TCFF Spotlight: A Disturbance in the Force
Over the course of 10 days, October 19-28, 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 2023 Twin Cities Film Fest.
More than 140 films – including features, shorts, animation, and documentaries – will screen over the course of the festival, both in-person and online. In addition, a large number of directors, producers, and actors will walk the red carpet, present their films, and take part in Q&As and discussions about their work.
Over the course of TCFF 2023, 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: A Disturbance in the Force
Screening: 7:45 p.m., Thursday, October 26
If you looked around my apartment and spied the full-sized R2-D2 Diet Pepsi cooler, the 30+ Funko Pop! figures, the Chewbacca fleece blanket, or the vintage Darth Vader collector's case filled with early '80s Kenner figures (among the countless other artifacts currently taking up space), you'd probably have an easy time guessing what the most anticipated film on my 2023 TCFF watch list is.
Yes, I am a Star Wars fan as far back as I can remember - that includes the Ewoks cartoon series and made-for-TV movies. So, seeing a documentary about what is arguably the most divisive and infamous entry to the universe in this year's lineup had me as excited as a 5-year-old named Jared waiting to watch "Caravan of Courage."
Thankfully, the film's co-director, Jeremy Coon, took some time to share some info about the film in advance of its October 26 TCFF screening.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your film.
It’s a documentary about the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special.” It aired only once in 1978 and has become a cult favorite among Star Wars fans with a wide variety of opinions on it.
Q: Now tell us something about it that we might not be able to glean from the trailer or description.
The genesis of this film was getting answers to questions we had that no one else had really done a deep dive on. The context of 1970s variety television is so important. I was born in 1979, so didn’t really know how bad variety was at times. Much worse than the “Star War Holiday Special.” The film is kind of a time capsule of that time in history and it provides for a lot of laughs.
Q: If someone is only going to see one film at the Twin Cities Film Fest, why should it be this one?
Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not or don’t know much about the holiday special, we made this film for you for the sole purpose of having a great time in a theater laughing with people. The film seems to play to a much broader audience than I expected. Initially we were thinking it’s just for Star Wars fans, but we had people who are not Star Wars fans at all love the movie because of the ’70s TV angle and the story of the special. We’re still 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Q: Prior to TCFF, where has the film screened, and what has the response been so far?
The film premiered at SXSW in March, which was a perfect place to premiere. Since then, it’s played 13 other festivals, including Fantasia (Canada), Sitges (Spain), Heartland, and our final festival will be DOC NYC next month. The audience response has always been amazing and the support from fans since we started making this has been so helpful.
Q: What was it that drew you to submit your film for the Twin Cities Film Fest?
I was not familiar with Twin Cities until they reached out to me about submitting the film. I checked out their previous lineups and was very impressed with the films that had played in the years before. We’re very honored and happy to be part of the Twin Cities alumni now.
Q: What’s next for your film after this festival?
We’re planning on some limited theatrical screenings of the film in late November with digital release in early December. We intend to make a formal announcement with more details by Life Day on November 17, which is the 45th anniversary of the Star Wars Holiday Special airing on CBS so please look out for that. You can get the latest details on our website: www.HolidaySpecialDoc.com.