The Frozen River Film Festival offers programs that engage, educate and activate viewers to become involved in the world. In 2022, the organization received a $4,329 Cycle 2 Community Grant from the Winona Community Foundation.

The Foundation’s grant helped fund Frozen River Film Festival’s mission of offering educational summer filmmaking camps to youth, teens, and their parents. This summer, they held two filmmaking camps: a two-week camp for high school students held in June, and a one-week camp for middle school students held in July.

The summer camps were a powerful opportunity for students not only to learn filmmaking skills, but to produce their own films. The high schoolers learned principles of filmmaking such as storyboarding, lighting sound, shot framing, and directing actors. They were able to to put these principles into action by shooting a short film from start to finish. The students worked together as a team, each taking a turn to be director, sound engineer, and lighting technician.

The middle school group learned a simplified version of the filmmaking principles taught in the high school class. They enjoyed producing short stop-motion films using LEGOs. Similarly to the high school group, the middle schoolers worked in teams to produce their short films. Together they implemented story ideas and used lighting and camera equipment to successfully produce their films.

Through this process, students spoke up, shared their ideas, and worked effectively with one another to produce their films. The camp was successful in increasing students’ interest in filmmaking. Middle school students reported that they wanted to spend more time shooting their own films. As one high school student shared, “I wouldn’t change anything. I will do this camp again!”

Frozen River Film Festival’s sustainability plan involves maintaining multiple sources of funding including ticket sales, workshop fees, sponsorships, donations, and grant funding. An important part of the Winona Community Foundation’s mission is realized though awarding community grants to meet the ever-changing needs of the community through a competitive process. Funding for this program comes from generous people, like you, who invest in the community and the Foundation. Whether through direct donations, establishing endowments, or holding charitable funds at the Foundation, these diverse sources of funding are instrumental in supporting the community grant program. As a result, local nonprofits in the Winona area greatly benefit from this program, which has become an essential asset in meeting the needs of the community.

To learn more about the Frozen River Film Festival, please visit