2010 McKnight Filmmaking Fellow Dawn Mikkelson’s work has been seen on PBS, OUTtv, and Free Speech TV, and has screened at international festivals including the Galway Film Fleadh, Cambridge Film Festival, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Leipzig DOK Market, American Indian Film Festival, and Washington DC Environmental Film Festival. Mikkelson has completed four award-winning independent feature documentaries, The Red Tail, Green Green Water, THIS obedience, and Treading Water: a documentary, which illuminate larger societal issues while creating understanding through the intimate stories of individuals. She is currently in post-production on Risking Light: Journeys of Forgiveness, highlighting individuals who have forgiven the unforgiveable from around the world, while looking at the larger questions and controversies raised by the universal act of forgiveness.
A former television news reporter at an ABC affiliate, Mikkelson often speaks and writes on issues around documentary filmmaking and social justice for MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) and MovieMaker Magazine and at festival panels, colleges, and universities. Mikkelson has taught Documentary Film as Adjunct Faculty at Ottawa University in Kansas, as well as at IFP Minnesota. Through her production company, Emergence Pictures, Mikkelson has produced dozens of feature and short documentary films for national and international nonprofit organizations including: Animal Humane Society, Clean Water Action, CRF (Community Reinvestment Fund), Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), Springboard for the Arts, and Sundance Family Foundation. In 2006 Mikkelson’s film, Hope for Recovery: Understanding Mental Illness (produced in collaboration with Twin Cities Public Television and NAMI-MN) won the Eric Sevareid Award by the Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA).