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North Star Story Summit

Top Minnesota Festivals Announce North Star Story Summit, a Super Event for the Fall



The Duluth Superior Film Festival, Minnesota WebFest, and the Catalyst Story Institute announce the creation of a ten-day super event this fall called the North Star Story Summit (https://www.northstarstorysummit.org). From September 22 through October 1, these three veteran festivals will run back-to-back-to-back and provide access to creators, content, and industry for film, web, and television.


Occurring at multiple venues around the Twin Ports region, The North Star Story Summit is pleased to be calling Zeitgeist the summit’s home base of activities. Thanks to Zeitgeist for their support.


As part of the launch of this new event, Minnesota WebFest (MNWF) will be moving from the Twin Cities to Duluth. The MNWF move follows Catalyst’s re-location three years ago from Vermont to Duluth. Minnesota. WebFest director George Reese explains, "Thanks to the commitment of this community to the arts, Duluth has begun to emerge as a true production hub. We belong in Duluth."


The North Star Story Summit launches with the long-established Duluth Superior Film Festival (DSFF). DSFF will open the summit with four days focused on great independent films from around the world and the filmmakers who create them. DSFF Founding Director Richard Hansen says, "The Duluth Superior Film Festival’s participation in the newly formed North Star Story Summit is a huge step forward toward the long-term desired outcomes established upon the festival’s inception.” He continues, “One of the major goals of establishing a film festival in Duluth back in 2010 was to press hard for increases in regional production and to heavily raise awareness of regional artists working in this industry. The North Star Story Summit will shine the brightest light yet on the burgeoning Duluth entertainment industry, profile the best regional talent, and build capacity to escalate commerce where we live."


Early in the week is dedicated to all forms of web entertainment as the Minnesota WebFest takes over for three days of screenings and industry discussions focused on Short-form episodic series, podcasts, and Micro-films like those featured on Tik-Tok and Instagram Reels. Previously a Twin Cities festival, Minnesota WebFest is known for bringing in creators from all over the world thanks to its status in the Web Series World Cup. The presence of the festival has resulted in Minnesota being one of the top states in the nation for producing web series content.


The summit concludes with the longest running festival in the group, Catalyst. Catalyst Executive Director Philip Gilpin Jr says of this new alliance, "Catalyst is honored to be one of the founding organizations of the North Star Story Summit. This exciting new alliance with the Duluth Superior Film Festival and Minnesota WebFest brings together all three artistic styles of visual storytelling (television, film & digital) to lift up creative voices locally and from around the world. Setting the summit in Duluth gives content creators, industry pros & audiences a naturally beautiful and artistically supportive location to come together to share ideas and spark new collaborations.”


The North Star Story Summit is the first event of its kind to bring together film, web, and television into a single location. It will bring in industry executives, producers, and creatives from all over the world and continue to strengthen Minnesota’s overall presence in the entertainment industry. These connections will provide Minnesota creators and others opportunities to advance their careers and connect with a global marketplace and bring projects to Duluth and the Iron Range and enable to area to bolster its growing production infrastructure.


About the Catalyst Story Institute (https://www.catalystories.org):


Founded as ITVFest in Los Angeles in 2006 to break down the barriers independent (non-network) filmmakers face in the world of television, Catalyst is a community of creators, executives, agents and fans discovering the best new programming created on independent budgets. After spending 7 years in Los Angeles and then another 6 in Vermont, ITVFest moved to Duluth and rebranded as Catalyst Stories. Catalyst Stories is a 501c3 non-profit and serves as the television component to the North Star Story Summit.


About the Duluth Superior Film Festival (https://www.ds-ff.com):

Established in 2010, The Duluth Superior Film Festival is a cultural organization dedicated to the role of film and art as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Our mission is to foster a greater appreciation of cinema, to bridge cultures, create and expand community, provide cultural exchange, networking opportunities, and educational outreach through regular interaction with great films, filmmakers, musicians, and artists. The Duluth Superior Film Festival is a program of the 501(c)(3) Northern Film Alliance and serves as the film component to the North Star Story Summit.


About Minnesota WebFest (https://www.mnwebfest.org):

Minnesota WebFest is the first film festival in the greater midwest dedicated to web entertainment such as web series, podcasts, and ultra-short content like TikToks and Instagram Reels. Founded in the Twin Cities in 2017, Minnesota WebFest will mark its 6th edition with a move to Duluth as part of the North Star Story Summit. Minnesota WebFest is member of the Web Series World Cup and a program of the 501(c)(3) Northern Film Alliance and serves as the web component to the North Star Story Summit.

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