Josh Chitwood, filmmaker: "North MPLS is not a 'sketchy hood'"

Categories: Film
Screenshot from "Welcome to North," a short film by Josh Chitwood and Morgan Jensen
A short documentary film that will be featured in a local festival next month combats the stereotyping of North Minneapolis.

Josh Chitwood, one of the filmmakers involved, posted the film on Vimeo last week with the hope that "this piece communicates that north mpls is not a 'sketchy hood', but a neighborhood where families and myself live life together and have true community."

The film features a diverse ensemble of residents speaking over rich images of the area's brick-wall murals and parks and homes.

"You find what you're looking for," one old timer says, "and if you're looking for trouble you probably will find it. But if you're looking for goodness, and your mind is open to that, you're gonna find that."

SEE ALSO: North Minneapolis tornado victims have been forgotten

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Phyllis Kahn and Dean Urdahl want Minnesota to invest in the movie business

Categories: Film, Legislature
Paul Battaglia
Rep. Phyllis Kahn advocates for Minnesota ownership in motion pictures, in front of AMMP co-founders Ralph Winter, Robert Schwartz, Denise Gardner, with Rep. Dean Urdahl at right.
In 1995, Hollywood shot nine feature films in Minnesota, spending $128 million on in-state production costs. By 2007, that number had dropped to a single film, and $7 million.

On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) and Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Action Township), announced their plans to try to bring some of the movie money back.

But they're not just interested in the windfall of production spending. They want Minnesota to invest in movies directly, and when the films do well, to get a cut of the profits.

See Also:
- The 12 best movies filmed in Minnesota
- Mary Franson, Phyllis Kahn introduce bill to legalize industrial hemp production

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Mel Gibson bops around the Twin Cities, asks women to take their shirts off [PHOTOS]

Categories: Film
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Minnesota Zoo on Facebook
Sadly, we couldn't find shots of Mel at Legoland.
So, over the weekend Mel Gibson was in town. No, it wasn't a business trip -- according to the Star Tribune's always-fun C.J., he was just here for a little vaca with his daughter. Destinations included the Mall of America, Minnesota Zoo, Lake Minnetonka, Warehouse District, and Uptown, among others. C.J. says it was Mel's first time in flyover country the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Star Tribune's C.J. writes column about Julie Nelson's boobs

Dave Chappelle smokes hookah, hangs out 'til 6 a.m. in Minnesota

But there's never a dull moment with Gibson. Consider the story of Vilay Dethluxay, who says she was at the Monte Carlo this weekend when she bumped into an apparently sadomasochistic Mel.

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Judi Dutcher's son star of best high school class president video ever [VIDEO]

Categories: Film
Ryan Hedblom could be the next Larry McCarthy.
After seeing his campaign video, how could any Minnetonka High School student not vote for Ryan Hedblom for president of the student body?

After all, if the Minnetonka student president race is anything like the campaigns that took place in my high school, then it's not like there are serious, polarizing issues of war and peace distinguishing one candidate from the next.

But win or lose, Hedblom is the star of an Austin Powers-themed campaign spot that's just... groovy.

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Black Iris Media wins Telly Award for Acme Comedy Co. mini-documentary [VIDEO]

Categories: Film
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Black Iris Media won a Telly Award for a video that accompanied a November City Pages feature.
What do you call a mini-documentary about Acme Comedy's 20th anniversary put together by Minneapolis-based Black Iris Media with a production assist from Patrick Strait?

A Telly Award winning film, that's what.

Yesterday, Black Iris was notified that the film "Acme Comedy Company: Celebrating 20 Years in Comedy" has won a Silver Telly Award in the documentary/news feature category. According to Black Iris director Ryan Brennan, only about 15 percent of videos submitted for the national competition end up taking home a Bronze Statuette.

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Diablo Cody's next project set in Minneapolis

Categories: Diablo Cody, Film

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​City Pages alum Diablo Cody has a new project in the works, and it's set in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Film and TV Board Director Lucinda Winter says she has seen a treatment for the film, called Young Adult, which is about a woman who stalks her high-school sweetheart. Cody is still writing the screenplay, but Mr. Mudd and Mandate Pictures, producers behind Cody's previous hit Juno, have already signed on.

Winter said she would hopes to lure the production to Minneapolis to shoot, and will make her case to the producers when she travels to Los Angeles in mid-April.

"We need to see what their budget will be, and what their time-frame is, so we can get a sense of what kind of incentives we'll be able to give them to bring them here," Winter said. "It's definitely early in the game. These are just initial discussions."

Tim Allen visits St. Louis Park tonight

Categories: Film
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(Tim Allen in the cinematic masterpiece, Jungle 2 Jungle)

One of these things is not like the other: Phoenix, AZ, Atlanta, GA, Seattle, WA, Denver CO, Houston, TX, and St. Louis Park, MN. It might sound a little strange, but fans of the Home Improvement and The Santa Clause 3 should be happy regardless.

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Tim Allen

Walker film series documents Chinese propaganda

Categories: Film

One of the best ways to understand a culture is through the films it produces. The Walker's ongoing film series is the motherlode of Chinese political culture.

If you want to understand the cultural forces shaping China over the past 60 years, "The People's Republic of China: 60 Years of China on Film" will do the trick. Marked with the imprint of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, the films are a fascinating look at Chinese ideas and propaganda. The series runs through Nov. 22.

Tonight, the University of Minnesota screens "Red Detachment of Women," a film based on a true story of female Communist fighters in 1931. On Sunday, the Walker screened another version of the story--a ballet that is best known for being watched by President Nixon on his trip to China in 1972.

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Diablo Cody's new project: The Hugh Hefner story?

Categories: Diablo Cody, Film

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Alexandra Hayes / Flickr

Sure, screenwriter Diablo Cody's latest film, Jennifer's Body, has barely hit theaters, but with reviews that are decidedly, uh, mixed, it may not be too soon to think about Cody's next projects. The latest word (via Cinematical) is that Cody was set to meet with Hugh Hefner to discuss working on a long-delayed film about the Playboy founder's life story.

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Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore previews new movie here tomorrow

Categories: Film

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Michael Moore, the controversial director of Sicko, Bowling for Columbine, and Roger & Me, will be in town tomorrow night for a special preview of his newest film at the Lagoon Cinema. The invitation-only advance screening is for a select group of capitalist lackeys like labor union reps and finance industry mavens. And of course the press.

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