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Film festival this weekend in Bemidji

BEMIDJI — The first Upstream Film Festival will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. NW.

The festival will feature about 20 films, both short films and feature-length entries, said Mike Bredon, executive director of Upstream TV, a local, public access television station in Bemidji. While primarily featuring local and area films, Upstream TV has received entries from as far away as Chicago, he said.

The festival is possible, he said, because organizers applied for and were awarded a grant through the Region 2 Arts Council, with the idea being the event would showcase the talent of Upstream TV members, as well as get the word out about the station to future members, Bredon said.

One fun category will be the “48-hour” film festival entries, he said. Upstream members were given just two days to shoot a film with components such as characters, props, and sound effects drawn from a hat.

While not rated by an official organization, Bredon said the films would mostly fall under the PG-13 category.

Screenings start at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and an awards program will be held after regional film screenings at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Question and answer sessions with filmmakers also are part of the two-day event. Bredon said organizers hope to make the film festival an annual event.

After the Saturday night festivities, organizers also have partnered with Northern Community Radio to help put on a Zombie Pub Crawl to downtown Bemidji establishments, Bredon said.

Tickets for the full festival will cost $17 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. To attend one day of the festival, cost is $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.

Tickets will be available for purchase at Brigid’s Pub, 317 Beltrami Ave. NW or available at the door.