6th Annual Dakota Digital Film Festival


People packed the Belle Mehus auditorium tonight to watch some movies — 15 of them.

The Dakota Digital Film Festival is going on it’s 6th year in Bismarck. The one-night evening of 15 short films all started as a collaboration between a group of locals.

“got together and said we really should do something to promote filmmaking in our community and promote these kinds of skills that are needed to create films. it isn’t just about the entertainment industry. There’s a lot of job that are available to people who know how to shoot, and how to edit, and how to put together a story,” said Mary Van Sickle, the executive director for Dakota Media Access.

The whole event is put on my Dakota Media Access – a local non-profit. Of those 15 films chosen, 2 are from local North Dakota filmmakers.

Van Sickle added, “The other films come from everywhere. I mean, we get submissions from award winning films that have won academy awards, they’ve been in Sundance, Tribeca, Toronto, South by South West.”

Films as far as Austria and Germany are showing at this year’s event. And it’s all happening at the over 100 year old Belle Mehus Auditorium in downtown Bismarck.

“It’s just a beautiful building. One of our biggest challenges though is taking this building and turning it into a movie theater. It’s really not built for that but we bring in the screen, we bring in the projector, sound, everything to make that happen,” said Van Sickle.

There’s an online submission process to be included in the official selection. And local filmmakers are encouraged to submit their work.

There were over 100 hundred films submitted for this year’s event. So, it was quite an honor for 2 local filmmakers to be chosen. 

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