Kickstart our Community Root Cellar (and claim a private screening in the barn)!

This is the North. Winter is always coming. And that’s why it would be so nice to have a Community Root Cellar where our whole damn town can keep all of our vegetables every year (until spring planting finally rolls around again).

One of the many many great rewards you can claim for supporting this Kickstarter campaign is a hay ride and a private screening in the Free Range Film Festival barn! What are you waiting for? We’re hungry. And those White Walkers are coming…

6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

A Brief Update on the Film Harvest


Submissions for 2015 are now closed. Thank you so much for sending us so many wonderful films! Now comes the hard part: deciding which ones to screen in the barn.

Sadly, we cannot play everything. (And that breaks our hearts.) We should have a schedule by the end of June. Stay tuned. And thanks for supporting the Free Range Film Festival!

6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Hi. Submit to us.

Look. We don’t want to trash anybody. Let’s just imagine that there are plenty of good websites for submitting your films to film festivals. Except that there aren’t. That’s why we’re using Film Freeway. It’s easy for you to use. It’s easy for us to use. And your films look really really great. Please submit your film today. Here’s the link:


7 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

The 2014 Schedule is here!

Free Range poster

The following films have been certified Free Range and will be on the big screen for your viewing pleasure July 25th & 26th. See you all in the big old barn!


July 25 & 26, 2014



Cowpokes (3min) by John Akre

Three Cowboys muse about safety concerns.

Rabbit and Deer (17min) by Péter Vácz

Does your best friend live in another dimension? This animated instructional video might be helpful.

Wicker Kittens (52min) by Amy C. Elliott and Mike Scholtz

Open the box. Dump out all the pieces. And scramble for your lives. This is competitive jigsaw puzzling.

Break with music by Portrait of a Drowned Man and Puzzle Swap.



The Morning I Almost Died (4min) by John Akre

The title of this animated short sums things up better than this description.

Random Stop (7min) by Benjamin Arfmann

A first person POV of the true story of a Sheriff’s deputy who encounters an aggressive driver on a lonely stretch of highway. FAIR WARNING: This film involves violence.

Surviving Cliffside (65min) by Jon Matthews

After their beauty-pageant-queen daughter beats leukemia, a family, living in a trailer park known for its guns and drugs, tries to put their lives back together in time for their daughter to make a run for Little Miss West Virginia. FAIR WARNING: This film is not an ‘upper.’




Pilgrim (10min) by Johnathon Olson

Filmmaker Johnathon Olson combines two of the most popular things in the Arrowhead Region: Charlie Parr and the Sea Caves.

Changeover (11min) by David Ketterer & Connor Lynch

Drive-in movie theaters are almost as cool as movie theaters inside barns.

AJ’s Infinite Summer (8min) by Toby Jones

AJ explores his summer career options and learns a valuable lesson in the process.

Mr Plastimime (10min) by Daniel Greaves

A cautionary tale about engaging in the mime lifestyle.

La Buche de Noel (26min) by Vincent Pater & Stephane Aubier

All this toy horse wants for Christmas is a nice pastry.

Arlo and Julie (80min) by Steve Mims

A neurotic couple’s obsession with a mysterious puzzle comically unravels their world, disconnecting them from reality and jeopardizing their fragile relationship.


Albert Einstein (3min) by John Akre

Only a few people try to understand relativity.

Richard Rosvall (5min) by Steve Ash

A hippy metalsmith makes neat things.

The Hammer and the Axe (6min) by Greg Carlson & Tucker Lucas

A blacksmith and his apprentice make neat things.

Stumped (11min) by Robin Berghaus

When life gets you down it takes courage to stand up.

Sticky (20 min) by Jilli Rose

The stick insect is not your typical charismatic megafauna but it does have enormous poop.

The Master’s Voice (10 min) by Guilherme Marcondes

This is what happens in the middle of the night when time stands still.

Break with food truck offerings by the Rambler and music by Ariane Norrgard


The Alligator (3min) by Alexandra Barsky

You should all be happy this festival does not take place in a swamp. FAIR WARNING: This movie contains animated nudity.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, II (4min) by Joseph Pelling & Rebecca Sloan

Time is a scary concept. FAIR WARNING: this might mess with your mind.

Sangre de Unicorno (9min) by Alberto Vasquez

No description. Just a FAIR WARNING: This short contains very mean teddy bears.

The Overnighters (100min) by Jesse Moss

Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local pastor risks everything to help them.



You may have noticed new siding on the barn. A HUGE thank you to Sandy and Betsy Dugan for their continued stewardship of this 96 year old structure and kudos to Jeremy Loucks Construction in Wrenshall for his exceptional work! As always, we want to thank our crack concessions stand team – Popcorn Man Doyle Sanders, Maggie Sanders, and Clark DeCaire. Thank you to our fabulous musical acts this year: Portrait of Drowned Man and Ariane Norrgard. And thanks to John Akre for producing this year’s official festival trailer!

Free Range Committee

Valarie Coit, Robin DeCaire, Annie Dugan, Janaki Fisher-Merritt, Misty Havens, Mike Scholtz

7 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Open Season on Films!

The Free Range Film Season has officially opened and we want your creation! You can click on the Without a Box link or just send us your film directly: PO Box 56, Wrenshall, MN 55797.

barn loft

8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Portrait of a Drowned Man to play at Free Range!

We’re so excited to announce a special performance of Portrait of a Drowned Man at the Free Range Film Barn on Friday, July 26. Watch a movie scored by POADM then watch them play live over raw footage. I don’t know what else to tell you except that you should probably not miss this or you will live in sad regret for the rest of your life.


8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

The 10th Free Range Film Festival Schedule

Welcome to our 10th year of movies in a barn! We’ve got movies and popcorn and live music by Portrait of a Drowned Man and William Gamble! Take a peek at our schedule. And please be aware that these times may change. Slightly.


7:00 pm
Ski Boys
Directed by Benny Zenga. Throughout the weekend, we’ll be replaying some old favorites from past festivals. Like this old chestnut about farm boys doing dumb things with bicycles and mattresses. (9 minutes)

7:10 pm
Directed by James Kwan. Some strange forces are at work in the universe. Like stop-motion animation. (6 minutes)

7:20 pm
Directed by Anna Moot-Levin. A documentary (and not a comedy horror musical) about carnivorous plants and their caretakers. (6 minutes)

7:30 pm
Track by Track
Directed by Anna Moot-Levin. A young artist with autism sketches trains. Meanwhile, he is awesome. (15 minutes)

7:45 pm
Animation Hotline
Directed by Dustin Grella. Dustin takes animation requests via voicemail. Here are the results. (5 minutes)

7:50 pm
Directed by Ewan McNicol. Two cats missing. Two dramatically different approaches to recovering them. (20 minutes)

8:10 pm
Inside the Whale
Directed by Greg Carlson. Matt Kish thought it might be interesting to draw one image every day for every page of Moby-Dick. But the task nearly ate him alive. Featuring the music of Portrait of a Drowned Man. Join the creative team for a live Q & A after the film. (10 minutes)

8:30 pm
Portrait of a Drowned Man – LIVE MUSIC
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we invite you to enjoy some darn fine music in the barn. Portrait of Drowned Man plays towering post-rock from their home base in Duluth, Minnesota. (And, if you were paying attention during the previous film, you know they’re scoring movies now, too.)

9:15 pm
Directed by Erin Hudson. Another blast from the past. Because Free Range doesn’t feel right without a movie by Erin Hudson. (8 minutes)

9:25 pm
Directed by Andrew Hinton. All great achievements require time. You’re going to feel pretty lazy after watching this movie. Sorry. (10 minutes)

9:35 pm
Directed by Andrew Cohn & Davy Rothbart. The Medora Hornets are one of the worst high school basketball teams of all time. In this epic documentary, they’re down. But they’re not out. (70 minutes)


2:00 pm
Tales of the Creepy Crooked: The Nyuggle
Directed by Lee Kern. A short but sweet documentary from the Free Range archives. (3 minutes)

2:05 pm
Unless you’ve tried it, you can’t imagine what it’s like to bury a horse
Directed by Luke Holden. This self-explanatory docu-cartoon is another golden oldie from our past. (2 minutes)

2:10 pm
The Harvest
Directed by Gabe DeLoach. The Make A Wish Foundation won’t let kids have their wish if it involves hunting an animal. So where do those kids turn? And how do we feel about all of this? Stay tuned for a fascinating Q & A with the director after the film. (83 minutes)

3:40 pm
Bending Steel
Directed by Dave Carroll & Ryan Scafuro. An oldetime strongman battles performance anxiety and giant chunks of metal on his way to one of the most inspiring endings you’ll ever see in a barn-based film festival. (92 minutes)

5:15 pm

7:00 pm
Unicorn Kabob
Indescribable. Just… an indescribable gem from our first festival in 2004. (2 minutes)

7:05 pm
David Bowen
Directed by Steve Ash. Our favorite public TV storyteller offers us another intriguing profile of a local artist. Join the director for a Q & A after the screening. (5 minutes)

7:15 pm
Marcel, King of Tervuren
Directed by Tom Schroeder. Rooster on rooster violence is a growing problem in our cartoon barnyards. (6 minutes)

7:25 pm
Schale 3
Directed by Anne Labovitz and William Gamble. Pay attention to this experiment in color and sound. Because you’ll have a chance to grill the filmmakers during the Q & A after the film. (5 minutes)

7:35 pm
The Diver
Directed by Damon Mohl. U.S.A. PREMIERE! Life is unfair when you’re a plastic toy diver. (7 minutes)

7:50 pm
Grand Fugue on the Art of Gumbo
Directed by Isabel Machado and Gideon C. Kennedy. Sample the ingredients that make up the Gulf Coast and its signature dish. With narration by Eugene Walter. (10 minutes)

8:00 pm
Directed by Frances Bodomo. Having trouble with your kids? Take them to a country church in Louisiana. That’s sure to fix ‘em. (13 minutes)

8:15 pm
Here Be Monsters
Directed by Nic Gorman & Paul Glubb. An unconventional monster movie. (15 minutes)

8:30 pm
William Gamble – LIVE MUSIC
Enjoy another special performance in the barn. William Gamble is not only a Free Range Filmmaker (see Schale 3), he’s also a darn good musician.

9:00 pm
Rise Up
Directed by Brian Barber. Duluth mayor Don Ness throws Enger Tower at some seagulls. This Free Range classic clearly inspired Pacific Rim. (2 minutes)

9:05 pm
Birth of a Prince
Directed by Whitney Saurer. FAIR WARNING: This short features a cartoon vagina. And if that information doesn’t convince you to stay and watch, you need to check your priorities. (2 minutes)

9:10 pm
Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?
Directed by Jason Willis. A very educational film about the dangers of catnip. (8 minutes)

9:20 pm
Hello Stranger
Directed by John Akre. A story about a man, some soup and a shadow. (4 minutes)

9:25 pm
Sheepdog Wanted
Directed by John Akre. This workplace cartoon is going to hit a little close to home for some of you. SURPRISE: The filmmaker will join us for a Q & A after his 2nd film plays. (4 minutes)

9:30 pm
The Last Shepherd
Directed by Marco Bonfanti. Renato Zucchelli is the last travelling shepherd left in Milan, Italy. But he’s going to conquer the big city with nothing but a dream and a bunch of sheep. (76 minutes)

8 years ago 0 Comments Short URL