Announcing 2015 Spirit Awards Screenings

Posted December 2, 2014 by

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota and the Walker Art Center, in coordination with Film Independent, will once again present free, members-only screenings of twenty Film Independent Spirit Awards-nominated films from January 13 through February 11, 2015.

The annual Film Independent Spirit Awards celebrate artist-driven filmmaking and recognize the year's finest achievements. For the third year in a row Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota and Walker Art Center members have a chance to see all of the nominated films in four categories in advance of the live IFC broadcast Spirit Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on February 21, 2015.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE Post-Screening Discussion

Posted October 15, 2014 by

Check out this new video about Dear White People--edited here at IFP Minnesota.

Director Justin Simien, producer Effie Brown, and actors Tyler James Williams and Tessa Thompson of Dear White People converse with Leola Johnson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Media and Cultural Studies department at Macalester College, at the Walker Art Center in May 2014. Following a sold out show as part of the Next Look series at the Walker, the film was also presented as a case study at IFP Minnesota’s 15th Annual Midwest Filmmaker’s Conference.

The theatrical premiere of Dear White People is October 17. Best wishes for success from all of us in Minnesota!

New Screenwriting Residency Competition

Posted September 30, 2014 by

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota Announces St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge Grant for New Screenwriters Residency Competition

We are pleased to announce that we have been selected for a St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge grant of $60,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for an artist residency program to help develop local screenwriters.

IFP Minnesota’s screenwriting residency competition, one of 42 grant winners (from 868 submissions) aims to raise national visibility of St. Paul and Minnesota screenwriters and to boost screenwriting locally as an art form. IFP Minnesota received the third highest grant award of all recipients and the only three-year award.

Let's Get Moving!

Posted September 9, 2014 by

IFP Minnesota Announces Move to Vandalia Tower
Opening State-of-the-Art Media Center January 2015

St. Paul, MN, September 16, 2014–Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP Minnesota) has announced that it will be an anchor tenant in Vandalia Tower, a new development by First & First, located at 550 Vandalia in the heart of Saint Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone. “We’re thrilled to be one of the first organizations to make the move to Vandalia Tower,” said IFP Minnesota Executive Director Andrew Peterson. “This move will support and centralize our growing programs, focus attention on the Twin Cities’ thriving independent film community, and create a dynamic, new space that will attract artists across all disciplines.”

Engaging Alyce

Posted August 15, 2014 by

Our July 22nd Master Class with Alyce Myatt drew an attentive and inspired audience of 50. IFP MN Executive Director Andrew once again skillfully moderated the discussion, prompting Myatt to share countless nuggets of wisdom with respect to philanthropic organizations and funding for media as an art form and tool to document, promote, and present artists’ work in all disciplines. The discussion was preceded by a lively reception for Alyce.

Announcing The 2014 McKnight Media Artist Fellows

Posted June 3, 2014 by

Local media artists Rolf Belgum, D.A. Bullock, and Melissa Butts have been selected as McKnight Media Artist Fellows for 2014.  


The McKnight Foundation awards three $25,000 mid-career fellowships to Minnesota media artists annually. Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota, a film and media arts resource center in St. Paul, administers the program, each year assembling a selection panel of industry professionals who live and work outside of Minnesota.

7th Annual EDU Film Festival Spotlights Young Minnesota Filmmakers

Posted May 13, 2014 by

This Week! Friday, May 16, 10am to 3pm at ICON Theatre at The West End. Free and open to the public.

More information and full schedule at

Hey Filmmakers-Last Call for Free Lunch!

Posted April 29, 2014 by

15th Annual Midwest Filmmaker Conference
Presented in partnership with Minneapolis Community and Technical College
May 3-4, 2014 
Limited Space Still Available
Sign Up Now If You Want Free Lunch!
Full schedule and registration here

2014 New Media Project Grant Recipient Announced

Posted April 22, 2014 by

Documentary by Benjamin May Selected for $50,000 Award

St. Paul, MN, April 22, 2014-- Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP MN) announces that Minneapolis filmmaker Benjamin May's documentary The Legend of Swee' Pea is the recipient of this year's $50,000 New Media Project Grant. The documentary, which focuses on the life of basketball legend Lloyd Daniels, will be accompanied by an e-graphic novel illustrated by Minneapolis artist Kelsey Kuno. The New Media Project Grant is administered by Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP MN) with funds provided by The McKnight Foundation.

The Legend of Swee' Pea tells the quixotic tale of Daniels, a basketball prodigy who, felled by drugs and bullets, embarked on an improbable NBA comeback. The accompanying e-graphic novel covers the playground/hip­hop culture of Brooklyn in the 1980s, the mythic powers of young Swee' Pea, the crack scourge of inner city New York, and Swee' Pea's history-making NBA career.

Legend is May's directorial debut. He is working with director of photography Daniel B. Levin, producer Karl Hollandt, editor Giovanni Autran, and writer Annemarie Lawless. Kuno is providing original animations for the film as well as illustrating the e-graphic novel.

The range of projects in the 51 applications submitted for the 2014 New Media Project Grant speaks to the dynamic "new media" scene in Minnesota. May's project was chosen from six finalists, selected by jurors Elaine McMillion Sheldon, a documentary storyteller; Joseph Beyer, Director of Digital Initiatives for Sundance Institute; and Matthew Bolish, the programmer of Convergence, a sidebar of the New York Film Festival.

The New Media Project Grant, funded by the McKnight Foundation, was developed in collaboration with Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota in response to the growing body of work by artists working in cross-platform and interactive media.

2014 New Media Project Finalists

Posted April 22, 2014 by

Congratulations to the finalists in the 2014 round of the New Media Project Grant. Jurors Joseph Beyer, Matt Bolish and Elaine McMillion (see bios below) chose these 6 projects from a pool of 51 applications to advance to the final decision making round. 

Sunrise On: Geography from a Different View, Jeffrey Ruprecht
Sunrise On is an app-based interactive narrative designed to engage children’s minds on geography with the help of the vantage point of the sun. Featuring maps, sounds, and a compelling story of a brother and sister exploring the world, this project aims to increase kids’ understanding of the physical world.

Green Line Go, Nicholas Clausen
Green Line Go is an interactive walking tour of the eleven-mile Central Corridor in St. Paul. This tour includes video and audio narratives from some of the most diverse neighborhoods in St. Paul.  Viewers will be able to view historical photos, listen to audio, and view videos while following an interactive map along the Green Line and University Avenue.

The Choosatron: Interactive Fiction Arcade Machine, Jerry Belich
The Choosatron Deluxe Adventure Matrix is a Wi­Fi connected Choose Your Own Adventure®­ inspired story printer, blending digital and analogue storytelling. It is designed to be easily assembled by kids into a small interactive fiction game box, and encourages social reading, learning, and play.

The 5 Curries of Doom, Jason Ho and Saymoukda Vongsay
The 5 Curries of Doom project is a collaborative initiative between artists, local restaurants, and audiences to build community around the love for curry. It offers two primary curry experiences: an online experience through a participatory and interactive web platform and an in-real-life interaction with a mobile theater/food truck parked around the Twin Cities.

Moment, Ben Moren
MOMENT is an immersive, participatory mobile application that combines elements of film, theater, and sound into a Brechtian narrative through urban space by means of a mysterious and techno-futurist narrative. Participants are invited to use the MOMENT app to uncover a hidden “film” that follows a mysterious young woman in need of help.

The Legend of Swee’ Pea, Benjamin May
The Legend of Swee’ Pea documentary tells the quixotic tale of Lloyd Daniels, a basketball prodigy who, felled by drugs and bullets, embarks on an improbable NBA comeback that cements his reputation as a flawed hero and the greatest playground legend of all time. The documentary is accompanied by an e-graphic novel, covering playground/hip­hop culture of Brooklyn in the 1980s, the mythic powers of young Swee’ Pea, the crack scourge of inner city New York, the dark underworld of Las Vegas boosters, and the historic comeback to the NBA.

 Announcement of 2014 Media Arts Project Award to Legend of Swee' Pea by Benjamin May

2014 Jurors

Joseph Beyer currently works as Director of Digital Initiatives for Sundance Institute where he managed the development team and launch of the Sundance Institute #ArtistServices Initiative. Beyer also led the team that developed the first-ever collaboration with crowd funding leader to provide Institute alumni exclusive training and promotional support in creative funding. 200+ projects totaling over $7 million dollars have been successfully raised through the partnership since launching in January 2011. He has been with Sundance Institute for 11 years.

Matt Bolish is the programmer of Convergence, a sidebar of the New York Film Festival focused on immersive storytelling and the ways that technology is changing the relationship between audiences and creators.  Through speakers, panels, demos, and installations of exciting interactive content, Convergence is a forum for storytellers of all stripes to actively explore the shifting media landscape.

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is an award-winning documentary storyteller, visual journalist and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her most recent project, Hollow, communicates the issues of rural America through the eyes, voices and ideas of Southern West Virginians. Hollow is a recipient of a 2013 Peabody Award. She has produced two Op-Docs for the New York Times and her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post, LA Times, The Atlantic, Filmmaker Magazine, POV blog, Matador Network and PBS MediaShift.

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