New 'Midwest Brigadoon' film finds beauty at the state fair

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Falcon Heights, MN — The state fair doesn't kick off for another week, but on Sunday the Southern Theater premieres a new film that distills all twelve days of the "Great Minnesota Get-Together" into just 25 minutes.

"Midwest Brigadoon" combines stop-motion photography and video to find beauty among the butter heads, bantams and bacon served on a stick. The images slide across the screen in silence, accompanied only by soft piano music.

"When we go to the fair, it's this sensory overload, because we've got the sights and the sounds and the smells," filmmaker Ochen Kaylan said. "But I find when you take out a lot of the distraction, you're able to meditate. It becomes this internal exploration of the fair."


Kaylan recorded over 1,000 hours of footage at last year's Minnesota State Fair. He set up more than 20 stop-motion cameras around the grounds to capture the process of constructing and dismantling the 320 acre festival.

The film's title refers to the 1947 Broadway musical "Brigadoon." It tells the story of a mythical Scottish town that appears on Earth for one day each century, and disappears just as quickly.

Proceeds from Sunday's 8 p.m. premiere benefit the Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S, Minneapolis. The suggested donation is $10. Doors open at 7 p.m.