The Forum is the premier gathering for independent filmmakers in the Midwest and provides a unique opportunity for local filmmakers to learn from and meet industry leaders and innovators.

Past Forum guests include Oscar and Emmy winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice; The Times of Harvey Milk); Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper; producers Christine Vachon (Carol), Mary Jane Skalski (The Station Agent), Effie T. Brown (Dear White People), Musa Syeed (A Stray), Nekisa Cooper (Pariah), Mynette Louie (Land Ho!), and Julia Rask (Smitten); directors David Zellner (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter), Justin Simien (Dear White People), Annie Sundberg (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work), and Remy Auberjonois (Blood Stripe); screenwriters Michael Starrbury (When They See UsThe Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete) and Ken Rance (New in Town); and industry experts from a wide variety of companies including SAG-AFTRA, The ExchangeCinereach, Nantucket Screenwriting ColonySundance InstituteTribeca Film Festival, and more.


FilmNorth launched the Forum in 2000 in partnership with Minneapolis Community and Technical College to encourage and support the creation of independent films outside of Los Angeles and New York City, something we’ve always believed is vital to the future of independent American cinema. Because our mission to develop and maintain film activity in the Midwest requires ongoing education from and interaction with the greater film industry, FilmNorth continues to invite top independent film directors, producers, and industry professionals to share their knowledge, vision, experiences, advice, and encouragement with our film community.