DL to host inaugural native film festival Thursday

Fargo has one. Bemidji has one. So does Wadena. And soon, Detroit Lakes will have one too. A local film festival, that is. This Thursday, Oct. 11, marks the kickoff of the inaugural Detroit Lakes Indigenous and Independent Film Festival, which as...

Fargo has one. Bemidji has one. So does Wadena. And soon, Detroit Lakes will have one too.

A local film festival, that is. This Thursday, Oct. 11, marks the kickoff of the inaugural Detroit Lakes Indigenous and Independent Film Festival, which as the name implies, highlights the work of indigenous (also referred to as American Indian) and independent filmmakers.

Co-sponsored by Native Harvest and the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP), the festival kickoff will be held in conjunction with the second annual Northwest Minnesota Slow Food Dinner, also sponsored by Native Harvest.

Winona LaDuke, founder and executive director of the WELRP, said she got the idea of starting a local film festival from attending other similar events, such as the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and the Nevada City Film Festival in California.

"I felt Detroit Lakes deserves an independent film festival (of its own)," LaDuke said in a telephone interview Thursday. "I've been to a few of these international festivals, like Sundance and Nevada City in California, and I thought if a film festival is allowed to grow it is not only a chance to see great films and be exposed to a wide variety of discussions and views of the world, but... in some of these places, it's really good for business."


The dinner begins at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Holmes Ballroom, located inside the Historic Holmes Theatre complex at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center, 826 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.

"Promising some interesting dishes ranging from buffalo and shitake mushrooms, to Hominy flint corn with fromage de chevre, the dinner will feature local foods, and sponsors hope to spur discussions of local food economies," LaDuke said.

During the dinner of locally grown, gourmet cuisine prepared by Native Harvest, two short films by Native American youth will be screened. After the dinner, there will be another screening of a 30-minute film, "Food Upon the Water," in the Historic Holmes Theatre.

The film festival continues on Friday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m., with continuous screenings in both the ballroom and the main theatre (the final films of each day begin at 8:10 p.m.). Each day's offerings will feature unique films produced by native and independent filmmakers.

"We picked some films we felt were a little more provocative -- films you wouldn't typically see in the local theater," LaDuke said. "We also wanted to encourage both native and independent film makers -- about half the films are Native American, and half are independent.

"We're offering some great films if people want to come see them -- plus, we're providing popcorn," LaDuke said.

The eventual goal is to build the festival into something that draws visitors to the community from across the region.

Tickets for the dinner are $30 per person, and includes admission to all films screened that evening. Advance tickets are required. Tickets to the festival on the remaining two days are $5 per day, "for all the films you can watch."


For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the Historic Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469), or visit the Web site online at .

Film screening schedule

Here is a list of the times and locations for all the films being screened during the festival.

Thursday, Oct. 11: Two short films by native youth, "Songs and Dances" and "Why We Play Basketball," will be screened during the Slow Food Dinner, which starts at 6 p.m.

After the dinner, the 30-minute film "Food Upon the Water" will be screened in the Historic Holmes Theatre.

Friday, Oct. 12: The Holmes Ballroom will host screenings of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" at 6 p.m., "Half of Anything" at 7:40 p.m. and "Off the Map" at 8:10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Historic Holmes Theatre will host screenings of "Why We Play Basketball," "Songs and Dances" and "The Winter Chill" starting at 6 p.m., "Trudell" at 6:35 p.m., and "An Unreasonable Man" at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 13, the curtain rises at 4 p.m. with simultaneous screenings of "When Our Hands Are Tied" in the ballroom and "Waterbuster" in the theater.


Additional screenings in the ballroom will include "I Know I'm Not Alone" at 5 p.m., "Trudell" at 6:30 p.m. and "An Unreasonable Man" at 8 p.m.

The theater, meanwhile, will have screenings of "Half of Anything" at 5:30 p.m., "Shut Up and Sing" at 6 p.m., "The Winter Chill" at 7:35 p.m. and "Off the Map" at 8:10 p.m.

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