Polson’s 11th Annual FLIC Film Festival – February 24-26, 2023

The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC) has made a move from the last weekend in January to the last weekend in February. FLIC celebrates its 11th winter film festival during the weekend of February 24-26, 2023 at the Showboat Stadium 6, 416 Main Street, Polson, Montana.

FLIC screens full-length narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, and student films. FLIC 2023 once again offers a diverse selection of domestic and international films, featuring entries from fifteen countries as well as many homegrown Montana films.

As with previous years, many filmmakers (and an Olympic gold medalist, no less) plan to travel to Polson to participate in the festival in person. FLIC has become a destination film festival for all the right reasons, chief among them being that FLIC’s enthusiastic local audience is so supportive of independent cinema. Spirited discussions between audience members and filmmakers cap off most screening blocks, and friendships take root between screenings as film lovers from across the globe converge in Polson to connect over the warm glow of cinema.  

FLIC’s judges enjoy discovering each year’s cinematic gems. Included among them this year is the documentary feature film Mavericks, directed by FLIC alumni Scott Sterling. Mavericks, the screening of which is fittingly sponsored by The Maverick Men’s Threads and Gifts, tells the fascinating story of Montana’s freestyle skiing legacy, through the struggles, victories, and journeys of some of the state’s most renowned skiers. The adrenaline-charged film features clips from international freestyle skiing competitions, home videos, and original cinematography. Mavericks will kickoff FLIC 2023 at 6pm on Friday, February 24th. Mavericks producer/director Scott Sterling, producer/writer Kelly Gorham, and Olympic gold medalist Eric Bergoust all plan to attend.

“This will be a first for the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest.” according to FLIC Director David W. King. “We’ve hosted many fascinating guests over the years, but never an Olympic gold medalist — who also won 15 World Cup events, was the 2002 overall freestyle World Cup champ, and twice won the World Cup aerials title. In 1999 Bergoust added a World Championship in the aerials to his Olympic gold medal. Seeing Eric in action in Mavericks, then hearing directly from him and the film’s director and producers will be great fun and will get FLIC 2023 off to a stellar start.”

FLIC 2023 also features a full slate of exceptional short films. One narrative short is the Montana-made film Touch, a story about the power of love — and how we pass that love from one generation to the next. In another short film, The Magician, a desperate woman’s life is forever changed by and unexpected encounter with kindness in the form of a quirky park mime. About her film The Magician, Director/Actor Sarah Jane-Potts shares, “There is no love without connection and there is no connection without kindness. This film is my ode to kindness, and kindness is magic.”

FLIC 2023 gets underway at 4:30pm on Friday, February 24th with an informal “Taste of Polson” gathering in the lobby of the Showboat Stadium 6, 416 Main Street, Polson. Many of Polson’s local eateries will offer samplings of their food fair as filmmakers and FLIC attendees mingle. FLIC screenings then commence at 6pm on multiple Showboat Stadium 6 screens.

On Saturday, February 25th, at 9:30am, FLIC and the Polson Rotary Club offer their traditional free animated children’s film (title TBA) and egg burrito breakfast. The Polson Rotary Club will serve breakfast in the Showboat Stadium 6 lobby beginning at 9:15am. Festival film screenings then resume at 12:30pm and continue on multiple screens into the evening. There will be a break in screenings from 4:30 to 6pm for an informal filmmaker/attendee mixer from 4:30-6pm at The Durham, located at 49494 US Highway 93, Polson.

On Sunday morning, March 26th at 9:30am, The Good Coffee Roasting Company, 214 Main Street, Polson, is hosting a light breakfast mixer for filmmakers and festival attendees — who can purchase a wide variety of drinks and delicious fresh baked food. This will provide a fun jumpstart to FLIC’s final day of weekend screenings.

The FLIC 2023 weekend draws to a festive close with an Awards cermonyand dessert reception from 5:30 to 6:30pm. The Audience Award will also be given to the FLIC audience’s overall favorite film. Free to the public. Location is the Showboat Stadium 6, located at 416 Main Street, Polson.

If you miss FLIC weekend, the Showboat Stadium 6 will host FLIC 2023 encore screenings from 7pm Sunday evening, February 26 through Thursday evening, March 2nd. The encore screenings schedule will be posted on FLICPolson.com in January.

All films, times and events are subject to change. In late January, the FLIC 2023 screening schedule will be available to view at FLICPolson.com, where festival passes and individual screening tickets may also be purchased. FLIC is also on Facebook, where information is updated regularly. Email: [email protected].