Dawn Mikkelson


Film Projects

Public bio

2015 Regional Emmy Winner and 2010 McKnight Filmmaking Fellow, Mikkelson’s work has been seen on PBS and has screened at international festivals including the Galway Film Fleadh, Cambridge Film Festival, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Leipzig DOK Market, and Washington DC Environmental Film Festival. Mikkelson has completed four award-winning independent feature documentaries, The Red Tail, Green Green Water, THIS obedience, and Treading Water: a documentary, which illuminate larger societal issues while creating understanding through the intimate stories of individuals.  Mikkelson is currently in post-production on #UntoldStory Crowdfunding Rally Finalist, Risking Light. From a mother's meeting with her child’s killer to a genocide survivor's decision to reject vengeance, Risking Light is a feature documentary film which explores the complexities and unique emotional journeys of four remarkable people who have forgiven the unforgivable from the United States, Cambodia, and Australia. 


A former television news reporter, Mikkelson often speaks and writes for MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) and produces for TPT (Twin Cities Public Television). Mikkelson is the founder of Emergence Pictures, a documentary production company based in Minnesota. Mikkelson has taught Documentary Film as Adjunct Faculty at Ottawa University in Kansas and IFP Minnesota. In 2006 Mikkelson’s film, Hope for Recovery: Understanding Mental Illness won the Eric Sevareid Award by the Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA).