Our Story

In the fall of 1999, Sound Unseen introduced itself as a unique, cutting edge “films-on-music” festival in Minneapolis. It has since established itself as one of the premiere niche festivals in the country, but more importantly as a vital part of the regional cultural scene. Now in its 19th year, the festival has expanded to include year-round programming, unique pop-up events, and special screenings including world and regional premieres.

Named “One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World” by Moviemaker Magazine in 2016, the “Best Winter Film Festival” by the Star Tribune 2012, and the “Best of the Fests 2010” from  Mpls/St Paul Magazine, Sound Unseen continues its tenure as the region’s premiere films-on-music festival. While bringing the best in documentaries, short films, and music videos it also showcases rare concert footage, interactive panels, and live music events. As part of its year-round presence, Sound Unseen offers a successful monthly screening series and special events throughout the Twin Cities. This diversity in content is one of the things that separates Sound Unseen from the typical outdoor mega concerts and film festivals.

Sound Unseen has received press coverage in all major local media including The Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, City Pages, Vita.mn, Secrets of the City, Walker Art blog, TC Daily Planet, Northland News, Growler Magazine, MinnPost; local radio stations The Current, KQRS, MPR, Radio K and television news including NBC, FOX, and CBS. National media mentions have included Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, USA Today, Music Film Web blog, The Playlist, and AIF Independent magazine of New York.

Mission
Sound Unseen is a cultural organization dedicated to the role of film and music as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Our mission is to foster a greater appreciation of cinema, to bridge cultures, create and expand community, provide cultural exchange, networking opportunities and educational outreach through regular interaction with great films, filmmakers, musicians and artists.

Values
Diversity: Throughout our program and practices, we celebrate diversity — it enriches our lives. Much as the biological diversity of an ecosystem increases its stability and productivity, cultural diversity brings together the resources and talents of many people for the shared benefit of all.

Integrity: We adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, accountability and financial responsibility and encourage others to do the same.

Excellence: We believe in the power and urgency of creative expression and are devoted to the presentation of great cinema.

Community: We are committed to being a good partner and improving the cultural and economic landscape of our community.

Vision
Uniting communities through film, music and art and creating longevity in the community through lasting partnerships and programs.