First North by North International Film Festival kicks off in Duluth

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - A new international film festival started Wednesday at the Zeitgeist Zinema in Duluth.

More than 80 films are being shown over a five day period, and $18,000 in grant funding is being awarded to local filmmakers who take part in the festival’s competition.

“We’re really excited to be able to benefit our local community and help artists out and help tell these stories,” said festival director Matthew Koshmrl.

Koshmrl’s passion for film runs deep.

From teaching classes and producing films of his own to helping other filmmakers in the area, he keeps busy.

“I’m really just trying to cultivate an independent film scene,” Koshmrl said. “Help merging filmmakers tell these stories and get them on to the big screen.”

His latest project, in collaboration with many, is the North by North International Film Festival.

“We really try to program filmmakers that might not have industry funding or attention already,” he said.

Local filmmaker Lance Todd was born and raised in Duluth, and said it’s exciting to showcase his work in his own community.

“It really means a lot that there is a local festival and a local group commited to bringing the community together and giving us an opportunity to show off our work,” said Todd.

Festival organizers said beyond supporting local artists, they wanted to highlight diverse voices with stories from across the Midwest.

Programmers decided to kick the festival off with a feature film based in rural Michigan called “Bad Axe.”

“To be able to be the opening night film for a first-year festival, it’s a great honor,” said director David Siev.

The first night of the festival was a success; many community members showed up to support the first day of the new festival.

“To get their films up on the big screen and have all these people from our community and our region come in to Duluth, I think it’s a really unique experience,” said Koshmrl.

If you’re interested in seeing a film at the festival, you can head to Zeitgeist’s website.

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