Breadcrumbs

The Fair

Description

THE FAIR is a feature documentary that explores the beauty and contradictions of the American Midwest by immersing audiences in the strange, whimsical world of the Minnesota State Fair.

Over 12 days in August, approximately 2 million people gather to experience North America’s most popular fair. But what makes this fair in “flyover country” so special? Shot entirely in observational style and edited to take place over a single day from dawn until dark, THE FAIR is a selection of carefully interwoven short stories showcasing the vendors, competitions, and traditions that make the Minnesota State Fair intriguing and magical. Through the filmmakers’ unique lens—to make the familiar strange and to capture Midwestern culture as high art—THE FAIR offers audiences a refreshing look at a beloved institution, and a celebration of the region’s beauty, diversity, and complexity.

With unprecedented access to this iconic state fair, THE FAIR asks with intention: what exactly is the beating heart of America’s heartland?

Director’s Statement on the Film:

Growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, the Minnesota State Fair always seemed like a magical place in my mind. We’d get onto a transit bus, ride 15 minutes into the city, and suddenly you were inside an entirely new reality. In high school, I got to peek behind the curtain when I worked for two summers at Sweet Martha’s Cookies. With “The Fair” film, I aim to capture the majesty, pageantry, diversity, absurdity, and tradition of the fair, while paying homage to the place I call home. – Alec Fischer (Director / Producer)

Crew Bios:

Alec Fischer headshotAlec Fischer (Director / Producer): Alec Fischer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and openly queer journalist based in Minneapolis. At age 17, he created a short documentary titled “Minnesota Nice?” addressing the rising suicide rates of high school students in Minnesota. For his youth advocacy and storytelling work, Fischer was named a global Dalai Lama Fellow. His most recent documentary series, Covid Confessions, highlights the stories of 330 workers across 40 industries in Minnesota impacted directly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The series won an EWA National Award for Education Reporting, was nominated for a national GLAAD Media Award, 14 Upper Midwest Emmy Awards (winning 5), and was recognized as a global finalist next to The New York Times for best “Digital Video Storytelling, Series” by the Online News Association. In 2023, Fischer signed a content distribution deal with Snapchat and was included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his work bringing Midwestern stories to global audiences. In 2024, the Education Writers Association selected him as a National Fellow. Through his work, he hopes to bridge divides in understanding between coastal media hubs and the Midwest region of the United States.

Chirstine Delp headshotChristine Delp (Producer): Christine Delp is an award-winning documentary producer and sociologist. She recently produced the 2023 documentary series BURDEN OF PROOF (HBO/Max), which received Critics Choice and IDA Award nominations and has been broadcast/streamed on numerous prestigious broadcasters worldwide. Credits also include SANTUARIO (PBS, Al Jazeera), the Emmy- and James Beard-winning series A CHEF’S LIFE (PBS, National Geographic Europe), and ROAD TO RACE DAY (Complex Networks). Her work has been supported by Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Women in Film LA, Working Films, New Orleans Film Society, the Producers Guild of America, and others. Christine is also a PhD Candidate in Sociology and instructor at the University of Minnesota, where she holds a National Science Foundation Fellowship.

Ben Enke headshotBen Enke (Director of Photography): Ben is a South Korean native, and Minneapolis resident. Stumbling into cinematography by accident, he discovered a passion for being behind the camera, blending an affinity for the creative and the technical. He gravitates toward stories and visuals that explore shared emotional experiences, embracing both grounded and abstract visual storytelling to find the images that resonate with people. When not behind the camera, he can be found on the ice shooting pucks or finding his way in the car culture scene.