March 18 is a fitting date for the Minnesota premiere showing of Lambent Fuse at St. Anthony Main (115 St. SE, Minneaplis). It’s only a day short of four years after Maple Grove natives Matt Cici and David Marketon first discussed their plan to make the feature independent film.
Everything between those two March dates—from the writing, planning, filming, post-production, promoting and film festival showings—has been a whirlwind, and the rewards of all the grueling work have been reaped near the tail end of it. Lambent Fuse was awarded Best Minnesota Feature and sold out within days at the Twin Cities Film Festival alongside the likes of Sundance Film Festival winner Like Crazy. Lambent Fuse also earned Best Drama Feature at the Highway 61 Film Festival.
But those showings were still just nearly-finished cuts. This is the finished film hitting the big screen at the March 18 premiere. “It’s unbelievable to even say that, since we've been working on it for so long,” says Cici, the film's director. “But I'm comfortable in saying ‘we're done,’ and we're very happy with the product.”
Lambent Fuse is a film exploring the choices of several characters that have various mental conditions and whose lives intertwine, and it’s presented in a non-chronological format. Cici admits it’s not exactly a “feel-good” movie. “It really challenges people and they enjoy that challenge,” he explains. “It's not something that's complicated to watch; it's just hard topics presented in a digestible way.”
The responses the Maple Grove duo has gotten from those who have seen the film at the festivals have varied, but have been rewarding for the most part.
“The response from those that have seen it astounds me every day," says Cici. "We couldn't be happier by hearing how much people enjoy the movie and are surprised that it was made in Minnesota with a micro-budget. And the reviews that are coming in from around the country are very rewarding.”
Along with showing the 99-minute-long film, the premiere event that starts at 6 p.m. will include a performance by local spoken word artist Kristoff Krane and a Q&A with the film’s cast and crew.
St. Anthony Main Theatre has 222 seats. At the Twin Cities Film Festival, Lambent Fuse sold out 170 seats in 12 days. “We’re filling up fast, so people shouldn’t wait,” Cici says. Tickets can be purchased now online.
Cici says they’re in the process of planning follow-up screenings across the state. They’re also gearing up to partner with schools to educate students on how to make a film in Minnesota, and mental health organizations on why mental illness is an important topic for today. Future events with their side project 'The Blaze,' which is aimed at integrating and showcasing the arts in Minnesota, are also in the works. Keep up with Lambent Fuse showings, plans and other news by signing up to receive emails.
See the past feature story I wrote about Cici, Marketon and Lambent Fuse here.