Weather Forecast


Free Range Film Festival celebrates 13th annual festival this weekend

The 13th Annual Free Range Film Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, in a barn that turns 100 this year — the Free Range Film Barn at 909 County Road 4, Wrenshall. Dubbed as “a farm fresh alternative to stale cinema,” the festival has been a cult favorite in the Northland since it started screening films in 2003. To celebrate the barn’s important anniversary the festival has expanded the number of films it is screening to almost 40 as well as presenting a live improvised score with the Band  “Portrait of a Drowned Man.”

“This year’s crop of films is particularly peculiar and delightful,” said organizer Annie Dugan. “We have such a mix with lots of shorts so there is always going to be something that will capture as well as challenge our audiences. I feel like that is what watching movies together should be about.”

This year’s lineup includes animated shorts, narrative shorts and plenty of documentaries including a 10-minute short about a 90-year-old woman who tries bacon for the first time.

“What is great about the film festival, at this point, is that we’ve built up relationships with fabulous filmmakers and we’ve gotten a reputation of being a really fun, quirky festival, so we’re able to leverage that to get really amazing work,” said Dugan. “This year we were able to secure a film that made a big splash at Sundance called ‘Nuts!’ It tells the story of John Brinkley who tried to cure impotence with goat testicle implants and ended up inventing modern radio along the way. And a lot of it is done in animation!”

The festival will feature local filmmakers alongside national headliners. Brian Barber is returning to screen work that he and Paul Lundgreen from Perfect Duluth Day directed together: “Honeycomb Hideout” interviews Duluthian Rob Berry whose collection of cereal boxes is truly tremendous.

The Free Range Film Festival will run from 7-11 p.m. Friday, July 29, and 2-5:30 p.m. and 7- 11 p.m. Saturday, July 30. For questions or more information, contact Anne Dugan at 218-310-4703 or by email at

For more information on the Free Range Film festival, visit

2016 Schedule

Friday, July 29

7 p.m. Block

Free Associates - An animated treatise on the right of free association, the best right of all. Directed by John Akre (3 minutes)

A Perfect Record - Search for the ideal vinyl with the founder of the Fargo Record Fair. Directed by Greg Carlson (7 minutes)

Bacon & God’s Wrath - A 90-year-old Jewish woman reflects on her life as she tries bacon for the first time ever. Directed by Sol Friedman (9 minutes)

A Letter to My Son - Duluth designer Tommy Kronquist writes a letter to his son. Directed by Tommy Kronquist (4 minutes)

Canine Freestyle with Patie and Sassy - A woman and her beloved dog show off their fancy choreographed dance moves. Directed by Jen Gross and Josh Gross (3 minutes)

Pickle - A celebration of our capacity to care for all creatures. Even a fish who can’t swim and lives on a sponge. Directed by Amy Nicholson (15 minutes)

They Crawl Amongst Us! - A stop-motion documentary about life in New York City — as told by its creepy-crawlies. Directed by Sihanouk Mariona (13 minutes)

Skips Stones for Fudge - Enter the high stakes world of competitive stone skipping. Where winning means glory. And also fudge. Directed by Ryan Seitz (52 minutes)

Friday, July 29

9:30 p.m. Block

Forever Professor - A psychologist who is obsessed with time owns, not coincidentally, the world’s largest collection of talking clocks. Directed by Mika Johnson (32 minutes)

Alternate - After a long day of reality, Philip wants to surf through some alternatives. Directed by Conor Holt (4 minutes)

Cat Bird Coyote - Freak accident in stark laboratory frees animal! Directed by Amy Raasch (3 minutes)

This Video Is Harmless - It’s possible this entire movie takes place in the mind of a dog. Possible. But not likely. Directed by John Kelley (3 minutes)

Something About Silence - “You are here because you are boring. Let the audio-visual experience sink into your subconscious in order to become more exciting and fashionable.” Directed by Patrick Buhr (13 minutes)

Count - Nosferatu, driven by his quenchless thirst for blood… goes to a costume party! Directed by Jesse Larson (11 minutes)

The Eve - Santa Claus plus murder equals one crazy bananas movie. Directed by Luca Machnich (20 minutes)

Saturday, July 30

2 p.m. Block

Some Days Are Bug Days - Poor Junebug. She’s having another one of those days: A bug day. Directed by Mary C. Taylor (3 minutes)

STO[NE]S - This is exactly the sort of short film you might’ve seen on Sesame Street in the 70s. Which is the highest compliment we can give a film. Directed by Marcin Gizycki (3 minutes)

Balloon Cat - How one cat learned to fly. Directed by Michael Cerminara (4 minutes)

Growing Good Bugs - A movie about growing good bugs. Was that not clear from the title? Directed by Julie Philips (3 minutes)

In the Waves - The beginning of life as seen through a microscope. But animated. Directed by Ying-Fang Shen (6 minutes)

The Mountain Funeral - An Appalachian funeral in the mountains of Iceland. Directed by Jonathan Johnson (6 minutes)

A Cup of Coffee & Pieces of Wood - Old Scandinavians have got it figured out: Life is nothing more than good coffee, nice scenery and a little bit of romance. (13 minutes)

Who Stole the Ruby Slippers? Somebody stole the ruby slippers from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Was it you? Directed by Theodore James (12 minutes)

The Man Who Saved Ben Hur - The life and career of John Alarimo Jr., Hollywood’s real life Forrest Gump. Directed by Joe Forte (55 minutes)

Henny’s Opus in B Minor - A classical musician struggles with aging and dementia. But she still has Bach. Directed by Andrea Conte (5 minutes)

The Liberators - Missing Nazi treasure finally turns up in a small Texas town. Because, of course it does. Directed by Cassie Hay (74 minutes)

Saturday, July 30

7 p.m. Block

Scratchorama - Cameraless animation in extreme widescreen set to “Jungelaya” by Los Straightjackets. Directed by Robert Lyons (3 minutes)

Honeycomb Hideout - Rob Berry has a lot of cereal boxes. Like, A LOT of cereal boxes. Directed by Brian Barber and Paul Lundgren (5 minutes)

Bright Spots - An animated portrait of scientist Nick Holmes and his work preventing extinctions on islands. Directed by Jilli Rose (8 minutes)

The Creature - Dr. Frankenstein brings her husband back to life… with unexpected results. Directed by Jesse Damazo (11 minutes)

The Itching - Your parents were right: Quit scratching that. Directed by Dianne Bellino (16 minutes)

Love Is: A Message from Uganda’s Gay and Transgender Community - Y’know, that is a very descriptive sub-title. Directed by Katie G. Nelson (3 minutes)

These C***sucking Tears - The man behind the world’s first gay-themed country music album, 40 years after its release. Directed by Dan Taberski (16 minutes)

My Friend the Trees - Silly drawings make for lifelong friends. Directed by John Akre (5 minutes)

LOVE - Visit a distant planet without ever leaving the comforts of the barn. Directed by Réka Bucsi (15 minutes)

The Champion - Chicago cab driver Estaifan Shilaita has a secret: He used to be an Iraqi boxing champion. Directed by Brett Garamella and Patrick McGowan (18 minutes)

Saturday, July 30

9:30 p.m. Block

Getting Away With It - In 1970, war photographer Don McCullin’s camera stopped a bullet. Today, the Society for Ontofabulatory Research asks: “What? Really?” Directed by Adam O’Meara (6 minutes)

Nuts! - John Brinkley cures impotence with goat testicle implants. And that’s just for starters. Directed by Penny Lane (79 minutes)