Catalyst Content Festival Wraps Up with Red Carpet Gala

Filmmakers and artists mingled with innovative ways of filmmaking and content creation.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Greysolon Ballroom dressed up like the Red Carpet on Oscars night as filmmakers, actors, and more mingled with other artists who showcased their work at the Catalyst Content Film Festival.

“Just found kindred spirits,” said John T. O’Brien, writer, Producer and Lead Actor for the film Dad Man Walking. “And we all clicked.”

“We’re all film people, we’re all artists and it’s weird when you get all these freaks together in one place obviously we’re gonna gravitate towards each other.”

With about 800 total works created by people from dozens of countries, the Festival left its own mark on the cultural landscape of Duluth.

According to organizers, it was a still a success despite a few “first time bumps” along the way, like the ongoing Superior Street reconstruction.

“Construction actually is one of the challenges that we had,” said Producer and Podcast Co-Host Katie Strand. “But everyone had a really good attitude.”

“Working with the locals, making sure everybody that’s attending the festival from out of town knows where they need to go, when they need to go there,” Strand said. “Kind of a blending of schedule with maps and locations and volunteers.”

The construction didn’t put up any road blocks when it came to enjoying the experience for people who have never visited the Northland before. Despite the torn up surroundings, filmmakers said they still scouted some areas for nice shots in the future.

“I saw a lot of great spots, actually,” said Bryce Haag, Director of Photography for Dad Man Walking. “I was noticing that the entire time I’ve been here. And also the location’s really great because it’s centrally located, so it’s great.”

Awards were presented, including St. Scholastica’s Best Young Creator Project Award, the first of its kind.

Meanwhile those who displayed their work said it was great just to be a part of it all.

“It’s been fun to present my script but it’s been fun to see what other people have brought to this community,” Jean Sramek, a script writer, said. “Just a great meeting of the minds.”

Even at the awards show, innovative new ways of storytelling and content creation pop up.

That’s what the festival is all about, Strand said.

“One of the things I love about being in entertainment is bringing my creative visions to fruition but also facilitating that and really learning and understanding what motivates people to put their stories up there, collaborate and make media art, I guess.”

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