Luther College to host Oneota Film Festival 2018

April 13, 2018

Including Academy Award nominated “Heroin(e),” and Luther College Professor Thomas C. Johnson and Luther Director of Visual Media Aaron Lurth’s new short film “Marieke,” the 2018 Oneota Film Festival will be held April 19-22, on the Luther campus and in downtown Decorah.

Featuring more than 85 films from around the world, the Oneota Film Festival is open to the public. Festival goers may purchase individual day passes for $10 each or an all-access pass that admits them for all three days plus access to the opening night event and the filmmaker’s reception for a discounted rate of $25. Tickets and passes are available online at

The festival opens at The Elks Lodge in downtown Decorah at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, with the first Oneota Film Festival film “Saving Brinton.” This work follows the journey of Historian Michael Zahs who discovers a rare collection of film and attempts to restore and exhibit his findings. A Q&A with the filmmakers will follow this showing.

Following the opening event, films will be available from 6 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon to 4:15 p.m. on Sunday; all on Luther’s campus. in Valders Hall of Science Rooms 206 and 362, Olin Room 102, and in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall. Each room features a variety of films and documentaries; the full schedule is available at:

The festival’s feature film “Heroin(e)” is a documentary highlighting the efforts of three women working to change the narrative and cycle of drug abuse one person at a time in Huntington, West Virginia. The film will be shown at 3 p.m. on Saturday and is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The festival closing films begin at 2:10 p.m. Sunday, April 22, on Luther’s campus.

Festival passes may be picked up at the opening event on Thursday, April 19; at the festival headquarters in Luther’s Valders Hall of Science anytime during the festival from 4 p.m. Friday, April 20, to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22; or at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the doors of the event located in the T-Bock’s Upstairs, in downtown Decorah.

The Oneota Film Festival was founded and is run by a group of representatives from Luther and local film lovers who have formed a non-profit corporation to host the festival. The mission of the festival is to “build and sustain a community of film lovers through screenings and discussions.”

This year’s festival focus is on themes related to making connections, and the weekend will provide many opportunities to connect with filmmakers, friends and members of the broader community. The board of directors hopes that through this festival, viewers and filmmakers alike will be inspired to view and discuss compelling issues in today’s society.

This will be the ninth year that the Oneota Film Festival has been held in Decorah. Inspired by Luther alumnus Walter Ordway, a world traveler and filmmaker, the Oneota Film Festival board has arranged a weekend of eclectic, artistic films intended to delight a diverse audience.

More information and a full schedule of events is available at

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: