Independent TV Festival Coming to Duluth

The fall colors should be at peak when the Independent TV Festival comes to Duluth in October 2019. The fall colors should be at peak when the Independent TV Festival comes to Duluth in October 2019. |  Photo: Jon Ellis/WDIO-TV, file

Updated: December 10, 2018 07:10 PM

The Independent TV Festival is moving to Duluth, bringing its five-day annual festival to the city during the peak of fall colors.

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At the event TV industry talent and executives will meet each other in a relaxed setting to share their ideas, buy and sell shows, and discuss the latest industry topics.

"We'll have the executives of HBO, Netflix, Bravo, Writers Guild of America walking down the streets of Duluth," said Upper Minnesota Film Officer Director Riki McManus. 

The Zeitgeist Arts Cafe is a big part of that art scene, and they are one of the front runners to host the event, along with the NorShor Theatre. 

"It's a natural fit for us," said Zeitgeist Communications & Creative Director Sarah Lueck. "We're excited to share with people who haven't been familiar with arts in Duluth what we have to offer here," she said.   

The event, celebrating independently-produced TV programming, will be open to the public and will require tickets, which are not yet available.

"The rise of Indie TV over the last decade has led to the creation of a niche market of hundreds of high-quality television pilots and series that represent the next generation of showrunners and TV talent," the organization says on its website.

The ITVFest began in 2006 and was most recently held in Vermont, including screenings, workshops, panel discussions, a marketplace, VIP events, and an awards gala.  Organizers estimate the event could bring over $1.5 million to the Duluth-area economy.

"We think Duluth, and Independent TV is just a terrific fit," said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. 

"We couldn't be more thrilled because this really puts our local arts scene on the national scale," said Visit Duluth President, CEO Anna Tanski. 

The City of Duluth said the festival will also open a local office and bring year-round programming to the city. 

The ITVFest is scheduled for October 9 through 13.

It is expected to bring about 1,500 people to Duluth.

More information is available at

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