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  • Jared Huizenga

TCFF Day 6: Tender Times with K/Cathy & C/Kathy

The cast of “Blue Balloons” has their red carpet moment prior to the film’s Monday night world premiere. (Photo by Jared Huizenga)


For all I know, the women surrounding me Monday night were actually named Tammy and Karen, but for some reason they struck me as Cathys. Or Kathys.

Either way you’d know how to spell their names because they also struck me as the type to announce instantaneously whether it spelled with a C or K … without being prompted to do so.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Me, K/Cathy, and C/Kathy – and an auditorium full of other people’s whose names I haven’t yet had the time to make up – were on hand for the world premiere of the locally-produced drama “Blue Balloons,” which follows a family caring for a loved one with terminal cancer as it adapts to the illness and the changes to the family dynamics.

In my section – mostly women my mom’s age – there weren’t many dry eyes to be found. The film resonated with many, leaving them misty-eyed and reminiscing about their own families’ battles with disease. A select few were reduced to sobbing puddles. And one woman – tragically positioned in the seat next to me – became unable to contain her sneezing due to the excessive crying.

I wasn’t nearly as moved as those people, but I was quite impressed by writer/director Emily Troedson’s ability to elicit such a reaction from so many.

That wasn’t, however, the only film I took in on Day 6 of TCFF 2017.

I started my afternoon off with the documentary “Legends of the Road,” which was actually shot back in the late 1990s. The story featured a group of teenage baseball players and students from Seattle as they planned, funded, and implemented a project to ride bikes 5,000+ miles from Seattle to Kansas City, following a path set forth by barnstorming baseball teams.

Capping it off was Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which was a big part of the film.

But the showstopper of the day was without question “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

My full review will wait until closer to the film’s release date, but WOW. Funny, politically incorrect, powerful, and filled with jaw-dropping individual performances – particularly those of Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, who I expect can already start planning what to wear to the Academy Awards.

It’s in theaters on November 10 … I suggest you mark it on your calendar now. It’s that good.

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