McKnight Filmmaking Fellowship

IFP Minnesota and The McKnight Foundation award two $25,000 fellowships to mid-career Minnesota filmmakers each year. The Fellows are selected by a panel of jurors who are film artists and professionals from outside Minnesota. Jurors look for consistent artistic excellence and merit, clarity and uniqueness of vision, professional quality in the technical aspects of production, and for demonstrable, sustained growth in the artist's career. Additionally, jurors consider the artist's ability to present his/her application for the fellowship in an articulate and professional manner.

Deadline for submission:
4:00 PM on Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Winners will be announced in June, 2011.

2011 McKnight Filmmaker Guidelines(pdf)
2011 McKnight Filmmaker Application Cover Sheet (doc)

"How to Apply" Info Sessions
Free "How to Apply" workshops will be offered in November and December 2010 to answer your questions about the application process and the fellowship program. Both screenwriters and filmmakers are welcome to attend either session.

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:00 PM
IFP MN Center for Media Arts
2446 University Avenue West
St. Paul 

For more information, contact Lu Lippold, 651-644-1912 x106,


Dawn Mikkelson is both an award-winning media producer and documentary filmmaker. Mikkelson has completed four award-winning feature documentaries, most recently The Red Tail (co-directed with Melissa Koch), the story of a NWA mechanic who loses his job to outsourcing and goes to China to meet his replacement.  Premiering at the 2009 Galway Film Fleadh, The Red Tail has screened at international festivals over the past year and is now touring North America. Her other films have won numerous festival awards and broadcast distribution by American Public Television, OutTV, TPT, WDSE, Free Speech TV.  Beyond traditional distribution, her films are used as educational and grassroots organizing tools around the world from international conferences and expositions to house parties on topics of globalization, environmental justice, water rights, human rights, LGBT rights, and the ongoing debate over the full inclusion of LGBT persons in organized religion.  A former television news reporter at an ABC affiliate, Mikkelson has spoken at numerous festival panels, colleges and universities.  Dawn teaches Documentary Film at IFP/MN, and has taught as Adjunct Faculty at Ottawa University in Kansas.

Dan Schneidkraut was born and raised in the remote mountainous regions of Colorado. After graduating high school with a C average Dan was exiled to Minnesota where he quickly established his presence and identity within the film community by being permanently banned from The Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project.  Dan currently works in the field of building maintenance and low voltage electricity but was previously employed in the film industry at The Uptown Theater where he was terminated for attempting to establish an employee union and for participating in a physical altercation with an abusive patron.  Though his works have rarely been seen within Minnesota or the United States, Schneidkraut has experienced success on the international film festival circuit where his projects have received generous accolades and a handful of awards.  Dan's work has been called "uncomfortable to watch" (Urban Cinephile 2009), "sublime yet terrifying" (Filmstock 2008), "disturbing" (Erik McClanahan 2008), "stunningly depraved" (Melbourne Underground 2009), "disturbing" (Director's Notes 2008) and "the kind of thinky/sadistic exercise that even the dark prince of psychological horror Michael Haneke might find difficult to watch" (City Pages 2008).  Dan is currently hard at work on a feature about physical fitness and the obsolescence of traditional masculinity to be shot on Beta Max video.  

The Judges: In addition to Sundance Film Festival programmer Mike Plante, the Filmmaking Fellowship panel included Laura Gabbert, an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles (NO IMPACT MAN, SUNSET STORY) and Barry Jenkins, a highly acclaimed independent filmmaker from San Francisco (MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY).

Past McKnight Filmmaking Fellows
2004 Melody Gilbert, Eric Tretbar
2005 David Eberhardt, Scott Coleman Miller
2006 John Hime, Tom Schroeder
2007 Emily Goldberg, Jon Springer
2008 Hisham Bizri, Gabriel Cheifetz
2009 Rolf Belgum, Mark Wojahn

The Minnesota based McKnight Foundation provides funding and counsel to local arts organizations administering its multiple artist fellowships in the areas of ceramic arts, composition, dance choreography, music, photography, theatre, screenwriting, filmmaking, visual art, and writing.

2011 McKnight Filmmaker Guidelines.pdf146.33 KB
2011 McKnight Filmmaker APPLICATION COVER SHEET.doc41 KB

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