Home Perspective Minnesota Portraits: A Conversation with Craig Rice

Minnesota Portraits: A Conversation with Craig Rice

Director, producer, musician and teacher, Craig Rice has been a staple of the Minnesota film production scene since the 1980s. In this episode of Minnesota Portraits, he discusses his experiences growing up Black in Minnesota and working as a Black man in film industry, how he always knew that he wanted to direct movies, and what he learned from his professional and personal relationship with Prince.

What happened next?

This interview with Craig Rice was originally broadcast in 1991. Since then, he has continued to make a name for himself in the film industry nationwide, with a special focus on investing in the local film scene.

In the years following this interview, Rice was involved in multiple capacities (music supervisor, producer, director, writer, editor, etc.) on many films, commercials and music videos. One of his best-known projects is the full-length HBO documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks. Produced and directed by Rice and released in 2000, the film was nominated for three Emmy awards, an NAACP Image Award, was screened at the Museum of Television and Radio, and won the Tree of Life Award from The Friends of the Motion Picture Academy.

Craig Rice was the executive director of the MN Film & TV Board, and is currently in charge of youth and adult educational programming for the MSP Film Society. He can often be heard talking about upcoming film screenings on Jazz88.FM’s Morning Show.

Rice has been on the faculty of McNally Smith College of Music, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has taught at Minneapolis Media Institute and Perpich Center For The Arts High School.

According to his business website, Rice is currently developing a television series entitled The Black Panthers for HBO.


Listen to other episodes of Minnesota Portraits and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the Friends of Minnesota Experience.


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