'Tankhouse,' a movie set and filmed in Fargo, gets a national release date

The movie was shot in Fargo and Los Angeles in 2019 and will be released in theaters and video on demand next month.

Tankhouse in the alley
Richard Kind, center left, does a scene with the cast and crew of "Tankhouse" in the alley behind The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's building in downtown Fargo on Sept. 27, 2019.
Forum file photo

FARGO — “Tankhouse,” the feature film shot in Fargo in 2019, is coming to a screen near you.

Distributor Vertical Entertainment announced Thursday, April 7, that the film will be released in limited theaters and to streaming platforms on May 13.

The film was produced by Los Angeles-based Matthew Cooper and Click Content Studios, a video production company owned by Fargo-based Forum Communications, which owns The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Forum Communications President and CEO Bill Marcil Jr. and Click’s Managing Director Jim Manney are listed as executive producers. Fargo native Jessamine Burgum is also an executive producer.

This is the directorial debut of Noam Tomaschoff, who co-wrote the script with Chelsea Frei.

Tara Holt and Stephen Friedrich star as actors exiled from their avant-garde theater scene in New York by their guru, played by Hollywood veteran Christopher Lloyd, best known as Doc in the “Back to the Future” movies. They return to her hometown, Fargo, to start a new theater troupe, only to discover another troupe led by her former drama teacher, played by Richard Kind, isn’t keen on sharing the local spotlight. Theatrical and musical scrimmages play out around Fargo as the two troupes face off.


Stephen Friedrich, Richard Kind and Tara Holt perform a scene during filming of "Tankhouse" at the Fargo Theatre in downtown Fargo.
Forum file photo

Manney said Thursday that he was still letting it sink in that something he’d worked on for so long was finally coming to fruition.

“This is actually happening,” he said. “This started three years ago. It’s been this really long, incredible journey. It’s incredible to be even a small part of something so fun, interesting and stressful to make."

He likened the filmmaking process to opening a new puzzle, throwing it in the air and hoping that all of the pieces fit together when they land.

Tankhouse welcome to fargo.jpg
Crew members of the movie "Tankhouse" film south of Fargo in 2019. The movie brought about 40 cast and crew members, who bought lodging, catering, supplies and set materials that likely injected several hundred thousand dollars into the local economy.
Forum file photo

Manney said a mutual friend of Cooper and Marcil suggested the film be set in Fargo, and Cooper followed up with a visit to town and a meeting with Marcil.

“The script was tailored to fit the locals and the North Dakota feel it ultimately has,” Manney said. “I think this is great for Fargo, North Dakota and Click Content.”

The film was shot in Fargo and in Los Angeles.

Burgum also has a role in the film. Her father, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, was seen behind the scenes on the set.

Jesse Burgum has a laugh with actors Rachel Matthews and Spencer Roberts during the filming of the movie "Tankhouse" at the former Goodyear building in downtown Fargo.
Forum file photo

Manney said the film will be released to theaters in major markets but may also play in some regional theaters. The movie will also be released on all major streaming platforms, like iTunes and Amazon Prime Video.


He added that there will be a Los Angeles theatrical premiere and later a local premiere at the Fargo Theatre, which plays a significant role in the movie.

“I’m just excited for everyone to see Fargo on the big screen,” Manney said. “There are a lot of recognizable local actors and locations. It’s a love letter to Fargo.”

Manney said that Click also recently signed a distribution deal for its documentary, “Invasive: The Race to Save Yellowstone.”

Editor's note: John Lamb, the author of this article, appears as an extra in "Tankhouse."


FARGO — A fresh-faced redhead stands up near the graffiti-covered wall and nervously starts telling a story to a handful of people sitting in folding chairs in front of him.
FARGO — Beginning Monday, Sept. 16, Fargo becomes the set of a new film. The comedy, "Tankhouse," follows two New Yorkers who move to Fargo to start a theatrical revolution.
FARGO — Like most people, Lisa Kornkven of Fargo has never been in a movie before.
FARGO — After months of writing (and re-writing), hours of tweaking and editing and a few scouting trips from sunny California to the humid oasis that is North Dakota in the summer, filming has finally begun on "Tankhouse."

PHOTO GALLERY: Inside the making of "Tankhouse"

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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