WINONA, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Thousands gathered at Winona State University on Saturday for the ninth annual Frozen River Film Festival.
The festival features more than 50 documentaries and short films exploring everything from world culture to extreme sports.
"FracNation"-- a film exploring the business behind frac sand mining -- was excluded from the festival. According to festival organizers, their partner, Mountain Films, and the Sundance Film Festival, excluded it from their events. Organizers pulled it from the lineup in Winona among other reasons.
"We use those two national significant festivals as both mentors of what we want to do and examples of how we want to act from an integrity standpoint," said Mike Kennedy, Chair of the Festival's Board.
The environmental issue drawing local controversy appeared in other films this weekend such as Gasland Part 2. Still, some theater-goers say they want more.
"I would have liked to seen both sides, but sad to say, we didn't get to see the group that were for Frac-Sand," said Enda Fitzmaurize of Winona.
In between showings, festival guests are entertained by family activities, a market, food, music and more.
"I like the diversity," said Trish Johnson of Winona. "I think it's an awesome way to learn and for people to experience independent film making."
The festival ends Sunday but organizers are already looking ahead to next year. The event will move to February for the film festival's 10th anniversary in 2015.
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