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Film festival returns Sept. 14-20

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The 2012 annual Whiskey Creek Film Festival will take place Sept. 14-20 in Wadena.

The festival brings movies in limited release to Wadena, as well as short film submissions from Minnesota filmmakers.

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Jamie Robertson of the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center said short film submissions will be taken through Sept. 9.

Entries may not be longer than five minutes. Work must be original, suitable for family audiences and completed within the last three years.

Entries are also to be received at the Cozy Theatre at 223 South Jefferson St., either by mail or in person.

Six feature films plus a free family matinee will be screened at the festival, but not all titles were finalized as of Thursday.

"Bully" (not rated, 98 minutes), a documentary by Lee Hirsch, was originally a Sundance Film Festival selection.

"It essentially follows five kids and their families over the course of a school year," Robertson said, adding that two of the kids are lost to suicide and a third ends up in jail for bringing a gun to school.

"It didn't get shown in many theaters, and it's kind of an important film about the whole problem of bullying," Robertson said.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (PG-13, 93 minutes), a fantasy-drama that took awards at Sundance Film Festival, is about a 6-year-old girl in Louisiana and how she deals with Hurricane Katrina.

"To Rome with Love" (R, 112 minutes) is Woody Allen's latest film.

Robertson compared it to "Midnight in Paris", another Woody Allen movie shown last year.

"It's a love story about Rome as 'Midnight in Paris' was about Paris," Robertson said.

Another film to be screened is "Moonrise Kingdom" (PG-13, 94 minutes), a comedy-drama directed by Wes Anderson.

Like last year, passes for the film festival may be purchased at the Cozy box office, the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center or Harvest Thyme Bistro. Passes from the Cultural Center or Harvest Thyme include a coupon for Harvest Thyme.

Individual tickets may also be purchased.

Shari Olson of Harvest Thyme Bistro said the restaurant is also helping out with the festival by staying open late Sept. 14-15.

"That's kind of our goal, is to get people aware of what's going on and be able to show up for such a great event," Olson said.

Her husband, Derek Olson, said it is fun to see people walk into the restaurant and talk about complex independent films that wouldn't otherwise get to be screened in the area.

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