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2020 Twin Cities Film Fest goes hybrid; Jungle Theater announces fall season

ALSO: “Women of Broadway: Patti Lupone” online; Dodge Poetry Festival Opening Celebration on Zoom; and more.

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland.”
Frances McDormand in “Nomadland.”
Searchlight Pictures

Most film festivals have moved entirely online during the pandemic. The Twin Cities Film Fest, now in its 11th year, has set aside a handful of films that will screen in person at the Showplace ICON in St. Louis Park, but only to TCFF members, donors and sponsors. Strict health and safety guidelines will be followed.

For the rest of us, or those who aren’t yet ready for movies in theaters, TCFF is offering a bounteous All Access streaming pass for $50. It’s good for all 10 days of the festival and more than 70 films, most local premieres. Use coupon code 2020TCFFdiscover20 and save another $10.

TCFF’s focus is on American films, and it has a reliable eye for Oscar contenders. (Previous fests have featured “Moonlight,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” to name a few.) Among this year’s most promising offerings are Sonia Lowman’s intimate documentary “Black Boys,” the opening night film; Phyllida Lloyd’s “Herself”; Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal,” with actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed; and the closing night’s “Nomadland,” directed by Chloé Zhao and starring Frances McDormand.

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In a Facebook video, TCFF Executive Director Jatin Setia called out two of his own favorites: Kurt Neale’s “Normie,” about a young woman with Down syndrome, and Annie Kaempfer’s “The Falconer.”

Annemarie Carrigan in “Normie.”
Capernaum, Inc.
Annemarie Carrigan in “Normie.”
New this year, “Empower” is a series of eight films highlighting BIPOC storytellers. Phil McGraw’s “For Justice Forgotten” focuses on the killing of Jamar Clark. A “Her” series features films about women.

Each year, TCFF identifies a social justice cause and programs several films on the topic. This year it’s “Affordable Living,” with films about housing, healthcare, childcare and eldercare. This series will be available free to all viewers.

Twin Cities Film Fest run Thursday, Oct. 22, through Saturday, Oct. 31. FMI, tickets and passes.

Jungle Theater announces Fall 2020 season

It’s hard to think “fall season” when there’s already snow on the ground. Or remember that winter doesn’t officially start until Dec. 21. But COVID time is so mushy – isn’t today March 234th? – that the Jungle Theater can call its new season whatever it wants.

Fall 2020 will be part audio, part a new play by Kate Cortesi in which two performers take on more than 20 roles and ponder the marital status of a famous whistleblower.

The season will start on Nov. 18 with the first of three short audio dramas with music. Written by Eric Micha Holmes, “Mondo Tragic” will explore the imagery of race with music by Omar Zubair.

On Dec. 8, Vie Boheme will present an audio excerpt from “Centerplay.” Originally a dance-theater experience, first seen at the Southern in 2018, scheduled for the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio starting March 20 and closed by COVID, it has been adapted into a multi-layered sonic journey of spoken word, poetry and song. Vie Boheme will be joined by Dame-Jasmine Hughes and Nathan Keepers.

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Jucoby Johnson’s “I’ll Be Seeing You Again” will take us back to May 2020 in Minneapolis, when the city became the epicenter of a nation’s racial reckoning. A meeting between two old friends is set against a backdrop of soulful music. With Ryan Colbert, H. Adam Harris and Rajané Katurah.

Isabella Star LaBlanc
Isabella Star LaBlanc
From Dec. 1-20, Becca Hart and Isabella Star LaBlanc, who have both lit up the Jungle’s stage in the past (Hart in “Ride the Cyclone” and “The Wolves,” LaBlanc in “The Wolves” and “Little Women”) will reunite for Kate Cortesi’s new play “Is Edward Snowden Single”?  The Jungle’s first-ever virtual production will also include animation. Christina Baldwin will direct. Baldwin is serving as the Jungle’s interim artistic director.

Hear and see it all with a Virtual Fall Bundle ($50), available now. Tickets to individual events will go on sale in November. FMI.

The picks

Megha Majumdar
Megha Majumdar
Tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 21) on Zoom: Club Book: Megha Majumdar. Set in modern-day India, Majumdar’s “A Burning” was one of the most-anticipated, best-reviewed fiction debuts of 2020. Hosted by Washington County Library. 6:30 p.m. Free. Go here to join.

Tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 22) on Zoom: Dodge Poetry Festival Opening Celebration. The largest poetry event in North America will be virtual this year, meaning you can attend from wherever you happen to be. Thursday is the grand opening celebration, with presenters including Natalie Diaz, Cornelius Eady, Kwame Dawes, Carolyn Forché, Joy Harjo, Ada Limón, Tyehimba Jess, Charles Simic, Natasha Trethewey and more. 7 p.m. The whole festival, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 1, features more than 100 poets. Hear Heid Erdrich on Saturday morning (Oct. 31). Catch the Mizna reading with noor ibn najam, Malek Elmadari and Ifrah Mansour on Sunday (Nov. 12). Register here for a live streaming pass. Pay nothing or pay what you can.

Carl Flink
Courtesy of TEDxMinneapolis
Carl Flink
Friday through Sunday (Oct. 23-25) online: TEDxMinneapolis 2020. This year’s theme is Adaptation. It was chosen in February, not mid-March, but how apropos. This year’s presenters include Black Label Movement, the contemporary dance program led by Carl Flink; historian Erika Lee, author of “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States”; poet Sagirah Shahid; Ranee, Aparna and Ashwini Ramaswamy of Ragamala Dance Company; and hip hop artist/”clean rapper” Matt “Nur-D” Allen. A $25 general admission ticket admits you to all three sessions. FMI and tickets.

Saturday (Oct. 24) online: Women of Broadway: Patti Lupone. In a virtual concert from Manhattan that helps Hennepin Theatre Trust, the two-time Tony winner will perform a mix of pop songs and show tunes and share stories from her life. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($30); includes the livestream and 72 more hours of on-demand access. Coming up: Laura Benanti on Nov. 14 and Vanessa Williams on Dec. 5, should you want tickets to all three ($75).