Winner, Audience Award, Locarno.

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Hit the Road

Panah Panahi, son and collaborator of embattled Iranian master Jafar Panahi, makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted, and deeply moving comic drama. Hit the Road takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds unexpected twists and turns. Winner, London Film Festival.

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Karmalink

Age 15+, YA Sci-Fi

13-year-old Leng Heng wakes up each day to dreams of his past life, or are they memories? Making a discovery he can’t ignore, Leng recruits his friends to find a long lost buried treasure. Full of mysteries centuries-old and futuristic, spiritual and high-tech, Karmalink is an unforgettable Buddhist sci-fi teen adventure.

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Kendra and Beth

Director Dean Peterson Attending.

In this ‘quirky comedy character study,’ Beth is decidedly a misfit, the only female employee at a sausage company and the family breadwinner, living with her mom and brother, misfits themselves. When she meets her polar opposite, the outgoing Kendra, sparks fly. 

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Leave No Traces

A story about a real-life national scandal triggered by a tyrannical system, versions of which still operate in so many places around the world. In May 1983, in Warsaw, Poland, militia brutality sparks a chain of systematic corruption that destroys numerous lives.

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Let the Little Light Shine

Located just south of downtown Chicago, the National Teachers Academy Elementary School (NTA) is a high-achieving public school in an African American neighborhood. When the city announces plans to phase out NTA’s curriculum and turn it into a high school drawing students from other schools, the community senses gentrification… and, soon, the fight for justice is on.

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Lo Invisible

Luisa is coming home. Institutionalized for severe postpartum depression–and accused of having tried to harm her baby–she returns to the palatial estate, where family and servants watch her every move. Everyone wants her troubles to vanish, but are they pushing her to a more profound suffering?

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A Love Song

At a campground in the rural West, a woman waits alone for an old flame from her past to arrive,

uncertain of his intentions while bashful about her own. Starring Dale Dickey and Academy Award®-winner Wes Studi, the subtle lyrical drama that is A Love Song, marks the feature debut of writer-director Max Walker-Silverman.

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Magnetic Beats

1981 and electronic music is all the rage. Jeróme is a DJ and Philippe, his shy brother, engineers their radio show. When the latter gets called up to military service in West Berlin, he worries that he’s missing out on big opportunities in Vincent Maël Cardona’s brilliant period music film.

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Mama Bears

They’ve grown up fundamentalist, active in their evangelical Christian churches, and wouldn’t stand out from the faithful in any way, except one: they are fierce defenders of their LGBTQ+ children. These are the Mama Bears — tough mothers who have chosen their children over their church, fighting for civil rights, and to overcome the hate with which they were raised.

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Maria Chapdelaine

Maria is the daughter of Samuel and Laura Chapdelaines, rural homesteaders in 1900s northern Quebec. When three suitors come forward to win her hand, Maria’s decision on whom to marry will have profound consequences for her hardscrabble family. Director Sébastien Pilote’s adaptation of Louis Hémon’s beloved Canadian novel finds new life in this stunning film.

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Mija

Age 15+, YA documentary

Mija is an emotional and moving portrait of Doris Muñoz, an ambitious young woman moving up in the music world while staying deeply connected to her parents as they struggle for secure permanent residency status, financial stability, and the freedom to safely visit their beloved family in Mexico.

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Millie Lies Low

Millie misses her flight to New York when a moment of panic hits. Broke and ashamed, she opts to lie low in her Wellington hometown, using her wits and Instagram to convince her frenemies that she is living the dream in the Big Apple.

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Mission: Joy - Finding Happiness in Troubled Times

The profound friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and their embrace of an all-encompassing happiness in life — despite the incredible challenges that both have faced —is examined in this uplifting documentary from Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) and Peggy Callahan.

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Montana Story

Cal is called back to his father’s ranch when the old man falls into a coma. To Cal’s surprise, the ranch has fallen into debt and disrepair. Enter his estranged sister Erin, who has her own ideas about the ranch, and a single horse in particular, in this stirring neo-Western.

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Murina

Tensions rise between restless teenager Julija and her father Ante when an old family friend arrives at their Croatian island home. Their tranquil yet isolated existence leaves Julija wanting more from this influential visitor, who provides a taste of liberation. Winner of the prestigious Golden Camera at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival for best first feature.

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Neighbours

In a Syrian border village in the early 1980s, Sero, a six-year-old Kurdish boy, finds his world turned upside down when a cruel new school teacher arrives. Confronted with the dark realities of nationalism and antisemitism, Sero is forced to grow up quickly.

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Neptune Frost

Rwanda, on the other side of time. Neptune is an intersex hacker. Matalusa is a coltan miner mourning the death of his brother. Together, in love and revolt, these two heroes are going to change the world. In the past. The present. And the future. 

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NEXTWAVE Shorts Program

Enjoy a free program of short films by high school age media makers from all over the world. Representing the finalists from over 300 submissions to MSPIFF’s Nextwave Youth Film Competition, this year’s program was selected by the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Art Team, a group of young people dedicated to racial, cultural, and gender representation as a priority in their work to intentionally make space for youth of various backgrounds, and to create opportunities for emerging youth artists.

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The Pact

Now in her twilight years, devastated by syphilis and mourning her lost love, the charismatic and manipulative author Karen Blixen offers a Faustian bargain to a young poet: obey her unconditionally (to the point of renouncing his family) and find literary stardom. Winner, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Beijing.

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Raise Your Hand

Director Jessica Rae Attending.

Based on director Jessica Rae’s own experiences growing up in Minneapolis, Raise Your Hand follows best friends Gia and Lila, two midwestern teens of color growing up and facing the challenges of youth. At once raw and honest, and capturing the vicissitudes of teenage life, Raise Your Hand is a vibrant, inspiring film.

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Rickshaw Girl

14+ YA drama

Daring and determined Blangladeshi teenager, Naima, is on a quest to earn money to support her family. Even as a brilliant traditional rickshaw painter, her artistic talent isn’t enough to help in hard times. Leaving her village for the big city, Naima finds unconventional ways to help her family survive.

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Romy's Salon

Age 10+, family drama

Ten-year-old Romy is stuck going after school to the hair salon of her reluctant grandmother, Stine. When Romy starts to observe slips in her grandmother’s behavior, the young girl realizes that she is going to have to take care of Stine and the salon, and not the other way around. –Deb Girdwood

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Shorts Program 1 - Animation Collection

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Shorts Program 2 - Environmental Experimental

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Shorts Program 3 - Comedy Collection

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Shorts Program 4 - Dystopian Chills

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Shorts Program 5 - The Political is Personal

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Shorts Program 6 - Family Love

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Shorts Program 7 - Words Matter

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Shorts Program 8 - Rainbow Lights

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Shorts Program 9 - MN Portraits

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Shorts Program 10 - Home Grown Drama

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Sinkhole

After eleven long years of pinching pennies, Dong-won and his family finally have a house of their own… until a rainstorm creates a sinkhole, swallowing the home, the family and their guests at a housewarming party. Kim Ji-hoon’s disaster comedy is thrilling, hilarious and a cutting indictment of capitalism.

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Spaceboy

Age 10+, family drama

Landing in a new town with his astrophysicist dad, 11-year-old Jim is obsessed with traveling to space. When his new school announces the annual science contest, Jim convinces his classmate, Emma, that they will not only win, but that they will successfully leave the atmosphere in a DIY space adventure.

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The Strangest Girl in the World

Age 11+ coming of age drama

Melién is literally too cool for school. The 15-year-old girl has nonstop imagination and endless talent for drawing fantasy illustrations for her own original horror stories. Fascinated by goth characters, monsters, and ghosts, Melién finds she may need mortal help after all when her drawings mysteriously leap off the pages of her sketchbook.

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Sweet Disaster

Frida is a 40-year-old painting therapist who finds herself pregnant. When Felix, her boyfriend, (who hasn’t been her partner for very long), hears this, he’s gone and back with his ex. What is Frida to do but launch a full-scale, sometimes outlandish plan to keep him in her life?

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Tantura

What Israelis call the 1948 War of Independence, Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or the Catastrophe. In Alon Schwarz’s explosive documentary, we follow Teddy Katz, who wrote an acclaimed graduate thesis about a possible massacre by Israeli Defense Forces in Tantura only to see his research thwarted. Did a massacre take place? Was there a government cover-up?

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The Territory

“The Amazon is not just the heart of Brazil, but of the whole world.” These are the words of Bitate, a 19-year-old Uru-eu-wau-wau, who is fighting, possibly to the death, to save his community and the rain forest. Though promised constitutional protection, the Uru-eu-wau-wau’s homeland is under dire threat from farmers and land-grabbers. 

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Tigre Gente

Across two continents, Elizabeth Unger’s harrowing documentary eco-thriller tracks different sides of the illegal trade in jaguar teeth that is threatening this beloved big cat. Marcos Uzquiano, director of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park, chases poachers and leads undercover operations. Meanwhile, Hong Kong journalist Laurel Chor investigates the reasons for the rising demand for jaguar teeth in China.

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Trenches

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there was the war in Donbas. French journalist Loup Bureau captures life on the front lines of the armed conflict in Donbas, Ukraine, which started in 2014… and still rages on. Bureau spent months with Ukrainian soldiers in the muddy trenches as they fought both Russian soldiers and the tedium of war.

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Utama

Virginio and Sisa live in the arid Bolivian highlands. Virginio attends to their animals, Sisa is responsible for gathering water. But global warming’s destructive reach has touched them, as the water is becoming more and more difficult to acquire in Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s studied debut.

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A Winter Love

Director Rhiana Yazzie Attending.

Blue is a 35 year-old Navajo singer-songwriter, struggling in Minneapolis’ bleak winter. Her creativity seems to be hibernating. But when she meets Eddie, a 25 year-old Lakota man, and law school dropout, he could be just the tonic for her winter blues.

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Wolka

Anna is released from a Polish prison after serving 15 years for homicide. Finally free, she has only one goal, but to achieve it she must break parole and the law, sacrifice everything, and head on an unforeseen journey to the remote island nation of Iceland.

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Yung Punx: A Punk Parable


Age 9+, family documentary

A group of 8-to-12 year-olds star as Color Killer, an inspiring pop punk band from Massachusetts, counting down to the biggest performance of their lives. Can the kids (and their parents) hold up to the pressure? This head-banging, nail-biting, delightful music documentary will strike a chord with kids, families, and music lovers alike.

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Zalava

In the Iranian village of Zalava, demonic possession is a recurring event. Or so the villagers believe, and too often their exorcisms result in death. Masoud, a local police official, is a man of science, and when a local doctor is accused of being possessed, he must intervene, with potentially disastrous results. 

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