Sold out Crowd for Saving Snow


McCall Film Society starts eighth year of showing independent films

Star News THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2018

McCall Film Society starts eighth year of showing independent films

A visit to a library in Whistler, B.C., led Bill Thomas and Jacki Rubin to decide to bring independent films to McCall. Eight years later, the McCall Film Society continues to host the best in innovative filmmaking.

A scene from the mountain-climbing documentary “Metanoia,” which has been the best attended film of the McCall Film Society’s eight-year tenure when it was shown in 2015.

The society will show the climate-change film “Saving Snow” on Jan. 9, eight years after Thomas and Rubin discovered during a 2011 visit that the Whistler Public Library held monthly showings of new movies.

“We love movies and McCall did not have a movie theater anymore so we were looking for a way to bring movies to McCall,” said Thomas, a retired social worker and health care advocate at St. Luke’s McCall.

The couple connected with Film Movement, a New York City film distributor that had a program for libraries.

The McCall Public Library and then-director Anne Kantola agreed to sponsor the films, and the 100-seat Alpine Playhouse was rented as the venue. The society’s first film, the French comedy “Queen of Hearts,” was shown in January 2012.

Free tickets for the showings are quickly snapped up, but the most popular film was the November 2015 showing of the mountain-climbing documentary “Metanoia.” “We had to turn people away,” Thomas said.

“Inequality for All”, a film by American economist Robert Reich, drew over 100 people when it was shown in In January 2014

Like the Whistler library, the McCall showings tend to stay away from mainstream titles and seeks out independent and foreign films.

“We try to be topical and try to find movies that deal with the issues of the day,” said Rubin, a retired school teacher.

“We look for films that in some ways challenge the audience to think in a different way,” she said.

The group has received grants from the City of McCall tourism local-option tax to support its efforts as well as The Kit Worthington Foundation for the Arts, also known as The Gig.

The McCall library and current director Meg Lojek continues to sponsor the series.

The February film will be the Holocaust survivor movie “Bye Bye Germany,” and the showing in March will be he murder-courtroom mystery “The Third Murder.”

“Saving Snow”, Wednesday, January 9th- 7 pm at Alpine Playhouse

The McCall Film Society presents “Saving Snow” Wednesday, January 9th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse. “Saving Snow,” a 53-minute documentary on the heartbreaking story of our winters on life support. “Saving Snow” focuses on people coming to terms with climate change. But it also presents solutions. The film highlights individuals and organizations who are working to reduce their communities’ impacts on the environment and raise awareness of the need for action.

After the film we will have a panel discussion to comment on the film from local leaders in the ski industry and recreation: Ken Rider, General Manager at Brundage, Brad Larsen, General Manager at Tamarack, Kurt Wolf, founder of the McCall Remaster Nordic Ski Race and Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of McCall. In addition, we will have Hans-Peter Marshall, Associate Professor at Boise State University in the Department of Geosciences and other invited guests. 

“With all of my films, the goal is to make climate change concrete,” says filmmaker Diogo Freire of Adaptation Now. “I try to find specific examples of communities that are being affected—and also show how they’re responding.” A disappearing snow season is more than just a frustration for winter sports enthusiasts. It means lost income for the many towns and small businesses that depend on winter tourism and recreation to stay afloat.

The American Birkebeiner, the premier Cross Country Ski Race in the U.S. was cancelled in 2017 for the second time in its history due to spring like conditions that melted away the snow.  Birkie Executive Director Ben Popp, who features prominently in the film, says “’Saving Snow’ brings to life the realities we face if we don’t start to take climate change seriously at the policy level. I love snow, I love what it enables, I hope it is here like it should be for my grandkids!”.

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting   next Thursday, January 3rd until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free. 

2017 Birkie XC Ski Race cancelled due to lack of snow

“The Paris Opera”, Wednesday, November 7th, 7 pm at Alpine Playhouse

“The Paris Opera”

The McCall Film Society presents “The Paris Opera” Wednesday, November 7th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse. THE PARIS OPERA is an engaging, behind-the-scenes look at the whirlwind logistics that is needed to put together the breathtaking performances and events at one of the world’s most eminent institution.

This documentary by Jean-Stéphane Bron, a Swiss director, has the pace, the editing, the appearance, and the mood of a big-production drama….There are certain sequences in this doc that will lift your spirits up to the highest states of feeling that this art can reach.” – Charles Mudede, The Stranger. The LA Times say, “Covering an eventful artistic season, Jean-Stéphane Bron’s “The Paris Opera” is a well-observed vérité portrait of a major cultural institution. The fly-on-the-wall cameras peer into executive suite politics, rehearsals and the daily chores of hairdressers and laundry crew, and Bron achieves a rounded account,…” You do not have to be a Opera buff to be mesmerized by the difficulties human beings face in the creative process and team work that is required of us to produce such a highly valued work of art.

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting   next Thursday, November 1 until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free.

Review Hollywood Reporter

Review LA Times


“In Syria”, Wednesday, October 17- 7pm at Alpine Playhouse

“In Syria”, Wed. Oct. 17

“In Syria”, followed by a speaker,

Asmaa Albukaie, a Syrian Refugee

The McCall Film Society presents “In Syria” Wednesday, October 17th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse. The film depicts a Syrian woman who tries to protect her household from the raging war outside her apartment. After the showing Asmaa Albukaie a Syrian refugee will speak and take questions from the audience. 

“In Syria”, shows an extended family which is under siege from gun fire and explosions, and with the constant threat of looting or being discovered by soldiers, Oum Yazan, played by the extraordinary Palestinian actress, Hiam Abbass, tries to maintain a routine schedule of cleaning and meals, even scolding her pre-teen daughter for using too much water to shave her legs for the first time. In the span of 24 hours, we see an increase of danger and the household is forced to make incomprehensible moral decisions to keep each other alive.

Writer and Director, Phillpe Van Leeuw filming almost entirely inside an apartment building in Beruit, with a cast all drawn from war-torn countries, shares what life is like for Syrians living in constant terror of war. The Hollywood Reporter calls “In Syria”, “gripping from start to finish… A chilling, fast-moving study of a Syrian household under siege. 

Asmaa Albukaie who will speak after the film was born in Damascus, Syria. She was a graduate student in Library Science, when the war broke out in Syria in 2011. Asmaa was forced to flee Syria and sought refuge in Egypt with her two sons after her husband was killed in 2013. In Egypt she worked with a Church organization, helping other refugees.  Asmaa in 2014 was resettled in the United States, along with her two sons. She is celebrating the latest addition to her family, a month old son!  She is currently working with the Agency for New Americans as a case manager, assisting newly arrived refugees with their resettlement process.

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting   next Thursday, October 11 until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free.

Review by Variety

Interview with Director Phillpe Van Leeuw


Alzar School 4th Annual Foundation Film Festival Friday,

Oct. 13, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm,

Roxy Theatre, Cascade

(Adventure Shorts such as Shelter, I am Here, Run Wild Run Free and Scenic Rivers)

Click to Contact


“Jasper Jones”, Wednesday, Sept. 19- 7pm at Alpine Playhouse


The McCall Film Society’s Fall Series will start on Wednesday, September 19th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse with the film “Jasper Jones”, a film by Rachel Perkins, one of Australia’s leading directors. The film has been described as Australia’s answer to To Kill A Mockingbird, featuring a murder mystery which uncovers the overt and covert racism of a 1960’s Western Australian town.

JASPER JONES is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1969, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.

The Director, Rachel Perkins is a leading documentary film maker who has expanded her great skills to such breakaway hits as “Bran Nue Day” a 2009 Australian musical comedy-drama film that tells the story of the coming of age of an Aboriginal Australian teenager on a road trip in the late 1960s. Perkins has dedicated her body of work from TV drama series, documentaries like “First Nation” to feature film dramas like “Jasper Jones” to create great art that illuminates the history of Australia’s indigenous people and the discrimination her people have faced in her nation. 

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting   next Thursday, September 13th until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free. 


Guardian Review

Mountain Film Festival- Monday March 5, 7 pm Alpine Playhouse

The Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation is excited to announce that the Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour will be back in McCall @ Alpine Playhouse on Monday, March 5.
Mountainfilm on Tour brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the Mountainfilm festival held every Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado.  The evening features eleven short films of varying length that explore the themes connected to Mountainfilm’s mission: using the power of film, art, and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.
Tickets go on sale Valentine’s❤Day at Gravity Sports!  Adults $13/Students $10
The evening begins with a Pre-function and Raffle sales @ Broken Horn Brewing 5-6:30 pm.  Theater doors and more raffle sales continue at Alpine Playhouse @ 6pm.  Show begins 7:00 pm.  Show tickets will also be sold at door (if not sold out beforehand).
Preview our film lineup at:
Raffle items include:
YETI cooler/Weekend in Boise package/Winter Trip to Burgdorf/Lots of Outdoor Wear and Gear + More!
The Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation will be hosting the event, proceeds will go towards the stewardship efforts of the SBFC Foundation.
This film event is locally sponsored by:
  • May Hardware
  • Lakeview Chevron
  • Idaho Power
  • Pro-Active Physical Therapy
  • ProBuild
  • Erekson Law Office
  • Holiday Inn Express-The Hunt Lodge

“The Teacher”, Wednesday, February 14th- 7 pm at Alpine Playhouse

The McCall Film Society presents “ The Teacher”, Wednesday, February 14th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse, 1210 Roosevelt Ave., McCall. “The Teacher” is directed by Oscar Nominated Jan Hřebejk and loosely inspired by true events, the film is a very dark comedy about an elementary school teacher who uses her students to manipulate their parents for her own gain. Variety calls the film “An intelligent and universally resonant crowd-pleaser….”

The film takes place in a middle school classroom in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in 1983, a new teacher, asks each student to stand up, introduce themselves and tell her what their parents do for a living. It slowly becomes clear that the pupils’ grades are related to how willing their guardians are open to helping her out with her errands, her housecleaning, etc. After one of the students attempts suicide, however, the director of the school has no choice but to call for an emergency parents’ meeting to remove the teacher, but because the teacher is also a high-ranking official of the Communist Party, parents are hesitant to sign the petition.

“When I think of THE TEACHER, “ says Jan Hřebejk, the director, “I see it as a carefully organized and engrossing analysis of how a society can slowly grow numb and browbeaten to the point of losing hope of effecting any change at all. It is a film about how collective lethargy can lead to tragedy. And a film about the hope contained in refusing to stand idly by, about overcoming one’s own fears. This is something that I find extraordinarily topical, and if it is well filmed, it always will be!” –

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting Thursday, February 8th until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Additional tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free.

New York Times Review

Rotten Tomatoes Review

Interview with Director


“Bad Lucky Goat”- Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 – 7 pm at Alpine Playhouse

The McCall Film Society presents “ Bad Lucky Goat”, Wednesday, January 10th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse, 1210 Roosevelt Ave., McCall. “Bad Lucky Goat” is a comedy that takes place on a Caribbean island. Two incompatible teenage siblings embark on a day of comedic misadventures and a journey of reconciliation after accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father’s truck. Hollywood Reporter states “The light but evocative result proves as inviting as a gentle tropical breeze.”

“ Bad Lucky Goat” was an official selection of South by Southwest and BFI London Film Festival in 2017. The film was shot on location in Old Providence, a small island in the Colombian Caribbean. Due to its remote location, the island has remained intact to major development, making it the perfect place to shoot the film. On the island things are rusty, outdated and seem to be stuck in a time warp, factors that were used to our advantage to give the film a unique look. The Director Samir Oliveros was born in Bogota, Columbia and financed his first feature film by $60,000 contributions from kickstarter.

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting Thursday, January 4th until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Additional tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free.

Hollywood Reporter Review

Samir Olivero, Director



“I find it fascinating how even after being raised under the same roof, some siblings can be so different from one another. How they can live together for years sharing practically everything without really knowing each other.

That’s the case with Corn and Rita Denton. I wanted to create a situation where the characters would have to get out of their comfort zones and clash while under pressure, so they could see every aspect of each other’s personality. This journey takes the protagonists through a compelling adventure where they will have to work together to solve their problems.

I wanted to make an honest movie, while preserving the pristine conditions found on the island, dramatizing the situations the characters went through but keeping everything else in its natural state. The characters were be played by first-time actors, locations were not altered or majorly decorated, all dialogues are in Creole and the score only contains instruments found on the island.” – Samir Oliveros


Dolores: Rebel, Activist, Feminist, Mother, Wednesday October 25th- 7 pm at Alpine playhouse

Wednesday, October 25

Our second film as part of the McCall Film Society’s October Documentary Film Festival will be “ Dolores” Wednesday, October 25th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse, 1210 Roosevelt Ave., McCall. “Dolores” tells the story of Dolores Huerta one of the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez.
San Francisco Chronicle, David Talbot says the film is …..“exuberantly inspiring… makes you want to march and dance.” The movie has won numerous awards and was shown at Sundance Film Festival in 2017.

Dolores Huerta enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.

Peter Bratt, the Director of Dolores describes how this project started …..”Then one day, …..just like in the movies the phone rang. The person on the other end was rock music icon Carlos Santana. In a mysterious and quietly urgent voice he whispered,We need to make a documentary about sister Dolores, while she is still with us. There was little doubt in my mind that this was not so much a question as it was a cultural directive, an artist’s call to action from one storyteller to another to fulfill a historical obligation. Even in the silence immediately following his words, we both knew there was only one way for me to respond.”

Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting Thursday, October 19 until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Additional tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free.

Additional Information

Review Variety