FilmNorth launches its fundraising campaign for our new state-of-the-art media arts facility (opening Fall 2023) by honoring our beginnings. FilmNorth proudly carries on the legacy of Film in the Cities, which supported the early careers of hundreds of Minnesota artists from 1970-1993. Equipment rental to media artists of all skill levels was one of the many important services of Film in the Cities. In our new home we are thrilled to announce that our equipment room will be named in honor of Film in the Cities—keeping its important legacy alive for generations to come. FilmNorth equipment is used for youth education, continuing education classes, and in-house productions—and, perhaps most importantly, by our members in the production of their own projects. On this Give to the Max Day, we ask our community to join us in filling our Film in the Cities Equipment Room with camera, lighting, sound, grip and gaffer equipment to supplement and improve our existing inventory—ensuring that media artists have the tools needed to tell their stories and grow their careers. Please consider a gift that not only honors the legacy of Film in the Cities but supports the work of media artists telling stories in The North!
FilmNorth inspires and provides opportunities for all media artists in The North to thrive, with a commitment to eliminate disparities for those who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color, people with a disability, undocumented, rural, low income, and LGBTQIA2+ people, women, and those embodying intersections of these identities.
Film in the Cities (FITC) was a landmark media arts center that helped shape the film community in the Twin Cities from 1970 to 1993. It began as a place for high school students to tell their stories and soon evolved into an accredited college program with a faculty of leading filmmakers, artists’ grants, equipment access, a screenwriting lab, and renowned photo program and gallery. One of the first such centers devoted to the teaching and creation of moving image work, FITC led the nation in advanced film training and supporting artists.
MISSION AND HISTORY
FilmNorth’s mission is to empower artists to tell their stories, launch and sustain successful careers, and advance The North as a leader in the national network of independent filmmakers. We achieve our mission by nurturing a vibrant, diverse community of film and media artists; providing education and resources at every stage of their careers; and celebrating their achievements.
FilmNorth was founded in 1987 as Independent Feature Project Minnesota in recognition that independent filmmakers needed a support network to help them create their work outside of the legacy studio system. In the 1990s IFP Minnesota merged with Film in the Cities and Midwest Media Access Center, becoming the largest filmmaker service organization in the region. In 2017 the organization rebranded itself as FilmNorth to more accurately describe our commitment to and impact on filmmaking in the region. Today our support of the art of visual storytelling encompasses screenwriting, filmmaking and photography. We nurture and launch national caliber talent, then gather to celebrate their achievements.
FilmNorth offers several opportunities for Minnesota artists at every stage of their careers.
Empowering Youth: Youth Education includes an after-school program, residencies in schools and with youth-serving organizations, workshops, mentorships, internships, FilmNorth Academy for youth transitioning into a film career, and summer camps. Over 800 served.
Deepening Professional Knowledge: Our Education Program offers over 100 classes, multiple Master Classes, the annual two-day FilmNorth Forum, and workshops with industry leaders from across the nation. Over 600 participants.
Providing Financial Support: Fellowships and fiscal sponsorship allow artists to make their project a reality. Over 50 fiscally sponsored projects, which includes consultation on new work, and four McKnight Media Artist Fellowships.
Expanding Audiences: New work is screened at CinemaLounge at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis and Independent Spirit Award screenings at the Walker Art Center. Visual art, photography, and multi-media installations are exhibited in the Marsden/Gustafson Gallery at FilmNorth. Over 2,000 audience members, 40 screenings per year, and four exhibitions.
Changing Lives: FilmNorth gives new, emerging, and established filmmakers a foundation to reach their dreams through low-cost access to editing suites, classrooms, meeting space and filmmaking equipment.