Hwy. 61 “Best of the Fest” film schedule 2018

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 at 6:30 pm


Lumber Jill

Director: Tucker Lucas • Comedy Short – 2011 Second Place • Cloquet • 20 min

Jill LeBlah, an urban misfit, decides to finally seek her birth parents. Her journey leads her to Cloquet, an old logging town in northern Minnesota, where she, in the midst of magical lumberjacks and talking taxidermy discovers … a home?


Director: Nils Westergard • Animation Short – 2014 Finalist • Virginia • 4 min

An exploration of nature in an urban environment utilizing over 1,900 hand-cut paper figures, spraypaint and murals.


Director: Laura Malatos • Student Short – 2016 • Portland • 2 min

During WWII, an evacuee child tries to remain in contact with his mother through their only means of connection: words.

Free Associates 

Director: John Akre • Made in Minnesota – 2016 • 3 min

An animated treatise on the must fundamental of rights, the right freely to associate.

The Wooden House

Director: Hannah Gautrey • Student Short – 2015 Finalist • United Kingdom • 12 min

A short documentary on Wesley West, a sculptor and model maker based in Cambridge, England.

The Late Bird

Director: Sascha Vredenburg • Comedy Short – 2014 Finalist •  Germany • 20 min

A crashed astronaut opens to 71-year-old Thea the possibility to start again and to exchange her little village with the endless wideness of space.

Optics for Love

Directors: Martin Blanco, Clayton Stansberry • Made in Minnesota – 2016 First Place • 6 min

An industrial worker in St. Paul, Minnesota seeks purpose while escaping his past.

We All Go the Same

Director: Morgana McKenzie • Student Short – 2015 Finalist • Canada • 4 min

By 15-year-old filmmaker Morgana McKenzie: “In the timeless world of fairy tales, villains and victims are visited by a vengeful fairy who offers to shift the balance of power.”

Wild Bill’s Run

Director: Mike Scholtz • Documentary Feature – 2012 First Place • Willow River • 60 min

Part Arctic adventure and part crime caper, this is the unforgettable story of local legend Wild Bill Cooper.


 SATURDAY, APRIL 7 at 6:30 pm


Family Friendly – Kid Safe


Director: Keith Mullin • Animation – 2016 First Place • Brooklyn Center • 5 min

An artist’s creation comes to life and explores its new surroundings.

The Genesis of the Trike 

Director: Andrew Hed • Documentary Short – 2017 • Minnesota • 4 min

Peacock Groove, founded by Erik Noren, is a Minneapolis-based custom bicycle studio. Noren handcrafts one-of-a-kind bicycles that inspire the niche of the custom world. This video captures his unique creation, a fat bike cargo trike that features turn signals, a horn, electric motor and more.


Director: Ty Primosch  •  Animation – 2017 •  Connecticut  •  6 min

A corkscrew with a screw loose battles a giant glass bottle to uncork seven magical lightning bugs trapped inside.

Playing with Food

Director: Soohyun Kim • Animation Short – 2015 Finalist • Texas • 3 min

A hungry fox prepares a TV dinner, but instead of a delicious, cooked meal he gets a surprise.

The Casebook of Nips & Porkington

Director: Melody Wang • Animation Short – 2015 Second Place • Canada • 3 min

The Casebook of Nips & Porkington is an animated short film about two members of the constabulary and their quest to restore a stolen egg to its distraught parents.


Director: Christian Washington • Animation – 2016 • Muncie, Indiana • 5 min

Sometimes the people in our lives we find hardest to love end up being the most important people we should cherish.

My Heart

Director: Yaser Talebi • Drama Short – 2014 • Iran • 2 min

Students prepare a gift for their sick teacher.


Director: The Mutts • Comedy Short – 2012 • 2 min

Nobody loves and appreciates their pants as much as this guy does.

The Goat

Director: James Button • Comedy Short – 2014 Finalist • United Kingdom • 2 min

The patience of Dan is tested when his housemate James brings home a goat. Yes, a goat..

Derby Fever

Director: Dell Gross • Documentary Short – 2014 • Pine City • 32 min

Experience the excitement of the Pine County Fair Derby, an event many call the greatest in Minnesota.  Meet the legendary drivers and get a taste of the passion they have for their sport.


SATURDAY, APRIL 7 at 8:30 pm


Call For A Good Time

Director: Linnea Ritland • Comedy Short – 2016  Semifinalist • Vancouver, British Columbia • 4 min

Either an absurdist, nonsensical comedy piece or a musing on confronting one’s own fears of love and rejection—or both.

Bubble Bath

Director: Kevin Saxby • Comedy Short – 2016 Semifinalist • Canada • 5 min

Jerry’s bath time is interrupted when a mysterious stranger calls his home. It gets worse before it gets wetter.

The Life and Times of Thomas Thumb Jr.

Director: Ryan Fox • Comedy Short – 2015 Finalist • Wisconsin • 15 min

Thomas Thumb Jr. is unlike any other man. He has a giant thumb for a head and he’ll do whatever it takes to achieve the American Dream.


Director: Tony Morales • Action/Horror Short – 2016 • Spain • 9 min

Tonight Hada comes to visit Daniel because his last baby tooth has fallen out. What Daniel doesn’t expect is that his worst enemy is the light.

Melon Head

Director: Andy Fortenbacher •  Comedy Short – 2014 Second Place • New York • 14 min

After timid Gordon receives some bad advice that the only way to excite a woman like Wendy is to get her scared, he comes up with the perfect plan for a date: a late night trip into the woods where cannibalistic creatures known as the Melon Heads are rumored to live.


Director: Marc Martínez Jordán • Action/Horror Short – 2014 First Place • Spain • 10 min

Simon has to deal with his nasty babysitter Sonia. But then Simon receives an unexpected visitor, Timothy, the main character of his favorite show. It’s a visit he will never forget.


Director: Justin Carter • Action/Horror Short – 2016 First Place • United Kingdom • 10 min

A young couple enjoy a romantic camping trip in Devon, but their getaway becomes a nightmare when Ellie starts to experience visions of death.

Serve & Protect

Director: Scott Granville • Comedy Short – 2014 Finalist • New Zealand • 13 min

When suspicious crates are discovered in and around the small town of Caldwell, New Zealand, local police officer Darryl Kitchen must use all of his crime-fighting experience to solve the case.

Princess Beard

Director: Hiroki Ohsawa • Comedy Short – 2017 Second Place • California • 15 min

A princess who has a beard because of a wicked witch’s curse tries to get a true love kiss from a prince in order to break that curse.

Steele Vengeance

Director: Ryan Schaddelee • Action/Comedy – 2012 • 4 min

Rod Steele is a respectable cop – until Timmy, an innocent six-year-old boy, is ruthlessly murdered, and Rod goes on a gin-soaked bender of revenge.

Two Oranges and a Lemon

Director: Allison Beda • Comedy Short – 2014 Semifinalist • California • 2 min

Two angry women kidnap the wrong guy – or is it the “right guy?”

Problem Solving the Republic

Director: Elliot Diviney • Comedy Feature – 2013 • 90 min

A superhero known as ‘The Taxpayer’  is kidnapped by an evil organization known as ‘The Alliance.’ Retired superheroes ‘Common Sense’ and ‘Personal Responsibility’ are tasked with saving the day.


SUNDAY, APRIL 8 at 6:30 pm



Director: John Hellberg • Comedy Short – 2014 First Place • Sweden • 40 min

During the year’s biggest horse race event, the betting center Washington’s Tobacco looks like the ultimate hit for some fast cash for Mousse, a man of principles fed up with living as a second-class citizen.

The Bet (Styx)

Director: Mari Cielo Pajares • Action/Horror Short – 2017 First Place •  Spain • 15 min

A man awakes in a different body every day. He will soon find out that there is a reason for him to be “them” on one particular day.

 It Hit Upon the Roof

Director: Teymour Ghaderi • Student Short – 2015 Finalist • Iran • 3 min

A young boy is at home, alone with his sick mother. It is raining outside and the roof of their home is dripping. He is playing with his toys, and also collecting the pouring water but one spot is very challenging where his mother is sleeping. He wants to keep his mother dry and does not want to wake her up.

El Audifono (The Earpiece)

Director: Samuel Quiles Palop •  Comedy Short – 2017 First Place • Spain • 15 min

Fernando and Perfecta are a married couple of 50 years. He is an amateur magician, who is a bit deaf and forgetful. He uses his magic to draw his wife’s attention. However, she only cares about her cats, which disappear in strange circumstances. One day, Perfecta finds out that Fernando is the one who is responsible for the cats’ disappearances and their strange deaths, so she takes revenge in their anniversary dinner.


Director: Sebastien Chamaillard • Comedy Short – 2015 Second Place • France • 14 min

Julien, new recruit at the “Skin Center” sofa store, has a disastrous first test day on the job. His boss threatens to fire him if he does not make a sale within the next 24 hours!


Director: Mike Cheslik • Comedy Short – 2016 First Place •  22 min

The League of Interplanetary Process Servers’  finest agent attempts to deliver 30 subpoenas throughout the universe in ten minutes.


Director: Nic Barker • Comedy Short – 2014 Finalist • Australia • 9 min

A wedding guest goes to work on the open bar. Then it goes to work on him.

216 Months

Directors: Valentin Potier & Frédéric Potier • Drama Short – 2014 First Place • France • 25 min

Maureen has found great success as a “ventriloquist singer.” But the entrancing voice that comes out of her huge belly has a name: Charles. He will soon be 18 and has one sole objective in life: to be born.



Come see the Best of the Fest this April!

The Highway 61 Film Festival is springing into its 8th year with new dates – April 6, 7 and 8 – and tickets at the low, low price of $0.

The 2018 edition of the Pine City film festival will feature “Best of the Fest” films – prize winners and fan favorites from the last seven years of the festival.

Organizers are excited to bring this selection of outstanding local, state, national and international films to audiences in Pine City.

Shows on Friday, April 6, Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8 will start at 6:30 p.m. at Pine Center for the Arts (265 5th Street SE in Pine City, MN).

A great late-night show will be put on across the street at Pizza Pub (500 3rd Ave SE, Pine City, MN) on Saturday, April 7 starting at 9 p.m.

Again, all shows are free, but seating is limited. Look for schedules of films to be posted shortly. And see you at Best of the Fest!