Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Hours and Admissions

Moving Pictures Film Entries for 2008

Abuelita, by Nancy Eike

Mary Cisneros grew up watching her grandma, her beloved Abuelita, make tamales and tortillas in a tiny kitchen in Lehigh, Oklahoma. With food and family eternally intermingled in her mind, Mary spent the next years of her life furthering her grandmother’s legacy and nourishing those she loves. I am a first-time filmmaker. Because this was my first film, I needed people with experience, talent, and kind hearts. I must say that each and every one of them guided me along this long and very winding path, and for that, I am eternally grateful. My husband, David, was also a big help.

Admit One, by Diane Visser

This is a documentary of two WWII veterans from Spring Valley, MN: Darryl Northouse, a Navy veteran; and Melvin Schmidt, U.S. Army Air Force. Diane is a member of the Minnesota Historical Society. She has worked as an actress on film and stage. She also participated in the 48 Hour Film Project and Fringe Festival.

Admit Two, by Doug Williams

“Bud” Bahr, from Waconia, Minnesota, was Captain of a B-24 in the Pacific Theater in World War II.

At Home With Audrey, by Karin Green

This film focuses on Audrey Jensen Green’s “At Home” stories that span the Depression years through the Boom years. Hear about a depression-era family loss, a mean grocer, a basement house, childhood songs, darning socks, laundry laws, and what to do with an old Navy uniform. I consider myself a first-time filmmaker. This is my debut! I attended the October 2007 film festival. It inspired me to tell my story. This has been an incredible experience. Most surprising is that I want to do it again!

Barbara Knight Coffin: I Grew Like Topsy, by Judith James

Barbara Knight Coffin is a Quaker woman who lived an ordinary life while doing extraordinary things. She grew up in Minneapolis, matured in Decatur, Illinois, and married the love of her life in Minnesota. She carries out her ministry in her everyday life. At 88 she is truly a star.

A Black Soldier's Story, by Danetta Saul

Giving voice to black men, who have been traditionally unheard by the larger community, framed the concept for this documentary. Lawrence Brown and Matthew Little share their experiences, perspectives, and lessons learned during the Depression, the War and the Boom. This film allows the audience to witness the legacy of these two black men, as they speak to their friends, family, and community. Danetta Saul is currently a Special Education teacher at in Woodbury. Teaching and helping kids are her passions. Her emerging passion is the process of filmmaking. She believes that films are fantastic teaching tools. Having come to Minnesota in 1990, her hope and dream is to inspire, motivate and teach through the experiences of others. She is the mother of four children, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Bluebirds of Dover, by Mary Ahmann

Two young musicians enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard to play in the 135th infantry band. They saw it as a terrific way to make a living as musicians. The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor irrevocably changed their views. I have made several short films. I have worked as an editor for documentaries and cable shows.

To Boeing and Back, by Mike Cihak & Christopher Butler

The film tells the story of Evansville resident Marion Johnson, who, at the age of 18, traveled to Seattle to find work at the Boeing aircraft factory during WWII. Like many women of her era, Johnson faced numerous challenges in order to contribute to the war effort. Cihak shot and edited the 13-part series Minnesota: Rivers and Fields and directed, shot and edited Echoes of Cry of the Marsh. Butler was researcher and writer for Echoes of Cry of the Marsh.

C Beck, by Mike Hazard & Deb Wallwork View the film

C. BECK is a portrait of the artist, Charles Beck. We see Beck at work in his studio in Fergus Falls, MN, and painting in the countryside nearby. He speaks about the beauty of nature, scavenging materials and the mystery of art. For more, zoom to www.thecie.org. We have made many films. To meet and spend time with a master artist is a rare privilege. The positive reaction to the film by the artist and by the community has made the work worthwhile.

The Canoe King of Ely, by Aleshia Mueller

Bill Rom’s passion for the woods and lakes of Minnesota’s canoe country led him after World War II to looking for ways to make natural recreational experiences fun and affordable for middle-class Americans. Aleshia is also passionate about her work, from offering editing and DVD-authoring workshops to producing long and short narrative, documentary, commercial, and new media projects that have screened worldwide. She is president of Reel Nomad Productions; a member of IFP, AICP, and MN Film Arts; and vice president of MN Women in Film and Television.

Charles Beasley: Integrating the Band, by Bick Smith

Charles Beasley grew up in North Minneapolis when there were very few African Americans in the area. He became the first black allowed to play in the North High School band. Throughout his life, he has used his gentle demeanor and musical talents to further break down racial barriers. I would like to become a filmmaker, this seemed like a good way to gain experience. I submitted a short film, From Cornfields to College, in the 2007 Moving Pictures competition.

Cloud of Dreams, by Larry Kitzman

This story is about my father’s dream as a young boy on his parents’ farm to become a pilot. He followed his dream, but it led him on unexpected adventures with the Flying Tigers in China during WWII. I just started learning video a little over one year ago. It was rewarding for me to pay tribute to my father who had just died January 2008 by remembering his dream, and my mother who is buried with him at Fort Snelling cemetery. I realize it was a way for me to work through his death.

Courage Is . . . , by Stephanie Moore

Courage is the story of a man who went overseas during WWII and was awarded two Purple Hearts. The opinions of Mal Degerness are expressed along with beautiful pictures. I like making my own little movies with my mom’s friends. I consider myself a first-time filmmaker since this is the biggest thing I have done so far.

Death March: Minnesotans Remember Bataan, by Steve Roforth

The experiences of three Minnesota veterans—Henry Peck, Ken Porwall, and Harold Kulver—on the Bataan Death March in April 1942. Steve Roforth is a high school social studies teacher and an award-winning writer. He currently teaches American and World History at Albany High School in Albany, MN. This is his first film.

Delano Heroes: Their Stories, by Gwen Briesemeister View the film

This is a poignant memoir of three WWII veterans from Delano, MN. Their participation in war left an indelible mark on their lives. The emotional impact of their experiences is evident as they share their war stories and life lessons. This is the third year I have entered in the Greatest Generation film competition. What is unique about this project is that 5th grade students conducted all of the interviews and operated all of the equipment. In all, 30 students and adults participated in the process.

A Farmer’s Daughter, by Jane Barnes

A Farmer’s Daughter follows the story of Elaine Barnes, who came of age during WWII in rural Minnesota. She tells of what it was like growing up, finding love, and raising a family. Jane Barnes was born and raised in Minneapolis. She attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College where she studied Filmmaking and Screenwriting. Her screenplay Please Excuse Me While I Hang Myself was voted audience favorite in the Screenwriters Workshop’s “Leave Em’ Hooked” showcase. A Farmer’s Daughter is her first documentary.

First Lady of Minnesota: Mrs. Jane Freeman, by Amanda Becker View the film

Nothing is more befitting the life and legacy of Mrs. Jane Freeman than the saying, “behind every great man stands a great woman.” Orville Freeman served three terms as Minnesota’s 29th governor, and standing by his side was his equally engaged and politically active wife, Jane. This short film serves as a tribute (and a thanks) to her, and all of the women of her generation who worked with an intelligent and quiet passion to make this country what it is today. I have engaged in many film experiences, but am always working on my own emergence in the film community! Although we have very different experiences and opinions, I learned so much about myself from my interaction with Mrs. Freeman. Most surprising and challenging was that I thought I would be making one film and realized in the editing process that I needed to tell a different story.

Florian, by Paul Bernhardt

Florian Chmielewski of Sturgeon Lake was a Minnesota state senator for 26 years and has been a polka bandleader for 63 years. I have made several short films. I brought in an up and coming filmmaker, Xiong Yang, as assistant editor.

For Freedom, by Zechariah Thormodsgaard

Nearly 60 years after the end of deadliest conflict in human history, the U.S. National World War II Memorial opened. “Honor Flight” is an organization that provides the opportunity for World War II veterans to be honored for their sacrifice by flying them to see this amazing memorial. Zechariah is a third-generation filmmaker inspired by his father and grandfather’s love of filmmaking. For Freedom is the first documentary by the Thormodsgaard brothers. It presented challenges as Zechariah and Ezra flew to Washington, D.C., early on a Saturday morning and returned the same night. With only one day to film and a short turnaround time to edit, sleepless nights of editing resulted in a labor of love.

From Demob to Boom: Building a Post-war, Life by Kimerly Miller

At the end of World War II millions of returning servicemen and women dreamed of experiencing a normalcy in their lives that had eluded them as young adults during wartime. This is the story of one couple’s journey from demobilization to the postwar economic, housing, and baby boom. Prior experience is limited to family movies. I definitely consider myself a first-time filmmaker. For years, I’ve been interested in my parents’ stories of growing up in the Depression, living through the war years, and starting a business in a small Minnesota town.

From the Prairie to the Pacific, by Ira Livingston

Four crewmen reflect on their time aboard the U.S.S. Minneapolis, a highly decorated heavy cruiser. Using footage from interviews conducted during the crew’s last meeting in 2007, Livingston created a film based on crewmen’s stories. From kamikaze planes to torpedoes, the crewmen share one thing: war is hell. Ira has produced the 48 Hour Film Project since 2004, bringing the International Film Competition to Minneapolis, Chicago and Fargo. He has made Minneapolis the second-largest competition in the world. He is developing projects: Slingshot: Jupiter Chasm; The 365 Series; and Empty Shells. His commitment to helping young filmmakers, especially from the flyover, is one of his passions.

Gratefulness: Madeleine Titus, by Steve Date

Madeleine Titus taught piano at Macalester College and in her home in Minneapolis for more than 60 years. She came of age during the depth of the depression. Her father died in 1932 when Madeleine was 18. She had to go to work to help the family survive, but was later able to attend college because of the generosity of a businessman who knew her father. Madeleine has touched the lives of hundreds of students, friends, and family in her 94 years. This is the first documentary film I’ve done. I have done some short video reports for an online newspaper.

House of Wong, by Phil Lee

Film on the history of a family history who originally immigrated from Toisan area of southern China to pursue their dreams of finding the “gold mountain.” Phil is a first time filmmaker.

Howie and Ruth, by Richard Cornell

Howard Longendyke grew up with his twin brother in West St. Paul. They served in the Navy together in World War II. Howie and Ruth Peterson were married in 1950 beginning a 58-year partnership of service and faith to family, church and community. This is a story of American lives. I have been keeping a video diary of family history and travel adventures for thirteen years. The excellent teachers at IFP have given me the skills to give my work a more professional touch. This is the first time I have gone public with any of my work. I am presently completing work on Roughing It—On Mark Twain’s Trail. I grew up as a son of the greatest generation, surrounded by family of great storytellers. I’m privileged to work with Howie and Ruth on their story.

I Can Keep the World From Changing Me, by Lynn Torke

Annalee Stewart is a civil rights activist and peace demonstrator whose many accomplishments include being the first woman supervisor of male officers in the MN State Department of Corrections. Her values were influenced by her pacifist family and community; including WWII conscientious objectors, Japanese-American classmates and nurses who experienced discrimination. I am an amateur filmmaker, and have helped make several video documentaries. I have made one documentary about my great-aunt on my own. I felt Annalee has a story worth preserving and was honored she agreed to do this project. Others may learn something that may help them as they make their way through life.

Inventing the G-suit: The Life Story of Dr. Earl Wood, by Bill & Karen Bonde View the film

From his childhood on the shore of Lake Washington to his brilliant career in aerospace medicine at the Mayo Clinic, this film is a personal look at the life of Dr. Earl Wood, the Mankato man who helped invent the G-suit worn by fighter pilots in World War II. Bill Bonde, a retired farmer, holds a diploma from the Minnesota School of Business in Video and Media production, and is currently starting a new photography business. Bill lives with his wife Barb on the family farm in Nerstrand. Karen Bonde, who lives in Minneapolis, is an apprentice filmmaker, learning on the job from her brother Bill. Together they have submitted work to the 48-Hour Film Project and the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation film competition.

Iwo Jima: An Island that Shaped a Generation, by Brendan Jackson

This film is a look at the Greatest Generation’s relationship to the island of Iwo Jima. From the brutal battle of World War II to the eventual return of the island to Japan this generation exhibited great courage. This is a film based on a project created for the Minnesota History Day competition. I would consider myself a first time filmmaker. I want to thank my grandfather for his bravery in fighting for our country on the island of Iwo Jima. I realized his sacrifice through the making of this film. Zack Worley, Trent Jackson, Drew Nornes, Hunter Korpi assisted in the production.