The Twin Cities Film Festival features Alexander Payne’s The Leftovers and the Minnesota-shot Downtown Owl.

The Minnesota-shot film is coming home, with the Oscar contender making its local premiere at this year’s Twin Cities Film Festival, which runs Oct. 19-28.

“Downtown Owl,” based on the novel by Chuck Klosterman, will be the closing night film at the festival’s Showplace Icon home in St. Louis Park. The drama, which premiered in June at the Tribeca Film Festival, filmed in the spring of 2022 in St. Paul (including Highland Park High School and the Spot Bar), New Market Elko and Independence.

Ed Harris, Lily Rabe (who is co-directed by Hamish Linklater) and Vanessa Hudgens star in Downtown, which is set in the fictional town of Owl, North Dakota. an old-timer (Harris) who meets with buddies at a bar, and a schoolteacher (Rabe) who is trying to forget her troubles there. Rabe learned about Klosterman’s novel when she was hired to speak for his audiobook.

Coincidentally, Harris’ real-life wife, Amy Madigan, also just finished filming the Minnesota-shot film Rebel Girl.

The Oscar contender is Alexander Payne, who has already won two Oscars for his screenplays for Sideways and The Descendants. Payne has reunited with Sideways star Paul Giamatti for The Leftovers, which opens on October 19. It’s about an irritable school principal (Giamatti) who ends up spending Christmas break with a troubled student. and a grieving cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph).

Another film being touted at the Oscars is the melodrama Enemy, released October 23, in which Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal play a couple whose marriage breaks down when he is invited to participate in a long space mission and she is asked to spend time apart from the replicant. And Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (“Hustle and Flow”) will appear on October 27 and 28 to receive the TCFF Indie Vision Legacy Award, attend a screening of his film Showdown in the Great Hall, and participate in a conversation about his work.

Other films at the festival include writer-director Andrew Hay’s All of Us Strangers, which received positive reviews when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival; A Little Prayer starring David Strathairn; and “Nails,” starring Jesse Buckley and “Bear” star Jeremy Allen White.

Local films featured include “Winter Love,” written and directed by star Rihanna Yazzie, which premiered last year in Minneapolis/St. Louis. Polovsky International Film Festival. TCFF’s “Changemaker” series will highlight films that highlight health care disparities in the United States.

Festival tickets ranging from $55 (for streaming) to $165, as well as individual tickets ranging from $9 to $20, are on sale now. Some shows are free. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit

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