In November of 1999, a group of film lovers, moviemakers and educators, along with tourism specialists, theatre volunteers and staff members, gathered at the newly restored Fargo Theatre to discuss the possibility of a Fargo Film Festival, as well as the selection of the Fargo Theatre as a site for the 2000 Library of Congress Film Preservation Tour.

In March of 2000, with a great deal of guidance and insight from the passionate, movie-obsessed professor Ted Larson, the theatre celebrated the rich history of film with selections from the prestigious Library of Congress collection. Actor Janet Leigh attended our week-long celebration and proved a most elegant guest. The success of the Library of Congress tour fueled the fire for an annual Fargo Film Festival.

Ted Larson died unexpectedly in November of 2000, but his spirit prevailed and the Fargo Film Festival became a reality in March of 2001. Since then, the festival has grown significantly from 30 submissions in 2001 to its current average of more than 200 submissions from 32 states and 15 countries. The Fargo Theatre’s storied history, 21st century technology, and beautifully restored art deco decor anchor the festival.

The Fargo Film Festival strives to:
• Provide an extraordinary opportunity for filmmakers’ work to be shown on the big silver screen in a beautifully restored, state of the art, 870 seat Art Deco Theatre.

• Provide informational and provocative presentations and panel discussions on issues affecting local, regional, national and international filmmaking and filmmakers.

• Jury films in categories including Animation, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Experimental, Narrative Feature, Narrative Short, and Student.

What is the Fargo Film Festival?
The Fargo Film Festival is the premier film festival event in the state of North Dakota.

When is the Fargo Film Festival held?
The festival takes place in March of each year.

Where does the Fargo Film Festival take place?
The festival takes place at a variety of locations in the Fargo-Moorhead community. The Fargo Theatre is the festival’s home base and provides the venue for the majority of screenings.

How do I submit my movie to the festival?
Moviemakers should visit the submissions page for information.

How can I get tickets? You can call the Fargo Theatre at 701.239.8385 or visit the box office in person. Check out the tickets page for prices and options.

How can I become a sponsor or help make a contribution to the Fargo Film Festival?
The Fargo Film Festival welcomes gifts of all sizes, from monetary donations to in-kind contributions. Call the theatre at 701.235.4152 and help the keep the festival going strong.

What movies have been shown in previous years?
Visit our archive to see past festival programming.

What awards does the Fargo Film Festival present?
The Fargo Film Festival awards winners and honorable mentions in each of the seven competitive categories: animation, documentary feature, documentary short, experimental, narrative feature, narrative short, and student.

In addition, “Best in Show” awards are given to the overall Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.

The Fargo Film Festival has also established several special honors. You can learn about them here.