It’s been an amazing and eventful year at FilmNorth-both for us and our talented members.
In September we brought back our Annual Party, which honored filmmakers Craig Laurence Rice and John Carroll Lynch. It was a thrill to see our film community come together and celebrate not only our honorees but the Minnesota filmmaking family.
At our party we unveiled our shiny, new name, FilmNorth-a change that was long in the making and, we feel, better represents our unique community to the state, the region, and the nation. We hope you like it, too!
We had our 5th collaboration with the Sundance Institute, presenting a day-long Sundance Creative Distribution Workshop that took the place of our annual Filmmaker Conference (which will return in 2018!). We’ve just formalized a deal to present four more Sundance workshops, on a variety of topics, over the next 2 years-starting with a Sundance Shorts Lab in early April 2018 (stay tuned for dates and more details).
Our members continued to achieve wonderful things. In Sundance news, both Lyle Mitchell Corbine and E.G. Bailey had short films in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Lyle went on to be selected for the prestigious Sundance Labs, while E.G. was named one of 25 Filmmakers to Watch by Filmmaker Magazine. And producer Kellen Quinn was selected for the Sundance Labs as well, hot off the success of his documentary Brimstone & Glory. Woo hoo!
We presented a staged reading of our inaugural Screenwriting Residency winner, Andy Froemke’s The Lowrie Gang, and awarded the 2017 Residency to Matthew Dressel for his screenplay The Other Man (with its staged reading to take place at 2018 MSPIFF). We also awarded a new class of McKnight Media Arts Fellowships to Rini Yun Keagy, Naomi Ko, Keri Pickett and Brennan Vance. Congratulations to all! FYI, applications will open soon for the 2018 McKnight Fellowships.
We’re so proud of the platform that our Marsden/Gustafson Gallery provides to diverse artists and voices-as it continues to honor the lives, spirits and legacies of Ann Marsden and Gus Gustafson. Please check out our next show, an exhibition of selected works submitted to our recent mobile photography competition, The North, opening January 12th.
Our Fiscally Sponsored projects keep impressing us with their inspired filmmaking and business/fundraising acumen, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, combined. There are many amazing projects that will soon be shared with the world.
2017 saw record attendance for our Film Independent Spirit Awards screening series-done in partnership with Film Independent and the Walker Art Center. The 2018 screening series will be here in just a few weeks, starting January 9th. With another fantastic line-up we look forward to breaking our record again!
Cinema Lounge continued under the great leadership of programmer Valerie Deus and host Joshua Carlon. A special thank you to the Bryant Lake Bowl for their continued support of this Minnesota-made showcase. And speaking of showcases, MNTV broadcast Minnesota-made short films throughout the State for another year. Submissions for the 2018 MNTV program will open soon.
FilmNorth classes hit another record year for enrollment. A huge thank you to Education/Deputy Director Reilly Tillman and all of our talented and dedicated instructors for their fantastic work.
Our Youth Programs continued their meaningful work, creating the next generation of media artists through our After School Programs, In-school Residencies and Summer Camps. A shout out to Youth Program Director Deacon Warner, Lizzie Hutchins, Instructors, Mentors and Interns who share their skills with everyone in these programs.
A special thanks to FilmNorth’s dedicated staff, Board of Directors and volunteers-you make coming to work each day meaningful and fun. I look forward to all that we can achieve together in 2018.
Wishing you all Happy Holidays,