BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — For one night only, the Dakota Film Festival is back for its 11th year. This time around, it’ll be taking place Friday at the Belle Mehus Auditorium.
The Festival has gained a lot of attraction over the years. Organizer of the festival and Administrative Assistant at Dakota Media Access, Quinn Uhlman, says that it’s become a popular event because it’s something different for the community to enjoy.
“People love entertainment. People love movies, and this is really the only opportunity we get here in central North Dakota to see short films specifically. We can always go down to the Grand and watch a feature-length. But this is one long night where we’re going to watch so much of variety and talent and films. There’s nothing else you can do where you’re going to get a little something for everybody,” said Uhlman.
Preparations for the film festival began in October when talent could submit their work to be reviewed and selected by the board. A lot of work put in by workers and volunteers goes into the festival.
“We have a great group of volunteers,” Uhlman said. “A lot of them are returning, but we have a few new ones. We have a few new faces on our selection committee as well. It helps them learn more about the technology and what it takes to run stuff like this and they’re always welcoming and very hard-working. So, we would love if anyone wanted to volunteer in the future, but we really appreciate those who keep coming back.”
13 films will be introduced at the theater with local producers and academy award winners alike some as far as Australia. This week, before the film festival begins, Dakota Media Access will be airing the films along with exclusive interviews with the producers.
The first film will air on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Dana Larson, the film will highlight the debate around the geographic center of North America; which can be found on freetv.org or on the Community Access Channel.
Although the community may benefit from the entertainment, the talent behind the films will also have their own takeaways from the event.
“Filmmakers will start out in short films to eventually reach longer movies, or some people just really like to make short films,” said Uhlman. “So, to get that kind of notoriety and to be able to talk with us, we have a couple of filmmakers who are going to hop on zoom or come to the film festival to talk with people. To get that kind of interaction with the community is something they wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t have a festival like this,”
From short films like “Melons” about a grocery store manager, to documentaries about KX News’ very own reporter Debbie Kuehn Aasen, the festival will have a little something for everyone.
The cost of admission to the festival is $19 if tickets are purchased in advance and $25 at the door. If you can’t make it Friday, Dakota Media Access will be airing films back-to-back Saturday on their channel and website.