The metro is braced for the Wednesday kickoff of the 6th annual Twin Cities Film Festival (TCFF), which happens to be the largest one yet.
But that's not the only special thing about this year's festival, which will be honoring a homegrown star – who happens to have top billing in 2015's official centerpiece film.
In "Too Late," Alexandria, Minnesota, native John Hawkes – who, thanks to a long filmography, has become one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces, even if he isn't a household name – plays a troubled private investigator hired to find a missing woman from his past.
He's in town for the screening and will receive from TCFF the North Star Award for Excellence, an honor that will include a retrospective of his career, which began in the 1980s and is marked by such films as "The Perfect Storm," "Winter's Bone," and "Lincoln."
He also starred in the acclaimed HBO series "Deadwood" and has been nominated for an Academy Award, according to his Internet Movie Database profile.
In an interview with the Star Tribune, the 56-year-old Hawkes says he might want to stop by the Walker Art Center while visiting his home state, and added that a "Minnesota Wild game would be fun."
He also recalled his Minnesota roots – and what it was like to get through Minnesota winters before high-tech weather-wear. He told the paper that he "loved" staying out in the cold until he couldn't feel his toes, saying it was a "great way to grow up."
"Minnesotans do (winter) so well," he commented.
"Too Late" will play on Monday, Oct. 26, at 8:30 p.m.
A full schedule
With 120 films screening over 11 days, the 2015 TCFF is the largest in the local event's history.
The lineup is comprised of both short and feature-length films from national and international filmmakers and is also a showcase of local talent, a news release says.
The event, which also boasts live music, cocktail mixers and more, will be held at Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON at The Shops at West End in St. Louis Park.
According to the official website, the festival's opening night film is "A New High," a documentary about a Seattle homeless and rehab shelter that uses mountain climbing as a form of recovery.
Tickets for the screening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, are $20.
TCFF describes itself as a "gateway for movie lovers into the deep well of American Independent Cinema."
For more ticketing and schedule information, click here.