Augsburg News

News Archives - 2007

Auggie film students accepted into international film festival

April 13 , 2007

Joe Lueben and Ben Katz

Augsburg film students Ben Katz and Joe Lueben had a film that they worked on accepted into the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (M-SPIFF). In its 23rd year, M-SPIFF is the largest film festival in the upper Midwest, presenting over 150 films from more than 50 countries.

Katz co-produced the film, and both students worked on the technical end. "We were tech. I held a microphone and got sound," says Lueben. The screening will be included in the Minnesota Shorts series of the festival on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the Oak St. Cinema (at the corner of Washington Ave. and Oak St. in Minneapolis). Tickets can be purchased in advance at

Entitled "The Conservationist," the film is about a simple man who lives a simple life. He is determined to leave the earth unscarred by his presence, taking only what he needs and recycling whatever possible. The film was shot over the course of one weekend at the cabin of one of the actors. 

Katz and Lueben, through a chance connection, had the opportunity to work on the film with Matt Goldman (the director). Goldman is a writer who works for Disney, and has written for the popular TV sitcom "Seinfeld." Lueben says, "Working with Matt opened up a lot of doors. It was the first time we've taken somebody else's story, instead of our own."

Katz says, "We made this on our own. We didn’t have help, and it wasn’t for a class."  Katz hopes to work with Matt Goldman again in the future.  Both students are anticipating Minnesota Shorts because as Lueben puts it: "Ultimately when you make a film you want an audience." 

Photo: Joe Lueben and Ben Katz