Frozen River Film Festival starts this week


Julia Sand/Winonan

For the seventh annual award-winning Frozen River Film Festival, Winona State University students can once again participate free of charge.

The festival, held on Winona State’s campus and other locations around the city of Winona, begins Jan. 24 and ends Jan. 27.

Over 40 award-winning documentary films will be shown during the festival, featuring topics from extreme sports to world culture and environment.

A weekend of events will start out this Thursday with keynote speaker Sandra Steingraber and her book-based film, “Living Downstream.”

Vicki Englich, Winona State student life and development and Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF) coordinator, said she is most excited for Steingraber.

Steingraber is a New York scientist and cancer survivor whose work is concerned with pollutants and our health, Englich said.

With recent uproar about sand fracking in the Winona area, a mining process that can pollute groundwater, Steingraber’s presentation is especially relevant. Steingraber has been involved with efforts to ban fracking.

“It is very timely here,” Englich said.

“Price Of Sand,” another film related to the topic, will also be shown at the festival.

Environmental issues and topics are popular in the film sets, but videos filled with adrenaline rush also provide interest toward students.

Kathy Florin, FRFF assistant director, said the Adrenaline Set, held on Jan. 24 at 9:30 p.m. in Lourdes South Lounge, is huge for students with its impressive cinematography about extreme sports.

Florin said the videos are beautiful, capturing “amazing things” that people are doing.

“It’s also really inspiring, just to see what these people are physically pushing their bodies to do,” Florin said.

Englich said films range in genre from funny to serious and everything in between.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to take advantage of: free of charge, one weekend, so many opportunities to see award winning films,” Englich said.

A common thread through FRFF’s activities and films is Winona State’s theme for 2012-2013: wellness.

Florin explained all films can be seen in light of wellness, both human and environmental wellness.

Additionally, Saturday will kick off with an on-campus indoor Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by wellness booths in the SLC atrium from 2 p.m to 6 p.m. Wellness booths will include master gardeners to inform on healthy food, and the Rejuvenation Station will provide free massages, acupuncture, yoga and mediation, and others.

In addition to a range of genres and taste, FRFF also opens up its events to a range of audiences by welcoming children with free admission and craft workshops.

Lunch and dinner buffets will be for sale provided by Jefferson Pub and Grill in the SLC Atrium 3rd floor.

Tickets range from $8 for a one-event pass to $60 for all access. Students receive a free pass for films and workshops by bringing their student ID to any film location for weekday events and a table in SLC Atrium for weekend events.

Non-students can purchase tickets at those locations or at the FRFF Box Office at Chapter 2 Books Third Street, Winona.

To get more information about documentaries, speakers, workshops, and prices, visit FRFF’s website,

Contact Julia at [email protected]