Hollywood is coming to town.
The eighth annual Twin Cities Film Fest kicks off on Wednesday, giving Minnesotans a chance to see some faces from the big screen in real life.
Minnesota native Lea Thompson (aka Caroline in the 90s TV show Caroline in the City and Marty McFly's mom in the Back to the Future movies) will be here opening night for the premiere of her directorial debut,A Year of Spectacular Men.
Thompson's daughters, Zoey and Madelyn Deutch, star in the film. All three women will be participating in a Q & A after the screening Wednesday night.
Another Minnesotan-turned-Hollywood-starlet appearing this year is Rachael Leigh Cook, who will help close out the film fest on Oct. 28.
Cook stars in an upcoming modern-day version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Other big names showing up at the film fest include twin brothers Alex and Andrew Smith, directors of Walking Out, along with the film's star Josh Wiggins; and Patrick Fabian (who plays Howard Hamlin in Better Call Saul).
Over 155 features and short films
The Twin Cities Film Fest (TCCF) runs Oct. 18-28 on several screens at the ShowPlace ICON theater in St. Louis Park.
TCCF highlights films for "movie lovers." That means sneak peeks of Oscar-buzzworthy titles alongside indies and Minnesota-made films.
This year, the fest is screening over 155 features and short films. FOX 21 highlighted a number of films with a connection to Northern Minnesota, and Star Tribune has named six of its must-see movies here.
Check out the full lineup of films here.
The art shown during the fest "contrasts the increasingly formulaic blockbuster that falls flat with sophisticated audiences," TCCF says.
Some notable films with Minnesota ties on the lineup this year: All in the Circle, which was directed by our own Isaiah Bischoff, who was just 12 years old when he made the film; and A Gray State – a movie about aspiring filmmaker and alt-right star David Crowley, who murdered his family and killed himself in their Apple Valley home in early 2015.
Each year, TCCF works to raise awareness for a social cause through its Changemaker Series. The subject this year is addiction, and four films will focus on pornography (Addicted to Porn: Chasing the Cardboard Butterfly), opioids (Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict), alcohol (Tater Tot & Patton) and technology (Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age).
It's a red carpet event. Patrons who attend are encouraged to dress up, take photos on the red carpet, and share experiences on social media.
There are also several educational events throughout, such as panel discussions with industry professionals, filmmakers and special guests. Most educational events are free to the public, with some exceptions.
It's gaining popularity. More than 12,500 people attended TCFF in 2016, MinnPost says, which is twice as many as 2014.
Ticket passes are on sale here.