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Congratulations to the 2011 MNTV Filmmakers!
This year, 23 short films were selected from 110 submissions for MNTV 2011, a three-part program showcasing the rich variety of Minnesota-made films. Watch the trailer here!
For the complete schedule, see the tpt website. They're re-broadcasting the 2010 season as well, on January 7th and 8th. The new season begins on the 8th at 10:30pm. See the descriptions of the fabulous films and their makers below!
Sunday, January 8, 10:30 pm, TPT Channel 2
Repeat Screening: Sunday, January 15, 9 pm, TPT's statewide Minnesota Channel
Deer Diary, by John Akre
A young deer unburdens her soul in her diary, leaving out no ugly detail in her true recording of the travails of her deer brothers and sisters.
John Akre lives in Northeast Minneapolis and works at MTN, the public access television station, where he heads the youth media department. In his spare time he writes, animates and makes comics. He has created dozens of animated films and an animated feature, Wargoon Flishe.
Fluid Dress, by Charlie Bucket
Fluid Dress documents the dress knit from 600 feet of clear tubing. The backpack contains pumps and valves that control the air and water moving through the tubes.
Charlie Bucket is an engineer by education and a scientist by heart.
Scattered Light, by Mike Rivard
An installation of 1600 LED lights by artist Jim Campbell is seen through the eyes of the public as they walk through this beautiful field of bulbs.
Mike Rivard is a musician and filmmaker.
Charley Cowboy Happy, by Stephen Gurewitz
The big city. Chinatown. A woman. Wandering and waiting.
Stephen Gurewitz is a customer service specialist at a theater box office in Minneapolis. Between phone calls he storyboards his films in Wite-Out.
A New Year, by Ethan Holbrook
Clark isn't quite sure why he's at Amy's New Year's Eve party, but the two share a passionate kiss at midnight, and over the next several hours he is submerged in a surreal tapestry of events, forced to confront his sexual fears and inadequacies.
Ethan Holbrook is a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and currently works at the school as a video production intern.
Black Ice, by Benjamin Mosca
Set in rural Minnesota where someone recalls a hazy, drunken winter night with the memory of what actually happened returning in fragments.
A native of southern Florida, Mosca is inspired by the landscape that seems to be prevalent across suburban America: strip malls, highways, developments, and so on. He graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and is pursuing film as a career.
Jerry Schwingle and the Happiness Well, by Sarah Jean Kruchowski
Jerry is having a bad day. It seems like nothing is going right until he stumbles across a real life wishing well. However, he quickly learns that wishing for happiness is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Sarah Jean Kruchowski is a Minnesota filmmaker and a Duluth native. She graduated from the U of M with a degree in filmmaking and ethics. For the last 8 years, she has worked in Art Department, production designing and set decorating. She is currently attending UCLA for a MFA in directing.
Cat’s Cradle, by Raymond Rea
Cat's Cradle is a hybrid of old and new animation technologies: 16mm xerox animation and analog rotoscope techniques mixed with digital effects. The soundtrack was created by Minneapolis-based Purest Spiritual Pigs. Try. Fail. Try. Fail. Try. Failure becomes beautiful in its own right.
Raymond Rea is a filmmaker and theater artist. He worked for 10 years with Theater Rhubarb, dedicated to staging rare and risk-taking work. He is an Assistant Professor in Film Studies at MSUM.
Cento, by Michael Thomsen
Cento is a highly visual art documentary revolving around the mixed media sculpture work of artist/filmmaker Michael Thomsen. While weaving an abstract narrative, Thomsen invites the viewer into his mind, a mesmerizing and darkly curious place where thunder crashes, insects scurry, and sculptural elements come to life. A feature length companion to the short film will be released in late 2011.
Michael Thomsen is a spinner of visual yarns; a junk connoisseur with an eye for forgotten treasure. Fresh off solo art exhibits at both St. Cloud State University and Minneapolis' Rogue Buddha Gallery, Thomsen will continue to work on the completion of Chimera, which will debut as a feature-length film in late 2011.
Elegant Space, by Ryder Seeler
A young team of dancers explore movement, play and reflect on life in a splendiferous setting.
Clark Patrick and Ryder Seeler are Twin Cities photographer/filmmakers who enjoy working together to create lush inspirational visual works.
Cloud and Bird, by Bridget Riversmith
Sometimes, all it takes to remember how and why is to look up at the sky. This short meditation was inspired by the music of Bill Reichelt and a haiku by Basho. Japanese Edo-period master poet, Matsuo Basho, reflected the world around him, distilling moments with clarity, brevity and humor.
Self-taught artist/animator with a disability, Bridget Riversmith received 2010 Career Advancement and 2007 Artist Recognition Grants from VSA Minnesota, and a 2008 Career Development Grant from Arrowhead Regional Arts Council for animation. Riversmith exhibits her work internationally.
Sunday, January 15, 10:30 pm, TPT Channel 2
Repeat Screening: Sunday, January 22, 9 pm, TPT's statewide Minnesota Channel
The Egg Timer, by Emily Haddad
A scientist who has just discovered the cure to a childhood disease makes a pilgrimage back to the farmhouse where she grew up. During her journey, a secret is revealed and a confession leads to reconciliation.
Emily Haddad earned Filmmaker/Screenwriting degrees with honors from MCTC. Her films have played at many venues, including the Walker Art Center, the MSP International Film Festival, and the LA Women’s International Film Festival. She produced The Egg Timer with IFP’s Fresh Filmmakers Production Grant; she is currently a Jerome Foundation grant recipient.
Breakfast for Dinner, by Sean Voysey Olson and Daniella Voysey Olson
As he waits for his father to come home from Iraq, ten-year-old Zach does what any boy would do: cook delicious breakfast.
Sean and Daniella Voysey Olson are lifelong film lovers and self-taught filmmakers. They live in Minneapolis with their daughter, Maria.
Tso Plig: Let The Spirit Fly, by Kao Vue
Tso Plig is a documentary video about the Hmong Tso Plig ceremony, which releases a spirit and brings the spirit to the spirit world. This video is about how the Tso Plig ceremony works. The footage was taken at the Vue family Tso Plig ceremony.
Kao Vue is a documentary film artist currently exploring topics that she can dedicate her whole self to. She is interested in making videos about the Hmong people and stories that are strongly emotional and moving but rarely get heard. Her interest in producing videos comes from wanting to tell a story, to put a message out, to educate society, and to inspire people.
Lunch with Karima; Kabul, Afganistan, by Kelly Kinnunen and Dina Fesler
Lunch with Karima is one of 33 video segments created as part of a middle and high school curriculum package about Afghanistan life and culture. The video segments are a mixture of visual narratives, montages and interviews divided into 10 categories including Geography, Food, Clothing, Beliefs, Education, Arts and Recreation.
Dina Fesler, founder of Children's Culture Connection, worked in cooperation with Cannon Falls school district to produce the Afghanistan curriculum. Longtime designer/producer Kelly Kinnunen was contracted to be part of the development process. Along with participating in the curriculum development process, Kinnunen worked as director, videographer and editor for video segments.
Story City, by Phillip Docken
A list of the director's grandparents' household articles is read in several languages. A repeated exercise is performed in several settings suggesting the futility of finding peace through material attachment. The film closes with the Heart Sutra, a primary Buddhist scripture. Docken's grandparents lived in Story City, Iowa. Soundtrack by TAOBOYS.
The director has long worked in the visual arts, and the last 12 years in film. Love for film rather than video has been central. The films vary from animation to experimental to fictional documentary. "Tempo Rubato" (2004) won Grand Prize Best Short at a Rutgers Univ. film festival in 2005.
Sunday, January 22, 10:30 pm, TPT Channel 2
Repeat Screening: Sunday, January 29, 10 pm, TPT's statewide Minnesota Channel (note change from 9 pm to 10 pm)
Berlin Wall, by Kristoffer West Johnson
An animted short video for the band The Heavenly States featuring a song sung by Britt Daniel of Spoon. Directed and animated by Kristoffer West Johnson.
Kristoffer West Johnson is an animator and visual artist residing in Saint Paul, MN.
Yellow Splotches, by Carly Lassegard
Yellow Splotches is based on a short story that the director's younger brother wrote when he was eight years old. He has Tourette Syndrome. The film is an experimental narrative designed to show the emotional side of a childhood with Tourette Syndrome rather than the stereotypes most people are familiar with.
Carly Lassegard graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in Film Production and English Creative Writing. She is currently working as a freelance videographer and screenwriter.
The Lucky One, by Ann Prim
Memory is selective and family memory is shaped for survival. Sam, who was kicked out of her home at age fifteen and taken in by her Aunt Evie, now returns with her aunt to move her mother to a nursing home. Sam’s ten-year gap in seeing her mother has not kept painful memories at bay.
As the writer and director of her films, Ann Prim strives to create and direct films that reveal the complexities and contradictions that are at the heart of every human relationship. Her stories focus on characters with fragmented identities and all the complications that come from attempted intimacy.
Hour of the Dark, by Jila Nikpay
Haunted by the massive unrest and brutality in her homeland, a distraught exile descends into a personal nightmare. This visually driven abstract story weaves together found and original footage to explore the relationship between memory and freedom.
Jila Nikpay is an Iranian-American artist, born in Kermanshah. Her films weave the political and personal, investigating the nature of freedom. Nikpay’s films have been screened at the Walker Art Center, Arizona International Film Festival, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, and broadcast on Public Television.
Madtown by, Mike Scholtz
A protest documentary in three acts, Madtown goes inside the Wisconsin State Capitol building and talks to the people who occupied it for 17 days in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's union-busting bill.
Mike Scholtz is a busy guy. Between healthcare marketing by day, documentary filmmaking by night and film festival planning on the weekends, he’s doing everything he can to keep Minnesota interesting.
Recreation, by James Vogel
Recreation is an observational documentary about drug use. The director did not ask any questions when making this film. Nothing was presupposed or planned to the usual extent of many conventional documentaries; it is “life as it is,” or even “caught unaware,” as Dziga Vertov would describe it. On its surface, this is a film about two people discussing their drug use. But even more interesting is the pair's relationships, both with each other and with other people in their lives.
James Vogel is an independent filmmaker living in Minneapolis. He's directed several short films, a music video, and a feature film about violence entitled The City. In 2008, he received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board for his documentary work. He's currently working on a documentary about the stand-up comedy scene in Minneapolis.
Tami Tushie’s Toys, by Melody Gilbert
Just as their mothers may have done, women still give parties in their homes to sell merchandise to friends and neighbors. But now, there’s a new twist. Tami Tushie, a Minnesota hockey mom, happily dishes out spaghetti by day, but at night she is doing something she never thought she’d do.
Melody Gilbert is an independent documentary filmmaker who has directed non-judgmental, character-driven stories for film and television for more than 20 years. The Documentary Channel calls her "one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema." She has made six feature-length documentaries since 2002.