The Fargo Film Festival and the Cobber Movie Boom
Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2016 by Austin Gerth
The annual Fargo Film Festival happened last week, and Concordia was pretty well represented both onscreen and off (and even behind the Fargo Theatre’s ticket counter, with the popcorn). The biggest deal, Cobber-wise, at the festival, was Supermoto, a full-length film shot about an hour outside Fargo-Moorhead, and featuring recent Cobber alum Amber Morgan as one of the principal characters, Concordia Theatre professor David Wintersteen as its main villain (and also its director of casting), and other current and former students in a few sundry minor roles. Supermoto was also produced by Matthew Myers, who happens to be the husband of Concordia Religion professor Jacqueline Bussie.
Indeed, though the closest thing Concordia offers to a degree in film is a minor in Film Studies, these are boom times for filmmaking in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Before Amber Morgan was in Supermoto, she directed a comedic short called Happy While She’s Gone for Dr. Dawn Duncan’s Film & Literature class last spring, for which I wrote the script, and which eventually got into the South Dakota Film Festival. Then in the fall, after shooting on Supermoto wrapped, Amber shot another short, one she wrote herself, in the cornfields that line the edge of Moorhead, with a cast and crew almost entirely composed of Concordia students and recent alums (including myself as a production assistant). Dr. Duncan also had a film in the festival, a short called A Heart Remembers, based on W. B. Yeats’ poem “When You Are Old,” which she wrote, directed, and edited herself over the summer, with a crew once again stacked with current Cobbers and recent grads. There’s been film stuff going on over at MSUM too, with a crowd-funded senior thesis film called Westall featuring (once again) Amber Morgan and Alicia Auch, a current Concordia senior. And the last name I’ll drop in this post is Dr. Greg Carlson, who teaches in the Communications and Film Studies departments at Concordia, works with the Fargo Theatre and the Fargo Film Festival, and makes films too; his most recent documentary, A Perfect Record, was shown at the Festival as well, and I think its crew included a student or a few as well.
So, if you’re looking to break into the film biz, Fargo-Moorhead’s really not the worst place to be.