Virginia Minnesota 

Opening Night Presentation!

Click image to view trailer!

Click image to view trailer!

USA / 97 min / 2017 / Northland Premiere

Writer/Director: Daniel Stine
Cast: Aurora Perrineau, Rachel Hendrix

Wednesday, May 30th
Clyde Iron Event Center
Doors: 7 PM / Film: 8 PM

Director Daniel Stine and lead actress Rachel Hendrix in attendance!

Saturday, June 2nd
 9 PM at Zinema

Childhood friends Addison and Lyle are reunited years after a tragedy that robbed them of their mysterious and inspirational little friend Virginia. The three young girls had lived at Larsmont Bluff, the grand, forbidding mansion overlooking Lake Superior, which served as a private home for children from troubled families. Now Moira Phoebus, the surviving owner of Larsmont has died, and she has left instructions to bring back all the girls who had lived there at the time of the tragedy, so they can be present for the reading of her will. Addison, who had feared and hated Moira, refuses to join the others, forcing Lyle to drive to Grand Marais and convince her to come. After an awkward reunion, Addison finally agrees, and the two girls set off on a strangely illuminating, overnight journey where they revisit childhood memories and mystical local legends, and discover the long-forgotten gifts that young Virginia had shared so many years before. 

Post screening reception to immediately follow the film in the Clyde Iron Mezzanine.  Free appetizers courtesy of Clyde Iron and free beer courtesy of Lake Superior Brewing!


Centerpiece Presentation!

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Writer/Directors: Nathan & David Zellner
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska

Friday, June 1
7 PM at Zinema

USA / 113 min / 2018 / MN Premiere

Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American Frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As Samuel traverses the Wild West with a drunkard named Parson Henry and a miniature horse called Butterscotch, their once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel. A loving reinvention of the western genre from the Zellner brothers, DAMSEL showcases their trademark unpredictability, off-kilter sense of humor, and unique brand of humanism.

P.S. The last feature film from the ever-fascinating Zellner Brothers was the locally-set KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, in which a lonely Japanese woman - who has watched FARGO on repeat - journeys to Minnesota to find the hostage ransom cash that Steve Buscemi buried in the snow, convinced that there really is a fortune hidden along a quiet northern highway. A must-watch for lovers of urban legends, the Coen Brothers, or any Minnesota-based film fare. 

Cold November

Closing Night Presentation!

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Click image to view trailer!

Writer/Director: Karl Jacob
Cast: Bijou Abas, Karl Jacob, Anna Klemp

Sunday, June 3rd
7 PM at the Comet Theater in Cook, MN

USA / 91 min / 2017
#MNMade #MNFilmmaker

Deep in the wilderness of rural middle America, 12-year-old Florence is eager to undergo the rite-of-passage of her first deer hunt. A tradition passed down through many generations of women in her family, the act of killing a deer symbolizes the transition into adulthood. As Florence is taught how to shoot a gun and skin a deer, she gains a deeper understanding of life and death. When Florence
finds herself alone during a hunt, however, expectations dissolve into chaos as she must rely on her instinct and training to follow through with her decisions, pull herself together, and face becoming an adult.

Birth of a Family

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Director: Tasha Hubbard                                                Canada / 79 min / 2017 / MN Premiere

Friday June 1st
6 PM at AICHO Robert Powless Auditorium

Three sisters and a brother, adopted as infants into separate families across North America, meet together for the first time in this deeply moving documentary by director Tasha Hubbard. Removed from their young Dene mother’s care as part of Canada’s infamous Sixties Scoop, Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben were four of the 20,000 Indigenous children taken from their families between 1955 and 1985, to be either adopted into white families or to live in foster care. Now all in middle age, each has grown up in different circumstances, with different family cultures, different values and no shared memories. This film follows them through the challenges, trepidations and joys of their first steps towards forming their family. Meeting all together for the first time, they spend a week in Banff, Alberta, sharing what they know about their mother and stories about their lives and the struggles they went through as foster kids and adoptees. As they piece together their shared history, their connection deepens, bringing laughter with it, and their family begins to take shape.

Dodging Bullets

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Directors: Kathy Broere/Sarah Edstrom                     USA / 101 min / 2018 / Northland Premiere Jonathan Thunder/Bob Trench

Friday June 1st
8 PM at AICHO Robert Powless Auditorium

Followed by Q&A with
Dr. Melissa Walls

Described as “stories from survivors of historical trauma,” this documentary film co-directed by Kathy Broere, Sarah Edstrom, Jonathan Thunder, and Bob Trench was produced in collaboration with several organizations and is the first to chronicle the impact of historical trauma on the lives of Native peoples today, giving voice to their stories of survival and resilience in the face of multigenerational trauma.

Through interviews and first-hand accounts, Dodging Bullets paints the full, uncompromising picture of not only the historical traumas that Native peoples have experienced since first contact with Europeans but the continued racism and disenfranchisement faced by Native communities today.

The film is a collection of experiences that includes a majority of Native voices, along with activists, legislators, as well as researchers to illustrate the effects of intergenerational trauma and helps forge a path towards the future. What is clear throughout the film and these stories is a defining message: if a true healing of the wounds done to Native communities is to be achieved, the trauma cannot be ignored.

Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry

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Writer/Director: Samuel T. Weston                                USA / 93 min / 2018 / World Premiere!
Cast: Kent Dean, Don Millikan                                      #MNMade  #MNFilmmaker   

Thursday, May 31st                                                          Director in attendance!                                 9 PM at Teatro Zuccone                       

Opportunistic jerk Mark is forced to join Gleahan of Eastvale, a delusional man who thinks he lives in a fantasy world. Together, they go on a quest to defeat the "Dark Lord" who apparently rules Duluth. But as Mark delves deeper into Gleahan's fantasy, it becomes clear just how real -- and insane -- Gleahan's plight truly is. Together, Mark and Gleahan dodge faceless goons and escape mustache-twirling business executives. They ransack a "dragon's hoard" full of drugs and guns. They team up with a surprisingly knowledgeable bartender and face down a "dark princess" who wants to overthrow her father.

This off-the-rails low-budget adventure takes the premise of Don Quixote, shoves it into our modern world, and jam-packs it full of tropey goodness.

In Winter

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Writer/Directors: Alexander P. Gutterman & Aboubacar M. Camara
Cast: Nora Ellen Targonski O'Brien, Charles Hubbell, with John Cromwell

Friday June 1
7:30 PM at Teatro Zuccone

USA / 2017 / 97 min / MN Premiere

Director in attendance!

Annika is a young woman, abandoned by parents, left to deal with her aging and senile grandfather, while also confronted by poverty, isolation and sexual oppression. When Mark, a wealthy, married stranger on his way to a sailing competition visits her bleak lakeside town during the dead of winter, a quiet but intense entanglement develops. Opened and transformed as a result of the affair, Annika faces possibilities normally unavailable to people of her class, while Mark gradually falls into a forlorn, cold solitude.

In Winter returns to its birthplace after an 8 festival international run, including a sold-out theatrical world premiere in NYC and honorable mention at the Experimental Forum in Los Angeles for "advancing the art of film". IW's distribution deal from Dreamscape Media launches June 12; the DSFF is your perfect opportunity to see this groundbreaking project on screen before it goes global and digital.

Living The Change

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Click image to view trailer!

Directors/Producers: Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson

New Zealand / 85 min / 2018 / MN Premiere

Thursday May 31st
6:30 PM at Zinema

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This screening is generously sponsored by:
Whole Foods Co-op!

Sometimes it can feel like the environmental, economic and social issues the world is currently facing are too big, too overwhelming, to be dealt with by individuals. Climate change, resource limits, economic downturn, social disconnection. Surely these issues can only be properly managed by our governments? LIVING THE CHANGE explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.

Phantom Cowboys


Director: Daniel Patrick Carbone

USA / 92 min / 2018 / MN Premiere

Friday June 1st 9:15 PM
9:15 PM at Zinema

Director in attendance!

From acclaimed director Daniel Patrick Carbone (2013 DSFF alum Hide Your Smiling Faces) comes a fascinating and poetic longitudinal study of growing up in America.  Filmed over the course of 9 years, we meet Nick, Larry, and Tyler three boys from around the country as they mature into men in rural America in the parts of the country that are slowly getting lost to time.  From the deserts of California, to the sugarcane fields of Florida, to the backwoods of West Virginia, Carbone offers an intimate portrait of finding yourself in a constantly changing world. 

Risking Light

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Click image to view trailer!

Director: Dawn Mikkelson

Saturday, June 2
3 PM at Zinema

USA / 87 min / 2018 / Northland Premiere
#MNMade #MNFilmmaker

Director in attendance!

From the streets of Minneapois, the Aboriginal lands of Australia, and the killing fields of Cambodia come the powerful stories of three people who had the courage to step out of the haunting, tragic darkness of the past, risking everything to reach the light of their own compassion. RISKING LIGHT is a thought-provoking documentary that explores resilience, and the painful process of moving from grief to compassion and forgiveness. Through the unforgettable stories of Mary Johnson, who grieves a murdered son; Debra Hocking, a victim of government-sactioned genocide; and Kilong Ung, who survived the terror of the Khmer Rouge, this film challenges us to examine our own beliefs about forgiveness and ask: What would the world look like if we could learn to forgive one another?

Silicone Soul

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Click image to view trailer!

USA / 71 min / 2018 / Northland Premiere
#MNMade #MNFilmmaker

Director in attendance!

Dir: Melody Gilbert

Saturday, June 2
7 PM at Zinema

When having a relationship with a real human being is too hard, where do you turn?
SILICONE SOUL explores the emotional connection some people have to their synthetic companions and what that means for the future of human relationships. Ultimately, this is a film about love, loneliness, secrets and, perhaps, acceptance. Who are we to judge who…or what…people choose to love?

Time for Ilhan

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Click image to view trailer!

Director: Norah Shapiro

USA / 89 min / 2018 / MN Premiere

Saturday, June 2nd
5 PM at Zinema

On November 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in America.  She was hailed by the New York Times as “one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness,” and this documentary film intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign for State Representative in Minnesota’s Senate District 60B, home to the nation's largest Somali community. A fresh take on the old story of the American Dream, TIME FOR ILHAN offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she begins a bold and powerful political career.

A Work In Progress (Al Milgrom's Cinema Journey)


USA / 89 min / 2018 / Northland Premiere

Director: Phil Harder

Sunday, June 3
3 PM at Zinema

Minneapolis filmmaker Al Milgrom has worn many hats throughout his career—documentarian, world traveler and cinema pioneer being a few. In this documentary feature from Phil Harder, we follow the now 95-year-old Milgrom through his life and living legacy.

From his first introduction to film, via Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, to a tour through his personal home “film museum,” A Work in Progress is an inspiring portrait of one of Minnesota’s leading artistic voices. Milgrom himself discusses his journey as a filmmaker and his current projects, including his continued work on the 1959 documentary Russian Journey: The Story of a Filmmaker’s Travels Behind the Curtain.

While the film expounds on Milgrom’s history and his lasting influence as founder of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, it also takes a look at the filmmaker’s personal journey in navigating art and the process of filmmaking today.

The Way North

Click image to view trailer!

Click image to view trailer!

Director: Lars Midthun

Thursday, May 31st
7 PM at Teatro Zuccone

USA / 83 min / 2017 / Northland Premiere
#MNMade #MNFilmmaker

Norm Midthun, an American-born pilot for the WWII Norwegian Resistance Movement, later flies Crown Prince Olav on his 1945, post-war, victory tour of the country. 71 years later, his family returns to Norway to retrace his steps. First-time filmmaker and grandson, Lars Midthun, captures Norm's story for the first time, and keeps the camera rolling as the family journeys north. 

Regional Short Film Programs


Saturday, June 2
1 PM at Zinema

Filmmakers in attendance!



A young man finds the library as a source of bountiful knowledge that expands his views of the world both physically and metaphysically.  (3 min)

Dir. Graham Hartlaub


New Neighbors

How far will a mother go to protect her children? (8 min)

Dir. E.G. Bailey


Just Coffee

A diner descends into chaos when an elderly patron takes advantage of their Free Refill policy.  (12 min)

Dir. Matthew Dressel

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The Notification

A young soldier arrives with a message at the doorstep of a worried mother.  (3 min)

Dir. Ellie Drews


Grave Digger Dave's Halfway House

Join Gravedigger Dave on a tour through his "post-hospice for the undead." He's got some semi-vaporous apparitions and demonic kitties to show you.   (3 min)

Dir. Keith Hopkins


One Day the Sun Turned Black

One day the sun turns black.  White people can no longer live in its dark rays.  They must pigment themselves to survive.  A daughter does.  Her father refuses.  (14 min)

Dir. Joe Lueben


The Train

An animated tale of love, solitude, and artistic obsession. (6 min)

Dir. Aaron Dunbar


Rag Dolls

Playtime turns into uncontrolled shenanigans when a young girl discovers rag dolls in an antique chest.  (5 min)

Dir.  Justin Schaack & Kristin Schaack



A man searching for fuel finds himself....  (7 min)

Dir. Sean A. Skinner


Take the Dog for a Walk!

A woman reluctantly walks the dog.  (6 min)

Dir. Emily McNeill



A short and violent tale of the Midwest.  (7 min)

Dir. Nick Hansen




Here kitty, kitty....   (6 min)

Dir. Daniel Bean


Hearts Want

Two former lovers who reunite for a play face the consequences of a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.  (15 min)

Dir. Jason P. Schumacher


Hús (House)

A meditation on emigration, immigration, house and home.  (3 min)

Dir. Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson


Leading Man

He just wants to make a good impression.  (8 min)

Dir. Ryan Becken


Friday June 1
6 PM at Teatro Zuccone

Filmmakers in attendance!

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Beneath the Ink

A timely look at hate and racism in one Southeastern Ohio community revealing vulnerable moments of change and redemption. (13 min)

Dir. Cy Dodson

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Bee-Sharp Honeybee

An Australian composer, on a six week visit to Minnesota, collaborates with musicians, scientists, beekeepers and animators to create an original multi-media string quartet composition based on audio recordings of honeybees.  (19 min)

Dir. Deacon Warner


Gaelynn Lea: The Songs We Sing

After winning the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, Duluth musician and disability rights advocate Gaelynn Lea, along with her husband Paul, hits the road as she transitions into life as a full time touring musician. (11 min)

Dir. Mark Brown


Saul's 108th Story

As a teenager in 1950 Brooklyn, all Saul wanted to do was hang out with his friends and go to the beach. Instead, he got roped into a dangerous new job, and Saul got in a little over his head.  (6 min)

Dir. Joshua Carlon



A mild-mannered artist from Duluth leads a double life as a baby-eating professional wrestler in Japan. (17 min)

Dir. Mike Scholtz

Experimental Short Film Collection:
Saltless Sea Cinema presents Beyond Lines


Saltless Sea Cinema is Duluth’s roaming micro-cinema series, screening avant-garde, underground, experimental or just plain rad films and videos. The lights go down while images illuminate and cinema gets real.

Saturday, June 2nd
5:30 PM at Teatro Zuccone

SSC Presents: Beyond Lines features films by artists creating moving image work outside the boundaries of conventional film and video. These are films often made by a single artist working in isolation with a very tiny budget, and there is a devotion to the creative act which permeates every frame, consuming the screen. As filmmaker Maya Deren once noted about outsider cinema, “It is the desire to participate in a moment when life breaks through to some greater level of intensity so that one’s own life might take fire from that sudden spurted flame.”

Same Bare Place
Jason Coyle
The Bats
Jim Trainor
Anthropocene Rolling Far And Wide
Allen Killian-Moore
A Time To Speak
Catherine Meier
Big Agnes
Kevin Obsatz

Baby Doll
Tessa Hughes-Freeland
Laska Jimsen
Nineteen & Fourteen
Junes Gi
Torey Erin, Seth Dahlseid
with Marionettist Kurt Hunter

IPR Showcase

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Thursday, May 31
9:15 PM at Zinema

IPR College of Creative Arts is the Presenting Sponsor of The Duluth Superior Film Festival. Without the support of IPR, the festival would not be possible. This showcase features the work of the students in the IPR Digital Video and Media Production program. 

Additionally, there will be a very special screening of Dual, a Student/Professional collaborative short directed by DVMP Production and Screenwriting Instructor Justin Staggs.

EDU Film Festival Showcase

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Sunday, June 3rd
1 PM at Zinema

By putting students together with filmmakers, industry professionals, and post high school educational institutions, the EDU Film Festival introduces the variety of film industry options available in Minnesota. The festival provides a time and place for emerging filmmakers to interact with each other, form friendships and partnerships, and to create a professional network of peers. EDU aims to provide young filmmakers with an authentic film festival experience, a valuable understanding of the film industry, and an opportunity to see their movies play on the big screen.