January 22 – 26, 2014 @ Winona State University, Winona, MN.

2011 Films

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11 Degrees

Anna Ewert  (8 Minutes)

You might not think of Scotland as the place to link turns, but despite a warming climate, a little Scottish ski resort continues spinning the motor on its rope tow. Skiers keep descending on one small swatch of browning snow. And whatever the conditions, Scottish humor and enthusiasm shine in the ski attendant, a mild-mannered man of the mountains.

A Good Day to Die

Lynn Salt, David Mueller   (92 Minutes)

The film tells the story of Dennis Banks and the rise of the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) from Banks' early boarding school experiences to his service in the US military to the founding of the Movement. Much of the film's energy is focused on the early and controversial actions of A.I.M. in Washington DC, Custer, South Dakota and Wounded Knee. Through evenhanded and diverse interviews from all "sides" the film presents a clear and cohesive telling of the events leading up to and surrounding a period of history that the Filmmakers claim is not well known and often misunderstood.
Appearing in Person: Lynn Salt, David Mueller and Dennis Banks
  View Trailer...

A Sea Change

Barbara Ettinger  (83 Minutes)

A Sea Change is a touching portrait of Sven's relationship with his grandson Elias. As Sven keeps up correspondence with the little boy through his travels, he worries about the world that he is leaving for future generations. A disturbing and essential companion piece to An Inconvenient Truth, A Sea Change brings home the indisputable face that our lifestyle is changing the earth, despite our rhetoric or wishful thinking.   View Trailer...

Alone On The Wall

Peter Mortimer & Nick Rosen  (25 Minutes)

Many climbers ascend Yosemite's famous Half Dome in just a few hours. But how would they fare all alone with no partner, no rope and just a thousand feet of air between them and the ground? Meet Alex Honnold. He's 23, tall, unassuming and kind of goofy. He's also a calm, collected super-athlete who is pioneering new territory by free soloing big walls. Alone on the Wall, follows Alex as he completes two ground-breaking projects: free soloing Zion's Moonlight Buttress and Yosemite's Half Dome. In the world of climbing, free soloing is rare, and in the world of free soloing, nobody else attempts such big walls. His climbing is exceptional, but it's his composure, focus and utter calm that make such an impression.   View Trailer...


Meredith Olson  (15 Minutes)

Apprentice follows the apprentices of the Great River Shakespeare Festival during the festival's "lucky season seven" in Winona, Minnesota. The young actors came from all over the country to spend their summer in Winona. From serving concessions to performing their own show at the end of the season, the apprentices literally did it all. Follow them to their rehearsals, front of house duties, and backstage during their performance of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. This is just a glimpse into the life of an apprentice.

Bag It

Suzan Beraza  (79 Minutes)

Try going a day without plastic. Go ahead. You'd be hard pressed to get out of bed without encountering the substance in one form or another. Plastic is everywhere and infiltrates our lives in unimaginable and alarming ways according to Suzan Beraza's documentary. What starts as a film about plastic bags, evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic and its effect on our lives, bodies and waterways. Appearing in person: Jim Hurst

Bearwalker of the Northwoods

David Wright  (60 Minutes)

Dr. Lynn Rogers is a biologist who began studying black bears in the North Woods of Minnesota in the late '60s. Early on, he developed an entirely new method for research: He adopted trust, instead of traps, to enter the world of black bears. In this manner, he tromps around the forest following the bears-playful, gentle and always hungry-and gathering piles of data about how they behave in the wild. For him, each day of research is a part of his larger mission: to change people's beliefs that black bears are aggressive, dangerous animals.

Bike Life

Phil Ebener  (11 Minutes)

Europe is a world filled with a rich history in cycling. Men, women, children, grandmas, grandparents; they all ride bikes: to work, to school, to the market, everywhere! Bike Life focuses in on three stories along Lake Geneva to try and discover how bikes are changing the world.

Birth of a Music Festival

Kate Carlson & Michelle Kowalewski  (40 Minutes)

​ The film chronicles the journey made by founder and director Sam Brown to create the first ever Mid West Music Fest, a two-day, all ages and alcohol-free music festival in downtown Winona, Minnesota. From promotional events to city council meetings, the inaugural MWMF committee members poured endless unpaid hours into ensuring the success of the festival's first year. Experience the festival from behind the scenes and from the people who made it happen.

Sam Brown, Kate Carlson and Michelle Kowalewski will be doing a short Q&A after the film.

Underground Film & Food
Friday January 21st, 2011 Bub's Basement


Skyworks  (90 Minutes)

Presented by the obsessive and excitable Pretor-Pinney, Cloudspotting, is no dry treatise on the science of nephology but a playful trip through the varied beauty and distinctive personalities of the ten principal cloud types.


Jane Sablow  (4 Minutes)

The short, CG animation, Cravings, chronicles the brief journey of a determined little girl to satisfy her surprising desire.

Eastern Rises

Ben Knight & Travis Rummel  (37 Minutes)

The Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Far East may as well be at the end of the earth. Its enormous, wild landscape is threaded with rivers, swimming with massive mouse-eating trout and swarming with bugs and bears. In other words, this place is the Holy Grail for truly obsessed, halfway insane fly fishermen. Ben Knight and Travis Rummel last brought audiences the story of Alaskan salmon at risk in Red Gold, and this film follows Frank Smethurst as he and other anglers head to Kamchatka during the summer of 2008. In this gorgeous film, fishing is poetry; Bigfoot lurks in the fog; and fishermen risk life and limb in decommissioned Cold War helicopters to explore rivers that have never been fished before.   View Trailer...

Enemies of the People

Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath  (93 Minutes)

Enemies of the People exposes the truth about the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge who were behind Cambodia's genocide. More than simply an inquiry into Cambodia's experience, however, Enemies of the People is a profound meditation on the nature of good and evil, shedding light on the capacity of some people to do terrible things and for others to forgive them.   View Trailer...

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

Lev Anderson & Chris Metzler  (107 Minutes)

From the shifting fault-lines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan's America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk they demolished the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation. Telling it like it is, the iconic Laurence Fishburne narrates Everyday Sunshine, a story about music, history, fear, courage and funking on the one.

Featuring interviews with Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, Gogol Bordello, ?uestlove, and others, EVERYDAY SUNSHINE traces the band's history, influence, and struggle as individualistic, genre-blending artists up against an unforgiving music industry that threatens to pass them by. 


Brad & Deb Carr  (102 Minutes)

​So much more than a running movie, Feat showcases the limitless potential of the human body when focused on a goal greater than one's self. When winning medals no longer gratify him, endurance runner Tim Borland asks what he can do with his extraordinary ability to run. A friend's teenage daughter who battles the rare, terminal disease, ataxia telangiectasia, inspires Borland to undertake a seemingly impossible task; run 63 marathons in 63 consecutive days to raise awareness of A-T.   View Trailer...

Fish Out of the Water

Charles Annenberg Weingarten  (19 Minutes)

Most fly fishermen say that being out on the water is therapeutic in some ways. The good people of Sun Valley Adaptive Sports would certainly agree: They use the experience to help veterans of the Iraq War who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and fly fishing seems to be a highly effective treatment. In an almost timeless environment of natural beauty, far from the intrusions of counselors, clinics and medication schedules-not to mention IEDs and snipers-the soldiers make real progress toward coping. As one of them puts it, "You made me feel normal again." Just as succinctly, Fish Out of Water manages to hook both the horror of war and the hope of healing.


Kathy Kasic  (11 Minutes)

For Mike Kasic, the Yellowstone River represents the West as it's meant to be-wild, fast and free flowing. Mike should know: He spends a lot of time swimming the Yellowstone, looking for fish and almost becoming one himself. In particular, he looks for the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout that represents, for him, the soul of the river. Unfortunately, all is not well for the cutthroat, and Mike finds fewer and fewer in his subaquatic searches. He sees the loss as emblematic of disappearing wilderness. "Take it away," he says, "and we lose the ability to understand our world." Playful yet elegiac, Fishman neatly captures the vital and tenuous connection between man and nature.

For a Fistful of Snow

Julien Ezri  (6 Minutes)

A long time ago, terror, loathing and power reigned over the Wild Wild North. The foolishness of the inhabitants led them to battle for anything, even...For a Fistful of Snow.


Roberto Caban  (3 Minutes)

This short film was made to show both sides of the illegal art, graffiti. Many people believe it is a crime or consider it vandalism. In this film graffiti artists explain why they do graffiti and what it means to them, and a Chicago police officer offers his views as well.

I stopped for a turtle this morning

Champ Williams  (4 Minutes)

Director Champ Williams brakes for turtles because it's the least he can do. Humans destroy turtles' habitats and continue to harvest the eggs and meat of dwindling species. This video is heartbreaking. It is not recommended for those easily upset by graphic images.

Ice Water in the Veins

Cimon Charest  (45 Minutes)

​This is a documentary about the unique history of ice canoeing in Quebec. Experience two captivating stories celebrating a little-known tradition. Follow the reconstitution of a St. Lawrence River crossing by the ancestors of the Lachance family from Ile-au-Canoe. Discover the modern-day competition through the extraordinary passion of Isle-aux-Coudres native, Nathalie Dufour, and her teammates.

Lost Tribes of New York City

Andrew London & Carolyn London  (5 Minutes)

New York City is known as the multicultural epicenter of the world, a place where colors and languages mix and mingle. This short film playfully animates the unnoticed cityscapes of New York with quirky voices of multifarious characters.

Making the River

Sarah Del Seronde  (80 Minutes)

Lloyd Broncheau, a young Native American prisoner, was killed in the Washington State Penitentiary for a twenty-five dollar debt. Three days later, a prison guard, Sgt. William Cross, was killed during a fight with Indian inmates. This led to the longest lockdown in Washington State history and an inmate class-action lawsuit against the state. George and Jimi Simmons were charged with first-degree murder for the death of the guard. The state sought execution by hanging.   View Trailer...

Man vs. Eiger

Peter Mortimer & Nick Rosen  (25 Minutes)

​The famous North Face of the Eiger is revered among climbers, not only for the quality of its rock but also for its intimidating dimensions and technical challenges. This lethal exposure has tested the limits of climbing for the past century. Now, climbing pioneer Dean Potter pushes another boundary for himself and the Eiger by scaling the North Face with no rope, just a backpack containing a carefully folded parachute. "Adrenaline makes me feel calm," says Potter in this film that is part of the First Ascent series by Sender Films.

Music By Prudence

Roger Williams  (33 Minutes)

This short, moving documentary is about a memorable character named Prudence Mabhena who was born severely disabled in Zimbabwe, a country where many believe that the handicapped are cursed by witchcraft. Her grandmother refused to believe that pernicious stereotype and saved Prudence from a life on the streets. Despite her physical challenges, Prudence was blessed with a remarkable voice that has become an instrument for social change in Africa. She and her band, Liyana-which is comprised entirely of disabled musicians-have gained a sturdy platform after this film won an Academy Award for short documentary this year.

Roll Out Cowboy

Elizabeth Lawrence  (80 Minutes)

His tour bus is broken, he bought his house for a thousand bucks and the small farming town in which he lives is disappearing faster with each passing year. ROLL OUT, COWBOY'S Chris Sand is the face of the dying American West. Except for one thing-he raps. The Woody Guthrie protege looks like a cowboy, talks like a cowboy, but writes songs like LL Cool J.

When hip hop music hit the airwaves of the North Dakota badlands, where Sand grew up, he learned to rap and rhyme to the pulse of baling machines and irrigation pumps. ROLL OUT, COWBOY follows Sandman the rappin' cowboy as he embarks on a national t
  View Trailer...

Sign Language

Oscar Sharp  (5 Minutes)

​The protagonist of this utterly charming short narrative is an outgoing and talkative sign carrier on a busy street corner. It's a seemingly dead-end job, and he appears a little delusional as he talks with pride about his long-held position. While we see a busy and banal street corner, he notices "so much beauty, so much opportunity, right under our noses." It's his last day on this much-loved job, and his positive outlook is simply infectious and magically changes our own perspectives.


Nick Waggoner  (10 Minutes)

Nick Waggoner, a talented young filmmaker, captures the essence of deep powder skiing in Hokkaido, Japan.

Smile Pinki

Megan Mylan  (39 Minutes)

Smile Train is dedicated to helping the millions of children in the world who suffer from cleft lip and palate through free surgery for children, free training for doctors, and research to find a cure.

The free surgery and related treatment is performed by a local medical team in a local hospital in a developing country. This "teach a man to fish" strategy builds in-country capacity while helping very poor but very proud communities become self-sufficient, one smile at a time. Since 2000, Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery to hundreds of thousands of children who would otherwise never receive it. They have helped train tens of thousands of medical professionals and have established hundreds of programs in over 75 countries.
  View Trailer...

Sons of Perdition

Tyler Measom & Jennilyn Merten  (84 Minutes)

The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) are an offshoot sect of the Mormon Church who practice polygamy. Aside from the moral issues, polygamy has a simple mathematical flaw: There are not enough females for the males. Sons of Perdition tells the story of what happens to the teenage boys of Colorado City, Utah, who are expelled from their families because they threaten the older men's hold on the young women. Mostly, these youth start anew in nearby St. George, but without family, education or training, the challenges are enormous. Fortunately, they have each other, and a web of support has started in St. George for these lost boys. We see their deep determination to create a new life for themselves, different than the medieval one from which they were exiled.   View Trailer...


Nick Sherman  (86 Minutes)

Pure sound unaltered by human hands is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Gordon Hempton is an Emmy Award-winning sound recordist who has spent the last 30 years trying to find and record the vanishing sounds of nature in an attempt to capture a disappearing sensory experience. Soundtracker is a fascinating meditation on the world's changing landscape.

Appearing in person producer, writer and director Nick Sherman
  View Trailer...

Stone River: The Passion of Jon Piasecki

Hal Clifford & Jason Houston  (17 Minutes)

With his thick glasses, duct-taped gloves, worn-out boot toes and ursine bearing, Jon Piasecki may not immediately impress you as someone who can change the world. But watch as he waltzes hefty slabs of flagstone through the woods and connects them meticulously into a pathway that melds seamlessly with its surroundings, and you will likely credit him with having earth-shaking power and down-to-earth wisdom.

Striking a Chord

Susan Cohn Rockefeller  (40 Minutes)

As singer-songwriter Nell Bryden and her band travel through Iraq performing for the troops, we learn how music can heal invisible wounds of war. Inspiring performances and moving conversations with troops are intercut with conversation with psychiatrist Judith Broder. Appearing in person:Angela Alston   View Trailer...

Tar Creek

Matt Myers  (73 Minutes)

Once one of the largest lead and zinc mines on the planet, Tar Creek is now home to more than 40 square miles of environmental devastation in northeastern Oklahoma: acid mine water in the creeks, stratospheric lead poisoning in the children, and sinkholes that melt backyards and ball fields. Now, almost 30 years after being designated for federal cleanup by the Superfund program, Tar Creek residents are still fighting for decontamination, environmental justice, and ultimately, the buyout and relocation of their homes to safer ground.   View Trailer...

The Happy Duckling

Gili Dolev  (7 Minutes)

​In an animated pop-up book world, a boy comes across a pesky duck on his way home from school. The duck just won't leave him alone. What happens next in this page-turner of a tale is anyone's guess.

The Mouse That Soared

Kyle Bell  (6 Minutes)

Step right up and see the hair-raising adventures of a flying circus mouse! Witness the story of how an orphan foundling learns lessons in life and flight from his adoptive songbird parents. Come one, come all to this high-flying tale of beating the odds!

The Other Side

Bill Brown  (43 Minutes)

A 2000-mile journey along the U.S./Mexico border reveals a geography of aspiration and insecurity. Brown documents the physical landscape of the borderlands, and the human landscape of cross-border migration. He speaks with undocumented migrants who have made the crossing, as well as border activists who maintain a network of water stations in the desert. Along the way, he considers a border that is at once physical, historical, and political.

Through Our Eyes: A Maasai Photographic Journey

Lindsay Simpson and Joana Roque De Pinho  (28 Minutes)

Maasai are possibly the world's most photographed indigenous people. As lion hunters and warriors, these African pastoralists have captivated western imagination. Subjects of coffee table books,TV ads, academic studies and films, they resent their image's exploitation. What if, instead, Maasai were the photographers? Anthropologist Joana Roque de Pinho facilitated just this in the summer of 2009, during the worst drought in living memory. Putting cameras in the hands of Kenyan Maasai volunteers, she proposed that they use photography to tell stories of their lives, in their own terms. This film highlights local environmental issues through the eyes and voices of Maasai photographers. Following them through training, practice, storytelling, formation of the Maasai Photographers for Conservation association, it documents their hopes for the future.

Time for a New God

David Holbrooke  (18 Minutes)

​Irwin Kula is an eighth-generation rabbi who teaches that every religion that thinks it has it all right, is surely all wrong. In this moving monologue along the beaches, wharves, hot dog stands and roller coasters of Coney Island, Irwin spins a web of wisdom in a time when nothing is simply what it is. Amidst the changing ethnicity of New York City, with its new sounds, peoples and rhythms, he offers religion as a "giant tool box." And in an era when we have tamed the animals, can grow all the food we need and are the masters of the universe, the rabbi sweetly poses the question: "What kind of gods do we need?"

Troubled Waters

Larkin Mcphee  (56 Minutes)

America's bountiful harvest comes with a price. The American Midwest boasts some of the world's most productive farmland, but this bounty comes with a price. Excess nitrogen and phosphorous, fertilizers essential to the growth of plants, are contaminating the nation's rivers, lakes and aquifers at the same time as precious soils wash away. Farmers, scientists and citizens are seeking solutions that help meet the goals of an ambitious, food-producing nation while ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of its most precious natural resources. Here's the story of changes on the land, and the initiatives people are taking to ensure a more sustainable food production system. Produced by the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History

Virtual JFK: Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived

Koji Masutani  (80 Minutes)

Virtual JFK investigates one of the most debated "what if" scenarios in the history of U.S. foreign policy: What would President John F. Kennedy have done in Vietnam if he had not been assassinated in 1963, and had he been re-elected in 1964? The film employs what Harvard historian Niall Ferguson calls "virtual history," assessing the plausibility of counterfactuals - "what ifs" - and the outcomes they might have produced. The heart of the film deals with the question: Does it matter who is president on issues of war and peace?

Waste Land

Lucy Walker  (99 Minutes)

Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of "catadores" - self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives.


Anson Fogel  (31 Minutes)

WildWater is a journey into the mind and soul of whitewater, into the places only river runners can go, places of discovery, solitude and risk. It's a visually stunning feast for the senses, and an expedition into new ideas. The film focuses on a handful of people who share a deep passion for wild places, rivers and running whitewater.

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

Emily Kunstler & Sarah Kunstler   (85 Minutes)

Filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler explore the life of their father, the late radical civil rights lawyer. In the 1960s and 70s, Kunstler fought for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and represented the famed "Chicago 8" activists who protested the Vietnam War. When the inmates took over Attica prison, or when the American Indian Movement stood up to the federal government at Wounded Knee, they asked Kunstler to be their lawyer. This powerful film not only recounts the historic causes that Kunstler fought for; it also reveals a man that even his own daughters did not always understand, a man who risked public outrage and the safety of his family so that justice could serve all.