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Master Class Series Begins April 24

Posted March 24, 2014 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

First in New Series of IFP Minnesota Master Classes to Feature Filmmaker Hannah Weyer and Actress Anna Simpson  

St. Paul, MN, March 24, 2014--Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP MN) is proud to announce the first in a six-part Master Class Series made possible by a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Presented throughout 2014, IFP MN's Master Class Series offers the local arts community privileged access to an array of film and media innovators impacting the industry and culture.

IFP MN Plans to Relocate

Posted March 10, 2014 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org
St. Paul, MN, March 5, 2014--Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota will soon announce a new address. The case for vacating their current leased space at 2446 University Avenue West, St. Paul has been building for some time. "The film, media and non-profit worlds are constantly changing," remarks Executive Director Andrew Peterson. "A comprehensive stakeholder survey and internal analysis of our space and programs made it clear that our current site is no longer meeting our needs." Peterson adds, "While IFP MN is on strong financial footing, relocating to another site is crucial to future stability and success. All non-profits need to be responsible with their budgets and weight spending toward programming, rather than rent. There are a host of great spaces out there that are as good or better for much less --even 50-75% less." 
The board concurs, with President Chris Barry recognizing "This is a major step in writing the next chapter of IFP Minnesota. In taking this action we are not only economizing on rent, we're embarking on a stronger, more sustainable programmatic path." 
IFP Minnesota's current space, which opened in 2005 with the help of many community leaders and funders, showed a great uniting of the film and video community and served them well for many years. However, constituency needs have evolved. Peterson says, "A more flexible and less costly space will better accommodate our growing programs, many of which have been developed through new partnerships and collaboration with other organizations and institutions. We intend to keep up this high level of support for Minnesota's independent filmmakers." 
The new location will allow space and reallocated resources for expanded youth offerings, new film and video courses, additional professional development opportunities (such as a new Master Class series funded by the Knight Foundation), more media artist fellowship opportunities, and a number of other events and exhibitions. 
Stay tuned for an announcement of the new space. 

Relocation Plans

Posted March 9, 2014 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

Letter from the Executive Director

March 9, 2014

Hello Members, Funders, Supporters and Friends,

We’re excited to announce that IFP Minnesota will soon be on the move!  Far from belt tightening or downsizing, this move will allow us continue to grow and serve the community by directing our resources toward our rapidly growing programs.  Just this past year we’ve launched our Film Independent Spirit Awards screening series at the Walker Art Center (attended by over 1700 people!), and received our first ever Knight Foundation grant to launch a Master Class series, kicking off April 24th with award winning director, screenwriter and author Hannah Weyer.  We also received a Pohlad Family Foundation grant to upgrade our equipment, including new projection and sound systems. May 2-4 will bring our 15th annual Filmmaker Conference, which is expanding from 1 to 3 days and will include a screening series at the Walker Art Center featuring selections from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, introduced by Sundance Director John Cooper, who will be visiting Minnesota for the first time to participate in our Conference.  We've also expanded and enhanced our Youth Programs, launching exciting new partnerships with Forecast Public Art, the Minnesota Opera and the Girl Scouts of America, among others.  And we've taken the lead with presenting the .EDU Film Festival, the only statewide, curated showcase of student work, which will take place at the ICON Showplace Theaters May 16th.  And, finally, look for a new and improved website launching soon.  As you can see, we're not sitting still--we're on the move in more ways than one.

While we loved our space and the spirit in which is came together, the rent was fast becoming a financial albatross—sapping much needed resources from our programs.  In fact, nearly ¼ of our budget was being eaten up by rent!  This was an unsustainable situation and was holding us back from realizing our full potential.  A thoughtful and thorough evaluation of properties showed us that we could pay 50-75% less each year in another space—a space which would be as good or better than our current home. This represents a savings of literally hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 5 years.  

So, far from being a step backwards, this move represents sound stewardship and a commitment to serve you to the very best of our abilities by freeing up funds to expand current programs and continue to create new ones. It’s an exciting time at IFP Minnesota—look for new programs, new partners, and new opportunities coming soon.  Stay tuned!

Andrew Peterson
Executive Director 

Link to News Release.

Register Now for Spring Classes

Posted March 7, 2014 by Anonymous

Classes & Workshops Starting Early April
The Spring 2014 class schedule is now online and registration is open. Whether you're a beginner, seasoned professional, active hobbyist or enthusiast, and/or have a job that requires specific technical film/video skills, IFP MN has something for you!

Spring 2014 Class Schedule

IFP MN Becomes Presenting Sponsor of .EDU Film Festival

Posted February 13, 2014 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

IFP Minnesota, in association with the Twin Cities Youth Media Network, is proud to be the presenting sponsor for for the 7th Annual .EDU Film Festival, taking place Friday May 16th, 2014.  

Knowing the importance of the .EDU Film Festival to youth media programs statewide, IFP Minnesota is working with festival founder Trey Wodele and TCYMN youth media organizations to see that the great tradition of .EDU continues.  Minnesota Transitions Charter School has presented the festival for the past six years and will continue its association as a supporting sponsor.    

As the only statewide, student film festival in Minnesota, the .EDU Film Festival serves an important role in the development of young filmmakers. The .EDU Film Festival provides young filmmakers with an authentic film festival experience by giving them the opportunity to screen their films on "the big screen" and gain a valuable understanding of the film industry.

For over 25 years, IFP Minnesota has supported independent film and photography in the state. IFP Minnesota's mission is to advance a vibrant and diverse community of independent film and media artists through networking, education, funding, and opportunities for showcasing their work. We are excited to support the next generation of Minnesota filmmakers through the .EDU Film Festival.

Look for a call for entries and more details on this year's festival soon! 

Exclusive! IFP MN Interview with Michael Starrbury

Posted February 5, 2014 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota’s Executive Director Andrew Peterson visited with Michael Starrbury at his Minnesota home base on December 7, 2013. To listen click the link below.

Michael, a three-time IFP MN/McKnight Screenwriting Fellow, was back in town to kick-off a limited engagement of The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete at AMC Southdale. Awards buzz was already in the air. Shortly thereafter it was announced that Michael is up for a Film Independent Spirit Award in the category of Best First Screenplay.  

For more news about Michael's film click here.  DVD or VOD available on Googleplay.


$175,000 Support To Minnesota Filmmakers Through Arts Legacy Program

Posted November 26, 2013 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org


Announcing $175,000 Support To Minnesota Filmmakers Through Arts Legacy Program 


William Eigen and Maya Washington Selected for Reimbursement Funds

Minnesota filmmakers William Eigen and Maya Washington have been selected to receive reimbursement from the film production reimbursement program funded with Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds from Minnesota's Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage (LACH) Production Reimbursement Program, established by Minnesota Film and TV and Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota, is designed to support professional, mid-career filmmakers' feature length narrative or long form documentary projects that align with Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage goals.


Reviewers represented film and television professionals, educators, and members of arts organizations from Minnesota. Program administrators focused on the applicants' alignment with Legacy principles to determine eligibility and the review panel focused on work samples, budget, feasibility and marketing/distribution plans. Panelists were Daniel Bergin, Julie Hartley and Mariko Yoshimura-Rank. 


William Eigen will be reimbursed up to $75,000 for his narrative feature project

The Jingle Dress:

John Red Elk hears from his relatives down in Minneapolis that his Uncle Norton is dead and vows to go to the big city to find out what really happened to him. At its heart, The Jingle Dress is an immigrant story of an Ojibwe family that moves from the rural White Earth Indian reservation in northern Minnesota, to the heart of urban Minneapolis' Phillips neighborhood. We follow the Red Elk family as they discover this new culture and through their experience and unvarnished perspective as we are able to view our own Minnesota culture with fresh eyes, as well as gain insight into their ancient, indigenous society.


Maya Washington will be reimbursed up to $100,000 for her documentary project

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar:

A scholarship to Michigan State University allowed filmmaker Maya Washington's father, wide-receiver Gene Washington, to leave his small segregated town of Laporte, TX and contribute greatly to college football and Minnesota Vikings history as one of the "50 Greatest Vikings of All Time." After retiring from the NFL, Gene Washington became a trailblazer in the Minnesota business community, creating partnerships between corporations, colleges, and universities throughout the country to connect students of color with employment opportunities in Minnesota. This film reveals the ways that scholarships impacted the lives of players of color, who were literally dropped into an integrated environment for the first time, and their white teammates at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in America and the impact on the present generation 50 years later.


More information on the program can be found at http://www.mnfilmtv.org/incentives/legacy-grants/ and www.ifpmn.org/LACH2012.

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominees to be screened at Walker Art Center

Free and exclusive to IFP MN and Walker Film Society members
Posted November 20, 2013 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota and the Walker Art Center in coordination with Film Independent will present 20 free, members-only screenings of Film Independent Spirit Awards nominated films in January and February of 2014.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards celebrates artist-driven filmmaking and recognizes the year's finest achievements. In advance of the Spirit Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 1, Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota and Walker Art Center members have a chance to see all of the nominated films in four categories.

2013 McKnight Media Artist Fellows Announced!

Posted May 28, 2013 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

Two filmmakers and one radio producer have just been awarded McKnight Media Artist Fellowships by a panel of national media industry judges. This year’s Fellows—who each receive a $25,000 award—have left a trail of accomplishment from National Public Radio to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival.

IFP MN Filmmaker Conference: Very Special Guests Announced

Posted April 4, 2013 by kmaloney@ifpmn.org

A Story Doesn't Have to Be Just One Thing

IFP MN Midwest Filmmaker Conference Explores Innovations In Content Creation and Audience Engagement

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota presents the 14th annual Midwest Filmmaker Conference (formerly the Producers Conference) in partnership with Minneapolis Community & Technical College on Saturday, May 4, 9am-5pm. The conference, this region's premier independent film industry gathering of the year, takes place in MCTC's Whitney Hall, 3rd Floor, Room L3000, at 1501 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Previously announced keynote presenter Lance Weiler, an internationally recognized storyteller, entrepreneur, Sundance Screenwriters Lab alum, and pioneer in combining storytelling with technology kicks off the conference with a talk about the changing landscape of content creation, media consumption, and distribution.

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