Black Hills Institute of Geological Research

In the summer of 1990, paleontologist Peter Larson and his team from the Black Hills Institute in Hill City unearthed a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in western South Dakota near Faith. It was the largest, most complete T-Rex ever found. They nicknamed the dinosaur Sue, after Sue Hendrickson who first discovered the bones.

Photo by Jim Kent

A film festival called “Trading Stories: A Native American Film Festival” is designed to acknowledge the contributions of the Lakota people. It was held over the weekend at the Chadron Public Library.  The goal of the festival is also to highlight contemporary Native issues through the use of film.

Librarian Annette Peter says the idea for an annual Native American Film Festival has its roots in the relationship Chadron has with its neighboring community of Pine Ridge.

Istinma / To Rest

May 1, 2014

Scott Means plays the role of the son in "istinma/to rest," a short film about a Lakota man who finds forgiveness for his father and reconciles with him while breaking the cycle of trauma in the family.  It's the first of a three-part trilogy set on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Jesse Short Bull co-wrote and co-produced "istinma/to rest."  He's from Interior and a member of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance.  He discovered his passion to make films about the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people while attending Oglala Lakota College.  Means and Short Bull discussed "istinma/to rest" which show

"Home" Starring Jenny Dempster

Nov 14, 2013

Sioux Falls native Jenny Dempster stars in the short film "Home."  Cinema Falls features the 10-minute short during CineFest 2013 - A Film Festival in an Evening this Sunday.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at Icon Event Hall + Lounge in Sioux Falls.  Dempster has been acting since she was six.  She has studied at some of the top acting institutions in the world including the Globe Theater in London, Guild Hall School of Drama in London and Tisch School of Arts at New York University.

Dust Of War

Sep 24, 2013

South Dakota filmmaker Andrew Kightlinger and actor Bates Wilder discussed the making of Dust of War.  Kightlinger and Luke Schuetzle filmed most of the feature-length post-apocalyptic story near Pierre.  The movie is featured at this year's South Dakota Film Festival, September 26-29, at Capitol Theatre in downtown Aberdeen.

"The Friendly Hour"

Jul 17, 2013

Caryl Crozier was the catalyst for the play, "The Friendly Hour," which is receiving its South Dakota premiere by the Northern Fort Playhouse.  Crozier compiled the notes of Beresford's Friendly Hour Club, kept by her mother and main character, Dorcas, of the play.  Crozier was joined on Dakota Midday by Dan Yurgaitis, artistic director for teh playhouse and professor of theater at Northern State University in Aberdeen.  Go to and for more information.

Casting Director Rene Haynes

May 2, 2013

Casting director Rene Haynes is leading a casting seminar at Hill City High School Sunday morning in conjunction with the Black Hills Film Festival.  Haynes is a two-time Emmy Nominee for the TNT/Dreamworks mini-series "Into the West" and the HBO feature "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."  She is recognized in the entertainment industry as one of the foremost experts in Native American and First Nation casting and consulting on projects both foreign and domestic.

"Tiger Eyes"

May 2, 2013

"Tiger Eyes" is a film adaptation of Judy Blume's 1981 young adult novel directed by her son, Lawrence Blume.  It follows a 17-year old girl named Davey who moved to New Mexico with her mother and brother after her father is killed.  Climbing in the Los Alamos Canyon, Davey meets the mysterious Wolf, played by Tatanka Means, the only person who seems to understand the rage and fear Davey feels.  Lawrence Blume and Means joined Karl Gehrke from the Harley-Davidson dealership in Hill City during the Black Hills Film Festival.

"Running Wild: The Life Of Dayton O. Hyde"

May 2, 2013

Suzanne Mitchell, director of "Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde," visited about the documentary during the Black Hills Film Festival in Hill City.  The film screens Friday night at the Hill City High School.  It explores the compelling life of Dayton O.

"The Anonymous People"

Apr 15, 2013

"The Anonymous People" is a provocative new feature documentary film about the nation's growing public recovery movement.  It'll be shown in a special sneak preview in Sioux Falls on Saturday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Pavilion.  The film's producer, Greg Williams, will be at the preview for a panel discussion and post-screening question and answer session.  Williams discussed the film, which features interviews with more than 30 people from all walks of life, on Monday's Dakota Midday.

"La Source" Screening

Apr 3, 2013

The South Dakota State University chapter of Engineers Without Borders is hosting a screening of the film "La Source" on Friday evening in Agricultural Hall in Brookings.  The screening is free.  "La Source" is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle.  It documents the story of Josue Lajeunesse, a Princeton janitor who returns to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake to help bring what is most fundamental to his village's survival: clean water.  In 2012, "La Source" was nominated for the Social Impact Award at the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival.  SDSU students and Eng

Shouting Secrets

Mar 21, 2013

There are two opportunities to see the award winning drama, Shouting Secrets, this Sunday in Sioux Falls.  Swiss film director Korinna Sehringer will be a guest of Cinema Falls during the screenings and will participate in post-film question/answer sessions.  She talked about her film, which won Best Film, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the American Indian Film Festival, on Dakota Midday Thursday.  For more information, go to

Outstanding Support Of The Arts

Feb 6, 2013

Marcia Donnan Mitchell is receiving a Governor's Award in the Arts for Outstanding Support of the Arts by an Individual.  She was appointed to the South Dakota Arts Council in 1971 by Governor Richard Kneip.  She had the original idea for the Governor's Awards in the Arts, which started in 1973. 

Feature film seeks Native Americans

Oct 5, 2012

Casting for a major feature film is taking place across Western South Dakota over the next few days.

The film “Lee” is a Native American coming-of-age story in the tradition of the motion picture classic “Stand By Me”.

Producer Mollye Asher says the story centers on three Lakota teens on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

South Dakota Film Festival

Sep 27, 2012

Tom Black, co-producer of the South Dakota Film Festival, says there's nothing like cinema on a big screen and that thrill is the reason the Festival seeks out and invites films of all kinds to participate in this pique event for the state.  The goal of the South Dakota Film Festival is to screen the best films submitted regardless of their geographic origin.  The Festival runs today through Sunday in Aberdeen with most of the films being shown at the Historic Capitol Theatre.