- Films A - K
- Films L - Z
Letter to my Mother. by Terry Gydesen
I’ve never heard my mother describe herself as an artist, but she very much is. My mom’s story mirrors many women from the Greatest Generation who married and became homemakers. Like all of these women, when you look behind the homemaker’s door, you will find there is so much more. Terry is a freelance documentary photographer. She is most known for her work documenting politics including her book Twelve Years and Thirteen Days, Remembering Paul and Sheila Wellstone. Published by the U of M Press. Her monograph of images from Prince’s 1992 New Power Generation European Tour, entitled Prince Presents the Sacrifice of Victor, is published by Paisley Park Enterprises.
Life was Good. by Tom Drube
Life was good for Al. The prosperity of post World War II allowed for him to grow and nurture his family. With hard work and dedication as his guiding principles, Al has been able to maintain a hopeful outlook despite health challenges. I’ve enjoyed participating in the last two MGG festivals. I am a novice, but this is not my first film.
Listening to Russ, by Janet Bayliss
“I’m remembering things I had forgotten”: Russ, a life-long resident of Minneapolis, reflects on his WWII combat experiences in the South Pacific, and also comments on Iraq. Janet Bayliss, born in 1954 in Fargo, ND, is a U of M graduate who made short super-8 films in the 80s, makes a living as a public servant and recently returned to movie-making.
Lives in Harmony, by Jerry Lakso
On one level this is a simple love story. It’s a story of how a determined, divine matchmaker brought together a man and a woman from opposites side of the Atlantic, not once, but twice. It’s also a story of how their fateful union resonates through generations of family life. I am a professional editor at TPT-TV and I have produced a handful of independent short videos over the past 10 years. My wife and I co-produced this film about her parents.
Man with a Mission: Milton L. Rudnick, by Deborah Schreiner
Man with a Mission: Milton L. Rudnick describes my father’s early life during the Depression, his high school years during World War II, and his calling to ministry. The film focuses on his work as pastor of Trinity Lutheran church in the slums of New York City in the 1950s. Deborah Rudnick Schreiner’s filmmaking experience is limited to directing one 16mm film called Glad in the Ministry as a university class project in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Deb worked as a television news reporter and anchor.
Miss Mickey, by Roger Bindl
This is the story of a 10-year-old girl who fell in love with flying during the barnstorming days, became one of the first women test pilots in WWII, the first woman to fly a B-29, and an active participant in the Commemorative Air Force. I’ve produced a variety of films ranging from animation, humor, tutorial, to 48-Hour festivals and short documentaries. My recent focus has been video journalism for the independent telecom industry.
Mr. Brown, by Tom Brandau View the film
Jim Brown grew up in the Twin Cities during the 1930s and 1940s. As an African-American, he was subjected to numerous insults, indignities and open discrimination. Yet, he persevered to become a Chief Engineer in the Military Sealift Command, an accomplished dancer, an author, father, grandfather and positive force in his community. I have been making films for over thirty years and have won numerous awards. I am a graduate of the American Film Institute and have over twenty years experience working as a professional in Film and Television. I teach Film Production at MN State University Moorhead and currently have three films on the festival circuit. More than fifty individuals had a hand in bringing this film into being.
Nose Art, by Janet Bayliss
A Navigator’s Journey, by Samuel Henderson
This is the story of a young man’s quest to fly and how he seizes his chance when the United States is thrown into WW II. When he finds himself in danger, he called out to the only One who could help and years later came to know that One personally. My only other film was making a film for the 2007 MN Greatest Generation Film Project. I would definitely consider myself a beginner.
Red Leader on Fire, by Kevin Rofidal & Chris Yocum
Lt. Robert Polich served as a B-17 pilot during WWII. By the 29th mission, he was the group leader at just twenty-three years old when his plane was shot out of the sky by the Germans. As a prisoner of war Polich learned to live in captivity while recovering from his injuries. Kevin Rofidal: No prior filmmaking experience. Christopher Yocum: Freelance Video Production. This story has also been told on the MGG website as “Red Leader on Fire” in more detail. The most rewarding part was working with Robert Polich to uncover his fondest, toughest, and darkest moments during the war and his imprisonment.
The Romeos. by Roger Bindl
A lunch group of retired telephone men describe a time of transition for telecommunications. Some started at $16 at per week, climbed iron wire poles, converted crank phones to dial phones, installed the suitcase-sized mobile phones, and recorded data at 100 words per minute on punch paper. I’ve produced a variety of films ranging from animation, humor, tutorial, to 48-Hour festivals and short documentaries. My recent focus has been video journalism for the independent telecom industry.
Rosalie Wahl: A Vision for a Better World, by John Knauss, Evan Beaumonth, Jonathan Quijano View the film
Rosalie Wahl: A Vision for a Better World traces the life of Rosalie Wahl from her humble beginnings in a one-room school house in rural Kansas to her groundbreaking appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Particular focus is placed on the evolution of her social consciousness. John Knauss is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Science program at the College of St. Catherine and a 2003 graduate from St. Cloud State with a B.A. in History. Evan Beaumont is a film student at MCTC. Jonathan Quijano received a B.A. in English with a minor in History from St. Cloud State University in 2003. The three collaborated on an entry in the 2007 Minnesota’s Greatest Generation film competition, Wells Lewis: Lost Heir to a Minnesota Son.
A Sack Full of Sun: The Life and Legacy of Conrad Balfour, by Ken Fox
Raised by a single mother in Boston during the Great Depression, Conrad’s experiences helped forge the courage and outspokenness that were his trademarks in his crusade for human rights. Conrad came to Minnesota in the early sixties. The film explores the early influences on Conrad through interview with friends and colleagues and his later influence on individuals and communities. Ken Fox is a 1981 graduate of St Olaf where he dabbled briefly with videography while majoring in East Asian and Religion. After serving in the Peace Corps and late as an activist (where he met Conrad) his videography was limited to his kids sporting events and concerts.
Sigrid Bachmann: From There to Here, by Rene Meyer-Grimberg
One woman’s story of leaving Germany, settling in Minnesota, and making sense of her personal history. A doctor, mother, and grandmother who now commits much of her time to organizations involved with peace and the elimination of torture.
Shirley Laukka: A Survival Story, by Marc Ye
The story takes place in Virginia, MN. The main character talks about her struggles and the determination growing up in poverty during the depression, World War and the boom years. As a hobby, Marc enjoys putting together short subject films for his family and church. He is a Captain for Northwest Airlines and lives in Lakeville with his wife and two daughters.
Soap Box Derby Champion: Boy Makes Good, by Angela Andrist View the film
Local St. Paul boy, Joe Garelick, was the 1938 Pioneer Press Soap Box Derby Champ. During the war, he fought as a gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber, and returned home with five air medals. In the 1950s, he invented a boat ladder and launched a successful manufacturing company. Angela took classes at IFP MN and SPNN, but this is my first film. The most rewarding part is having the opportunity to create a compelling story on film and to know that a story from this generation will not only be shared but preserved. The amount of coordination and technical aspects for creating a movie was somewhat surprising and very challenging. Assistance with a final mix at the end to add music was most appreciated.
Still Marching, by Richard Sennott
Ken Porwoll is a Bataan Death March survivor who raised nine children with his wife Mary Ellen in Roseville MN. During this profoundly dehumanizing experience, he acted with dignity. Now, Ken leads a life of compassionate giving and caring for the poor at Listening House and the VA Medical Center. This is my first short documentary; I have been producing video for 18 months.
Stories Found, by Patrick Dewane
Storytelling unlocks more stories: a grandson makes a play out of his grandfather’s long-lost WWII story and it triggers a cross-generational story swap meet. Four people tell amazing tales about the Greatest Generation, all prompted by having seen the one-man show, The Mushroom Picker. Patrick Dewane is the author and performer of the one-man show The Mushroom Picker about his grandfather. He is VP of Advancement at the Minnesota Opera. Dan Luke is an award-winning editor and producer. Victor Zupanc is the composer.
Super Fortress to Space Shuttle, by Bill Larsen & Trina Koning McDonald
This film chronicles one man’s journey—Arthur Pejsa’s story from his time as a bomber pilot in WWII to his work on missile guidance systems and the space shuttle’s re-entry system. Bill has been producing films for the past four years including independent shorts, documentaries, corporate videos and wedding films. Trina is a local screenwriter and collaborator on short films and documentaries.
Tekker, by Michael Jankovec
John Tekker Tekavec's family came from Yugoslavia to work in the underground mines of Ely, Minnesota. Like his father before him, Tekker hoped to retire from the Ely mines. The Pioneer mine closed in 1967, ending the era of underground mining for the Tekavec family and the town of Ely. I'd consider myself a first time filmmaker, film editing for the local community access television station. There's was a lot of pride for these miners. They knew they were doing something important. We started interviewing people who worked in the Pioneer Mine. Tekker stood out from all the rest. He had a real genuine sincerity to his story.
"To Have Lived During This Time" By Masha Petrenko and Luda Lobenko
Like edited film, memory selects only parts of life experiences to
preserve. These memories are representative of who we are. This
documentary preserves Marie Eldred Smilanich's life, as she remembers
Voices from the Pews, by Stan Tordsen
While sitting in church, the filmmaker ‘s mind wanders from the voice at the pulpit to the voices of the people in the pews. In the film, three individuals (Otto Kitzmann, Emil Janssen, Florence Reinhart) from the pews share their memories of sorrow, joy, and faith from WWII to the present. My first attempt at filmmaking was my entry in last year’s Minnesota’s Greatest Generation film competition, Hitting Life’s High Notes in the 1940s. I just retired from teaching for 39 years so I wanted to have something to keep me busy. This project has certainly kept me busy.
The War Didn’t Break Him: Soviet Colonel Mikhail Geykhman, by Deacon Warner
On June 21, 1941, Mikhail Geykhman celebrated his high school graduation. The next day his village was bombed and war was declared. The film tells Geykhman’s story through the Great Patriotic War to his current role chronicling fellow veterans stories as President of the Russian Veterans Organization of Minneapolis. Throughout the project I have worked closely with both Mikhail and Gedalay—from developing the basic concept for the film to refining the edits. My two sons were both adopted from Russia. It has been an especially rewarding collaboration for that reason. We have become friends through the project and hope to work together again.
What We Reflect, by Deacon Warner
Ann Cosgrove Warner reflects on her childhood in Le Sueur as the daughter of the canning company president. Both the affluence and the loss of her youth helped shape a deep spirituality that has guided her as a mother and a community organizer. I have previously completed one other film, an entry in the 2006 Minnesota’s Greatest Generation film competition. I’ve been a social studies teacher in Minneapolis for many years but have recently refocused my teaching on youth media. I currently work for IFP MN as their youth program coordinator. I hope to make many more films!
Zest for Life, by Barbara Britain
Tecla Karpen‘s fascinating, vigorous and meaningful life began as the only child of hard-working parents. She grew up an avid camper and became the first female lifeguard and Park Supervisor in Hastings, Minnesota. After two decades of teaching drama, Tecla continues to express her feelings for nature as an artist, writer and environmentalist. Long ago I learned to make and edit linear films but I ran out of some essentials: time and energy. I returned to filmmaking in 2004 to produce a feature length documentary called Return to Shetek: The Courage of the Fool Soldiers, which is related to the events of my great-grandfather’s life during the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War.