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John Lamb, Published February 28 2010

Festival favorites

With more than 130 submissions to this year’s Fargo Film Festival, which works are organizers most excited to see?

“The Tourists” by Malcolm Sutherland didn’t win the animated category (though it did get honorable mention), but judge Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson calls it “beautiful … a sketchbook musing of beach-side vacationers. It’s gorgeous and grotesque, and I love Sutherland’s subtle humor.”

Animation chair Greg Carlson agrees.

“Even though it has not received as much attention as some of the other movies, it is a miniature masterpiece of hilariously grotesque character work,” he says.

Carlson is curious about the Tlingit artist documentary “From the Spirit: Preston Singletary,” one of two artist profiles directed by Bill Stewart and Raymond Yakaleya.

Documentaries are featured on Thursday, and Fargo Theatre Executive Director Margie Bailly says she’s been “haunted” by the Lyme disease documentary “Under Our Skin,” and the controversy about treating it.

A panel of doctors, including Bailly’s husband, Richard, a neurologist, and the film’s subject, Jordan Fisher Smith, will talk about the film and treatments that afternoon.

Emily Beck, the Fargo’s film events coordinator, is looking forward to two narrative shorts.

She says Marc Kess’ noir offering “Mildred Richards” “brought radio’s glory days to the silver screen” and calls Rob Connolly’s comedy about deer ornaments that spontaneously combust “charming.”

One narrative Kristjansson-Nelson is looking forward to is her Minnesota State University Moorhead student Alex Welgraven’s “Dawn Escapes,” which she calls “a narrative told through stunning cinematography” from last year’s Minnesota Film and Television Board’s MSUM Filmmaker’s Grant recipient.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533