Filmmakers wanted for Highway 61 Film Fest

Untitled• Submission deadline July 31, 2013

The third annual Highway 61 Film Festival, held Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 in Pine City is now taking submissions.

The festival is open to both short (less than 40 minutes) and feature films. Categories include: Drama, Comedy, Action/Horror, Documentary and Animation. Now in its second year, there is also a category for Student Short films by students in grades K-12. Submission fees are $5 for short films and $10 per feature film, though all Student Short films are free to submit.

Submissions close Wednesday, July 31.

Submissions will be reviewed by judges, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top film in each category: $100 for features, $50 for short films.

Filmmakers can get entry forms online at, and submit their films by mailing or dropping them off at the Pine Center for the Arts at 265 Fifth Street SE,  Pine City, MN 55063.

For more information, visit, the Highway 61 Film Festival page on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. Questions? E-mail

The Highway 61 Film Festival is being sponsored by the Pine Center for the Arts, 265 5th St. SE, downtown Pine City,

Paradise presents ‘The Magic of Movies’

• Films also feature Pine City shorts

by Kirsten Blake
With a new digital projector and spruced up interior, the Paradise Theatre in Mora is hosting its first film festival, “Paradise Presents—The Magic of Movies,” to celebrate and draw movie goers into Mora.
The festival will feature six films shown over two days starting Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. and running through Sunday, April 21. This is the first time the theater will be hosting the event, but hopefully not the last.
“Our goal is to create an event that will draw people to Mora,” said Paradise Theatre manager Eric Carlisle.
Each of the six films being shown are actually movies about movies or theater. For example, “The Purple Rose of Cairo” playing April 21 at 4 p.m. is about a film character who leaps from the screen and into the real world to form a relationship with a member of the audience.
A short film created by local filmmakers from the 2011 and 2012 Highway 61 Film Festival in Pine City will play before each feature film. The producer of the short film may also be present to talk about the film.
Tickets are $2 to see a short and feature pair, or $5 for a day pass.
The movies will be:

Saturday, April 20, 2 p.m.
Short: “Whistle” by Mike Gainor
Feature: “Hugo” (PG)

Saturday, April 20, 5 p.m.
Short: “Spaceman From Space” by Jack DeFlorin
Feature: “The Majestic” (PG)

Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m.
Short: “Pants” by the “Mutts”
Feature: “Waiting for Guffman” (R)

Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m.
Short: “The Paper Jam” by Josh Palmer
Feature: “Sherlock Junior” (PG)

Sunday, April 21, 4 p.m.
Short: “The Dream” by Jimmy Keebs
Feature: “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (PG)

Sunday, April 21, 6 p.m.
Short: “What If?” by Noah Schwell
Feature: “Cinema Paradiso” (PG-13)

The Paradise Theatre recently updated its facility adding digital projection equipment and surround sound in June 2012 and this spring completed the renovation and decoration of the auditorium including new anti-microbial acoustic sound insulation.
Funding for the upgrades and for the film festival came from grants from the East Central Regional Arts Council, the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and the Onan Family Foundation as well as donations from many local businesses and individuals including Jerome Carlson.
For more information on the film festival, visit or call (320) 679-3964.

Where to stay during the Highway 61 Film Festival?

The Old Oak Inn in Pine City is offering discounted rates for rooms during the festival.

With the $10 discount, a one-bed room is $64. A two-bed room is $69. You must identify yourself as a film fest participant to receive the discount.

At the time of this posting there were 8 rooms left for Friday, 5 rooms left for Saturday.

Old Oak Inn

920 Main Street South
Pine City, MN 55063
(320) 629-2511

Highway 61 Film Festival winners

We are proud to present the winners of the 2011 Highway 61 Film Festival.

Many thanks to our judges for their consideration of all of these films.

Action/Horror Features

1. Attack of the Moon Zombies

Director: Christopher R. Mihm

2. Ghost from the Machine

Director: Matt Osterman

Action/Horror Shorts

1. Stitches

Director: Mason Makram

2. Dope Sick

Director: Elijah Woodcock

Comedy Features

(no entries)

Comedy Shorts

1. Birthmarked for Death

Director: Matt Olson

2. Lumber Jill

Director: Tucker Lucas

Documentary Features

1. All Over the Walls

Directors: Ryan Anderson, Greg Paape, Joe Galegher, Jake Johnson, and Alex Grangaard

2. Welcome to America: 50 States in 50 Days

Director: Rodney Johnson

Documentary Shorts

1. Songs to Enemies and Deserts

Directors: David Martinez and Shane Bauer

2. Stories Next Door

Director: Jeff Weihe

Drama Features

1. Lambent Fuse

Director: Matt Cici

Drama Shorts

1. The Missing Frame

Director: Elijah Woodcock

2. Sun Gods

Director: Nial Hopkins

Animation Features

(no entries)

Animation Short

1. Cento

Director: Michael Thompson

The winning feature film in each category will receive a $100 prize. The winning short film in each category will receive a $50 prize.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Highway 61 Film Festival map

The map seen here shows the locations of the Highway 61 Film Festival, and also spots where local photographers will be beaming their work onto Pine City walls this weekend. ‘Photos on Buildings’ can be seen outdoors from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night. The slideshows can be spotted at the Pine Comb, at Pine Plaza and at the Pine City Scrapbooking Co., and will involve a group of diverse photographers including members of an intergenerational art project.

Film descriptions and showtimes at Highway 61 Film Festival

FRIDAY EVENING 6:30 p.m. @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

What If? • Director: Noah Schwell • Comedy • 6 min • A boy discovers what it is like to have all of his wishes suddenly answered.

Boundary Waters • Director: Lee Houghtaling • Drama • 36 min • A gruff loner who lives in a remote cabin faces financial pressures and the encroachment of outsiders that threaten his way of life. *2010 TrimMedia Film Festival “Audience Choice” Award*

Five Bucks Til Friday • Director: Zach Hamill • Comedy • 28 min • Goofy slacker Scott wakes up Monday morning with five dollars to his name… and has to make it last for five frustratingly eventful days.

Stories Next Door • Director: Jeff Weihe • Documentary • 28 min • A close up look at innovative programs that connect youth and seniors to record and celebrate local history as part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s statewide Sharing Community Stories initiative. Through projects as varied as a website, play or community cookbook, participants shared personal and community-based stories and worked with creative partners to create unique works inspired by those accounts.

Lumber Jill • Director: Tucker Lucas • Comedy • 29 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? *Official Selection – FreeRange Film Festival 2011*

Songs to Enemies and Deserts • Directors: David Martinez and Shane Bauer • Documentary • 35 min • In Darfur, an area of Sudan controlled by two factions of armed rebels, farmers and herders go about with their daily lives as they interact with the rebels. It’s been said that 95% of a war is waiting, and this film is about that part: when the conflict comes to a standstill, and the men with guns become part of everyday existence. Life is hard in Darfur, but it continues on nonetheless.

FRIDAY LATE NIGHT 10 p.m. @ Danny C’s BeachRocks (Adult Content)

Recreation • Director: James Vogel • Documentary • 8 min • An observational documentary about drug use, and how it relates to our social activities.

All Over the Walls • Directors: Ryan Anderson, Greg Paape, Joe Galegher, Jake Johnson, and Alex Grangaard • Documentary • 77 min • This documentary follows eccentric and charismatic mixed media artist and body painter Jacob as he pursues his dream of building an art gallery that doubles as an underground party space in downtown Minneapolis. Experience the many difficulties and meet the collection of characters Jacob encounters. *Special screening – 2011 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival*

True Story of Peter Pan • Director: James Vogel • Comedy • 13 min • A mocumentary about what might happen if Peter Pan existed in the real world.

Night Surf • Director: Brittany Gustafson • Drama • 16 min • In an alternate reality where the Nazis won WWII and are now creating human-animal hybrids, the lives of five people intersect at a top secret medical facility. *1st Place MCTC Excellence Awards Directing/Screenwriting • 2nd Place Cinematography • 3rd Place Editing*

Cocainine • Director: Jack Deflorin • Action/Horror • 20 min • A villainous plan to sell moondust as a drug brings chaos and murder to the city, and a detective is forced to get up earlier than he wanted to. *Midwest Sci-fi Film Festival*

Your Mother’s a Hunt • Director: John Karsko • Comedy • 14 min • Meeting her boyfriend’s mom for the first time, a young woman goes toe to toe with her when they discover each hides a supernatural secret.

Hunting Buddies • Director: Bill Cooper • Action/Horror • 77 min • Old friends gather for a weekend of fun and hunting. But when one of them goes missing, dark secrets emerge. *Minneapolis Underground Film Fest – Winner Best Sound*

SATURDAY 11:30 a.m. — FAMILY FRIENDLY SHOW @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

Rhythm Sticks • Director: Kristin Seuntjens • Animation (Not for competition) • 28 min • The whole family will love visiting the wonderful world of Rhythm Sticks, where learning about music is always fun!

Spaceman from Space • Director: Jack Deflorin • Comedy • 3 min • When a young space cadet crash-lands on an unknown planet he is forced to survive without a bunch of stuff, and in his search for stuff he finds himself in a battle of wits with the local inhabitants. *Midwest Sci-fi Film Festival*

Whistle • Director: Mike Gainor • Comedy (Not for competition) • 8 min • An unhappy boy looks for a cure for his sadness, and finds it … at the Pine County Fair!

Underwater Ocean Visit • Director: Bonnie Menigo • Documentary • 23 min • Join scuba divers as they discover underwater creatures in a world few people get to see.

Welcome to America: 50 states in 50 days • Director: Rodney Johnson • Documentary • 90 min • Roger Johnson and his travel partner Haley Chamberlain began a journey to all 50 United States in only 50 days. Starting in New York City, the two drove over 15,000 miles. *Real to Reel Film Festival – Best of the Fest*

SATURDAY AFTERNOON 2:30 p.m. @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

Ink Blots • Director: Sara Maki • Documentary (Not for competition) • 5 min • A trailer version of a documentary exploring the meanings and reasons for people’s tattoo choices.

Out of Character • Director: Barbara P. Flees • Drama • 21 min • The world inside the mind of author Zander – once a heavy drinker and womanizer. He cleaned up his act and is ready to move on by killing his main character, Zeke, who represents Zander’s unpleasant past. As he considers his options, Zeke tries to dissuade Zander from ending his book series.

Games Men Play • Director: Norm Barnhart • Comedy • 3 min • A news report on the destructive and addicting game that is sweeping the nation.

Cento • Director: Michael Thompson • Animation • 5 min • A strange and mysterious exploration of art and meaning.

Sun Gods • Director: Nial Hopkins • Drama • 16 min • When a stranger rolls into town with only a map to his name, he enlists two brothers to guide him on his journey.

Masquerade Director: Jennifer Prettyman • Drama • 27 min • Two lost souls are brought together through an evening of drinks and conversation at a local bar. *Shamrock Film Festival “Best Film – People’s Choice”*

Payback Time • Director: Mark Kopischke • Comedy • 7 min • An inventor uses his time-travel machine to wreak revenge on enemies and former girlfriends.

Harold Crumb • Director: Christopher Jopp • Drama • 24 min • Poor Harold. Too many fortune cookies to fill, and that yellow rabbit always out of reach…

The Suit Director: Adam Chown • Comedy • 7 min • After receiving their tax refund, two friends purchase new suits with the sole intention of destroying them.

Lambent Fuse • Director: Matt Cici • Drama • 99 min • The choices of a depressive man, a kleptomaniac, two amateur thieves, a mysterious chef, and a corrupt cop cause their intertwining lives and dynamic outcomes. *2011 Twin Cities Film Fest – Best Minnesota Feature*

SATURDAY EVENING 6:30 p.m. @ Pine Technical College Auditorium

Love Notes • Director: Canyon Lalama • Action/Horror • 11 min • Lovelorn Victor is rejected by his beloved Henrietta. He is in the process of killing himself when he finds a magical accordion on the train tracks. He uses the accordion’s magic to try and seduce Henrietta, but it backfires when she is stabbed by a fork. Victor must defeat the evil accordion and come to terms with the rejection. *Official Selection – 2011 South Dakota Film Festival*

Stitches • Director: Mason Makram • Action/Horror • 13 min • Jolene is wanted for the murder of a state trooper. Bullet wound in her stomach, she must do whatever it takes to get a passport to the border to Canada.

Bloodshed Love • Director: Mason Makram • Action/Horror • 17 min • 1927: Handyman Daniel Coyle is called to yet another job at the house of the beautiful Becky Darling. As love buds, his boss takes him to a speakeasy where he finds Becky in the lap of her procurer, McLintock. Coyle convinces her to stand up for herself, but McLintock will have the final say. Instead of taking her to a new life, Coyle finds … *MCTC Showcase 2010*

Roadside Assistance Director: Mark Kopischke • Comedy • 8 min • Stranded in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, an unhappy couple’s journey to find a jack turns into a bizarre adventure. *Shamrock Film Festival selection*

Dope Sick • Director: Elijah Woodcock • Action/Horror • 18 min • Todd Parker finds himself lost in a maze of a rundown hotel. Lovely Terra Crowe guides him through the twists and turns of his own mind in an attempt to escape his fate.

Birthmarked for Death • Director: Matt Olson • Comedy • 8 min • A reluctant hitman and an inept informant bond over substitute teaching on the way to an execution.

Ghost from the Machine • Director: Matt Osterman • Action/Horror • 86 min • A young man, raising his even younger brother after the death of their parents, plunges himself into the murky science of the supernatural and invents a machine intended to be a conduit to the other side. He reaches an unintended level of success that not only threatens his safety, but also those around him. *Film purchased by Universal Studios to be remade*

SATURDAY LATE NIGHT 10 p.m. @ Danny C’s BeachRocks (Adult content)

The Missing Frame • Director: Elijah Woodcock • Action/Horror • 12 min • After finding his wife’s dead body in their motel room, Johnny Keys goes on a hunt to find the man responsible. His only clue a car with a busted out back window he sees fleeing the scene.

Attack of the Moon Zombies • Director: Christopher R. Mihm • Action/Horror • 99 min • On Jackson Lunar Base, scientists stumble upon a seemingly impossible discovery: alien plant life on the surface of the moon! Unfortunately, exposure to the spores of this otherworldly flora cause instant death. Too bad those killed by them don’t stay dead, and want nothing more than to replicate!

Some Fangs • Directors: Mark L. Nielson and Destiny Soria • Action/Horror • 9 min • A girl gets revenge on her human ex-boyfriend after a mysterious vampire turns her into one of the undead.

Potpourri • Director: Brandon Van Vliet • Action/Horror • 90 min • A group of students are faced with expulsion if their final philosophy papers are not satisfactory. As a result, the inept group of friends decides to experiment with a series of illicit drugs to help them understand some of the mind-bending concepts of the course – but the students begin to realize how severely they’ve underestimated the effects of the drugs…

Official selections announced for Highway 61 Film Festival

The Highway 61 Film Festival, being held on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15 in Pine City, MN, has announced the official selections for the festival.

The festival will be held at two locations. Daytime and evening shows will be held at Pine Technical College Auditorium (900 4th Street SE, Pine City, MN 55063).

Late night showings will be held at Danny C’s BeachRocks Resort (10762 Lakeview Shore Drive, Pine City MN 55063).

Congratulations to all filmmakers selected for the festival.

The selections are currently under review by festival judges. Winners in each category will be announced shortly.

FILM SCHEDULE (Note – may be subject to change)

FRIDAY 6:30pm Pine Technical College Auditorium
What If? 6m
Boundary Waters 36m
Five Bucks Til Friday 28m
Stories Next Door 28m
Lumber Jill 29m
Songs of Enemies and Deserts 35m
162 minutes (2h2m)


FRIDAY LATE NIGHT 10pm Danny C’s BeachRocks
Recreation 8m
All Over the Walls 77m
True Story of Peter Pan 13m
Night Surf 16m
Cocainine 20m
Your Mother’s a Hunt 14m
Hunting Buddies 77m
225 minutes (3h45m)

SATURDAY 11:30 AM — FAMILY FRIENDLY SHOW Pine Technical College Auditorium
Rhythm Sticks 26m
Spaceman from Space 3m
Whistle 8m
Underwater Ocean Visit 23m
Welcome to America 50 states in 50 days 90m
150 minutes (2h30m)

SATURDAY AFTERNOON 2:30p Pine Technical College Auditorium
Ink Blots 5m
Out of Character 21m30s
Games Men Play 2m30s
Cento 5m
Sun Gods 16m
Masquerade 27m
Payback Time 7m
Harold Crumb 24m
The Suit 6m30s
Lambent Fuse 99m
187 minutes (3h35m)

SATURDAY EVENING 6:30pm Pine Technical College Auditorium
Love Notes 11m
Stitches 13m
Bloodshed Love 17m
Roadside Assistance 8m
Dope Sick 18m
Birthmarked for Death 7m33s
Ghost from the Machine 86m
167 minutes (2h7m)

SATURDAY LATE NIGHT 10 pm Danny C’s BeachRocks
The Missing Frame 12m
Attack of the Moon Zombies 99m
Some Fangs 9m
Potpourri 90m
210 minutes (3h30m)