RICHARD HANSEN, FESTIVAL DIRECTOR & FOUNDER: Mr. Hansen’s experience ranges from production to programming to exhibition to distribution.He has been working in the Minnesota Film and Video community in a wide range of capacities for 20-plus years. He spent his first 4 years in Minneapolis as Film Curator at Redeye Cinema, where he developed cinema programs and fostered relationships with filmmakers and other programmers. From 2007-2011 he acted as Director of the Sound Unseen Film and Music Festival. He is the Founder of The .EDU Film Festival (2007), The Duluth Superior Film Festival (2010), the Prove Gallery (2011), and Solve Entertainment (2015).
He has also worked with some of the brightest filmmakers in the Twin Cities. He has guided productions from such film artists as Jerome media grant awardee Tara Spartz (I Hate Babysitting 2001), Bush Fellow Liza Davitch (Victory Square 2003), McKnight Fellow Scott Coleman Miller (Uso Justo 2005), and McKnight and MSAB winner Al Milgrom (The Dinkytown Uprising 2015).
His production credits include features I Hate Babysitting (2001) and New World Symphony (2003), and the wildly popular and successful short film Uso Justo (2005). He also is credited as Associate Producer on the 2015 Al Milgrom documentary The Dinkytown Uprising.
Mr. Hansen has been awarded dozens of grants through representation from artists and organizations via The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, The Jerome Foundation, MSAB, McKnight and The Bush Foundation.
In his spare time, Mr. Hansen enjoys fishing and watching the Green Bay Packers Professional Football Club. He lives in Duluth, MN with his wife, Joellyn and young son Oliver.
JORDAN BROWN, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Jordan is a native Duluthian (yes Hermantown counts) and proudly brags about her hometown to anyone who will listen in her new home of Austin, Texas. She happily joined the DSFF team in 2016 and brought along a few tricks and trades that she’s learned on the festival circuit over the years. She currently serves as Associate Artistic Director for Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival, as well as a programmer and founding team member for St. Lawrence International Film Festival in upstate New York.
Since graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in film and literature, Jordan has worked with various arts and film offices including Women In Film Los Angeles and Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. As for film festivals, she’s worked her way up from usher to print traffic to programmer to co-founder, and is fortunate to count Sundance, Tribeca, Telluride, and Austin Film Festival among her experiences.
MATTHEW DRESSEL, FESTIVAL COORDINATOR Originally from West Michigan, Matthew recently moved to Duluth after spending six years out in Southern California working at a film advertising company. While there, he managed the machine room, worked as an assistant editor, and wrote copy for clients such as Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate.
Over the years, Matthew has written and directed short films that have gone on to screen and win awards at festivals across the country. His short film Return to Menu was featured in the textbook Viewpoints. His latest short film Just Coffee was released in 2018 and has just started its festival run.
His first feature length screenplay, a dark comedy titled Killing Daniel, is currently in development with Darius Films in Toronto, Canada with an eye on starting production in 2018. Matthew is the recent recipient of the 2017 Film North Screenwriting Residency program.
Matthew lives in Duluth with his wife and young daughter where he runs The Duluth Film Collective: an ever-growing group of filmmakers and film lovers who watch and discuss films, workshop projects, and most recently have started a film series called Midnight Movies at 7 at Zinema 2. Matthew also runs The Duluth Film Directory: a growing list of active filmmakers working in Duluth.
TYLER JOHNSON, TECH ADVISOR & EVENT LOGISTICS: It’s probably best not to ask Tyler his opinion on your favorite movie, unless you want that movie forever ruined by hearing a long-winded diatribe on said movie's moral and political ramifications on America’s collective unconscious.
Ever since he figured out how to rewind and rewatch his VHS copy of Jaws at age 7, Tyler has spent his entire life analyzing what makes movies tick. After he finished high school, when asked where he planned on going to college, he simply said, “eh, I just wanna make movies.”
At age 22, Tyler became the Director and Programmer of the Zinema 2 Arthouse Theater in downtown Duluth, where he discovered his first outlet for bettering a community through his infatuation with cinema and its inherent political effects. Naturally, he rubbed elbows with DSFF big kahuna Richard Hansen, who recruited him to the festival team.
These days, Tyler can be found running around the streets of Duluth, camera in hand, filming lord-knows-what on any given day. He offers videography services to anyone willing to hire him, whether it be for local Kickstarter campaigns, advertisements for local businesses, or music videos.
When not ruining his friends’ favorite movies, Tyler enjoys hot tea paired with a good horror film.
RIKI MCMANUS, FILMMAKER LIAISON: Riki began her film/broadcasting career as a talk show host at KQRS Radio when she was in High School in Minneapolis and it continued into her college years. With a background in Theater she soon started acting on stage and in commercials until she became an agent and then the Director of a Minneapolis Model and Talent Agency.
After securing all the Minnesota Speaking roles and extra’s casting for the feature film, Purple Rain, she decided to open her own business, Riki Wuolle Casting Company, which was the first casting company in Minneapolis. Since then she has cast over 16 Feature Films, Movies of the Week, and Television Series, including Iron Will, Far North, and North Country, as well as 100’s and 100’s of commercials.
McManus sold her casting company in Minneapolis and moved to the Northland. As past President of the Minnesota Film and TV Board she continued her role of promoting our region to Filmmakers as she started the Upper MN Film Office which is a public/private project of Northspan.
McManus has served on the Variety Heart Club Hospital Board, The MN Film and TV Board, Duluth Playhouse Board, Duluth Entertainment and Convention Board, the VisitDuluth Board, and the North East Regional Sustainable Development Partnership Board of Directors.
She has been recognized as one of the top 100 women in the state of Minnesota, and has received a Labo Award Nomination, Volunteer of the year from VisitDuluth, and has been named one of the top 10 people in the state that influences the arts by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In June 2013 she received an award from the MN Film and TV Board for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the MN Film Industry along with Senator Richard Cohen.
BRITTANY SANFORD, EVENTS & SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR: Brittany graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a BA in Criminology and a minor in Photography. She soon realized that she should have gone to school for Marketing, as that is where her true passions lie. She started doing social media for several local business and organization (including Amazing Grace, Prøve Gallery and The Duluth Superior Film Festival, etc).
After a very brief stint living with her sister in North St. Paul she missed the Duluth music and art scene and moved back. Upon her return she started the social media identity Ellipsis Duluth; which updates daily what is happening in Duluth (and ever growing to expand throughout Minnesota) music, art and other community events. Ellipsis live tweets events she attends as well as hosts her own music shows and tap takeovers.
This will be her fifth year working with the Film Festival (the first two as Hospitality and Social Media Coordinator and the last two as Events and Social Media Coordinator).