Free Range Film Barn selected as venue for Manhattan Short Film FestivalAnnie Dugan and Janaki Fisher-Merritt announced this week that their rural Wrenshall barn – in which the Free Range Film Festival is held each year – has been selected as one of the international venues for this year’s Manhattan Short Film Festival.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
There’s now a barn in Manhattan, and chances are it will attract a great deal of attention.
Hot on the heels of the wildly successful 2010 Free Range Film Festival, organizers Annie Dugan and Janaki Fisher-Merritt announced this week an exciting new venture. Their rural Wrenshall barn – in which the festival is held each year – has been selected as one of the international venues for this year’s Manhattan Short Film Festival.
The annual Manhattan film festival has been dubbed “an extraordinary global event” that makes it possible for some 100,000 people in over 200 cities across six continents to gather in cinemas, galleries, museums and cafes (and now, a barn!) for one purpose – to view and vote on the prestigious festival’s finalists’ films in order to give audiences worldwide the chance to see the best in short films and select the ultimate winner.
Film viewing will take place the week of Sept. 26 to Oct. 3, with the local event set to take place at the Free Range Film Festival barn, 909 County Road 4, Wrenshall, on Saturday, Oct. 2, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Dugan said they first learned about the opportunity to be a part of the Manhattan Short Film Festival when her parents attended one of the past film viewings in Ann Arbor.
“They enjoyed the experience, so I e-mailed the organization and they were excited to add a barn to the venue list,” said Dugan.
Though she said she didn’t have any specific information about the films to be premiered yet, she does know there will be 10 films from 10 countries.
“Rural Carlton County gets to add their vote to who wins – one more step towards global domination!” Dugan said with a laugh. “We’re very excited for the opportunity to share the barn with more people. A big part of doing the film festival is the opportunity to see interesting work from around the world ¬– the Manhattan Shorts fits the bill perfectly.”
As for last weekend’s Free Range Festival, Dugan said it was an unqualified success.
“It was a fantastic weekend – the best crop of films we’ve ever had, perfect weather and an abundant audience.”
She said they had about 200 people attend both nights and 100 in the afternoon on Saturday. Eight of the featured filmmakers were in attendance to answer questions after their films, and one came all the way from Brooklyn for the airing of her movie “World’s Largest.”
Dugan said they also introduced real 16 millimeter film this year with works from the archive of guest curator Tim Massett, programmer of the Zinema in Duluth.