The Central Standard Film Festival supports and encourages regional American visions.

We are the first festival to exclusively champion the stories and cinematic visions coming from the vast interior of our country. We believe that these stories and visions are vitally important, and that they reach the screen too infrequently. At
Central Standard we support the advancement of filmmaking that reflects the wide breadth of life in all the regions of America.

The industry's current distribution system--and a growing number of major film festivals--predominantly advance the stories, thematic concerns and production styles established by the film cultures of New York City and Los Angeles. We believe filmmakers should be able to live and work in whatever place inspires and informs their stories and cinematic visions.
There is an audience for regional work, and given the chance, this audience will support filmmakers to stay and work where they live. Towards this end, Central Standard aspires to establish regional film exhibition spaces, regional film television programs and regional distribution systems so that more, and different, cinematic visions can reach US audiences.

Central Standard is working towards a nation-wide film industry which includes a chorus of filmmaking voices, providing authentic insight into life in the rest of the United States.

Central Standard's Director of Festival Programming, Todd Hansen, came to IFP Minneapolis/St. Paul after six years as the Associate Programming Director for Thomas Harris at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (now IFP West's LA Film Festival). Todd has introduced American audiences to films such as Hilary Birmingham's Tully, Charles Herman-Wurmfeld's Kissing Jessica Stein, David Gordon Green's George Washington, Peter Olsen and Josh Apter's Kaaterskill Falls, Thomas Bezucha's Big Eden, Bennett Miller's The Cruise and Stephanie Black's Life and Debt.











Central Standard Alumnae had this to say about our First Annual Festival:

"The Central Standard was a world-class festival with the hospitable small-town friendliness of its Midwestern locale. I expected the best from the IFP crew but got a whole lot more. I can't wait to send my next film."

--Zach Mortenson,
"Hell House"
"Central Standard combines excellent programming across genres with a clear sense of place. It's so important - and inspiring - to acknowledge filmmakers with a vision that doesn't originate in New York and Los Angeles. Central Standard is a great festival - and the screening venues are actual commercial theaters - something very rare in the festival world."
--Anne Sundberg,
"This festival, with it's funky, cool locations, it's hip city (tons of fabulous parties and musical events all week!), and a fascinated and educated film-going public, was the best festival I went to all year. The facilities were by far the best! The quality of video projection I asked for was amazing (Digi Beta), the sound was GREAT, and the theatres were big, and very cool. This is a festival for directors, put together by a group of sincere, film-loving organizers, who pick amazing films, and really care too about stories from Middle America! I can't say enough good things about this festival!"
--Kirsten Tretbar,
"The Central Standard Festival is a filmmaker's festival. Great staff, good venues and a diverse independent program. It's a young festival with big ideas, like the early Sundance we all knew and loved.."
--A. D. Liano,
"Ours is not an 'easy' film, but Todd, Central Standard and IFP/MSP were committed to help us push the envelope on a controversial topic. They do more than pay lip service to us truly independent filmmakers."
--Jay Niver and Jay Spain,
"Live and Let Go--An American Death"
"Besides seeing the best collection of features AND shorts of any festival I've attended, I got to hang out with the tight knit, down-to-earth bunch of festival staffers and filmmakers every night, lecture as a guest artist at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and make contact with Todd Hansen and other dedicated champions of independent and regional filmmaking. I can't say I have kept in contact with people I met at any other festival but Central Standard, and from that I have quite a list. I plan to take every film I ever work on there just for the experience."
--Rachel Davis,
"The Misanthrope"