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Hjemkomst documentary to debut Tuesday at Fargo Film Festival

FILM DIRECTOR ELI KAUFMAN points to the Hjemkomst ship replica.

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County invites the public to a celebration of unique achievement.

Thid Tuesday, March 5, at the Fargo Theatre in downtown Fargo, the 11-minute documentary short about the 30th anniversary of the sailing of the Hjemkomst Viking ship will premiere.

"The Hjemkomst: Thirty Years Later" is also the recipient of the Prairie Spirit Award 2013.

"The Hjemkomst: Thirty Years Later" was first conceived in 2010 when Eli Akira Kaufman was a guest filmmaker at the 2010 Fargo Film Festival with his two student films, "Winning the Peace" and "California King," which won Best Student Film, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay.

Kaufman wandered over to visit the museum on the recommendation of local filmmaker Tony Tilton and ended up falling in love with the story of the ship, the expedition and the communities that made it happen.

The following summer Kaufman found himself returning to the Fargo-Moorhead area to chronicle the 30th anniversary of the launching of the ship from the famous potato warehouse in Hawley, in order to meet some of the Hawley community and crew members for the first time.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and Kaufman, now the gead of Production at GOOD in Los Angeles, Calif., reconnected with Jonason to see if they could make their dream project a reality.

In the meantime, Jonason had applied for and was awarded a grant through the Minnesota Historical Society to video-record the anniversary celebration and crew interviews for archival purposes. Kaufman was able to travel to Moorhead with colleagues Alex Gorosh and Harry Mayers to shoot the celebration, the panel discussion on July 21, 2012, and interviews with crew and Asp family members.

Kaufman then took the footage back to Los Angeles and worked on producing an 11-minute documentary short for GOOD's online magazine at This film was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The result is a fun, uplifting high-speed short tribute to most of the people who made the historic voyage a reality and what it means to them thirty years later.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Kaufman will be awarded the Prairie Spirit Award of the film festival, the film will debut, and he will answer questions from the audience.

Admission to the opening night of the five-day film festival is $8.

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County collects, preserves, and presents the history and culture of Clay County and the region.

HCSCC also provides interpretation of the Hjemkomst Viking Ship, Hopperstad Stave Church Replica, and hosts traveling exhibits in 7,000 square feet of temporary exhibition space.

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is located in the Hjemkomst Center at 202 First Ave. N. in Moorhead.