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In third year, film festival expands

Everything about the Rosemount Area Arts Council's Shamrock Film Festival is bigger this year and organizers hope filmmakers and the community will appreciate the difference. The event, which in the past has been part of Leprechaun Days, will be held Oct. 7 through Oct. 9.

More days

Event organizer Beth Adams said the committee decided to expand the event from one day to three to give filmmakers a fuller event and to allow the public the opportunity to view more movies. Workshops and guest speakers have been added to the schedule.

The festival will begin with an opening night gala with food, drink and a silent auction. The evening will feature guest speaker Jason Davis, a longtime broadcast who hosts the KSTP series On the Road. The event will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Workshops have been planned throughout the three-day festival for filmmakers of all ages and ability levels, including youth. Guest speakers and workshops will focus on a variety of film-related topics. Events will be planned throughout the day. A schedule will be announced.

While the workshops and guest speakers will appeal to filmmakers, Adams hopes the community will enjoy the activities as well.

"We want to nurture beginning filmmakers and honor veterans," Adams said. "We also want to break it down and show how (filmmaking) is done and the passion it takes to tell a good story."

More minutes

This year, moviegoers will get more bang for their buck. The time limit for films has been expanded from 12 minutes to 44. Adams hopes the additional time will give filmmakers the opportunity to tell more in-depth stories.

Furthermore, the festival is opening the competition to national and international contestants. The film categories for this year's event will be Best Professional, Best Amateur, Best Foreign Film, Best Youth, Best Local (Minnesota only) and People's Choice. While the committee doesn't know what type of submissions it will get, Adams said the unknown is exciting.

"You never know, you might be seeing the next big thing," said Adams.

The festival will end with a showing of the winning films, an awards ceremony and a wrap party. The details are still being sorted out but Adams said it should be a good evening. The evening will be complemented with Irish-themed acts. Hours for the closing events will be 6 t o 10-ish p.m.

"I can't wait. I think it's going to be interesting to see what comes in," said Adams.

The three-day festival will be the first big community event at the new Steeple Center. The venue has been transformed from the former St. Joseph Catholic Church to an event center. In its new identity, the Steeple Center was introduced to the public during Leprechaun Days. Adams said the community will have the chance to see the potential the center has.

"We are excited to use it," she said.

The pieces are coming together for the festival but there is still a chance to get involved. Film submissions will be accepted until Sept. 27. Submissions received by Sept. 5 will get a discount. Individuals and business who want to be involved can become sponsors.

For those who just want to attend the Shamrock Film Festival there are number of options. Tickets are available for individual days or as a three-day pass. The three-day pass consists of a punch card, which includes workshops and the movie events.

Visit for more information. The festival also has a Facebook page and Twitter account.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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