Selective Focus: Free Range Film Festival

This weekend, you have the chance to celebrate two Sweet 16 parties. There is of course Perfect Duluth Day’s 16th Anniversary on Saturday at Ursa Minor. But the Free Range Film Festival is also celebrating 16 years, and this year, has a theme: Competition.

Film festival programmer Annie Dugan explains, “I realized as I was screening films for this year’s festival that we had a lot of movies about interesting people participating in very particular pursuits. I don’t know what it is in the cultural zeitgeist right now, but people want to compete!”

The festival runs for two days – June 28th and 29th and each screening holds a contest film. Friday night features a movie about creative dog grooming competitions, Saturday afternoon the festival showcases model airplane contests taken to salt mines in Romania, and Saturday evening there will be a documentary about celebrity death pools.

A major draw of the festival – in addition to the mix of quirky, experimental, moving and funny films – is the 103 year old barn the movies are shown in. The main theater is the hayloft, but if you’re not ready to climb the stairs to a century-old hayloft, there are ground-level screens and seating as well. Refreshments are served, some years there have been food trucks, and this year as in several years past, Portrait of a Drowned Man will provide music at the intermission on Saturday evening.

Many of the filmmakers responsible for work in the festival will be in attendance, coming from Brooklyn, Milwaukee, and California. Some of the individuals who inspired the films will be in attendance as well. For instance, all of the participants in “RIPLIST” will be on site to answer questions on what it is like to be part of a group that chooses who they think is going to die that year.

For a full schedule and more info, visit the website,

Friday, June 28th 7pm – 11pm
Saturday, June 29th, 2pm – 5:30pm and 7pm – 11pm
909 County Road 4
Wrenshall, MN

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