News & Events
For Immediate Release
MINNESOTA FILM & TV ANNOUNCES
LEGISLATIVE AND PROGRAMMATIC PRIORITIES FOR 2019 SESSION
Creating jobs and driving economic investment in Minnesota’s production industry through public and private partnerships, workforce training
MINNEAPOLIS(October 16, 2018) Minnesota Film & TV today announced its legislative and programming priorities for 2019, laying out a roadmap for expansion of the state’s film, television, and online production industry.
Minnesota Film & TV was founded in 1983 as a non-profit organization to serve as Minnesota’s ambassador to the film and television industry both locally and globally. Its mission is to advance Minnesota’s economy and enhance its cultural environment by promoting and supporting the state’s commercial and entertainment production industry. The organization has numerous outreach programs and is the primary administrator of the state’s production incentive.
“Our plan for 2019 is to strengthen Minnesota’s production industry with a multi-faceted approach,” said Melodie Bahan, Executive Director of MN Film & TV. “The path to success and a competitive industry in Minnesota requires a public/private partnership and we look forward to working with all sectors to achieve these goals.”
MN Film & TV is calling on the State Legislature to make Minnesota competitive by re-investing in production incentives. Production incentives, in the form of a tax credit or a rebate, are a financial tool used by more than 30 states as part of their economic strategy. For example, Georgia, which has the most generous incentive program in the U.S., recently announced that the state’s investment in incentives resulted in $2.7 billion in direct spending in Georgia for FY2018, with an estimated overall economic impact of $9.5 billion. This infusion of money has poured into local wages, hotels, construction materials, building supplies, equipment and location rentals among other things. The same holds true for Utah where, even with a more modest program, the estimated direct spending in the state as a result of their program in 2017 was $64 million.
Minnesota’s current production incentive program, a rebate, has not been adequately funded by the state legislature in recent years, leaving Minnesota at an economic disadvantage relative to states with strong and stable programs.
In order to make Minnesota competitive, MN Film & TV is announcing three priorities for the 2019 legislative session.
- Amend Minnesota Statute 116U.26 to clarify the purpose and focus of the program (as recommended in a 2015 report by the Office of the Legislative Auditor).
- Fund the existing Minnesota rebate incentive at a minimum of $10 million per year.
- Create a tax credit incentive for larger budget projects in order to attract feature films and television series to the state.
While public investment is crucial to making Minnesota competitive, private investment is required as well. Incentive rebates and tax credits are only available to completed projects with verified spending in Minnesota, but private investment is required on the front end. To that end, MN Film & TV is exploring the creation of a private investment poolthat will provide the working capital to Minnesota filmmakers. Such a pool can provide investors with guidance, due diligence, and the mitigation of risk by being part of a larger group.
MN Film & TV is also looking to develop the next generation of workers. Minnesota’s production industry is made up of thousands of individuals working as writers, directors, producers, editors, designers, animators, visual effects artists, technicians, mechanics, actors, and in related fields. These workers provide a strong infrastructure that supports Minnesota’s current production needs and can grow with increased production.
MN Film & TV wants to ensure that there is a pipeline for training new workers and providing opportunities for good paying jobs to young people who have the desire to work and the willingness to learn, but don’t have the resources for college or the connections to get a job on set. Workforce training programs have been used in industries like construction, hospitality, and health services to provide individuals with skills and a pathway to a career. As we become more successful in growing our industry, we will need to increase the size of our production workforce and the skills of those workers.
MN Film & TV is working in partnership with Minneapolis College to design a workforce training program for low-income Minnesotans that would provide training and placement for entry level production assistant positions on film and television productions.
“We know that the career pathway workforce training model, in which we partner with a community-based social service organization and employers, is effective,” said Vincent A. Thomas, Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Minneapolis College. “It only works, however, if our program participants know that there are available jobs for which they will be qualified after they complete their training, and that those jobs are located in their community. We look forward to working alongside MN Film & TV, and Minnesota’s film and television employers, on this project.”
MN Film & TV and will hold Town Hall meetings in the Twin Cities, Duluth, and other parts of the state in the coming months to discuss these priorities. A Town Hall is scheduled for Duluth on Monday, October 22 at 6:00 p.m. at Zeitgeist Teatro Zuccone, 222 East Superior Street.
Dates and locations for additional meetings will be announced on the organization’s website at mnfilmtv.org.
Check out FEM 101, a new web series, and support MN WIFT!
A group of local Minnesota filmmakers are tackling sexism with comedy. Director Carrie Bush, showrunner/lead writer Wenonah Wilms, lead actor Erin Roberts, and creator/producer Jeremy Bandow are in post-production on six episodes of the first season of their highly anticipated new web series, Fem 101, short for ‘Feminism’ 101. In the short format episodes, Erin plays an earnest but somewhat naïve teacher from the Iron Range who tries to teach feminism to a diverse and motley crew of (mostly male) misfits in an urban community ed class.
Now, more than ever, the filmmakers felt compelled to make the web series, and are hoping first and foremost to entertain audiences, but also, to raise awareness on the issue of women’s rights. Creator of the show Jeremy Bandow notes:
“These days, ‘feminism’ is such a charged and complicated word, and we definitely play with the idiosyncrasies of that in the show. We explore different theories, intersectional feminism, etc., but in reality…it shouldn’t be that complicated... To be a feminist means you believe in, and advocate for the equality of the sexes. And let’s be honest about what we’re talking about here; beyond the wage gap, reproductive rights and other very important issues, women have been systematically excluded from most of the power structures that exist in the world for quite some time now. Add to this the fact that the issue hits close to home for us filmmakers with the film industry’s now well-documented historic problem with sexism, discrimination, exclusion, and even abuse. It is a crisis, something needs to be done about it, and the least we can do as artists is explore the topic. And, believe it or not, comedy is a great way to explore something serious. Comedy relieves some of the tension built-up around the subject.”
The web series form and aesthetic was very appealing to the filmmakers. “With the web series, our goal was, and is, simply to make the show and put it on the internet for audiences to enjoy. Period. There is something very liberating about that. There’s no distribution to worry about, no MPAA rating to concern yourself with, no investors to keep promising ROI to, no Tribeca or Sundance deadline to make, it is really a very free, open, and creative space with no real rules to speak of. As such, the web content landscape is kind of like the Wild West right now. And for us and the show, this freedom allowed us to be very creative with the content.”
Lead writer & showrunner Wenonah WIlms reflects, "It was definitely a challenge to write and even as a woman, feminism is not an easy subject to deal with from an entertainment perspective. We wanted to create characters but not caricatures. There is definitely a spectrum of understanding and accepting in both men and women and we thought it would be fun to explore the type of person who would take this class and why, and how they could grow and arc and change either a little or a lot. People can learn from each other’s experiences and throwing this crazy group of community education students together in this setting had endless opportunities for comedy, education and the start of conversations that might be hard to have in the real world."
Alongside Erin, the ensemble cast of Fem 101 is peppered with seasoned Twin Cities actors, Amanda Day, David Tufford, Joe Minjares, Rod Kasai, Janet Fogg, Charla Marie Bailey, and in addition some wonderful up-and-comers, Valencia Proctor, Joey Mixis, Elora Riley, Robb Gordon Miller, and Joann Oudekerk. Cast and crew alike, all really gravitated to the material. The filmmakers are hopeful audiences do too.
In collaboration with Minnesota Women in Film and Television, who helped finance the production, the first three episodes of Fem 101 will premiere at a special screening at Metro State’s Film Space in St. Paul on Saturday, October 13th, at 1:00pm.
Mid-Year Update from Executive Director Melodie Bahan
Most people in Minnesota’s production industry are familiar with MN Film & TV’s work in advocating for and administering our state’s production incentive program. But as a non-profit organization, we have a larger responsibility to our community, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
We share a vision with members of the community of a production industry in Minnesota that is financially robust, innovative, and professionally unrivaled. With openness and transparency, fiscal responsibility, and a commitment to growth as our guiding principles, MN Film & TV has a strong vision for the future, and I’m excited to share an update on some of the work we’ve been doing in 2018 and our plans for the future.
First, production incentives. Although it might seem as though we came out of the most recent legislative session without any gains, we made enormous progress in the behind-the-scenes, sausage-making work that goes on at the Capitol. We turned passive supporters into vocal advocates; and former antagonists into, if not vocal supporters, at least neutral partners. We secured broad bipartisan support for not only rebate incentive funding, but also for a tax credit incentive bill.
As I have said since I took this position a year ago, I believe that the addition of a tax credit production incentive is needed if Minnesota is to become truly competitive in the industry. We knew this would be a long campaign at the legislature, and we did not expect to get any action on a bill for a couple of years. The great news is that we did get a tax credit incentive bill moving! We secured bipartisan sponsorship and got a committee hearing on this bill. Although the bill was ultimately tabled, the door has been opened and the conversation has begun.
On the rebate incentive (Snowbate) side, 2018 was NOT a budget year (Minnesota budgets every two years). But the legislature did want to pass a supplemental budget, as they often do in the off year. Again, we had some success in that a small amount of funding for the incentive was included in the budget bill, again with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the entire budget was wrapped into one omnibus bill, which the Governor vetoed, which means we ended up exactly where we started. All funds appropriated for the incentive for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 have been allocated, and the soonest new funds will be available will be July 2019.
The next session (which is a budget session) will begin in February 2019. The legislature will create the two-year budget that will go into effect on July 1, 2019. There are no guarantees that Snowbate funding will be included in next year’s budget, or that we will move a tax credit incentive bill through the session, but we are committed to both of those goals, and will do the hard work that is required from now until the end of the next session to achieve those goals.
We are keeping an eye on the elections this fall, which could change the political landscape. Following the August 14 primary we will turn our attention to the gubernatorial candidates. While the legislature creates the budget and passes bills, our industry needs strong support from the Governor’s office as well.
The incentive guidelines are due for an overhaul, so we are taking advantage of this quiet period before the next session begins to rewrite our guidelines to be more in line with a changing industry. We are also considering how the guidelines can be rewritten to help us achieve our goals of job creation, professional excellence, and increased employment for women and people of color in our industry.
Beyond the work we’re doing on production incentives, we’re moving forward on a couple of initiatives that will serve the next generation of Minnesota production professionals.
We are exploring the creation of a workforce training program for young people who have the desire to work and the willingness to learn, but don’t have the resources for college or the connections to get a job on set. Workforce training programs have been used in industries like construction, hospitality, and health services to provide individuals with skills and a pathway to a career. If we are successful in growing our industry, we need to make sure we have a trained workforce in place. I’ve been meeting with industry professionals, leaders of other non-profits, and government officials about this concept and will continue this exploration with a look at similar programs in other states.
For more than a decade, MN Film & TV has provided a grant to a Minnesota State University Moorhead film project to enable the students to realize their creative vision and showcase their work in front of audiences. This is truly important work, and for the next academic year we are expanding this program to Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Our hope is to be able to replicate this program at colleges and universities throughout the Minnesota. You can learn more about this program, including this year’s grant recipients, on our website’s Education & Training page.
As always, I welcome your input and ideas, and I invite you to join us at our office from noon to 2:00 on the first Friday of each month for casual conversation, brainstorming, and cookies during our open office hours. And I hope you’ll join us at our next Town Hall meeting on August 23 – look for details on that in the next week.
Please join the conversation!
Make your voice heard at the Legislature!
As we near the end of the legislative session, we need everyone to take a moment to urge the legislature to increase funding for Minnesota's incentive program! The budget is now in Conference Committee so please send an email to members of this Committee asking them to increase funding for Snowbate from the current $500,000.
The goal of the Snowbate incentive program is job creation, and while we are grateful that our program is included in the current bill at $500,000 annually, in order to sustain a program that creates jobs and helps build a stable production industry, the investment needs to be much higher. We know from ongoing conversations with studio and network executives that there is a desire to film in Minnesota.
Members of the Conference Committee:
In addition, please reach out to your own legislators, if they are not on the Committee and let them know that the program is in need of more funding to sustain our production industry here in Minnesota, and you would appreciate any help they can give in finding additional funds. We risk losing visible and worthwhile projects to states that have a more robust incentive.
Spotlight Celebration to Honor Andrew Zimmern on June 28
MINNESOTA FILM & TV ANNOUNCES DATE AND HONOREE
FOR SPOTLIGHT CELEBRATION
June 28 event to honor Andrew Zimmern
MINNEAPOLIS(May 10, 2018) Minnesota Film & TV today announced details for its Spotlight Celebration, set for Thursday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m. Host sponsor Cambria opens their beautiful downtown Minneapolis Gallery on 7th(625 2ndAvenue South) for this annual celebration of Minnesota’s film and television industry. Tickets, priced at $100, go on sale Monday, May 21 at www.mnfilmtv.org.
In addition to celebrating the work of Minnesota’s production industry, this year Minnesota Film & TV will honor celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern with the Spotlight Award for his commitment and contributions to Minnesota’s industry.
“Andrew has been a champion for Minnesota, devoting countless hours to supporting our local industry,” said Minnesota Film & TV executive director Melodie Bahan. “By locating his production companies here, Andrew provides a spotlight on Minnesota, along with a substantial economic investment and local production jobs.”
Spotlight will feature a number of celebrated local chefs and restaurants providing tasting stations, as well as Minnesota-made beverages. The program will include a tribute to Zimmern, highlights from recent Minnesota productions, and gift basket raffles. Adam Gislason and Amanda Day will emcee the evening.
Along with Host Sponsor Cambria, lead sponsors for Spotlight include Tremendous! Entertainment; Thomson Reuters; Fox Rothschild, LLP; Fredrikson & Byron; THEY design for film; and Amanda Day Productions.
“We’re thrilled to be the host sponsor of this year’s Minnesota Film and TV Spotlight celebration,” said Summer Kath, EVP of Business Development for Cambria. “It’s a terrific organization to promote not only for the important cultural value they bring to the state, but for the support they provide to small businesses in the film industry. And to be honoring our friend Andrew Zimmern is an extra bonus as he has been such a proponent of bringing business and jobs to our state – he’s a true local hero.”
Minnesota Film & TV was founded in 1983 to serve as Minnesota’s non-profit film commission, with a mission to advance Minnesota’s economy and enhance its cultural environment by promoting and supporting the state’s production industry. Minnesota is home to hundreds of production and post-production facilities and small businesses that serve the industry, along with thousands of individuals working as writers, directors, producers, editors, designers, technicians, mechanics, artists, actors, and in related fields.
37th MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL APRIL 12-28
250+ films and events make up this year’s festival
The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) returns April 12-28, bringing 250+ new films, representing 75 countries, to audiences throughout the region.
Ticket prices are $14 General Public, $11 Film Society Members, and $8 Youth under 25 and Students w/ID. Tickets are available online at mspfilm.org, or at the box office.
Although it’s the International Film Festival, Minnesota-made films are well represented this year, in both the feature film and short film categories. Below is a list of some of the Minnesota-related films, tributes and panels happening this year. You can find the full schedule of films, parties and events at mspfilm.org. You can also download the brand new MSPFilmSociety app, a great tool for all your MSPIFF needs!
MINNESOTA MADE AWARDS
For our Minnesota Made juried competition, awards are given for films that exemplify standout achievements in narrative and documentary feature filmmaking. Winners receive a cash prize and credit towards Canon products at Cinequipt.
MINNESOTA MADE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Book of Clarence, The—Lee Breuer, USA, 2017, Documentary | Lee Breuer Attending
Dodging Bullets—Kathy Broere, Sarah Edstrom, Bobby Trench, Jonathan Thunder USA, 2017, Documentary | Kathy Broere, Sarah Edstrom, Bobby Trench, Jonathan Thunder Attending
Don’t Get Trouble in Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story—John Whitehead, USA, 2018, Documentary | Director John Whitehead Attending
Not in My Lifetime—Pam Colby, USA, 2018, Documentary | Pam Colby Attending Risking Light—Dawn Mikkelson, USA, 2018, Documentary | Dawn Mikkelson Attending Silicone Soul—Melody Gilbert, USA, 2018, Documentary | Melody Gilbert Attending
Through the Banks of the Red Cedar—Maya Washington, USA, 2018, Documentary | Maya Washington Attending
Work in Progress (Al Milgrom’s Cinema Journey)—Phil Harder, USA, 2018, Documentary World Premiere | Phil Harder and Al Milgrom Attending
MINNESOTA MADE NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Farmer of the Year—Vince O'Connell, Kathy Swanson, USA, 2018, Narrative
Smitten!—Barry Morrow, USA, 2018, Narrative
Virginia, Minnesota—Daniel Stine, USA, 2018, Narrative
MINNESOTA CINEMATIC ARTS AWARD - The 2018 Minnesota Cinematic Arts Award Honoree is director Peter Markle. His first film, The Personals (1982), was produced in Minneapolis and debuted at the Deauville Film Festival in France. He has worked on over 80 projects since, collaborating with acting talents such as Gene Hackman, Daryl Hannah, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover, Patrick Swayze and Martin Sheen. His television credits include X-Files, Rescue Me, CSI, ER, Burn Notice, NYPD Blue and others. His films Flight 93 and Faith of My Fathers garnered ten Emmy nominations.
Odds Are...—Peter Markle, USA, 2018, Narrative | Peter Markle Attending
PARTIES AND EVENTS
Looking for opportunities to meet and network with film fans and filmmakers from around the world? Look no further. MSPIFF offers a diverse lineup of special events and parties at venues throughout the Twin Cities.
4/13 XYZ: Music Video Gallery Show, Aria, 105 N 1st St, Minneapolis, MN 55401, sponsored by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fox Rothschild, $10 advance, $15 door, free to MSPIFF passholders & Minnesota Music Summit registrants, 8:00PM
4/20 Minnesota Made Party, FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia St #120, St Paul, MN 55114, sponsored by FilmNorth and Indeed Brewing, 9:00PM
4/21 Centerpiece Party, A-Mill Club Room, 315 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414, sponsored by Indeed Brewing, A-Mill Artist Lofts, Chowgirls Catering, Free with Same Day Ticket Stub, 9:00PM
4/28 Awards Brunch, A-Mill Artist Lofts Club Room, 315 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414, all are welcome at this casual, family-friendly event where we’ll announce the winners of our Juried Competitions and Audience Choice Awards. Sponsored by Chowgirls Catering. Free, 10:00AM
4/28 Closing Night Party, A-Mill Artist Lofts Club Room and Rooftop, sponsored by Indeed Brewing, A-Mill Artist Lofts, Chowgirls Catering, included in Closing Night Ticket Package, 9:00PM
Engaging conversations that illuminate important topics in international, national and local independent cinema. Panels are free unless otherwise noted. Panelist and participant bios may be found at mspfilm.org
4/14 - Is Your Art Legal? Panel in Two Parts: Music in Film and Today’s Entertainment Industry, and A New Sexual Harassment Perspective, moderated by Ken Abdo, Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, St. Catherine University, 10:00AM
4/14 - Is Your Art Legal? Film Legal Aspect from Actors to Crossover, moderated by Darrell Miller, National Chairman of Fox Rothschild’s Entertainment Department, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, 2:00PM
4/15 - Cinematic Voices #2– Duet Global Spotlight Conversation with Filmmakers, moderated by E. G. Bailey, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, 2:00PM
4/16 - Screenplay Reading, “The Other Man”, co-presented by Film North, Film Space at Metro State University, 7:00PM
4/20 - Film Rave #1, moderated by Austin Anderson, St. Anthony Main, Industry Lounge, 6:00PM
4/21 - Tribute: Master of Cinema: Ingmar Bergman, moderated by Rob Silberman, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, NOON
4/21 - Nextwave Filmmaking, moderated by Destiny Davison, St. Anthony Main Theatre, 2:30PM
4/21 - Cinematic Voices #1– Duet Global Spotlight Conversation with Filmmakers, moderated by Lu Lippold, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, 4:00PM
4/22 - Film Fatales: A Director’s Conversation, moderated by Melody Gilbert, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, NOON
4/22 - Spotlight: Chasms and Bridges, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, 2:00PM
4/27 - Film Rave #2, moderated by Troy Parkinson, St. Anthony Main, Industry Lounge, 6:00PM
4/28 - Tribute: MN Cinematic Arts, moderated by Craig Laurence Rice w/Peter Markle, Riverplace, Garamond Conference Room, 4:00PM
Limits can liberate. Due to their brevity, short films tend to exist in the now. Experience powerful first impressions, vivid yet momentary detail and compelling conflicts abound in a new year of short-form cinema. Here’s a list of Minnesota-made shorts in this year’s Festival.
Bee-Sharp Honeybee—Deacon Warner, USA, 2017*
Beneath the Ink—Cy Dodson, USA, 2017*
Beneath the Trees (Debajo de los árboles)—Crystal Avila, USA, 2017*
Bike Trip—Tom Schroeder, USA, 2017*
Brother—Hunter Johnson, Daniel Klein, USA, 2017*
CLEAR—Maya Washington, USA, 2017*
Conversation with Senri Oe, A—Sihai Zhu, USA, 2017*
Gaelynn Lea - The Songs We Sing—Mark Brown, USA, 2017*
Grandpa Ben—Justin Christopher Ayd, USA, 2017*
Hearts Want—Jason P. Schumacher, USA, 2017*
Influenced—Tyler Eichorst, USA, 2017*
My Aqal—Maribeth Romslo, USA, 2017*
Obscurer—Kiera Faber, USA, 2017*
On the Wall, Off the Chain—Greg Carlson, USA, 2017*
Pet Friendly—Catherine Licata, USA, 2017 Pinebox—D. R. Tibbits, USA, 2017* Polarity—Matthew Adams, USA, 2017*
Ragdoll—Justin Schaack, USA, 2017
Rookie Season—Hannah Nemer, Molly Nemer, Russia, 2017* Saul’s 108th Story—Joshua Carlon, USA, 2017*
Standing Still | Still Standing—Andrew Walton, USA, 2017*
Suspect—Davar McGee, USA, 2017*
Wolf House, The—Nicholas Clausen, USA, 2018*
Woody’s Order!—Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger, USA, 2017
Got clips? We're making a montage for the party
We're preparing for the annual Minnesota Film & TV fundraiser party this summer (details coming soon), and we're curating content created in 2017 for a montage video to be screened at the party. If you have a web series, commercial, narrative film, documentary, or TV series, we'd love to include your footage in our 2017 montage.
We want to celebrate the amazing work this community has done in the past year!
Full resolution clips in .MOV or .MP4 format.
No more than two minutes of your favorite moments from the film.
Name of project.
Client (if there is one).
Awards/broadcast/festival screenings (if applicable).
Whether it received Snowbate funding.
DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18TH, 2018.
Please send your footage to firstname.lastname@example.org. Not all content will be included in the final reel.
Special thanks to Dawn Mikkelson of Twelve Plus for compiling what is certain to be a masterpiece of montage!!
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.