Filmmaker Talks

We are a festival that cares deeply about education. We strive to create a truly formative event with the power to inspire, change, direct, and facilitate the growth of students and professionals alike. For this reason, we take a strong and sincere interest in the voices of our filmmakers. We make speaking and panel engagements a priority—providing a strong learning experience and fostering creative dialogue in a region that is otherwise geographically isolated from film and art centers. 

  • 2017 Filmmaker Talks

    This festival included three speaking events. The first was a Friday luncheon featuring animator Michael Edwards (Salt Lake City, UT). The second was an afternoon panel on experimental storytelling featuring 4 filmmakers (one remote) speaking about their work. The third event was a general panel of predominately Minnesotan filmmakers moderated by judge Amy Magnus held during our passholder breakfast Saturday morning.  

  • Experimental Storytelling Panelists
    Yohahn Ko (Los Angeles, MN)
    Jesseca Simmons (Chicago, IL)
    Benji Inniger (Mankato, MN)
    Muriel Paraboni (Brazil)

    Filmmaker Breakfast Panelists
    Kyle Ensrude (Minneapolis, MN)
    Paul Gall (Milwaukee, WI)
    Daniel Gunderson (Minneapolis, MN)
    Paul Mruz (Minneapolis, MN)

  • 2016 Performer Panel

    After years of hearing primarily from directors, writers, and cinematographers, we assembled this wonderful group of people to speak about appearing in front of the camera. It was a lively discussion that accompanied Saturday breakfast (sponsored by Tandem Bagels). Anna, Hannah, and Luz described unique histories of acting and performing for the camera, while Kelly spoke to appearing on screen as himself in a documentary. All four of these panelists appeared in films playing at the 2016 festival.  

  • Panelists
    Anna Klemp (Minneapolis, MN)
    Hannah Landberg (Los Angeles, CA)
    Kelly Ludeking (Decorah, IA)
    Luz Cañas (Newark, New Jersey)

    Amanda Hauman, Mankato

  • 2016 Filmmaker Talks

    On Friday, March 18, Bethany Lutheran College hosted a series of filmmaker talks with three of our visiting filmmakers. Robert Platt traveled in to discuss his experimental film Rising from the Surface, the contexts behind the work, and its framework for interdisciplinary art practice. Christopher Chapman discussed his unique background in media, law, and business while giving students advice on breaking into the film industry. Minnesota director Jeff Johnson spoke about the making of The Seeker, a feature film made with Cloud Cult that won the Visual Music category of the 2016 festival. 


    Robert Platt, Assistant Professor
    University of Michigan
    Ann Abbror, MI

    Christopher Lawrence Chapman
    CEO, Zorya Films
    Tampa, FL

    Jeff Johnson
    Director, Motion 117 Productions
    Minneapolis, MN

  • 2015 Filmmaker Panel

    Moderator Dr. Lars Johnson spoke with six visiting filmmakers about “design” and its role in their films. While the films discussed were all very different, the “design” element connected them, whether it was thematic (as in Jesseca Simmon’s experimental documentary Particles) or related to mis-en-scene and performance (the highly choreographed sequences in Eugene Park’s surrealistic Self-Deportation).  

  • Panelists
    Eugene Park (Chicago, IL)
    Taylor Parrish (Ohio)
    Maribeth Romslo (Minneapolis, MN)
    Jesseca Simmons (Evanston, IL)
    Kryssa Schemmerling (New York, NY)
    Marcus Taplin (Minneapolis, MN)

    Dr. Lars Johnson, Mankato

  • 2014 Speaker Series

    The 2014 Speaker Series was presented by True Façade Pictures LLC, an independent film company in Mankato specializing in short and feature length narrative, documentary, and reality films. True Façade Pictures is also a leading producer of promotional and web videos, taking a cinematic style to the world of marketing in small business. This group of speakers was a highly qualified and varied group, all of whom spoke to different aspects of film production.  

  • Speakers
    Wes Schuck, Post Audio
    Ryan Sturgis, History of Film
    Dan Dusek, Location Management
    Steve Corona, Acting as a Profession
    John Paul, Art Direction
    Kyle O’Malley, Film Production
    Kurt Shrader, Editing
    Andy Guthrie, Celluloid Film