In April of 2007, Tanna Frederick and Dick Schinnow launched the first Iowa Independent Film festival in Music Man Square in Mason City. Frederick had conceived the idea with independent film maker Henry Jaglom who had just directed her in Hollywood Dreams, and the two of them convinced Schinnow that a film festival should be established in North Iowa.
After two years in Music Man Square, the festival moved to a July weekend in nearby Clear Lake, Iowa in order to attract a larger audience from the popular resort’s visitors. The festival had a successful four year run in Clear Lake, but the limitations of the venues available there created some dissatisfaction with festival patrons, so when the opportunity came to move to the Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, the board of directors moved quickly to make that happen.
Through the generous support of Tanna Frederick and Henry Jaglom, the festival has been visited by a number of prominent actors, directors and producers from Los Angeles and New York which have included Karen Black, David Proval, Andre Gregory, Randall Kleiser and Mark Rydell. Visits by these and numerous other filmmakers have helped to publicize the festival and make it unique to Iowa.