37th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - April 12-28, 2018Emerging Filmmaker Competition

This juried competition recognizes new and up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world for their achievements in narrative filmmaking. A $2500 cash prize is awarded to the film that demonstrates standout achievements in creativity, storytelling, technique, and innovation in the narrative form.




  • Laurens Grant
    Laurens Grant is a three time Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker who has had three films premiere at the prestigious Sundance film festival. She directed the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement which was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award for outstanding news special. The film aired on BET and Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy was Executive Producer. She also produced the Emmy-nominated documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which premiered at Sundance and played in theaters worldwide. Previously, she directed the Emmy-winning documentary Jesse Owens, and produced the Peabody and three time Emmy winning documentary Freedom Riders which influenced Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
  • Marian Masone
    Marian Masone is a film programmer and creative media strategist, currently working as a film curator for Art Basel, the world-renowned art fair, and as a producing consultant for Jump Cut Creative. For over 25 years at the Film Society of Lincoln Center she programmed new and retrospective series and monthly programs, organized education initiatives, established programs for emerging filmmakers and served on the selection committees for the New York Film Festival and, with the Museum of Modern Art, New Directors/New Films. Ms. Masone is on the film panel of the Princess Grace Foundation, which awards scholarships and fellowships to young artists, and she is a member of New York Women in Film and Television, serving on the committee for NYWIFT’s Women’s Film Preservation Fund. She has an M.A. in cinema studies from NYU and writes on film and media for various publications.
  • Jim Stark
    Jim has been making films since 1983.

    Stark’s first involvement with film came when he helped Jim Jarmusch finance, produce and sell Stranger Than Paradise (1984.) He went on to work with Jarmusch on Down by Law (1986), Mystery Train (1989), Night on Earth (1991) as well as producing two short Coffee and Cigarettes films.

    Stark co-produced and co-wrote Fridik Thor Fridriksson’s Cold Fever (1995), Bent Hamer’s Factotum (2005), and Szabolcs Hajdu’s Mirage (2014). In the last three years he has been involved in producing a number of Mexican features including Hilda (2014), Semanta Santa (2015), and The Untamed (2016). He is also producing documentary films, including the multiple prize winning Tempestad (2016) by Mexican director Tatiana Huezo and City of the Sun (2017) a Georgian documentary by Rati Oneli.