MSPIFF43 2024

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) returns, celebrating the 43rd year of one of the country’s longest-running film festivals and certainly the largest in the region. The festival programmers have outdone themselves this year, scheduling over 200 films between April 11-25, 2024. Most features will screen at The Main Cinema, though the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis and the Landmark Center in St. Paul will also feature periodic festival titles. Besides films, the festival will host various get-togethers, panel discussions, and guest appearances, such as legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins and his partner James, who will attend to promote their new photographic book, Byways

Founded in 1962, the MSP Film Society has supported and built a home for international and independent cinema in the Twin Cities. With most of the arthouse theaters in Minnesota shutting their doors during the pandemic, The Main Cinema, operated by the MSP Film Society, remains one of the only theaters in the state to champion such under-the-radar films. Whether it’s the latest from IFC, Janus, or Magnolia; a new indie gem featured at their Cinema Club; or some cultish horror movie playing at their Midnight Madness screenings, the MSP Film Society has enriched the film community in Minnesota. 

In addition to hosting short films and features, along with documentaries and narrative fiction from dozens of countries that have played at some of the world’s biggest festivals, MSPIFF boasts several of the year’s most anticipated releases. For instance, the lineup includes several titles from A24, the premier independent label that continues to innovate and champion distinct voices in cinema. The festival’s opening night film, Sing Sing, hails from the production company and distributor. It follows recent Oscar nominee Colman Domingo as an inmate in Sing Sing Correctional Facility, who helps stage a musical through the prison’s Rehabilitation Through the Arts program.

Also at the festival from A24, look for the drama Tuesday, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The story blends fantasy and realism, following a mother who helps her daughter face a terminal illness with the help of a shape-shifting bird. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker’s directorial debut, Janet Planet, about a relationship between an imaginative young girl (Zoe Ziegler) and her attentive mother (Julianne Nicholson), will also screen at the festival courtesy of A24. 

MSPIFF will feature many other major international and independent titles making their Minnesota debut. MUBI will bow Radu Jude’s Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, one of the most talked about films from last year’s festival circuit. Janus will have several titles at the festival, including Evil Does Not Exist, the latest from the Oscar-winning Drive My Car (2021) director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s new film, About Dry Grasses, brings one of the best-reviewed films of 2023 to the Midwest. But my most anticipated title at the festival is Janus’ The Beast, a sprawling science-fiction drama from Bertrand Bonello that stars Léa Seydoux and George MacKay. 

(Speaking of Bonello, the French auteur is the subject of Deep Focus Review’s latest “Filmmaker in Focus” on Patreon. Throughout April and May, look for reviews of the director’s Zombi Child (2019), Saint Laurent (2014), House of Tolerance (2011), and The Pornographer (2001), along with an essay in The Definitives about his 2016 masterpiece, Nocturama. The Bonello series will be exclusive to Deep Focus Review’s Patreon subscribers.)

Along with the titles mentioned, I’ll be covering a dozen or so films at MSPIFF in several dispatches posted throughout the festival, each featuring short reviews and commentary. These include The ConvertDaughters, Dead MailHandling the UndeadThe Movie TellerShoshanna, and the closing night film, Ghostlight. Some will receive full-length reviews on Patreon until they make their theatrical debut. Check back throughout the festival for my coverage.

In the meantime, view the full lineup and order your tickets on the MSP Film Society website. If you’re local to the festival, consider becoming an MSP Film Member to support a distinct community of independent and international film lovers in Minnesota. 

One response to “MSPIFF 2024”

  1. […] the brief reviews, I plugged the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, which goes until April 25. And there was this odd bit at the end where the upcoming family movie […]






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