Focus On Old Hwy. 61: 2016 Highway 61 Film Festival, Oct. 6-9th– Not For Everybody, Just The Oh. So. Cool. Folks

By Gail Gates

“People who LIKE movies have a favorite.

People who LOVE movies couldn’t possibly choose.”

Nicole Yatsonsky

Maybe there are no red carpets, paparazzi, or (the now defunct) Brangelina sightings.  But at the Highway 61 Film Festival, held in Pine City, MN, you have plenty of reason to exude your Minnesota cool factor.

Film Fest in Pine City, MNNow in its sixth year, the Hwy. 61 Film Festival offers movie devotee’s art on a fresh, non-Hollywoodesque, level.  Budgets for the films range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Some are short, and some are short-short (think 2 minutes!).  Some are family friendly, and some are not.  Some are made in Minnesota, some are from other states almost as good as Minnesota, and some are from international locations.  It’s delicious, buttery, movie potpourri for aficionados of movies made simply for the love of making movies.

After viewing hundreds of submissions, judges selected what they felt were the best of the best.  The cost is $5 for afternoon and evening shows, or $20 for an all-access weekend pass. $20! Can you say fabulous date night(s)?

Pine Center for the Arts      Kicking off the event, Pine Center for the Arts will host films on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.  Otherwise, afternoon and evening shows will be shown at Pine Technical and Community College Auditorium.  Late-night shows (FREE!!!) will be held at Pizza Pub. A special “family friendly” set of films will be shown at the North West Company Fur Post.  For a comprehensive listing of films, times, locations, and directors go to:

But, because I love you, here is a quickie list:

  • Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. at Pine Center for the Arts  Theme for this session: DREAMS AND VISIONS

Woot! Woot! If I can sneak in a personal plug, I will have my “The HeART of Old Hwy. 61” photographic gallery up at that time. In honor of the 100 miles of Old Hwy. 61 bypassed by I35, and the Old. Hwy. 61 Coalition, I will have impressionistic photographic images from the various small towns along the route.  Enjoy!

  • Friday, October 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical & Community College  Theme for this session: JOURNEYS FAR AND NEAR
  •  Friday, October 7 at 9 p.m. at Pizza Pub   Theme for this session: BLOOD, BUSES AND BUBBLE BATHS
  • Saturday, October 8 at 10 a.m. at the North West Company Fur Post              Theme for this session: FAMILY FUN AT THE FUR POST
  • Saturday, October 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical & Community College  Theme for this session: MINNESOTA ROCKS THE WORLDLate Night at Pizza Pub
  • Saturday, October 8 at 9 p.m. at Pizza Pub  Theme for this session: JOKES IN
  • Sunday, October 9 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical & Community College  Theme for this session: ADVENTURES OF THE HEART

 My advice?  Bring a friend/partner/spouse/family member who respects your chair arm space to this unique weekend of events. Eat popcorn. Drink whatever suits your thirst. Revel in art. Feel the power of Old Hwy. 61.

I bet you won’t even miss the Brangelina gossip.