Skip to main content

Festival will have lots of MN-made films, a couple tributes – and virtual reality

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival will look at how virtual reality is transforming film.

Details about this year's Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival are trickling out and one of the things we now know about next month's event is that it will take an up-close look at a new playground for filmmakers: virtual reality.

The 2017 festival runs from April 13 through 29 in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester. While the full schedule of 250 films from 70 countries won't come out until later this month, festival organizers did release some tidbits on Tuesday.

And one of their revelations is that they'll feature 11 projects by filmmakers working in virtual reality or its cousin augmented reality.

"Virtual/Augmented Reality is radically transforming how we experience the medium of film," festival organizers say. Some of the same artists whose works are being featured will take part in a panel discussion, "VR/AR & the Future of Storytelling" on April 22.

If you want help warming up for the discussion, there's background on the intersection of virtual reality and cinema from Audio Network and from Hackastory. And at last year's Sundance Film Festival The Verge talked with some virtual reality filmmakers about their craft.

Minnesota films and 2 new awards

MSPIFF (that's short for Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival) says it's showing more than 80 locally made films.

Many of them are short films (there's a list here) but there are also documentaries on topics like May Day in Minneapolis, how the oil boom has transformed lives in western North Dakota, and Winona LaDuke's campaign against the Enbridge Pipeline in northern Minnesota.

There are also two new awards being presented this year. Director Frederick Wiseman will be honored with the Master Filmmaker Tribute. Wiseman's 50-year career as a documentary maker earned him a Governor's Award last fall from the same people who give out the Oscars.

Also, producer Sarah Pillsbury will receive the first Minnesota Cinematic Arts Award. Pillsbury, whose great-grandfather put the family name on a Minneapolis flour milling company, has been producing movies since moving to California in the 1970s, though MinnPost insists she's "once and always a Minnesotan."

MSPIFF will be spread across five venues this year: the Capri, Uptown, and St. Anthony Main theaters in Minneapolis, the Film Space at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, and the Marcus Wehrenberg 14 Theater in Rochester. Tickets and passes are available here.

Next Up


How the fastest animal on the planet returned to MN after local extinction

The fastest animal on Earth had once vanished from Minnesota and Wisconsin.


St. Paul's new 'skate trail' brings non-traditional park to life

Gateway Park is the first of four parks to open in the Highland Bridge redevelopment.


80 mph winds, large hail possible with severe storms in MN

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for much of the state until 3 a.m. Saturday.


30 people evacuated as flooding hammers small town

It's assumed that at least eight inches of rain fell in Randall, with more heavy rain expected Friday night into Saturday morning.

Intersection in Rochester.

Boy dies in motorcycle crash in Rochester

Police are investigating as of Friday afternoon.

Tab2FileL (13)

Numerous severe storms likely in Minnesota Friday night

Watch the video for the full details with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

court room

Teen pleads guilty in shooting death of 15-year-old girl in Columbia Heights

Damico Jamal-Tokyo High will receive a sentence in juvenile court, along with an adult prison sentence.

Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 11.00.01 AM

Walz wants to use surplus money to send direct payments to Minnesotans

It's a renewed effort from a previous proposal from Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's supplemental budget in January.

Ron Johnson

Jan. 6 committee says aide for WI senator tried to give fake elector info to Pence

The attempt was discovered through text messages in the ongoing public hearing held by the Jan. 6 select committee.

Stock U of M sign

Minnesota State colleges, U of M boosting tuition again

The Minnesota State system's Board of Trustee's approved the increase Wednesday.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, June 24

The next daily update will be provided Monday, June 27.

Pro choice rally

Walz, Jensen react to historic Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade

After voting to overturn Roe, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas has hinted contraception and same-sex marriage protections should follow.


The Twin Cities film festival begins this week with 350-plus screenings

There are more than 80 Minnesota-made films in the lineup.

Kelsey Peterson in the documentary, "Move Me."

Doc depicting MN dancer's journey with paralysis debuts at Twin Cities film festival

The film surrounds St. Paul-born Kelsey Peterson, who continues to pursue her passions in dance after being paralyzed from the chest down in 2012.

Woody Harrelson film shot in MN gets its premiere at Sundance

Wilson was filmed in 50 locations around the Twin Cities.

From Wilson to Mogadishu, here's how movies get filmed in MN

A chat with Lucinda Winter, one of the people that helps bring film shoots to Minnesota. Full audio interview inside.

Watch: The Coen brothers made a 'wild' Super Bowl commercial

The ad is a tribute to the 1969 film "Easy Rider."

Wilson director will be at the free MN premiere Wednesday

You might know Craig Johnson from the film The Skeleton Twins.