Al Milgrom, founder and longtime artistic director of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International film Festival, spent much of its first week in the intensive-care ward of the University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview Clinic. Milgrom, 88, had a bleeding ulcer diagnosed on Monday.

He said he didn't think the festival management routine of "15-hour days, constant deadlines, getting up at 5 a.m. to call Europe to get a film" was responsible for his illness, but added, "if all the physicians say stress is one of the main causes of ulcers, who am I to disagree?"

Although he was horizontal for the week, Milgrom is never entirely at rest. He was screening DVDs of festival films from his hospital bed to offer marketing strategies to staffers. He quizzed the clinic's multicultural staff about their countries of origin, directing them to festival films from their homelands. And he kept an eye on festival operations, lauding the staff for running the event smoothly.

His illness was "pretty serious stuff, so they tell me," but Milgrom said he expected to be released Friday, and to attend a late-night film festival gala Saturday. "The only difference is I'll be sitting down and passing on the vino," he said.