Flathead Lake International Cinemafest Wraps Up Successful Event | News

POLSON – Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC) 2022 concluded its weekend events on Sunday evening, January 30, followed by encore screenings through Thursday, February 3 at Showboat Stadium 6 in Polson, Montana. Now in its 10th year, FLIC has become a destination film festival for filmmakers around the world. This year’s film entries – including narrative shorts and features, documentaries and animated films – came from 18 countries, including Australia, the UK, Turkey, Italy, Italy, Turkey Germany, Ukraine, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Russian Federation, Argentina, Belgium, India, and the United States.

As expected by festival organizers, COVID has impacted audience and filmmaker attendance this year. Even so, about two dozen filmmakers traveled from as far away as both coasts to attend the festival, and the local COP audience in attendance was enthusiastic and supportive. Many filmmakers have commented on how the COP audience is what makes this Polson-based film festival special. They enjoyed how the local community comes out and engages with the film on levels they haven’t often seen at other film festivals.

David and Jessica King, who co-produce FLIC, were overall very happy with how the weekend went. David shared, “We love that filmmakers and audiences from all walks of life connect around this little film festival in rural Montana. Often, lasting friendships take root at COP. This makes all the work of organizing a film festival interesting. Jessica said, “The filmmakers in attendance this year were so full of life and enthusiasm, which characterized the entire weekend of the festival. I think we will remember COP 2022 as one of our finest years in terms of interaction and camaraderie between filmmakers and audiences.

Festival highlights included two informal gatherings at The Cove and Blodgett Creamery and Coffee Saloon and a live comedy performance by two West Coast comedians, Adam Yenser and Brian Kiley. Yenser spent years writing for the Ellen Degeneres Show and playing “Kevin the Cashier” on the show’s hidden camera bits. Kiley was an editor at The Conan Show. In a special presentation called “Comedians in Chairs Eating Popcorn,” Yenser and Kiley presented video clips of their work, then sat down and shared their adventures in entertainment.

The documentary film Open Field, which featured elite women’s professional league football, was a huge hit with COP audiences. The main subject of the film, quarterback Sami Grisafe, was present along with Open Field producer Kathy Kuras. In addition to being the main subject featured in the film, Grissafe wrote and performed the film’s lead score. During the film, Sami, playing the ukulele, sings the national anthem before a big match. COP producer David W. King asked Sami if she would like to sing the national anthem to kick off the live COP awards ceremony. Grisafe smiled at the idea and said she would if King could find a ukulele…which he did. Grisafe’s rendition of the national anthem at the COP Awards ceremony was one of the highlights of the weekend.

On Sunday, film producer Gerald R. Molen took part in a Q&A after a special screening of his hit 1992 film Jurassic Park. Mr. Molen’s son, Steven Molen (a film production veteran himself) also participated in the discussion. The careers of these two Hollywood luminaries include working on more than 150 films in capacities ranging from their early years in studio transportation departments to production management, production and executive production of pictures like The List of Schindler, Days of Thunder, Hook, Twister, Minority Report, the first two Jurassic Park movies, The Hunt, Men in Black and many more. COP Director David W. King was struck by how down-to-earth each man was. “Neither of them took to the air. They showed humility and modesty as they shared their adventures working with Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg and Michael Mann on some of the greatest films of that era. It’s refreshing with people who you would assume have big egos… nope. We are grateful to have shared this special moment with Gerald and Steven Molen.

On Sunday afternoon, prizes were awarded in many categories. Many of the filmmakers in attendance were on hand to receive their awards, which added to the fun and celebration. “And Sami Grisafe’s rendition of the national anthem was the icing on the cake!” King said.

The 2022 FLIC award winners:


on off


David Darg, the fisherman


Mountain mission


feel through


Sam Bilinkas, ranch water


Dustin Gooch, Landlocked


Mountain mission


open field


open field


Greater Polson Community Foundation


Doug Roland, feel through

COP co-producer Jessica King shared, “We are so grateful for the enthusiasm of all of the filmmakers and participants. It’s super encouraging to hear how much people have enjoyed the films and then to see them have the opportunity to interact with the filmmakers…it’s so rewarding for us as festival producers.

David W. King said, “Overall it was a very special and memorable festival – for all the right reasons. Many filmmakers have declared COP the best film festival they’ve attended, which means the world to us. We are already looking forward to 2023. We have “the little festival that could” right here in Polson, Montana, thanks to the volunteer efforts and financial sponsorship of this wonderful community. »

For more information, visit FLICPolson.com.

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