Local film festival to mark 10 years of ‘North Country’

Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson were among the stars of "North Country" seen around the Iron Range when the movie based on a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit was filmed here before its 2005 theatrical release.

Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson were among the stars of “North Country” seen around the Iron Range when the movie based on a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit was filmed here before its 2005 theatrical release.

Duluth Superior Film FestivalThe sixth annual first ever Duluth-Superior Film Festival opens today in downtown Duluth and runs through Sunday, June 7. Local films and those with a Minnesota connection will be screened for audiences at popular Duluth cultural sites including the Zinema Theater on Superior Street, Clyde Iron Works, The Red Star Lounge and Teatro Zuccone. The festival will culminate with a special 10-year anniversary showing of “North Country” starring Charlize Theron at the Eveleth City Auditorium on Sunday, June 7.

The filming of “North Country” was part of the denouement of an emotionally-charged period of Iron Range history, the core causes of which remains an ongoing issue in the lives and culture of the people living here. Women working in taconite mines were badly harassed through the 1970s and 1980s as part of a workplace culture that tolerated behavior that could only be described as vile. Over a period of decades, some of the women were part of a class action lawsuit that led to new anti-harassment policies and training at workplaces everywhere, and that have greatly improved the culture at Iron Range mines in particular. My biggest knock on the movie is that it compacted the story into a few years, when in truth some women gave the better part of their whole lives to a sort of hell on earth experience.

When “North Country” was being filmed, though, old wounds were reopened, and to be frank the issue of gender-equity remains unresolved in measurable factors like pay, management hiring, and leadership positions on the Iron Range. The story is progress, but not yet resolution.

Here’s the press release about the film festival, which looks like a lot of fun in its own right:

We are proud to announce the launch of The 2015 Duluth Superior Film Festival. The Duluth Superior Film Festival could not be more pleased to bring this festival of film, music and art. DSFF will take place at various venues around the city including Zinema, Teatro Zuccone, Clyde Iron Works, Red Star Lounge, and The Eveleth Auditorium in Eveleth, MN.

Because of the outstanding rebate and tax incentive program in MN and on The Iron Range, much of this year’s festival will focus on regional productions. For 2015 as many as 11 feature films and all of the short films will have some sort of regional influence.

Additional announcements of The 2015 Duluth Superior Film Festival are that every single film screening will be FREE OF CHARGE. Simple as that. It is free. Donations will be accepted at multiple points around each of the screening venues and special events.

DSFF will once again strive to bring The Twin Ports a wide array of Local, Regional, National and International Festival film hits, offer musical performances, and showcase artists of all kinds. “DSFF will provide a relaxed and intimate setting for an international group of filmmakers, producers, directors, writers, media, students and film enthusiasts to enjoy the independent film scene,” said Richard Hansen, DSFF’s Festival Director.

Closing Night Film Presentation
10-Year Anniversary screening of NORTH COUNTRY
8 p.m.
Eveleth Auditorium; Eveleth, MN

In an effort to celebrate the history of films produced in the Arrowhead region, DSFF likes to look back on big, important films that were made right here. By examining our past, we also inform our future. We helped make these films then, we can help make them again. It was fun, it was good for the local economy, and celebrities were hanging out drinking at our dive bars. What is not to like? With the help of tax incentives and rebates, producing films in MN, and more specifically in the Arrowhead, has become more attractive than ever. This has always been an important part of DSFF’s mission and we are happy to celebrate it with our 10-year Anniversary Screening of NORTH COUNTRY.

Because of the uniqueness of this location, we ask that you bring your own lawn chair. This way, you can be more comfortable than sitting on a folding chair.


  1. Steve Wick says

    FYI this is the 6th year of the DS-FF 🙂

  2. Tucker Nelson says

    Aaron, the film showing is at the Eveleth *City* Auditorium, located next to the Fire Hall on Jackson Street. I have confirmed this with the film festival. Just letting you know! The City Auditorium is currently undergoing a historical renovation.

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