Film festival showcases variety of work

The Twin Cities Underground Film Festival will be coming to Elk River High School’s Zabee Theater Saturday, Dec. 2. The all-day fest, running 11 a.m.–11 p.m., will feature short and feature-length films from across the country, including comedies, science fiction, alternate reality, experimental, documentary, horror and animation.

These 41 films were selected out of a pool of 300 entries submitted by independent producers, film students and the new wave of digital video filmmakers the fest’s organizers call regular people who’ve been emancipated by inexpensive digital technology to participate in an art form once reserved for big-budget studios.

To inaugurate Elk River’s first film fest, the Elk River Area Arts Alliance (ERAAA) will host a pre-festival discussion from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in Zabee Theater with Minnesota filmmakers Christopher R. Mihm and Joshua Craig entitled “Filmmaking on a Shoestring.” The free talk will introduce audience members to Mihm and Craig, who in 2005 produced their first feature “The Monster of Phantom Lake,” playing at 9 p.m.

The duo will discuss how they and others like them are able to script, produce, direct, edit, distribute and screen a feature independent of studio backing and with very little money. Mihm estimates they spent $2,000 in the production of “Monster.” Part of his mission as an independent filmmaker, he says, is to teach others the steps to breaking into film. This winter, both men will be teaching a filmmaking workshop through Elk River Community Education.

To find out more about the fest, the free talk or the winter filmmaking workshop, contact the ERAAA at 763-241-1953 or More information about the fest and its films can be found online at or

If you go
Date: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006
Time: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Location: Elk River High School’s Zabee Theater, 900 School St., Elk River
Cost: $3 per block or $15 for an all-day pass
Tickets: Available at the door. For more information, call 763-441-4725 or go online at or