The Mississippi River is a big part of life in Minnesota, from its roots in Itasca State Park to its exit out of the state at the very southeastern corner. There are some parts of it — like the Mississippi Headwaters or the leg that flows under the Stone Arch Bridge and by the Guthrie Theater — that are well known and frequently visited. But it’s a big river. What else is there to see?
The folks at the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership want to encourage people to explore the river and report back what they find. To that end, they’re offering the first ever Mississippi Minute Film Festival.
The rules are simple: create a video of your favorite part of the Mississippi River, or some aspect of your experience with it, maximum length of one minute. Submit to the website listed above no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 4. Winners will be presented at the Film Festival, part of the annual Riverfront Summit at Mill City Museum on Oct. 20. A panel of judges, including Spoonriver’s Brenda Langton and The Soap Factory’s Ben Heywood, will judge the submissions.
Kathleen Boe, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership, explains the driving ideas behind the contest: “We wanted to develop passion and excitement about the river, and saw the Film Festival as a way to develop awareness of less-known places along the river. It’s a way to connect people to the river in a different way.”
A one-minute film is not an onerous task, and professional videographers and equipment are not required—the average smartphone has the capability of making a respectable short film. The hope is that making it so accessible will draw a wide variety of participants.
“We want all ages and generations to participate,” says Boe. “We want to attract a much broader demographic of interest.”
There are three weeks left until the deadline. Grab your video camera or smart phone, and go explore the river — and be sure to document what you see. In the meantime, follow Mississippi Minute on Facebook and on Twitter for additional information and news.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.