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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

SpIFF night 5 features dueling international duo

Though I have no access to festival records, I suspect that the Spokane International Film Festival had a record-breaking weekend. Last time I saw festival director Pete Porter, he was smiling as he sleepwalked — which is a good sign.

Every screening I attended was packed, and I was lucky to get seats at the Magic Lantern shows — even during the shorts programs. On Sunday, in fact, Prof. Porter shifted the screening of the Cambodian documentary feature "River Changes Course" to the Lantern's small house to accommodate the large crowd that showed up for the Finnish documentary "Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys."

Who knew so many local film fans were interested in Finnish reindeer wranglers?

And on Saturday night, the Garland rocked when the "Transolar Galactica" crew showed up and screened its "Origins" episodes, which serve as a bridge between Season One and the group's forthcoming, Kickstarter-sponsored Season Two.

The festival continues tonight with two screenings at the Magic Lantern: the Georgian coming-of-age feature "In Bloom" at 6:30 in the 100-seat large house, the Phillipines crime drama "On the Job" at 6:45 in the 30-seat smaller house. Click here for information on how to purchase tickets, or call (509) 720-7743.

And if you see Prof. Porter, toss a few Milk Duds his way. That always works to keep him alert.