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Bemidji State to offer documentary filmmaking course, May 13-29

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State University will host a documentary filmmaking workshop from May 13-29 where participants will produce their own film for broadcast on television.

The documentary workshop, which is open to the public, is an intense, hands-on course that teaches filmmaking techniques found in many popular documentary films. The workshop will be instructed by Virgil Bakken, assistant professor of mass communication at Bemidji State.

Under Bakken’s instruction, each student will write, produce, direct and edit their own short documentary that will be aired on KBSU-TV, the Bemidji State University cable channel which is carried locally on both Paul Bunyan and Charter cable systems.

The workshop will be presented as a summer school course at Bemidji State, “Documentary Film,” meeting from 9 a.m.-12:10 p.m. The course will be held in Deputy Hall on the Bemidji State campus and is limited to 30 students.

There is an increasing desire on the part of students and Bemidji community members to produce their own stories on film. This workshop seeks to empower students and individuals to transform their own lives and their community through the story-telling power of film. 

“The power of film used through local communities shares relevant cultural values, not just the commercially motivated views of Hollywood,” Bakken said. “Though only a few go on to produce commercial film, the hope is that many will go on to tell the important stories and traditions of their communities.”

Bakken is a Telly Award winning producer whose career in broadcast and film spanned 20 years before he joined the Bemidji State faculty.

For enrollment information on the courses, please contact the Records Office at (218) 755-2020.

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.