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.”

“We’re proud that FilmNorth and our annual Forum have again been selected by the NEA for support. The FilmNorth Forum is the premiere gathering for independent filmmakers in the Midwest, providing a unique opportunity for regional filmmakers to learn from and meet industry professionals and innovators. Meaningful connections are made, careers are impacted, and stories from our region come to life at our Forum. And we couldn’t do this without the support of the NEA and all of our funders and sponsors,” said FilmNorth Executive Director Andrew Peterson.

The FilmNorth Forum is an annual presentation of topics that are being discussed by industry influencers and thought leaders. While each panel addresses a host of topics, one recurring theme is how regional artists can create sustainable filmmaking careers in The North. The FilmNorth Forum has been bringing acclaimed filmmakers and industry executives to The North for decades. Past guests include Oscar®-winning documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice); Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper; producers Effie T. Brown (Dear White People), Mynette Louie (I Carry You With Me), Christine Vachon (Carol) and Christine Walker (Howl); directors Justin Simien (Dear White People), Musa Syeed (A Stray), and Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann (Sister Aimee); Emmy nominated screenwriter Michael Starrbury (When They See Us) and industry experts from a wide variety of companies including SAGindieThe ExchangeICM Partners, Cinereach, Sundance InstituteTribeca Film Festival, and more.

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit