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!

2017 Highway 61 Film Festival schedule • Oct. 5-8

DIFFERENT REALITIES • Thursday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m. • Pine Center for the Arts  (265 5th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

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iRony • Director: Radhey Jegatheva • Animation • Australia • 8 min • A film that explores the relationship between man and technology… told from the perspective of a phone.


Limit • Director: Javad Daraei • Student Short • Iran • 9 min •  in a quiet area a mentally-challenged man asks for help from the people he sees till someone enters his house, then suddenly…


Sonate • Director: Rineta Xhema  • Student Short • 3 min • A ballerina dreams of performing, then wakes up to find things are not as they seem.

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Metamorphosis • Director: Lana Bregar • SECOND PLACE- Student Short • Slovenia • 2 min• Gregor Samsa is a traveling salesman, a lone individual, and is actually transforming into a bug.

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The Interview • Director: Marc Gurung • FIRST PLACE-  Drama Short  •  France • 18 min • Christophe passes a job interview in the company where his girlfriend, Emma, works. The couple celebrates, but Christophe asks himself if he received special treatment. The evening has just begun…

Officially Limited explores artists' reimaginings of pop culture

Officially Limited • Director: John Otterbacher • FIRST PLACE- Documentary Short  • Chicago • 37 min • A trip into the booming alternative movie poster world through the lens of a filmmaker, where nerd art is coveted and copyright battles are fought.


Occupants• Director: Russell Emanuel • SECOND PLACE- Action/Horror Feature • California • 1 hr 20 min • Annie and Neil set up cameras all over their house for an internet show. But half of their cameras capture a parallel version of themselves – a version that ultimately threatens their very existence.

THE SPACE BETWEEN US • Friday, October 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical and Community College  (900 4th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

The astronauts journal

The Astronaut’s Journal • Director: Marina Belikova • Germany • SECOND PLACE-  Animation •  5 min • Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth…

The Bet Styx

The Bet (Styx) • Director: Mari Cielo Pajares • FIRST PLACE-  Action/Horror Short •  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.

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Hope Springs Eternal • Director: Rachel Miller • FIRST PLACE- Student Short  •  USA •  5 min • A mother must learn to cope with the hardships of war, her son’s absence, and the reality of her situation.

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El Audifono (The Earpiece) • Director: Samuel Quiles Palop • FIRST PLACE- Comedy Short • Spain • 15 min • One day, Perfecta finds out that Fernando is the one who is responsible for her cats’ disappearances, so she takes revenge in their anniversary dinner.

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Laymun • Director: Catherine Prowse • London • FIRST PLACE- Animation Short • 5 min • The story of a gardener in a Middle Eastern war zone, fighting the destruction around her with life-giving plants.

Zero MM

Zero MM • Director: Semaa Samir • Iraq • Drama Short • 8 min • Homeless children live in a car parking lot and struggle for life.

Jukebox Girl

Jukebox Girl • Director: Alex Richard Thomas •  Georgia • Drama Short • 10 min • Brenda, the mayor’s daughter, is also known by her criminal alias, The Jukebox Girl.


Inhumanwich! • Director: David Cornelius • FIRST PLACE- Comedy Feature • Ohio • 1 hr 15 min • When all-American astronaut Joe Neumann mutates into an unstoppable blob of meat, it’s up to a team of devoted scientists and hard-nosed soldiers to save the planet.

BLOODY GOOD FUN • Friday, October 6 at 9 p.m. at Pizza Pub (500 3rd Ave SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

When chickens turn the tables, you have All You Can Eat

All You Can Eat • Directors: Manuel Pérez and Paulina Galindo • Animation • México • 8 min • Tommy is a tiny chick living a normal life until the farmer kills his mother, and he leads a revolution of chickens.

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Princess Beard • Director: Hiroki Ohsawa • Comedy Short- 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.

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A Father’s Day • Director: Mat Johns • Action/Horror Short- SECOND PLACE • U.K. • 10 min • Reunited with his daughter amongst the ruins of the world as they knew it, a father is determined to make this day special, even if they are already dead.

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Pet Man • Director: Marzieh Abrarpaydar • Animation • Iran • 4 min • An animal dealer goes asleep in his shop and has a nightmare, finding himself caught in an animal cage.

so what if I

So What If I Couldn’t Take It • Director: Zachary Weinstein • Student Short • New York • 6 min • A high school student directed music video in four different parts.

When your blind date turns out to be a sock pupp

American Sock • Director: Jeffrey Lamont Brown • Comedy Short • Tennessee • 7 min • A girl finds her soul mate on a social media site, but he turns out to be a sock puppet.

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For Luck • Director: TL Westgate • Comedy Short • USA • 7 min • The wrong guy goes into the wrong place at the wrong time. What could possibly go right?

Atlas world

Atlas World • Director: Morgana McKenzie • Student Short • Ontario, Canada • 7 min • A malignant spirit forces a girl into a perilous journey through a watery underworld.

the stillborn

The Stillborn • Director: Forrest DePoy • Action/Horror Short  •  Indiana  •  5 min • Something terrible has happened. One brother has gone missing, and something evil stalks the other.

The Tug

The Tug • Director: Nic Barker • Comedy Short • Australia • 1 min • Matt and Emma are about to take their relationship to the next level.

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Autumn Lovers • Director: Jason K. Allen • Comedy Short • Tennessee • 5 min • Two young lovers go for a walk in the park and are inspired to reveal their true feelings about each other.

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Just Words • Director: Ilia Antonenko • Drama Short  •  Russia • 24 min • A policeman and his happy-go-lucky colleague investigate a routine suicide. The policeman breaks the law and his own moral principles after he hears a familiar voice from a victim’s cellphone.

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Short Distance • Director: Nic Barker • FIRST PLACE- Drama Feature •  Australia • 1 hr • Over the course of a weekend, three couples experience complications of long distance relationships and modern love.

FINDING FAMILY (Family friendly films)  • Saturday, October 7 at 12 p.m. at the North West Company Fur Post (12551 Voyageur Lane, Pine City, MN 55063)

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Corky • Director: Ty Primosch  •  Animation  •  Connecticut •  6 min• A corkscrew with a screw loose battles a giant glass bottle to uncork seven magical lightning bugs trapped inside.

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The Magician • Directosr: Yu Xin, Yao Nan and Zhu Yinyin •  Student Short  •  4 min • A young magician is practicing his magic tricks all alone when a bird arrives across and becomes his only fan.

the snack list

The Snack List Director: Alyce Rogers  •  Student Short •  Florida  •  7 min • Kids who run a snack business at their summer camp have competition, and set out to take their rivals down.


Believer • Director: Joey Gainor • Student Short • USA • 1 min • Skeletons and a tiger engage in a fierce stop-motion battle in a film by this 8-year-old director.

Finding Home • Director: Radheya Jegatheva • Student Short • Australia •  3 min • A lonely piece begins to look for his family and home.

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Tiny Wing • Director: Wei Li • Animation • California • 3 min • Two birds born with wing problems meet each other and figure out a way to make a miracle happen.

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FloreDirector: Jean-Philippe Poisson • Animation • Canada • 1 min • An old adventurer tries to catch a mysterious flower in a desert temple.

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Flipped Out •  Director: Jae Bae • Animation • 6 min • An old flip phone has to come to terms with being replaced by the latest smartphone model.

The true viking

The Story of the True VikingDirector: Alexandra Evseeva • Animation • Russia • 7 min • Danger, blood, powerful enemies, death risk – all of this is not a problem at all…

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The Genesis of the Trike • Director: Andrew Hed • Documentary Short • Minnesota • 4 min • Peacock Groove, founded by Erik Noren, is a Minneapolis-based custom bicycle studio where Noren handcrafts one-of-a-kind bicycles.

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Demolition Dreaming • Director: John Akre • Animation Feature • Minnesota • 53 min • A fantasy of the Minneapolis Gateway District, part of the city destroyed during the days of urban renewal in the 1950’s and early 1960’s

EXPLORING MINNESOTA • Saturday, October 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical and Community College (900 4th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

My father

My Father • Director: Joseph Dutra • FIRST PLACE- Made in Minnesota • 6 min • An honest, historical portrait a man’s father, and how memories struggle in his thoughts.

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The Ragman – A Hobo’s Story Untold • Director: Cy Dodson • SECOND PLACE- Made in Minnesota • 15 min • The untold tale of The Ragman – the storyteller, the vagabond, but most importantly the songwriter.

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In the Skip Distance • Director: Emily McNeill • Made in Minnesota • Duluth • 7 min • A young girl alone in the wilderness finds analog technology. An exploration of childhood.

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Nuclear Winter- The Musical! Director: Erin LeMair • Made in Minnesota • Lindstrom • 12 min • A spunky girl, who really likes to break radios, makes music in the aftermath of nuclear war.

What happens when actual aliens move into a small MN town? Illegal Aliens has the answer

Illegal Aliens • Director: Justin and Kristin Schaack • Made in Minnesota • Richfield • 10 min • Due to the arrival of actual undocumented aliens, the city meets to determine if they should ban the newcomers.

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Twin Cities • Director: David Ash • Made in Minnesota • St. Anthony • 1 hr 38 min • Salvaging a marriage takes time and trust, two things that John and Emily no longer have.

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS • Saturday, October 7 at 9 p.m. at Pine City Pizza Pub (500 3rd Ave SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

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Zomburbia • Director: Nathan Wold • Made in Minnesota • 7 min • A zombie movie set inside a 1950s sitcom.

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Conscience • Director: Kirk Eckstine and Joe John • Made in Minnesota • 13 min • Asleep at the wheel, a driver makes a tragic mistake. All choices have consequences. What will his be?

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Inside • Director: Tony Perkins • Made in Minnesota • 13 min • A psychological thriller about a girl wrestling with her past as the lines of reality are blurred.

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Ghost Slapper • Director: David Mair • Made in Minnesota • Vadnais Heights • 7 min • It’s business as usual for ghost exterminator Keith, until he must face the biggest challenge of his life – the ghost of his former partner.

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Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf Trailer • Director: Joseph Dutra • Made in Minnesota • Shoreview • 3 min • Based on a myth they heard, teens dare the actor Shia Labeouf to come to their house and kill them. Then bodies start dropping.

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 “Vilsen” /Ave Mater • Director: Rasmus Tirzitis • FIRST PLACE- Action/Horror Feature • Sweden • 1 hr 55 min • Detective Lidman faces his career’s toughest assignment yet – to solve the ritualistic serial killings in Gothenburg.

TELLING STORIES • Sunday, October 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical and Community College (900 4th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

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American Storytellers • Director: Emily Tope • Documentary Short • Wisconsin • 11 min • This Decorah-made film explores the history and mission of Free River Press.

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Melding Tiles • Director: Justin Choo • Student Short • Hong Kong • 7 min • The ancient tradition of carving Mahjong tiles is explored.

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Shadow People • Director: Amanda Ramirez • Student Short • Texas • 7 min • Exploring the dark and mysterious world of the paranormal phenomena known as “Shadow People.”

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Stroke • Directors: Jiani Zhao and Emanuele Romano • Animation • U.K. • 5 min An old man recalls his experience. It starts with a strong headache, then symptoms alternate with peculiar visions of the reality around him.

Full Throttle – Without a Care • Director: Daniel Bahr • Animation • 3 min • Every year, 3.3 million people die. Tiny poison bombs in the air penetrate our bodies. Fine dust kills.


Yi • Director: Jiacheng Xu • SECOND PLACE- Documentary Short • Virginia • 36 min • Yi centers on a Chinese migrant laborer, and explores the intersections of transnational migrancy, cultural identity, and diasporic communities.

Scent of the Stars

Scent of the Stars • Director: Francesco Felli • SECOND PLACE- Drama Short • Italy • 12 min • Nino, out of the madhouse after 30 years, finds himself incapable of living otherwise. Just as Adriano, a hospital doctor, is unable to find the courage to face life. They all will find the meaning of small things again.

Jeffs World

Jeff’s World • Director: Brenda Piekarski • FIRST PLACE- Documentary Feature • Minnesota • 1 hr • A humorous behind-the-scenes look into the world of rock climbing Follow Jeff Engel and his friends as in a wild and remote climbing area ten miles beyond the Minnesota border into Canada.

Congratulations to all the 2017 Award Winners and Semifinalists!


Vilsen • Director: Rasmus Tirzitis • First Place – Action/Horror Feature • 115 minutes
Occupants • Director: Russ Emanuel • Second Place – Action/Horror Short • 80 minutes

The Bet (Styx) • Director: Mari Cielo Pajares • First Place- Action/Horror Short • 15 minutes
A Father’s Day • Director: Mat Johns • Second Place – Action/Horror Short • 10 minutes

Laymun • Director: Catherine Prowse • First Place – Animation • 5 minutes
The Astronaut’s Journal • Director: Marina Belikova • Second Place – Animation • 5 minutes

Inhumanwich! • Director: David Cornelius • First Place – Comedy Feature • 73 minutes
Fairfield Follies • Director: Laura Pepper • Second Place – Comedy Feature • 100 minutes

El Audifono (The Earpiece) • Director: Samuel Quiles Palop • First Place – Comedy Short • 15 minutes
Princess Beard • Director: Hiroki Ohsawa • Second Place – Comedy Short • 15 minutes

Short Distance • Director: Nic Barker • First Place – Drama Feature • 60 minutes
The Family (Dementia) • Director: Giovanna Ribes • Second Place – Drama Feature • 112 minutes

The Interview • Director: Marc Gurung • First Place – Drama Short • 18 minutes
Scent of the Stars • Director: Francesco Felli • Second Place – Drama Short • 12 minutes

Jeff’s World • Director: Brenda Piekarski • First Place – Documentary Feature • 60 minutes
Essence of Healing: The Journey of American Indian Nurses • Directors: Loretta Heuer and Candace Muggerud • Second Place – Documentary Feature • 57 minutes

Officially Limited • Director: John Otterbacher • First Place – Documentary Short • 37 minutes
Yi • Director: Jiacheng Xu • Second Place – Documentary Short • 36 minutes

My Father • Director: Joseph Dutra • First Place – Made in Minnesota • 6 minutes
The Ragman – A Hobo’s Story Untold • Director: Cy Dodson • Second Place – Made in Minnesota • 15 minutes

Hope Springs Eternal • Director: Rachel Miller • First Place – Student Short • 5 minutes
Metamorphosis •  Director: Lana Bregar • Second Place – Student Short • 2 minutes

 A note on Semifinalists: The Highway 61 Film Festival pre-screeners and judges have determined that these films were among the very best in the categories they entered, and deserved recognition as such. Unfortunately, we have a limited amount of screen time to actually show films during the festival, and because of those time constraints we will not be able to show these films in 2017. We truly wish it were otherwise. We hope that the designation as Semifinalist at the Highway 61 Film Festival helps these talented filmmakers find the recognition and success they deserve.


Bride of Frankie • Director: Devi Snively • Action/Horror Shorts • 19 minutes
Doll • Director: Tony Yang • Student Shorts • 6 minutes
Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir • Director: David Maire • Action/Horror Shorts • 13 minutes
Rotary • Director: Lorenzo P. Adams • Action/Horror Shorts • 11 minutes
The Dark Hunger • Director: Anthony Williams • Action/Horror Shorts • 15 minutes
The Hag: Bloodline • Director: Chris Borgo • Action/Horror Shorts • 35 minutes
The Grove • Director: J. Shreck • Action/Horror Shorts • 18 minutes
The Weed Whacker Massacre • Director: Benjamin R Dover • Action/Horror Shorts • 12 minutes
Under The Apple Tree • Director: Erik van Schaaik • Action/Horror Shorts • 18 minutes

Can You Decide • Director: Lu Pulici • Animation • 5 minutes
Glorious Victory • Director: Will Kim • Animation • 2 minutes
Panic Attack! • Director: Eileen O’Meara • Animation • 3 minutes
The Lonely Giant • Director: Alek Raulerson • Animation • 2 minutes
Twice Upon a Time • Director: Vojin Vasovic • Animation • 14 minutes

Dead Air • Director: Emmet O’Brien • Comedy Short • 12 minutes
Dolce Vendetta • Director: Anthony Riggs • Comedy Short • 10 minutes
Down to the Last • Director: Margaret Broach • Comedy Short • 18 minutes
Holy F__k • Director: Chris Chalklen • Comedy Short • 9 minutes
In a Dream • Director: Edina Kishonthy • Comedy Short • 17 minutes
Mic & Me • Director: Jacob Shao • Comedy Short • 11 minutes
Noisy Library • Director: Rollyn Stafford • Comedy Short • 5 minutes
Stanley • Director: S.G. Warkel • Comedy Short • 9 minutes
Violet and June • Director: Linnea Ritland • Comedy Short • 6 minutes
We Hate Bob • Director: JC Farris • Comedy Short • 7 minutes

Portrait of Snow • Director: Roy Zheng • Documentary Short • 10 minutes
Searching for Lady Day: A Portrait in Steel • Director: Geoffrey Bates • Documentary Short • 28 minutes
The Fourth Kingdom • Directors: Alex Lora-Cercos and Adan Aliaga • Documentary Short • 14 minutes
The Last Doll Lady • Director: Taryn Hough • Documentary Short • 21 minutes

Christopher Darling • Director: Martin Kaszubowski • Drama Feature • 75 minutes
Intersection • Director: Hoyt Richards • Drama Feature • 80 minutes

Blessing • Director: Rachael Norman • Drama Short • 25 minutes
Hope to Her Register • Director: Alfred Giancarli • Drama Short • 20 minutes
Impervia • Director: Patrick Devaney • Drama Short • 34 minutes
In Search of an Author • Director: Alain Legend Raymond • Drama Short • 14 minutes
Love Robot • Director: Drew V. Marke • Drama Short • 12 minutes
Shades of Scarlet • Director: Wendy Keeling • Drama Short • 14 minutes
Remembrance • Director: Tony Curatolo • Drama Short • 13 minutes
The Real Man • Director: Cathy Reinking • Drama Short • 20 minutes
Until Now • Director: Dana Altman • Drama Short • 8 minutes

Between the Fire and the Stars • Director: Kyle Ensrude • Made in Minnesota • 16 minutes
Lake Runs Red • Director: Jason Riesgraf • Made in Minnesota • 66 minutes
Tit • Director: Phil Holbrook • Made in Minnesota • 77 minutes
Undo • Director: Keith Hopkins • Made in Minnesota • 10 minutes
When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny • Director: Abby Thompson • Made in Minnesota • 4 minutes
Son of Man • Director: Josh Cisewski • Made in Minnesota • 19 minutes

Ape • Director: Noah J Dunbar • Student Shorts • 10 minutes
Domestic Violence PSA • Directors: Gillian Copeland and Evie Masters • Student Shorts • 1 minute
I Am the Party (Or How to Be Nihilistic) • Director: Borja Ibrahim • Student Shorts
If I Ask • Director: Alexia Salingaros • Student Shorts • 6 minutes
Phantom Pain • Director: Borja Ibrahim • Student Shorts • 3 minutes
Scarlet’s Vow • Director: Liam Sanderson • Student Shorts • 7 minutes

Highway 61 Film Festival open for submissions

Pine City’s Highway 61 Film Festival is eagerly awaiting submissions from regional filmmakers now through July 1.
As the festival heads into its seventh year, organizers are excited to see what amazing films will come from the imaginations of local, state, national and international filmmakers.
Submissions may include short (less than 40 minutes) and feature films. Categories include: Drama, Comedy, Action/Horror, Documentary, Animation and “Made in Minnesota,” for films actually shot, in whole or part, in this great state. A special spot is reserved for Student Short films made by students age 18 or younger.
Submitted films are reviewed by judges, and cash prizes awarded to the top film in each category: $100 for features, $50 for short films, including a $50 prize for the top Student Short film.
Early submission fees (by June 15) are $5 for short films and $10 per feature film. Late submission fees (by July 1) are $10 for short films and $20 per feature film submission. All  Made in Minnesota films are $1 and Student Short films (age 18 and under) are free to submit.
Last year hundreds of films were submitted to the Highway  61 Film Festival through (an online independent film festival submission service), and the very best were featured at the October festival.
The festival will be held Oct. 5, 6, 7 and 8 in Pine City, with screenings at Pine Technical & Community College, Pine City’s Pizza Pub, the North West Company Fur Post, and Pine Center for the Arts.
Films can be submitted at For more information, visit, the Highway 61 Film Festival page on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. Questions? Email
The Highway 61 Film Festival is sponsored by the nonprofit Pine Center for the Arts: 320-629-4924.

Welcome! From the City of Pine City and Pine Technical & Community College


Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts as the 2016 Highway 61 Film Festival gets underway.

This year we celebrate the sixth anniversary of the film festival and remind ourselves that it is because of the vibrant arts culture in Pine City that we continue to enjoy artistic treasures that are in grand abundance right here at home.

We are a discerning people and we have never had reason to complain about the variety, quality and sheer enjoyment of what has been offered to us over the years by our local arts organizations, the Heritage Players community theatre, Pine City Arts Council and Pine Center for the Arts.  Best of all, local talents—your neighbors, your friends, and fellow Pine Citians—produced some of what you are about to experience at this festival.  A truly worldly festival, the Highway 61 Film Festival sees entries from all over the planet.

If you are new to the Festival or this is your first time visiting Pine City, welcome! I invite you to check out some of the wonderful assets this community has to offer, including 30 places to eat (the third highest-concentration of any Minnesota city), a variety of places to shop, historic sites, arts amenities and more.

A special thanks to the Old Highway 61 Coalition tri-county (Chisago, Pine and Carlton) effort to restore interest in Old Highway 61, part of America’s North-South Byway. Renewed interest in the Highway is part of what it will take to revitalize the small towns along its route.

Enjoy a packed four-day program with these artists’ documentaries, shorts, special genres and features.   Congratulations to the Festival team and their volunteers for coming up with a varied and exciting program and look forward to enjoying what the Festival offers.

The business community and individual patrons have long been the lifeblood of the arts in Pine City and without their support, the full range and scale of the festival could not be achieved.  We are pleased that our local business community and individual patrons continue to strongly support the arts and the region’s first film festival. We thank them deeply and they are listed in this program.  They join us, we know, in thanking the Festival’s most important ingredient of all:  You, the viewer and reader of this program.


Carl Pederson


City of Pine City



PTCC logo color

Welcome to Pine Technical and Community College

Taking Hold of the Future!

Pine Technical and Community College (PTCC) has a long history of providing quality education, and establishing great partnerships that have contributed in making us who we are today.  We have taken hold of the future by completing an extensive planning process that provides the map for us to best serve East Central Minnesota.  This map identifies how we can best help the residents of this region take hold of their future.  Many of these programming opportunities are already in place, with more coming soon.  We are offering a wider variety of programs, with more on-line offerings than ever before.

PTCC expanded its mission to become a comprehensive technical and community college by offering new options for students and new ways to meet the needs of the region. This mission change specifically recognizes an increased focus in the arts for our community and students.   As the President, I am excited to welcome you again to the college and look forward to continuing our partnership that help provide this rich cultural experience to our great region.

I would like to thank you all for coming to Pine Technical and Community College and strongly encourage you to take hold of your future by rediscovering how we can help your journey.

All the Best,

Joe Mulford


Pine Technical & Community College