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Puzzling theme rises from local film festival

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Puzzling theme rises from local film festival
Superior Wisconsin 1410 Tower Ave. 54880

A farm fresh alternative to stale cinema returns for an 11th season in the big old barn in Wrenshall tonight at 7 p.m. The fun continues at 2 p.m. Saturday at the barn, 909 County Road 4. The Free Range Film Festival has been a cult favorite in the Northland since it started screening films in 2003 and this year it continues its successful mix of local premieres and international standouts.

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“I love that our lineup is always really eclectic,” said organizer Annie Dugan. “It means there will always be something that will delight as well as challenge our audiences and I feel like that’s what film is meant to do.” This year’s lineup includes animated shorts, documentaries and a full-length narrative feature.

While still maintaining the diverse mix of voices, a unique sub-theme has emerged in this year’s schedule.

“For some reason this is the year of the jigsaw puzzle” Dugan said. The festival will open with a documentary by local filmmaker Mike Scholtz that follows competitive jigsaw puzzling. The movie “Wicker Kittens” was a festival favorite at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and will make its local premiere tonight. Local band Portrait of a Drowned Man did the score for the film and will play during the festival’s intermission.

The theme continues Saturday afternoon with a full-length feature narrative, “Arlo & Julie” in which a jigsaw puzzle plays a major role.

“We figured it had become the theme, so why not go whole hog and throw in a puzzle swap as well,” Dugan said. Festival goers are invited to bring puzzles to share and trade Friday night during the intermission.

For more information, go to www.freerangefilm.com.

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