Explore Wisconsin's Flyway Film Festival

By Daniel Rose
Special to TravelWisconsin.com

The Flyway Film Festival is one of western Wisconsin’s unique events, but it isn’t just the 50 films screened every year that make it stand out. The fest’s distinctive venues are what make it special, and the best way to explore them is through the lens of famous film genres. So sit back, grab some popcorn and start planning your trip to the Flyway Film Festival.

The Mystery

A truly great mystery shocks you around every turn and just when you think you have it figured out, a new twist surprises you. Nothing is what it seems in a mystery movie. The Widespot Performing Arts Center, one of the Flyway Film Festival’s screening venues, embodies the soul of a great mystery. The center’s mission is to constantly challenge and surprise their audience with a wide sampling of the arts. Come for a great film and be sure to also check out the center’s first-floor attraction (typically a gallery).

What to eat: Enjoy something unexpected at The Stockholm Pie Company. With a large menu of homemade pies you’re sure to find a pie you’ve never tried before, like their Blackberry Apple!

The Documentary

Documentaries and wine have a lot in common. Both take time to mature and develop. Both require a refined palette to truly appreciate. And, perhaps most importantly, both documentaries and wine are grounded in an honest appreciation for life’s beauty. It is in turn quite fitting that Pepin’s Villa Bellezza Winery is another of the Flyway Film Fest’s three screening venues. In addition to catching a film at the Villa Bellezza, be sure to leave yourself some time for a winery tour and tasting.

Where to stay: The Historic Stockholm Hotel offers guests staying for the Flyway Film Festival a beautiful location and a slice of Wisconsin history. The hotel register was established in 1914 and can still be viewed today.

The Road Film

Road films have been a staple of American cinema since the 1960s and are unsurprisingly characterized by a journey. So regardless of whether you’re more like Bonnie and Clyde or the family of misfits in Little Miss Sunshine, you should feel confident ending your own journey at the Pepin Village Hall. The Flyway Film Fest’s micro-cinema is set up here and offers a unique and intimate location to watch independent film.

Where to stay: If the prospect of great film in a unique venue isn’t enough to convince you to hit the road for Pepin, then picturesque accommodations at the Pepin Cottage will. After a day traveling and a night watching film curling up next to a fireplace will bring your trip to a perfect close.

The Romantic Comedy

A good rom-com is fun, cute and leaves you walking away with a smile on your face. The Flyway Minema, one of the venues of the Flyway film festival, is easily the romantic comedy of the event. Located at right on the shores of Lake Pepin, the Minema possesses an earnest optimism that couples with a wonderful intimacy and gives the small theater an undeniable charm. Stop by the Filmmaker’s lounge and you’ll probably be lucky enough to find another cinema lover eager to discuss the last film. 

Where to eat: The whimsical Harbor View Café is located right down the street and has been serving great food since 1980. Twice daily, the Harbor View posts a unique menu on their chalkboard, but whatever you choose to order, don’t miss out on their homemade soups!

This entry was posted in Fairs & Festivals Events Arts and Culture