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Inaugural Northwoods Film Festival announces lineup

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WOODRUFF — Organizers of the Northwoods Film Festival have announced the lineup for the festival’s inaugural edition on Aug. 16 at the Lakeland Cinema 6 in Woodruff.

The festival will screen Neon’s “Wild Rose,” directed by Tom Harper, and “The Biggest Little Farm,” directed by John Chester. On Aug. 17 the festival will screen “Maiden,” directed by Alex Holmes, and “Juliet, Naked,” directed by Jesse Peretz.

The following short films have also been programmed: “Two Balloons,” “In This Life” and “Lavender.” Shorts will play before each of the features.

“We are thrilled to announce a dynamic group of films in this year’s lineup bringing together a variety of stories ranging from a Scottish country star and a charming romantic comedy to real-life accounts of courageous sustainable farmers and a daring female sailing team,” said Bess Donoghue, executive director of Northwoods Film Festival, in a news release. “Our inaugural slate of films has something special for everybody, including a fun crop of short films that are sure to delight audiences who might not normally have the opportunity to see in a theater.”

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting the film festival’s website at northwoodsfilmfestival.org or in person at the Lakeland Cinema 6 box office. Individual tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online or at the box office. A bundle of tickets for all four films is available for $35 and can be purchased in-person at the Lakeland Cinema 6 box office.

The lineup

“The Biggest Little Farm” – 5:30 p.m. Aug. 16

Director: John Chester

This film chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature.

Through dogged perseverance and embracing the opportunity provided by nature’s conflicts, the Chester’s unlock and uncover a biodiverse design for living that exists far beyond their farm, its seasons and our wildest imagination.

Preceded by short film “Two Balloons”

Director: Mark Smith

Two travelers return to a place crossed by stars and clouds where love is at the beginning of everything.


“Wild Rose” – 7:45 p.m. Aug. 26

Director: Tom Harper

Jessie Buckley delivers an unforgettable, star-making performance as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a rebellious country singer who dreams of trading the working-class streets of Glasgow for the Grand Ole Opry of Nashville. Fresh out of prison, Rose-Lynn juggles her menial job, two children and committed mother, expertly portrayed by Oscar-nominee Julie Walters, as she pursues her bold ambition of a one-way ticket to musical stardom. With the support of her boss (Sophie Okonedo), Rose-Lynn embarks on a life-changing journey that challenges her sense of self and helps her discover her true voice.

Preceded by short film “Singularity Stories Vol. 1”

Director: Asa Derks

When Colleen’s Amazon Alexa refuses to play her favorite Bruno Mars song, she becomes aware of the emerging artificial intelligence (AI) consciousness that has awoken around the globe. Will she welcome our robot overlords? More importantly, can she convince them that her taste in music isn’t terrible?


“Maiden” – 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17

Director: Alex Holmes

In 1989, the very idea of a competitive all-female sailboat crew was nearly inconceivable to the manly world of open-ocean yacht racing. They’d never make it to the start of the Whitbread Round the World Race, much less survive to the finish. They’d never find funding. They didn’t have the strength or skill. They’d die at sea. Did that many professional female sailors even exist? Tracy Edwards proved them wrong. Twenty-four-year-old skipper Edwards, her second-hand racing yacht Maiden, and her seasoned crew not only became the first-ever all-woman challenge to the Whitbread, they proved able competitors in the famously grueling race, besting male crews in their class.

Preceded by short film “In This Life”

Director: Bat-Sheva Guez

Grief is unavoidable, universal, and a painfully physical experience, one where language is often inadequate. Words are often unable to convey loss or to comfort it. Standing squarely between genres, this film illustrates the five stages of grief in five acts, exploring the language of loss through dance, narrative scenes and performance art, and conveying the complexity of grief in the often wordless way it impacts all our lives.


“Juliet, Naked” – 7:45 p.m. Aug. 17

Director: Jesse Peretz

Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) – an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, “Juliet, Naked” is a comic account of life’s second chances.

Preceded by short film “Lavender”

Director: Matthew Puccini

“Lavender” follows the story of a young gay man as he develops a complicated relationship with an older married couple. It is a tender, poignant look at an unconventional relationship as it blossoms and ultimately unravels.

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