Local Current Blog

Minneapolis filmmaker Andre Durand, 32, dies in tragic accident

Andre Durand on the set of Stuck Between Stations (Photo by Kris Drake Photography)

It would take you a while, but it would be worth it. I guarantee that if you went out to a show in the Twin Cities every night and asked every person you ran into if they knew him, you could count up to 100 and not find a single one that would have a bad thing to say about Andre Durand.

A talented filmmaker and music lover, Andre will leave behind a collection of stunning, evocative moving images in the form of music videos and short films. At only 32 years old, his career was off to more than a promising start. But what I’m thinking about today, and what so many friends from around this sprawling scene are realizing, is that Andre’s biggest legacy just might be his capacity for kindness; the warmth and curiosity he showed to everyone he met; and the genuine, infectious passion he poured into his art and his life. He was always smiling. Laughing too, if you were lucky. He always managed to be the shining bright spot in the room.

I first met Andre back in 2010 through his work with MPLS.TV, the prolific and downright giddy video site that burst onto the scene around that time. Durand was part of a new crew of filmmakers who were reared at MCTC and ready to work, and he brought a tireless energy to projects like the “City of Music” series (which I helped support in my former role at City Pages) and other music-related videos alongside other blossoming directors like Dan Huiting, Lauren Josephine, and Chris Hadland.

In many ways, Durand and his cohorts were part of a new school of thought in Minnesota arts media. They weren’t waiting around for legacy media outlets to hire them, or resting on their laurels waiting for permission to try new things. They were just doing it, making videos for free because they wanted the artists to look awesome, and working 12-hour-plus days shooting, scheming, and editing, simply because that’s what it took to make the work they wanted to see. They raised the bar for what kind of coverage we should expect of our hometown artists, and showed us that music videos could once again be relevant and essential to fans.

Over the years Durand began developing his own style and breaking out on his own—his role developing the storyline of Bon Iver’s “Calgary” video along with Huiting and Justin Vernon was a career milestone—and he soon began directing his own videos, like No Bird Sing’s apocalyptic “And War” and the Pines’ “Cry Cry Crow.” His cinematography work also found him jet-setting around the world, from Haiti to Iceland and Scandinavia.

Andre died on Sunday, September 20, following a tragic accident in Bushwick, New York. A fundraiser has been set up for his family, and I’ll share information about any memorial services as soon as it is available. For now we are left with his work. Which is beautiful, just like he was.

Bon Iver, “Calgary”

Tôg, “Av Hengslene”

No Bird Sing, “And War”

Doomtree, “Final Boss”

Mason Jennings, “Bitter Heart”

The Pines, “Cry Cry Crow”

Now Now, “Thread”

Gar, “Methking”

  • Lynnea Nicole Durand

    Thank you for such touching and beautiful words on the life of my brother

    • Quocnam Nguyen

      I only knew your brother through friends and only hung out with him a few times, but his energy and smile were so infectious. He always made the day better. I am sorry for your loss.

      • Lynnea Nicole Durand

        Thank you yes he was so full of life gone too soon i greatly Appreciate It

  • Mollie Organ Eyez Err Dukek

    Lynnea and the rest of the Dyrand clan, I can’t even begin to tell you how heartbroken I am over this news when Cindy called me yesterday. Andre was probably the funniest, kindest, sweetest person I ever met. His talent was beyond…..The world has suffered a huge loss. I will hold on to a hundred plus memories of him forever but my favorite will always be Thanksgiving a few years back at Julie’s. We were sitting in the kitchen while most were sitting in the dining room. Andre told us they were hiding us because we weren’t “dining room family”. God I love that man! If Larry or I can do anything for you guys, we are here. Don’t hesitate to reach out. All our love.

    • Lynnea Nicole Durand

      Thank you mollie yes I do remember that as well there never was a holiday that didn’t have laughs andre was always the life of the party he always had others smiling matter what kind of mood they were in it wasn’t his time thank you for the kind words

  • Dessa Darling

    Lynnea. I’m so, so sorry. And very happy to have had the chance to know and work with Andre–sharp wit, infectious enthusiasm, and dedicated talent.

  • veda love

    I’m so very sorry God bless your family and may peace and love be with you all. I will pray for you all tonight Blessings.

  • Mike Mictlan

    Too early, an incredible loss. An honor to have been able to call Dre my friend.

  • Stephanie Meilleur

    I didn’t know Andre well, but this is a beautiful homage about a beautiful person. he will be missed by many.

  • Christopher Matthew

    I only met and hung with Dre for two days while he filmed a video for us in NYC. During that time it felt like we had been friends for years. There was no grace period before we were joking and hurling light hearted insults at each other & everyone in the group. We planned to catch up soon and grab a beer and I fully intended to keep that plan because that was just the kind of guy Andre was. He made you want to continue to be a part of his world. I know he will be terribly missed by his friends and family because he will be missed by those of us who only had fleeting encounters. God Bless you all with a bit of peace in an impossible time.

  • Seymour Brighton

    If you don’t say what the “Tragic accident” was then he died of an overdose. I’m not donating squat for a junkie funeral.

  • Steve Kotvis

    I did not Andre up to the point of reading this article. But after two days, I cannot stop thinking of him, watching his creations, and gaining appreciation for a very talented and inspiring person. I am very sorry for the loss by family and friends and frankly anyone who has or would have come in touch with Andre.

  • Dan Carroll

    I worked with Andre on Judd and Annie Einan’s short film “Blindspot”. I remember I was tasked with making the bathroom at the St Anthony theater look like First Ave after a month without a janitor. I messed it up good or so I thought. Durand came in smiled at me and then destroyed the bathroom. “That’s Better” he whispered to himself. He was right, he knew things, saw things, felt things I couldn’t see. He was and I take pause here. Amazing. In that moment I learned about real passion, no half measures, go all the way. I count myself to be honored to have been visited by an angel, after all he was one leading us by example on how to live the right way, wasn’t he?