Friday Flicks • Riverside Saginaw Film Festival Spearheads Successor Program to Former Valley Film Society

    icon Sep 21, 2023
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Fans of independent and foreign cinema, arthouse films, and French comedies will now have a regular gathering place to engage their more specialized tastes for independent filmmaking spanning the globe, as the Riverside Saginaw Film Festival and Public Libraries of Saginaw have announced a joint-partnership that will serve as a successor program to the former Valley Film Society Series.

Beginning on Friday, October 13th, this brand new film series titled Friday Flicks will begin screening a monthly series of films at Butman Fish Library, which is located at 1716 Hancock St. in Saginaw. All films are free to the public and no reservations are needed, with coffee provided.

According to Riverside Saginaw Film Festival Chairwoman, Irene Hensinger, the former Valley Film Society, which previously scheduled a similar program at Saginaw Valley State University for many years, stopped the series right after the pandemic. 

“Issues pertaining to venue and film rights got complicated,” she explains, “so they came to me as a representative of Riverside to donate what little money they had left to Riverside, which got me thinking about how we could continue the series with the cost of paying a venue and securing film rights, so we approached the Public Libraries of Saginaw because they have a license to show these types of films as an educational entity. They can’t charge money to show the films, but they dn’t have to pay to show them either. Graciously, they were willing to provide the space at Butman Fish to continue this series showcasing world-class art and Indie films.”

The screening room at Butman-Fish is capable of accommodating up to 50 people, and because the films start at 2:00 PM, Hensinger feels that even in the winter months when people get out of the movie, they’ll still be able head a few blocks over to Fuzzy’s Diner to talk about the movie, or go out to dinner at any of the restaurants populating the Old Town Saginaw Entertainment district.

“This offers the region a new entertainment alternative,” concludes Hensinger. “It doesn’t cost anybody any money, including the people coming to see the movies; and I like to think of this as ‘Valley Film Society 2.0’. Although we won’t be showing brand new films like we do with our Riverside Fall & Spring Film Festivals, we will be using the same standard with film selections, which is based upon film ratings and critic’s reviews, although we will also be shying away from documentaries and trying to offer more  lighter fare for this ‘Friday Flicks’ series.”

Here’s the Schedule:

October 13, 2023                              An Impossible Love   2018 Drama Romance    French

A chronicle of the unconditional love between mother and daughter from 1958 to present day, which is endangered by an unsteady and manipulative father.

December 1, 2023                          The Bookshop            2017     English drama

In 1959, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop in an East Anglian town.  14 wins, 23 nominations.

December 22, 2023              Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom and Charm School          2005  USA   drama

A widowed man’s life turns upside down when he embarks on a journey to find a dying man’s long-lost love.

January 12, 2024                                 Bright Days Ahead         2013 French

Caroline has retired and realizes that this new freedom is synonymous with boredom. Especially when she receives a membership to her neighborhood’s senior club. Reluctant at first, she nevertheless decides to take the plunge.

February 2, 2024                                 Igby Goes Down            2002 Comedy Drama          USA

A young man’s peculiar old-money upbringing renders him unable to competently cope with the struggle of growing up. Stars Susan Saradon and Clare Danes..

February 23, 2024                              Mystery of Henri Pick     Drama Comedy 2019   French

An editor discovers a novel that she considers to be a masterpiece in a library whose particularity is to collect the manuscripts refused by publishers. The text is signed  “Henri Pick”, a Breton pizza maker who died two years earlier.

March 15, 2024                                    Mao’s Last Dancer     2009 Drama

In Maoist China, a boy is taken from his family and trained to become a dancer, but everything he knows is challenged when he is chosen to attend a ballet summer school in Houston, Texas.     

April 5, 2024                                          Casting By       2012 Documentary

The surprising, never-before-told tale of the indispensable yet unsung casting director- iconoclasts whose exquisite taste and gut instincts redefined Hollywood. 250 interviews including Al Pacino, Martin Scorcese, Diane Lane.

May 10, 2024                                         My Family   1995 Drama

A man makes his way from Mexico to Los Angeles in the 1920s, gets married and raises a big family there. Follows the children until they get married and start their families in the 1960s. Stars Jimmy Smits.

May 31, 2024                                          The Disaster Artist     2017 Biography comedy drama

When aspiring actor Greg Sestero meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

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