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Iowa Independent Film Festival

MASON CITY — The Iowa Independent Film Festival returns to Mason City Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18, with special guests Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss.

Set at the Historic Park Inn Hotel, it will feature the award-winning virtual reality film “Defrost,” produced by festival co-founder Tanna Frederick.

Though the festival is free, $50 VIP passes provide preferred seating and a party Saturday night. For information call 641-357-5177 or visit

Featured films

“Defrost,” written/directed by Randal Kleiser, produced by Tanna Frederick. Set in 2045 when liquid nitrogen freezes patients until cures are found. Shot in wrap-around 3D, viewers see things from the main character’s perspective. Demonstration at 6 p.m. Friday in hotel ballroom; runs all weekend in Blythe.

“Jack and Andi,” directed by Jim Brockhohn. Jack Scarrett has suffered a brain aneurysm and Angel Second Class Andi is assigned to look after him. 3 p.m. Sunday, Markley

“Man’s Favorite Sport,” directed by Howard Hawks. Comedy classic features Prentiss and Rock Hudson in a fish-out-of-water story. Prentiss will speak after the show. 3 p.m. Saturday, Ballroom.

“My Favorite Year,” directed by Benjamin. Inspired by events in Mel Brooks’ early career, it hilariously revisits TV’s golden age. Benjamin will discuss this classic. 7 p.m. Friday, Ballroom.

“Ovation,” directed by Henry Jaglom. A theater actress played by Tanna Frederick must decide whether to follow her ambition or her heart when she falls for a slick TV star played by James Denton. 7 p.m. Saturday, Ballroom; followed by Skype with Jaglom.

“Pierce Arrow P.I.,” directed by Jim Brockhohn. In radio’s golden age, popular shows featured tough detectives like Sam Spade. Pierce Arrow was in a class by himself. 5 p.m. Saturday, Markley. Q-and-A follows with director and writer Gary Ewing.

“The Orange Man,” directed by Stephan Folker. Friends go camping and are hunted by a maniac whose weapon of choice is oranges. 3 p.m. Sunday, Ballroom.

Short features

“Ambidextrous,” directed by Jena Lovik; produced by Stebens Children’s Theatre students. In this comedic homage to horror movies of the 1930s, a man hides his past from the woman he loves. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ballroom.

“Battles Within,” directed by Mason Greer. “Depression is ... where one is both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” Student film conveys energy with a rap tune. 5 p.m. Saturday, Markley.

“Fire in the House,” directed by Aaron Goddard. Scorned lover reveals she burned her celebrity boyfriend’s house. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Markley.

“Help,” directed by Aaron Goddard. Following the apocalypse, two roadside entrepreneurs try to revive the American Dream as they see it. 12:30 Saturday, Ballroom; 3 p.m. Sunday, Markley.

“Learning to Drive,” directed by Roderick E. Stevens. Michael has Down syndrome. On a trip to scatter their mother’s ashes, he is determined to convince his brother to teach him how to drive. 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Markley.

“Stuck,” directed by Steve Kennevan. On a visit to the Iowa Historical Society archives, Kevin is locked inside at closing time and begins an exchange with a woman who is uniquely stuck. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Markley.

“Worthy,” directed by Joshua Masson. The population dwindles from an epidemic, and a couple hopes to be worthy of a potential cure. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Markley. Q-and-A with director follows.


“At The Fork,” directed by John Papola. Omnivore John Papola and his vegetarian wife show how animals are raised for consumption. 5 p.m. Saturday, Markley, 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Ballroom. Sunday introduction by Paul Willis of Niman Ranch.

Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg,” directed by Kelly Rundle. In 1958, Seberg, 17, of Marshalltown, was chosen to play Joan of Arc. She went on to stardom and disappointment, dying in Paris at 40. Q-and-A with director, writers follow Saturday. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ballroom; 12:30 Sunday, Markley.

“Pig Business,” directed by Tracy Worcester. Exposé from Great Britain investigates the rise of factory pig farming in the UK and elsewhere. 3 p.m. Sunday, Markley.

“The Legend in My Heart,” directed by Kaitlyn Busbee. American writers, a choreographer and a composer travel to China for the Iowa International Writing Program to teach disabled and non-disabled people. 3 p.m. Saturday, Markley.

“Voices From The Badlands,” directed by Seth McClelland. Lakota Sioux youth near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, talk about the difficulties of living within a people and tradition almost eliminated in the 19th century. 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Ballroom.

Short documentaries

“Brookford Almanac,” directed by Cozette Russell. Luke and Catarina Mahoney run a biologically diverse farm and organic dairy and find hardship when their lease is not renewed. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Markley; 3 p.m. Sunday, Ballroom.

“Driving Change in the Driftless Area,” directed by Chris Schneider. Schneider takes a trip through northeast Iowa’s Driftless area, visiting a passive solar house and more. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Markley.

“The MacNider Art Museum: Fifty Years Eye-to-Eye,” directed by Paul Micich. The museum is revealed through patrons, students, teachers, docents and staff. 3 p.m. Saturday, Ballroom; 3 p.m. Sunday, Markley.

“River Riders,” directed by Greg Schmidt. Features North Iowa rivers by canoe and kayak, Charles City’s whitewater course and riverbank dining. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, Markley.


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