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‘The Florida Project,’ ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ ‘Human Flow’
and ‘The Bachelors’ lead 2017 contenders; winners to be announced Saturday

St. Louis Park, MN (October 27, 2017) – The Twin Cities Film Fest announced more than thirty finalists for its seven top awards Friday morning. The leading contenders for Best Feature Film include the new Martin McDonagh drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which recently took home the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, the stylish Sean Baker coming-of-age vision “The Florida Project,” the heartfelt father-son drama “The Bachelors” starring J.K. Simmons and Josh Wiggins, and the hit festival drama “Instructions For Living,” co-starring and co-written by Minnesota native Morgan Owens.

Also of note among the 2017 finalists: Joe Wright’s World War II drama “The Darkest Hour” is a finalist for Best Feature Film; Ai Weiwei’s devastating “Human Flow” is nominated for Best Documentary; Harris Doran’s acclaimed independent drama “Beauty Mark” has been nominated for two awards (Best Feature Film and the Indie Vision Breakthrough Award for lead actress Auden Thornton); and actor Bill Murray is serving as a special guest judge for TCFF’s inaugural Comedic Shorts Award. Murray will be choosing his favorite comedic short from the three finalists listed below.

This year’s TCFF slate, which continues to screen at the Kerasotes Showplace Icon Theatres in St. Louis Park through Saturday, is comprised of more than 125 short and feature films. In addition to staff and audience awards, this year’s North Star Award is being bestowed to Rachael Leigh Cook, the critically-acclaimed actress, activist and Minnesota native who will appear at the festival Saturday night with her new romantic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Other talent in attendance this weekend includes Patrick Fabian (“Better Call Saul”), who stars in “DriverX” screening Friday and Josh Wiggins, who stars in both “Walking Out” Friday and “The Bachelors” on Saturday.

See the 32 finalists below; the winners of these awards, in addition to the festival’s three coveted audience awards, will be announced at the TCFF Closing Night Party Saturday. Limited festival tickets remain available.


Best Feature Film: “The Bachelors,” directed by Kurt Voelker; “Beauty Mark,” directed by Harris Doran; “The Darkest Hour,” directed by Joe Wright; “The Florida Project,” directed by Sean Baker; “Instructions for Living,” directed by Sarah Heinss; “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” directed by Martin McDonagh; and “Walking Out,” directed by Alex and Andrew Smith.

Best Documentary: “Coyote,” directed by Thomas Simmons; “Human Flow,” directed by Ai Weiwei; “Nature Boy,” directed by Rory Karpf; “Purple Dreams,” directed by Joanne Hock; and “Victor’s Last Class,” directed by Brendan Brandt.

Best Short Film: “Afterword,” directed by Boris Seewald; “Cat Killer,” directed by Wes Jones; “Hearts Want,” directed by Jason P. Schumacher; “Resolutions,” directed by Tamara Fisch; and “Sundogs,” directed by Elizabeth Chatelain.

Indie Vision Breakthrough Award — Narrative: “Beyond the Trek” (for Kevin Quattro’s visual effects); “Flora” (for Anne-Marie Ront’s sound design); “Permanent” (for Colette Burson’s screenplay); “Tater Tot & Patton” (for Andrew Kightlinger’s direction); and “The Year of Spectacular Men” (for Madelyn Deutch’s screenplay)

Indie Vision Breakthrough Award — Non-Fiction: “8 Borders, 8 Days” (director Amanda Bailly); “A Gray State” (director Erik Nelson); “Retornados” (directors Meredith Hoffman and Sarah Kuck); “Screenagers” (director Delaney Ruston); and “She Started It” (directors Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed)

Indie Vision Breakthrough Award — Best Performance: Lena Hall (“Becks”); Jess Jacobs (“Butterfly Caught”); Chandler Massey (“Aquarians”); Auden Thornton (“Beauty Mark”); Josh Wiggins (“The Bachelors” and “Walking Out”)

Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedic Shorts Award: “Lady Lillian,” directed by Amber Johnson; “Girl Meets Roach,” directed by Christopher Zatta; “Wet Dreams: One Woman’s Chance at Touching Gold,” directed by Darren Coyle

Closing weekend tickets, and year-round TCFF memberships, are now on sale at


Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) is a Minneapolis-based 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization founded by Executive Director, Jatin Setia. The Twin Cities Film Fest is an annual mainstream film festival that caters to the general public with one simple goal: To offer audiences access to the best films the global industry has to offer, to stimulate economic activity in the Twin Cities and to offer filmmakers a premiere venue at which to premiere their work. TCFF welcomes donations throughout the year from members, individual donors, volunteers, or corporations. To learn more about TCFF, events, film submissions or to donate, visit


Founded in 1909 with a single storefront nickelodeon, Chicago-based Kerasotes Showplace Theatres introduced a “new era of moviegoing” with its Showplace ICON Theatres. Owned and operated by third generation family, Tony and Dean Kerasotes, the Company plans to debut Showplace ICON Theatres in additional major U.S. markets, including Boston, Mass.; Washington D.C. and surrounding suburbs; and Laguna Hills and the Silicon Valley in Cal.  For more information, please visit us online at


Fun Is Good ( is a national consulting company that conducts entertaining keynote speeches and seminars across the country.  Fun Is Good was founded by the crazy-creative mind of Mike Veeck — author, baseball team owner, marketing and promotions guru, entrepreneur, college professor and national speaker.  Fun Is Good is passionate about helping organizations develop and sustain a positive, fun and creative culture for employees and customers alike.

Media Contact:
Katie Stroup
Allied Integrated Marketing