The Wagon

Gayle Knutson’s film, “The Wagon,” will be shown this weekend at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.


A Marine on St. Croix filmmaker’s short film will premiere this weekend at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.

Gayle Knutson’s film, “The Wagon,” will be shown in a collection of short films dubbed “Passing the Torch.” The event is sold out.

Shot in and around Marine in fall 2017, “The Wagon” tells the story of an aunt and niece living in a weathered houseboat on the St. Croix River. Claire, an optimistic adult with Down syndrome, saves money for a red wagon as Frances discovers she cannot shelter her niece from harsh realities of life.

“Claire and Frances are two vagabond women dealing with personal challenges in a world that ignores ‘their kind,’” Knutson writes in her director’s statement. 

Knutson wrote the film’s story, which was adapted for the screen by Wenonah Wilms. Knutson also produced and directed the film.

“I find it particularly powerful,” she said, “to reach that point in a story when the audience knows the outcome, but the protagonist has yet to reach that same realization. It becomes a voyeuristic moment that allows the audience to focus on how the characters will react to their situation.”

The film stars Jamie Brewer of “American Horror Story” as Claire, Bruce Bohne of “Fargo” as shopkeeper Charlie, and Jen Blagen of “Dragonfly” as Aunt Frances.

“I’m excited to share this story with a broader audience and give them a chance to experience a slice of life that may be unfamiliar territory.”

To see where the film is headed next, follow “The Wagon” on Twitter @thewagonmovie, Instagram: @thewagonmovie or

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