ABERDEEN, S.D. — The 10th edition of the South Dakota Film Festival kicks off Wednesday in Aberdeen.
More than 300 films were submitted to the festival, but only 65 will be screened, the Aberdeen American News (http://bit.ly/2cZRGPl ) reported. The five-day schedule with nine viewing sessions includes short and feature-length films from different genres.
Organizer Tom Black said time has allowed organizers to establish connections in the film industry to get access to quality films and guests.
“One of the things we do and have done is go to other film festivals, and we meet other filmmakers,” Black said. “And we’ve always had a strong connection to the filmmakers in the region — North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. We stay in contact with guests in the past and they recommend others.”
Tony Award nominee Stephen Tobolowsky, “Breakfast Club” star Anthony Michael Hall and former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Hawk Koch are among the festival’s guests this year.
Organizer Brent Brandt said the festival’s best featured narrative, “West Virginia Stories,” will be screened Wednesday night. Thursday evening will include four short films along with “The Sight of Stars,” which has been named best student-animated film of the festival, and best short comedy film, “A Man Wakes Up.”
Casey Weismantel, executive director of the Aberdeen Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said the festival drives extra traffic to Aberdeen businesses, but it is difficult to put a dollar figure to its economic impact.
“Yes, we see economic impact with restaurants, hotels and overnight stays, but the biggest thing they can pat themselves on the back for is exposure,” Weismantel said. “Filmmakers, they take that Aberdeen style and location back with them.”
Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com