Film festival showcases cinema from all over the globe

A scene from "Belle," the opening film at this year's Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival at St. Anthony Main Theatre. Credit:

The 2014 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) returns to the St. Anthony Main Theatre April 3–19 to celebrate cinema from more than 60 countries.

The opening night film, “Belle,” focuses on events that led to the abolishment of slavery in England. A gala will following the premiere screening at the festival pavilion across the street from the movie theatre.

The festival, presented by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, will play on all five screens at St. Anthony Main. Festival films will also be played at Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, the Walker Art Center, the MSP Airport’s new cinema and at the Wehrenberg Theaters in Rochester.

Several parties have been planned for the festival as well. Here are some highlights promoted by film festival organizers:

— Opening Night Party: Entertainment, music, celebrities, drink specials, food by Create Catering, raffle items, and more. Thursday, April 3, 9 p.m. Festival Pavilion, under the 3rd Avenue Bridge. (Tickets, $75/$65 members and students — includes food, entertainment, open bar and Opening Night ticket to Belle screening.)

— XYZ Party: A spirited romp of an event featuring a live DJ, red-carpet photography of guests, filmmaker appearances, and even lightsabers: Friday, April 4, 9 p.m. Festival Pavilion (Tickets $15/$12 members and students; includes two drink tickets.)

— Cine Latino Kickoff Party: A Latin-themed event with food and drink to celebrate the Festival Spotlight Cine Latino category, with drinks by Revel, food by La Loma and Manny’s Tortas and music by Malamanya: Saturday, April 5, 9 p.m. Festival Pavilion ($25/$20 members and students; includes food, entertainment and two drink tickets.)

— Cinema Smorgasbord, an event to introduce Culinary Cinema, the Festival’s comestible Spotlight category, featuring food from some of the Twin Cities’ top chefs: Sunday, April 6, 5 p.m. Festival Pavilion ($40/$30 members and students; includes food, drinks and ticket to the official Sunday culinary film ‘Le Chef’ screening at 7 p.m.)

— MINNESOTA-Made Party, recognizing the contributions of Minnesota’s rich community of filmmakers: Thursday, April 10, 9 p.m. at the Red Stag Supperclub, 509 1st Ave. NE Minneapolis (Free)

— Closing Night party: Saturday, April 19, 9 p.m. (Free with Closing Night Film Ticket)

MSPIFF is the largest film festival in the Upper Midwest. It features more than 200 films, including feature length, short form and documentary films.