Students from IPR’s Digital Video & Media Production and Music & Entertainment Business programs traveled to Duluth last week to take part in the Duluth Superior Film Festival. IPR DVMP students Isaiah Canfield, Derik Forsmark, and Jorge Fuentes worked with IPR Media Development staff member Matt Maas and DVMP Program Chair Trey Wodele to create coverage of the festival. MEB student Jaki Velez worked with festival organizers to help with event operation.
The DVMP crew arrived late afternoon on Wednesday and checked into their complimentary hotel room in downtown Duluth. The night started with a production meeting with Wodele and Maas and moved on to a pre-event location scout at the Clyde Iron Works event center. The students were charged with shooting the crowds and gathering interviews from theater-goers and DSFF staffers. Maas pitched in by advising the students, grabbing B-roll, and collecting a time-lapse of the over-capacity crowd. Event goers from Duluth and the surrounding area filled the theater for the opening night screening of The Seventh Fire, a documentary with Minnesota ties. The student crew even managed to snag an interview with Seventh Fire subject Robert Brown.
On Thursday, students set up shop in the lobby of the Sheraton Duluth Hotel and shot a series of interviews with virtually all of the festival’s visiting filmmakers including Erik Stolhanske (Super Troopers, Beerfest), who was serving as one of the festival’s jurors for competition; Minnesota documentarian Melody Gilbert (Summer Help); and Minneapolis filmmaker and two-time McKnight Fellowship award winner Dan Schneidkraut (Vore King).
On Friday, all of the IPR student’s were given a day off from their duties to relax, enjoy Duluth, and attend some films. Saturday was the big day for IPR, and the students were in attendance with their cameras. IPR’s involvement started off with a panel on filmmaking in a rural atmosphere. The discussion, led by Trey Wodele, included Director David Anderson (After the Reality), Editor Amanda Griffith (American Fable), Upper Minnesota Film Office Director Riki McManus, and 2015 Best of Festival award winner, Director & Producer Michael Forstein (Heart of Wilderness).
Later that afternoon, the IPR student films by DVMP grads Ben Thorson, Lindsey Lucht, and Audrey Swenson screened, along with the IPR student/professional collaborative film Personal Space. The screening had an attendance of over 60 people and there was nothing but positive feedback from viewers.
On Saturday evening, students were treated to a meet-and-greet with festival guests as well as attending Minnesota film professionals at the IPR hosted Production in Minnesota Reception and Award Ceremony. Many of the filmmakers the students had met through their interviews were present, along with other local, national, and even international filmmakers. It was an excellent chance for IPR students to flex their networking muscles and talk about their futures with established film professionals.
It was a fun-filled and educational weekend. The Duluth Superior Film Festival trip has become an important tradition for DVMP students at IPR.