Someone You Should Know: Father and son filmmakers collaborate to make an impact
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Daniel Bergeson is on a mission to shed light on social justice issues through film.
He gets his passion for bringing stories to life from his father, Rodney.
“He grew up to be an incredible writer, director, and producer. It makes a dad proud when his son follows in his footsteps. But, he is going to do great things. He’s going to do way beyond what I’ve done,” said Daniel’s father and founder of After Hours Pictures.
“I had this influence, this cinematic influence throughout my whole childhood that really showed the value of story to me. And I was just lucky to be behind the scenes throughout all of it. So I had my own sort of film school throughout my formative years,” Daniel.
Daniel founded The Hazard Film Project Non-profit with Sioux Falls local, Bobby Peacock.
Together, they made Hazard, a short film about a Black family taking a camping road trip for the first time.
DANIEL: “The issue behind Hazard that we are trying to approach is something that is a lot larger than just one story. We’re trying to talk about diversity and equity in natural spaces. And in general equity in spaces. ‘How can we explore and tell stories about marginalized groups?,’ said Daniel.”
Rodney shared his 42 years of experience working in the film industry to help bring their vision to life.
“Daniel has a good heart and he cares a lot. What strikes me most is that he’s telling stories that are relevant and important,” said Rodney.
Daniel describes what it is like working with his dad, saying he owes his creativity and success to him.
“It’s been just an honor to be able to have this father-son relationship and I’m just really grateful for the collaboration and support,” said Daniel.
Hazard recently premiered at the Sioux Falls State Theatre. Where a moderated panel for discussions was held after the film.
“It got very deep and the people on the panel were very open and we encouraged them to feel safe to disclose their own lived experiences in and around Sioux Falls South Dakota. The film itself really lent itself as a springboard for this conversation,” said Sioux Falls social worker Sara Crosby.
Daniel hopes to pursue more initiatives through telling stories about social issues and other marginalized communities like LGBTQ+.
“Hazard Film Project we have lots of different initiatives that we want to focus on. Our next initiative is focusing on gender and sexuality. We want to tell stories specifically to focus on bridging the gap between the queer community and the church,” said Daniel.
Hazard has been submitted to many short film festivals and is the first of many Daniel, and his team, hope to produce.
“Their work is incredibly, incredibly important and I am so, so proud of them,” said Crosby.
Through their love for film, Daniel and Rodney make a great team when creating visual stories.
“I love to see how Rodey and Daniel get along and bond over this work that they’re doing. To have a relationship like that with my son or for any father to have a relationship like that with their son would be the greatest,” said family friend Gary Rensch.
In a collaborative effort, both Daniel and Rodney want the Hazard Film Project to succeed in its goal to promote social injustices and encourage change.
“He grew up to be an incredible writer, director, and producer. It makes a dad proud when his son follows in his footsteps. But, he is going to do great things. He’s going to do way beyond what I’ve done,” said Rodney.
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