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  • Jared Huizenga

TCFF Spotlight: Hearts Want

Over the course of 11 days, October 18-28, film fans and filmmakers from across the country will descend upon the ShowPlace ICON Theatre at the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park for the 2017 Twin Cities Film Fest.

More than 120 films – including features, shorts, animation and documentaries – will screen over the course of the festival. In addition, a large number of directors, producers, and actors will walk the red carpet, present their films, attend the mixers and chat with fans about their work.

Over the course of TCFF 2017, we’ll be chatting with some of those filmmakers and stars to find out more about what they’re bringing to the TCFF screens.


Film: Hearts Want – The Ties That Bind Us (Relationships Short Block)

Showtimes: 12:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, and 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26


Ruth Maramis is no stranger to films or to the Twin Cities Film Fest. A fellow local film critic that has covered the festival extensively over the years, this year Ruth finds herself on the other side of things – as the writer and one of the producers on the short film “Hearts Want.”

Q: Tell us about “Hearts Want.”

“Hearts Want” is an indie romance about two former lovers, Lily and Jacques, who reunite in a play after seven years apart. Sparks fly once again, but a well-kept secret threatens to tear them apart, this time possibly for good.

I had written the feature script version of “Hearts Want” about a year and a half ago, which the short story is based on. Our lead actors Sam Simmons (Lily) and Peter Christian Hansen (Jacques) did the feature script reading back in January, and they agreed to reprise their roles in the short film. I had the privilege to work with a talented local filmmaker Jason P. Schumacher and MN-based crew. The fact that the story is actually set in the UK (but shot in Minneapolis), we’re also blessed with a female lead who’s originally from London.


Sam Simmons as Lily Brandon and Peter Christian Hansen as Jacques Laurent in “Hearts Want.”


Q: Where has the film screened and what has the audience reaction been like so far?

I had a private screening with cast/crew and a few close friends. Well, what I’ve heard so far is that they like the film. One feedback I kept getting is that they wanted to know more about the story and what happens to the characters, which I take as a good sign as the short is supposed to be a teaser to the full feature story, which we hope to make one day.

Q: What was the inspiration for the film?

As a big fan of Jane Austen, I was inspired by her novel “Persuasion.” I always think tales about long lost love and second chances are timeless and beautiful. I tend to gravitate toward stories that deal with the euphoria of being in love and juxtapose it with the sting of heartbreak. So for the short film, I was deeply inspired by classic films such as “Casablanca” and “Roman Holiday.” I was also inspired by a French theatre actor who becomes my muse for the male character Jacques. There’s a certain intrigue to the theatre world that placing a love story in that setting adds a layer of mystery and passion.

Q: You're no stranger to TCFF, but now you're seeing it from the other side of things. What has it been like to see things from the other side of the aisle?

Yes, I’ve had the privilege of talking to a bunch of filmmakers and being inspired by their work. So I guess I got the filmmaking bug over the years. Honestly, I have even more respect and admiration to people who work in this business, especially in the indie world, as many people have to juggle day jobs as they work on their project. I realize how much hard work it involves making a film, so it really does take a huge level of passion and perhaps a certain dose of madness to want to make films, but the experience is well worth the effort!

Q: If someone is only going to see one or two films at the Twin Cities Film Fest, why should they focus on “Hearts Want” and this block of shorts?

Well, I think relationship is a topic everyone can relate to. I think at one time in their lives, everyone has experienced something that’s portrayed in the films within the Ties That Bind Us short block.

As for “Hearts Want” specifically, well, it’s romance and fall is such a romantic time of year. Our short film offers something unique in that there’s a 1940s play-within-a-film that’s a big part of the plot. It’s like watching a period piece and a modern film in one, yet the story is timeless. I believe films should have a little bit of escapism factor, that it would transport you into another world … and I think our film does that in terms of story and visuals.

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