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The cold, dark days of January will be brightened with up with color and music every Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with The Matthews Opera House and Arts Center 20th Foreign Film Festival. This year’s theme is movies from India – featuring Bollywood fun and classic Indian stories. Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India. Individual tickets are $8 general admittance or patrons may purchase a Producer’s Pass for $25. Each pass has four admittances which can be used in any combination and must be purchased in advance.

JAN 5

JAN 5

Jon Steven Wiley, Foreign Film Festival event chairperson, is responsible for putting together this event. “We wanted something special for the 20th year of the festival, and I think we have found it with our Bollywood theme. Bollywood movies take the viewer to the extremes. The humor of a situation might be played up alongside a subplot of drama, just as it is in real life. Real life may not have people dancing and singing in the street, but it exemplifies the energy of the Indian culture.

“We are excited about our selections this year. Two of the features are variations of Western-themed movies. And two Bollywood films are different in that they are really shows within shows, which gives the screenwriter license to go beyond and still stay within the confines of the plot. Since moving the Foreign Film Festival to the Opera house, we have had themes to explore. We hope to share the excitement and color and sounds of the Bollywood movies, and let people see why films produced here are the most prolific on the planet,” adds Wiley.

This year’s Foreign Film Festival is sponsored by The Big Read. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The program’s goal is to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and encourage everyone to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The novel that is being read in Spearfish this year is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, a story about a family that moves from Calcutta, India, to the United States.

ADDED BONUS: Giveaway of original handpainted Bollywood Poster

MOVIES

In support of The Big Read programming, Foreign Film Festival 2014 will be featuring four exceptional movies made in India. The festival kicks off with Bride and Prejudice (in English) on January 5th . This film puts a Bollywood twist on Jane Austen’s classic tale, Pride and Prejudice. The film Om Shanti Om (with English subtitles) is playing on January 12th. It’s the story of a

JAN 26

JAN 26

1970’s actor who dies suspiciously and is reincarnated in the present day; he begins searching for answers and the love of his previous life. Monsoon Wedding (in English) premieres on January 19th, a heartfelt tale of a family and the preparations for an arranged marriage in India. The festival finishes on January 26th with Billu Barber (with English subtitles). This is a powerful film of friendship between the Indian culture deities Krishna and Sudama with an interesting twist.

Refreshments including popcorn, soft drinks, beer, and wine will be available for purchase during each event. Beverages may be taken into the theatre. Tickets are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased at the art gallery or by phone Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 605-642-7973. The Matthews Opera House and Arts Center is located at 612 Main St., in Spearfish.