Minnesota Film Festival opening with Duluth native’s film featuring well-known actors

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Minnesota Film Festival logo(Northern News Now)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 1:38 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Minnesota Film Festival is opening with a film written by a Duluth native which features several well-known stars.

On March 29, the Minnesota Film Festival will open at Zinema 2 with the dark comedy “Daniel’s Gotta Die” from Duluth screenwriter Matthew Dressel.

The film stars Joel David Moore, Jason Jones, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and was the final role for the late Bob Saget.

Rajskub, best known for her roles in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “24,” will be in attendance at the viewing.

“Daniel’s Gotta Die” follows a family of rich sociopaths who, upon losing the patriarch of their family (played by Iggy Pop), find that he left their full inheritance to the good son, Daniel (played by Joel David Moore).

Daniel now has a choice of keeping the fortune for himself or sharing it with his siblings.

However, his siblings have far more murderous plans and intend to get their inheritance by any means necessary.

According to the news release, Dressel wrote the screenplay 12 years ago and has been working with Darius Films, a production company in Toronto, to develop it.

“Working with Darius has been great.” Dressel said, “During the past ten years they really helped keep my vision intact and kept me aboard the project when they could have very easily gotten someone else to do it.”

Rajskub plays Mia, a cold and calculating sharp-tongued businesswoman who has no problem using her dunderheaded cokehead of a brother (played by Jason Jones) to get the inheritance she thinks she deserves.

Its stated plans overlap and schemes go awry as this dark comedy of errors unfolds.

“Oddly enough, I based it on an episode of Frasier,” Dressel said. “There’s an episode where all the characters are in this ski lodge and various schemes keep hatching behind closed doors, plans go awry, and in the end, everything comes crashing down. I like putting my characters in a snow globe and viciously shaking it. It’s fun for me. Not so much for them.”

“It is a goal of our festival to champion the work of local filmmakers and also bring in industry talent from all over the world,” said Festival Director Matt Koshmrl. “With “Daniel’s Gotta Die” we get both and are looking forward to having our community be able to interact with Matt and star Mary Lynn Rajskub after the film.”

Rajskub will also be performing stand-up comedy following the premiere of the film.

Tickets are on sale here and the performance will be in the Teatro Zuccone at Zeitgeist.

The Minnesota Film Festival will be from March 29 through April 2.

To see the festival’s full schedule, click here.