South Dakota Film Festival returns to an in-person event

In 2020 and 2021, the event was held virtually
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The 2022 South Dakota Film Festival began Friday, and for the first time since the pandemic started, audiences were welcomed back.

In 2020 and 2021, the event was held virtually, but there were a few perks to going online.

”A silver lining to it is we were able to get such a larger reach than we’ve ever had before. South Dakota Film Festival was reaching places in China and over in England and Germany,” said South Dakota Film Festival Executive Director Steven Huber.

In 2022, over 60 films will be screened in 11 different sessions. Attendees who buy VIP tickets will be able to interact with the filmmakers at special events.

”Our film festival is very unique. We bring in filmmakers and if you’re a VIP or sponsor with us, you get to hangout with them on a one-to-one basis. You get to talk about their film,” said Huber.

Chris White created the featured film showing Saturday night, Electric Jesus. The film stars Brian Baumgartner and Judd Nelson.

This is White’s first visit to South Dakota, and he was immediately amazed by the location of the festival.

”The Capitol is an incredible, old-school movie house. That is not typical. Maybe a couple festivals have something like that,” said White.

White says having a film festival in-person gives audiences a chance to connect.

“It’s that community. You’re finding a community of people that love movies and are interested in movies, maybe in the same ways that you are. That’s what is special about having a film festival in your town,” said White.

It also gives White, as a filmmaker, the chance to see audiences react to his film.

”To think that you could see a movie on a big screen and you could go just stand around and talk to the people that made it, and maybe if there was something you had a question about, you could actually ask them, that’s the joy of actually going to a festival,” said White.

The online tickets for the South Dakota Film Festival have closed, but tickets can still be purchased at the Capitol Theater. Individual session tickets can only be purchased 30 minutes beforehand. The sessions will run Friday through Sunday evening.