FilmNorth is pleased to announce the four Minnesota artists selected to receive the 2021 McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists. This year’s fellows are Susan Brightbill of Minnetonka, Andy Graydon of Minneapolis, Norah Shapiro of Minneapolis, and Richard Pelster-Wiebe of St. Paul.

Out of a field of 55 applicants, the four fellows were chosen by a national panel of media artists, writers and curators: Laurence Andries, a longtime television writer and producer (BLUE BLOODS, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, SIX FEET UNDER); Zandashé Brown, independent filmmaker (BENEDICTION) and Artist Development Coordinator/Programming Manager for the New Orleans Film Society; Chloe Gbai, Manager of Original Documentary Films team at Netflix; and Peter Knegt, a writer (Indiewire), curator, and filmmaker (CANADA’S A DRAG, SUPERQUEEROES).

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FilmNorth to Receive $20,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

May 13th, 2021

Saint Paul, MN—FilmNorth has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the FilmNorth Forum. This signature FilmNorth event provides professional development for independent filmmakers and media artists in the Upper Midwest. The FilmNorth Forum was among more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as FilmNorth reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

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April 22nd, 2021


Dear Filmmaking Community,

FilmNorth joins our community and the world in feeling a sense of relief that there was accountability for the murder of George Floyd. As the prosecution stated, we could believe our eyes—and we have Darnella Frazier to thank for that. But it’s important to temper our gratitude with the sobering thought of where we would be today without that video. It’s a reminder of the great need for witnesses to history—like Darnella—and of the world-changing impact that one person with a camera can have.
In the wake of the jury’s ruling we’re also reminded that our work to shape a more equitable and just future—the Great Challenge of our lives—is far from over. At FilmNorth we recently completed work on a Theory of Change, a document that outlines the change we want to see in the world and how our organization can help get us there—by empowering people to tell their stories and lifting up those voices that need to be heard. We’ve now formed a committee to chart a path forward, with this Theory of Change as our North Star. Yes, it’s just one small act. But we all all have a part to play in this profound story—and, as we say in filmmaking, we say so here: there are no small parts. We all have to show up and do what we can. 
With our eyes on a shared goal it’s our deepest hope that Minnesota can be the epicenter for change. One act at a time.
Please be kind to yourselves and others,
Andrew Peterson, Executive Director
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