Minnesota Film Critics Alliance Member Profile: Sean Blanford

Sean Blanford has been writing about movies at his own site since 2017 and regularly covers film festivals. A Minneapolis resident, Blanford will be covering movies screened at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival this month.

Here’s more about Blanford in his own words.

How long have you been producing content about movies?

My first BlogSpot website began in 2017, but in January of 2019 I started my official website, MovieBirb.com. I have also created content as a freelancer for the Mad About Movies Podcast and blog since 2019.

Where do you live and/or produce content about movies?

I currently live in Minneapolis, where I have lived since 2006. Before then I bounced around different suburbs and have called Minnesota home for most of my life.

What type of content do you produce about movies?

My current focus is on written reviews and film festival coverage, but I am always looking for freelance opportunities, podcast gigs, etc.

What motivated you to create content about movies?

I started writing reviews after I attended the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. I knew that this was an exciting opportunity and that I always wanted to write about films, so the combination of the two was the best way for me to get a start.

What inspired your love of movies?

My love of films dates to going to see “The Little Mermaid” with my grandmother when I was six years old at the old Maplewood 1 & 2 theaters. From there, even though I did not have a lot of money, my family would always go to the Vali-Hi Drive-In, or the dollar theaters in Maplewood and Roseville so we could see whatever movie was available to see.

As I got older, most of my weekends were spent doing double and triple features at the Mounds View theater, again watching whatever was out regardless of how good it may have been. Later, I pursued a degree in film and media studies which I am still working towards, and even wrote a screenplay that was featured in a film at the 2020 Z-Fest.

What do you enjoy most about living in Minnesota?

I love how art-focused the Twin Cities are, and how we have four seasons (even if Winter makes its way into Spring and Autumn). Living in Minneapolis, we have so many things to do that you can get from a larger city without crowding and overpopulation.

What is your favorite movie theater in Minnesota?

I loved going to all the Minneapolis Landmark Theaters. Sadly, with the pandemic we lost the Edina and Uptown Theaters, but thankfully the Lagoon is still standing.

What are some of your favorite movies from the past year (2021)?

2021 was such a wonderful year for films, but my five favorites were “Titane,” “CODA,” “The Novice,” “Flee,” and “Violet.”

What are your favorite movies set in Minnesota?

Being a sports fan and a 90s kid, the films set in Minnesota that I have the fondest memories of are “The Mighty Ducks” trilogy and “Little Big League.”

Where can people find your work?

All my reviews and film festival coverage are at MovieBirb.com.

What are your Social Media accounts?

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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