Director of "Sdanka's War" Finds What He Needs in Northern Minnesota

By KBJR News 1

August 22, 2013 Updated Aug 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM CDT

Gilbert, MN (NNCNOW.com) - For the multi–talented Tino Struckmann, the calling to the silver screen was fueled by both passion, and experience.

Also an experienced military man, Struckmann has seen first–hand the horrors of human trafficking, and says it's anything but a strictly overseas issue.

"I think it's terrifyingly interesting that right here, in America—right down the street in Duluth—there's human trafficking going on. There are women being kidnapped and smuggled out of America," said Struckmann, standing on top of a scenic overlook inside the Gilbert Off Highway Vehicle Park.

Struckmann says, as a filmmaker, it's his responsibility to highlight atrocities like these in his films: "These are our sisters, our daughters, our mothers—the women we love that make our life better. We need to do more to keep them safe."

That is the focus of his latest film, "Sdanka's War," which focuses on the story of a woman seeking revenge on her captors.

Based in Eastern Europe, however, Struckmann says he's found the perfect replica for his setting right here, in Northern Minnesota.

Along with the sprawling, open forestland that the Iron Range has to offer, Struckmann says the state's film rebate incentive, coupled with the strong dedication of the IRRRB to his project, makes it a win–win.

"Honestly, I don't understand why more movies are not made up here...now," laughed Struckmann.

...which is good news for the region, says Riki McManus of the Upper Minnesota Film Office, adding Struckmann's positive feedback will go a long way.

"[Seeing] a visitor that's going to come and spend lots of money in the area, and [seeing] their excitement level—that's fabulous," said McManus.

Struckmann says he's already looking to start another film project in the state, possibly as early as October.

Anyone interested in auditioning for the film or being an extra in the film is asked to email a headshot photo and resumes to:


For casting notes: Click here