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The Twin Cities Film Festival is sometimes confused with the bigger, older Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival held each April. But the five-year-old TCFF has its own distinct character.

The fall fest, held at the Showplace ICON cineplex in St. Louis Park, attracts its crowds by mixing a few highly anticipated studio releases with rougher-hewn indies, adding plenty of homegrown Minnesota flavor as well. After a rocky start, ticket sales have grown just over 20 percent each year, with more than 6,200 attendees expected this year. At least four screenings were sold out as of last week.

“We draw moviegoers, as opposed to cinephiles,” said executive director Jatin Setia. “We want the people who go to see ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Batman’ to come and appreciate indie films, and you get them to take that leap by showing the Oscar-worthy movies that generate buzz.”

This year’s 10-day event, which begins Thursday with a gala premiere of Jason Reitman’s ensemble drama “Men, Women & Children,” features nearly 80 films, including area premieres of “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon and “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Nine documentaries being screened include the controversial “The Syndrome,” which explores the possibly faulty science behind shaken-baby syndrome.