The Twin Cities film festival begins this week with 350-plus screenings

There are more than 80 Minnesota-made films in the lineup.
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One of the longest-running film festivals in the U.S. is back.

The 36th annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival begins Thursday, and over the next 17 days movie lovers will be able to enjoy 350-plus films.

The festival, which is the largest in the Midwest, kicks off with a screening of The Lost City of Z at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. The movie is based on author David Grann's bestselling book by the same name, which tells the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, played by Charlie Hunnam, and his journey into the Amazon.

After the film, there will be an opening night party at Jefe Urban Hacienda, where festival-goers and filmmakers can mingle. Entrance to the party is included with a ticket to the film – they're $60 for the general public and $45 for Film Society members. (Buy tickets online here.)

The festival will run from April 13-29 at different theaters throughout the Twin Cities. This year's lineup will feature films from 70-plus countries, including more than 80 locally made movies – a handful of which will be making their world premiere during the festival.

There are also a few new programs at this year's festival:

  • A virtual reality exhibition and experimental film program, which will run April 21-25.
  • A program of films by African and African American filmmakers.
  • A selection of Finnish films to celebrate Finland's 100th birthday.
  • A program featuring new international TV series.

You can search through all the films and show times, as well as buy tickets, online here.

If you can't decide what to go see, the Star Tribune has some suggestions of what to check out at this year's festival. Among some tips of picking a movie: check out a film that's already won an award, or one that has a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers.

The film festival is usually a big hit, with organizers noting it offers one of the only chances Minnesotans have at seeing some international films locally. Last year, 45,158 people attended the event, organizers say.

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