Lee: So since it is well below freezing outside and well below zero for what seems like the next few days or months or foreseeable future, Doug and I, the Great River Guys thought what better time to talk to the folks at the Frozen River Film Festival and their director Crystal Hegge.
Doug: Yeah, no problem with the Frozen River part of things this year, Crystal, but it was Leeís crazy idea to sit outside here right by the river and talk to you.
Lee: Well, itís not the Cozy Fireside Film Festival, now is it? So, Crystal, tell us about this seasonís festival.
Doug: But hurry, because my knees are already numb.
Lee: Donít worry about him, Crystal. You take your time. Tell us when the festival is, how many films, that sort of thing.
Crystal: I think there is some discussion in renaming the festival to the Cozy Fireside Film Festival. We will have to wait on that decision. For now the Frozen River Film Festival is at the end of January, the 22nd through the 26th. We have almost 60 films playing over the course of the week! There truly is something for everyone.
Lee: Cool, and what was the thinking behind FRFF, whoís idea was it, and how did it get started?
Doug: Did you actually just say cool? Whoís idea was it to hold an interview in the freezing cold?
Lee: Is your name Crystal?
Doug: Give me five more minutes out here and it should be.
Crystal: The idea for the film festival was brought forth by a farmer in Iowa. He brought the idea to a group of us in Winona back in 2005. After a little persuading, we thought we would give it a try. We are now in the 9th year!
Lee: Great, so it was all a film loving farmer from Iowaís idea. That is wonderful. The festival is three days. Do you have to go to all the films or can you go to just one or two?
Doug: I say see as many as you can, stay inside, keep warm.
Lee: Not a bad idea, Doug, so then how do the tickets work?
Crystal: If your plan is to see all the films, which is a good idea, especially if itís as cold as it is today, you can purchase a full festival pass for $60. If youíre planning to catch an individual film set in between ice fishing and skiing, then you can pop in for $8. Children 14 and under are free.
Lee: So, Great River Shakespeare Festival and Frozen River have a wonderful shared history. We both have been a part of each otherís programming now for some time. Am I right?
Crystal: Yes, it started a few years back when we started screening docs during the Shakespeare event and then picking films on Shakespeare to feature at the festival in January.
Doug: And this year, we continue with a showing of Muse of Fire, which is a great film all about how Shakespeare has inspired countless people, some famous, some not, including Dame Judy Dench and the great Mark Rylance. We are so excited to be sponsoring this film as part of your festival.
Lee: Hey, Crystal, Frozen River, just like Great River Shakespeare, depends on volunteers and sponsors to make so much of your festival happen. Am I right?
Doug: Yes, tell us all about how that works. Is it too late to volunteer?
Crystal: Of course itís not too late. We have a number of shifts left, which you can see by going to our website FrozenRiver.org. By volunteering four or more hours, you will receive a full festival pass and a limited edition volunteer T-shirt.
Lee: And I hear if you signed up to volunteer early enough you get one of the coolest T-shirts in town.
Doug: Hope they are long sleeved; thatís all I have to say.
Crystal: You can still receive a t-shirt but we canít guarantee your size because we had to put the order in.
Lee: So thanks so much for sitting down here by the Frozen River and telling us all about your film festival. We have time for just one more question before my hands are too numb to write anymore. What is the one other thing that we should know about 2014ís Frozen River Film Festival?
Crystal: Donít forget to vote for your favorite film! We hand out a cash award to the filmmaker that receives the Peopleís Choice Award sponsored by HBC! That makes a real difference for these filmmakers, not only the cash but the recognition.
Lee: Wonderful. Well. Iím sorry I canít feel my hands anymore but if you want more information just head over to their website www.frozenriver.org.
Doug: Give us a week to thaw out, and we will be telling you about one of the most romantic events ever in the history of Winona. And you have a chance to be there. See you next week!