News & Events
A 2017 Year-End Message from Executive Director Melodie Bahan
The end of the calendar year is a time for reflection and taking stock. At Minnesota Film & TV, this has been a year of transition, challenges, and planning.
After several years of strong support for the Snowbate incentive program, the Minnesota legislature drastically cut our incentive funds from $5 million to $500,000 for the current fiscal year, which began July 1.
We are already beginning the hard work needed to get those funds restored, and we’ll do everything we can to work with the legislature and the Department of Employment and Economic Development before the next budgeting year in 2019.
While these funding cuts are an enormous challenge for Minnesota’s production industry and for our office, and bad news for the state’s economy, it is also an opportunity for change.
Since becoming executive director in July, I have worked with our amazing staff and dedicated board of directors to examine our mission and evaluate the ways we support and promote the film and television industry in Minnesota. I’ve been doing a lot of listening and learning, meeting with local filmmakers, production professionals, government and elected officials, network and studio representatives, leaders of allied organizations, and more.
Despite the challenges we face, I am incredibly optimistic about the future of our industry and how we can respond to the challenges. We are currently evaluating every aspect of Minnesota Film & TV’s operations, including:
- The story we are telling at the legislature
- The true economic impact of our industry
- The services we offer filmmakers
- The training and educational opportunities that exist for our industry
- How we market Minnesota as a location
- How we can partner with other organizations in the community
As we look ahead, we are mindful of how two movements, and their corresponding hashtags, have shifted the paradigm of the industry recently. Beginning in 2015 with #OscarsSoWhite in response to the lack of diversity in film, and exploding this year with #MeToo in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against studio heads and powerful actors, Hollywood has been forced to examine whose stories are considered worth telling and who has the power to tell them.
But we can’t assume that these are simply Hollywood problems. Minnesota can have an impact on the future of film and television.
We are determined to grow our production industry and promote the economic development and job creation that comes with attracting production to the state. And just as importantly, we want our state to set an example by helping Minnesota filmmakers – from Duluth to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis, from St. Paul to the White Earth Nation – tell Minnesota stories.
I often cite three examples of projects that are leading the way in telling Minnesota stories.
- On the Minnesota-made feature film front, Remy Auberjonois and Kate Nowlin’s Blood Stripe explored the difficult challenges faced by a marine sergeant returning home to Minnesota. After winning numerous awards, including Best Film at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Breakthrough Achievement at the Twin Cities Film Festival, it was released theatrically in 2017 to rave reviews. Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan wrote, “Made with passion, integrity and skill and starring Kate Nowlin as a Marine sergeant returning home with PTSD, this is American independent filmmaking at its most effective.” Remy and Kate are using the film as a platform to bring needed attention to specific challenges women veterans face.
- In the television world, Minnesota’s animation talent is getting the attention of the rest of the country. Shadi Petosky and Mike Owens’ Danger & Eggs follows D.D. Danger and her best friend Phillip, a giant talking egg, on hilarious adventures. Picked up by Amazon in 2017, the Minneapolis Star Tribune TV critic Neal Justin wrote that the show is “infused with a progressive spirit inspired by its Minnesota roots. One adventure, in which D.D. and Phillip disrupt an outdoor festival, is based on family-friendly Pride weekends in the Twin Cities area,” while The Advocate wrote that it “might just be the queerest thing on TV.”
- Director E.G. Bailey’s short film New Neighbors, starring Sha Cage, was selected for the Sundance Film Festival in early 2017 and has been winning awards at festivals across the globe. The film tells the story of what an African-American mother will do to keep her sons safe in their new white neighborhood.
Those a just a few of the thousands of stories we have to tell, and I look forward to working with everyone in Minnesota’s production community to help create a strong and supportive climate in which we can send our stories out into the world.
Happy New Year!
Please join us for an intimate breakfast celebrating Made in Minnesota film and television
Who's who in Minnesota film and television? Too many to name. But three Minnesota media notables will make an appearance at a special fundraising breakfast for Minnesota Film & Television on Wednesday, December 20, at the American Swedish Institute.
- The Minnesota-made feature Blood Stripe is making headlines for its "honest, authentic portrayal" of a combat veteran's return home (LA Times). Minnesotan Kate Nowlin co-wrote and starred in the film. She and the film's co-writer and director, Remy Auberjonois, will join us at the breakfast, where you can ask them about the stunning success of their film and its lasting impact.
- Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), has been a strong supporter of the Minnesota film and television industry. Her support becomes ever more crucial as we approach the next legislative session.
We're thrilled that these distinguished guests can join us at the breakfast. We hope you can, too!
Date: Wednesday, December 20
Time: 8:00 AM
Place: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis
Click here for tickets
Thank you for your generous support!
The event is sponsored by Roepke Public Relations.
Melodie Bahan named one of The TCB 100: People to Know in 2018
Each year, Twin Cities Business names 100 movers and shakers who will have the biggest impact on the region’s economy and corporate community in the coming year. We're proud to say that Minnesota Film & TV's Melodie Bahan is on the list.
For the full article, click here.
DRINK BEER, SEE A MOVIE, AND SUPPORT MINNESOTA’S FILM INDUSTRY
Free "Beerfest" Screening October 12 at Summit Brewing Offers Cult Classic and Stupid Fun
Minnesota Film and Television hosts a free outdoor screening of the cult comedy classic "Beerfest" at Summit Brewing in Saint Paul on October 12, from 5:30-10 pm, with special guest Erik Stolhanske, one of the creators and stars of the film. The screening is free of charge and a percentage of beer sales will support the work of Minnesota Film and Television.
The screening will take place outdoors on the patio and grounds of Summit’s headquarters at 910 Montreal Circle in Saint Paul. If weather is inclement, screening will take place inside at Summit’s Beer Hall. Doors open at 5:30pm for beer sales and food will be available from local food trucks.
"Beerfest" is a broad comedy about two hapless American brothers and their friends attempting to win an underground beer competition in Germany. The film stars Minnesota Film and Television’s board member Erik Stolhanske whose comedy group, Broken Lizard, has developed devoted fans for their films like "Beerfest" and "Super Troopers." Stolhanske has written, produced and starred in all of Broken Lizards’ films including "Puddle Cruiser," "Super Troopers," and "Club Dread." He has also appeared in the films "The Onion Movie," "The Sweetest Thing," and "Watching The Detectives" as well as on television in HBO’s "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Six Feet Under."
Stolhanske and Broken Lizard’s "Super Troopers 2" is due for release in April 2018.
Stolhanske will introduce the movie before the 7:00 screening and provide a sneak peek of "Super Troopers 2." He will be available for a Q & A after the screening.
"'Beerfest' is a movie about national pride, what it takes to be a champion... and beer," said Stolhanske. "We're still amazed that we were able to get Oscar level actors like Cloris Leachman, Mo'Nique, Donald Sutherland and Jurgen Prochnow in such a goofy sports parody movie."
The film will be shown outside with park-style seating; bringing blankets or chairs is recommended. A full range of Summit beers will be available by the pint with a valid ID. "Beerfest" is an R-rated film not recommended for younger viewers.
Come visit us during our monthly First Friday Open Office!
MN Film & TV is starting a monthly First Friday afternoon open house at our office, in the Designers Guild Building in downtown Minneapolis. We're hoping it will be a chance for an ongoing "town hall" discussion in the production community.
We'll rustle up some cookies and put on a pot of coffee. The overarching theme is "jobs in the Minnesota production industry." And anything else you'd like to discuss, from the ridiculous to the sublime.
If you have topics you'd like to address but can't make it to a Friday afternoon event, please let us know at email@example.com or 612-767-0095.
When: First Friday of every month, 1pm - 3pm
Where: 401 North Third Street, Suite 245, Minneapolis
Town Hall Meeting August 17, 2017
Minnesota Film & Television invites the public to a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, August 17th, for a Q & A with our new executive director, Melodie Bahan. Everyone is welcome!
WHEN: 5:30 - 7:00, Thursday, August 17
WHERE: IFP Minnesota, Vandalia Tower, 550 Vandalia St., Saint Paul
WHO: Everyone in the Minnesota production community
WHAT: A chance to hobnob, network, and talk about media production in Minnesota
Lake Monster Brewing Company is in the same building. See you there after the meeting!
Image of "LOL" neon art at Vandalia Tower from First & First
New film board director hopes to land big movies, prestige TV for Minnesota
Read Star Tribune reporter Erika Rivera's interview with incoming Minnesota Film & TV executive director Melodie Bahan here.
Minnesota Film and TV welcomes Melodie Bahan as new executive director
Minnesota Film and TV is delighted to announce that Melodie Bahan has been appointed executive director.
With nearly three decades of nonprofit management, combined with public affairs and fundraising experience, Ms. Bahan is a consummate leader with the background and skills to lead the organization effectively. Ms. Bahan will take over MNFilmTV on June 26, succeeding Lucinda Winter, who is stepping down after 11 years.
Ms. Bahan’s professional experience includes serving as vice president, communications for Artspace Projects, the Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization that develops live/work spaces for artists; director of communications for the Guthrie Theater, the renowned cultural destination for theater performance; and various public affairs positions in New York City.
“We are thrilled to have Melodie involved in our continued effort to advance Minnesota’s economy and enhance its robust cultural environment by promoting and supporting the state’s production and post-production industry,” said Kristin Johnson, chair of the board of MNFilmTV.
“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to lead MNFIlmTV in serving our state’s strong and growing production community,” said Melodie. “Under Lucinda Winter’s leadership, the board has attracted major film and TV production through the use of the Snowbate incentive, contributing to Minnesota’s economy and helping to create and sustain jobs in the state. I thank Lucinda for leaving such a strong foundation, and I look forward to building on that legacy.”
“It's such a pleasure for me to welcome Melodie as my successor at MNFilmTV,” said Lucinda Winter. “Melodie is a seasoned communications professional with a solid track record of success in Minnesota's creative sector and nationally. She's also a woman with a reputation for getting things done. I have no doubt she will take the reins here and chart a course for our future success.”
As executive director, Ms. Bahan will be responsible for management, operations and promotion of MNFilmTV, as well as nurturing participation in Snowbate, Minnesota’s production incentive program. She will report to the MNFilmTV board of directors and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
MN Film & TV Party & Fundraiser
Thursday, May 25th, 5:30 to 9:00 PM @Media Loft
Celebrate a busy and successful production year while supporting your film commission!
Tax-deductible tickets are $50. Click HERE to buy yours.
As your nonprofit state film commission, we depend on your contributions to continue marketing Minnesota as a world-class production location. What better way to make a contribution than to buy a ticket to a fun party?
This past year it's been pretty good to be a Minnesotan working in production. Highlights include:
• HBO films a pilot in the Twin Cities
• More than $16 million in Snowbate-certified national TV series spending
• WILSON, starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern, premiered at Sundance
• More than $5 million in Snowbate-certified TV spot spending
• Premieres of LOVE ALWAYS, SANTA and HOUSE OF TOMORROW
So come out, raise a glass, have a bite and and celebrate the start of summer with friends!
SPECIAL OFFER: Be among the first 50 people to purchase tickets and be entered to win two admission tickets to the great Minnesota get-together -- this year's State Fair!
Media Loft is at 615 1st Avenue NE, Minneapolis. Free parking!
Image from last year's party by Marie Ketring.
Lucinda Winter announces intention to leave Minnesota Film and TV
After eleven years at the helm of Minnesota Film and TV, Lucinda Winter has announced her intention to leave her position as Executive Director in 2017.
November 14, 2016
Winter joined the non-profit film commission in 2005. Under her leadership, Minnesota’s production incentive program, called Snowbate, has been revived, resulting in significant gains in production spending and the creation of hundreds of jobs. Since 2007, Snowbate-certified projects have resulted in $105 million in new production spending in the state, with more than 4,000 Minnesotans hired. Winter and her staff have secured a number of high profile film and TV projects, including A SERIOUS MAN, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, LADY DYNAMITE, WILSON and MOGADISHU, MINNESOTA.
“Lucinda’s dedication to securing state funding for Snowbate, combined with her tireless efforts to market Minnesota and promote our local production industry, has positioned Minnesota as a favorable location for filmmaking and production,” said Board Co-Chair Kristin Johnson. “We thank her for her hard work, her unwavering devotion to our mission, and for her advocacy for Minnesota’s production industry.”
“This has been the most rewarding work of my professional life,” said Winter. “But after more than a decade of leading this dynamic organization I’m ready for a new challenge.”
Minnesota Film and TV’s board of directors has formed a transition team that includes members of Minnesota’s production community. The board will conduct an executive search in the coming months to find a successor. Winter will continue in her role until her successor is in place, which is expected to be mid-2017.
Board Member Dan Satorius Published in Filmmaker Magazine
HOUSE OF TOMORROW Getting Noticed In the Press
This MN-made feature is based on the award-winning Peter Bognanni novel of the same name and is the directorial debut of Peter Livolsi. Starring Asa Butterfield, Nick Offerman, and Maude Apatow. For more details take a look at one of the MANY press pieces about this highly-anticipated film.
Why List in the MN Production Directory?
It's FREE Marketing!
It doesn't to cost you anything to appear in THE major resource consulted when looking to hire MN production professionals and services. If you don't have a listing anymore or if your listing isn't active, producers and directors can't find you. And if they can't find you, they can't HIRE you.
IT Helps MN's Production Industry!
Minnesota's production industry is huge. It's full of literally thousands of talented, experienced, hard-working people. We need the production directory to reflect this so that when production companies are considering MN for their project, they see that we've got everything they need right here.
Who’s been searching the directory lately? HBO, Netflix, Discovery, Level 5/Liquid Noise Films, Partizan, and production companies in the UK, Japan, France, Norway, Canada, and all over the globe.
So if you can spare three minutes, login to mnfilmtv.org to renew or create your listing. You'll be helping yourself to free marketing AND helping to market Minnesota as a great place for film and tv production.
If you've got any questions about it call or email Kate and she'll help you get it done.
AICP Lunch and Learn Series Resource Materials
Due to the great response from attendees of the AICP MN Lunch & Learn Series, we thought we'd post the resource materials used at each session here. Details to come soon about the next session on the role of 1st Assistant Director in April.
If you have any questions about the materials or would like to make any suggestions for a topic for upcoming Lunch & Learn events, feel free to contact Meighan McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.