Dinosaur 13 – Elks Theatre Rapid City

Dinosaur 13 Poster

Dinosaur 13 will be coming to the Elks Theatre in Rapid City Aug. 15, 2014.  It is the true story about what happened here in Hill City, SD in the 90’s and the battle for the dinosaur “Sue.”   Produced by Todd Miller of Brooklyn, NY, it premiered at Sundance and sold to theatrical distribution on the first night for an unusual amount of money for a documentary – One Million Dollars.  Since then it has screened at a only few select Film Festivals including the Black Hills Film Festival and Stephen Colbert’s Festival in Montclair, NJ prior to its theatrical release on Aug. 15.  It is a wonderful movie, very emotional, very well edited, beautifully scored and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Here is the website with locations and dates:


Please feel free to tell all your friends about this movie.

And the 2014 Winners Are…

The Winners for the 2014 Black Hills Film Festival Are…






Cinema Celebrities at the Black Hills Film Festival

Meet Cinema Celebrities at the Fifth Annual Black Hills Film Festival:April 30 – May 4, 2014

BHFF celebrates independent film and introduces an exceptional collection of South Dakota and international films and filmmakers

Don’t miss the chance to meet some of our special celebrity guests including:

Shannon LucioShannon Lucio, Actor landed her breakout role on Fox’s The O.C. and has worked consistently in film and television since.  Most recently, she landed a series regular role on a pilot for Syfy based on the hit film 12 Monkeys. Past notable credits include Fireflies in the Garden, with Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds, Feast of Love, directed by Robert Benton, and recurring arcs on True Blood and Marvel’s Agent’s of Shield.



charlie hofheimerCharlie Hofheimer – Director and founder of Los Angeles-based production company Filament Features. He has been a professional actor for more than twenty years and has worked on projects of all scales. Most recently, he can be seen as Abe Drexler in AMC’s Mad Men. His first feature film producing venture, Against the Current (Joseph Fiennes, Mary Tyler Moore), world premiered at Sundance ’09.  Charlie has directed and produced several short films, including Filament’s first project, Baggage, and more recently Home, which won a jury prize at the South Dakota Film Festival in Aberdeen.


Keith MerrillKieth Merrill has worked in the film industry since 1967. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America.  He is a two-time Academy Award Nominee and Academy Award winner for his feature documentary (Great American Cowboy - 1973). A 3-time winner of the prestigious Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, he was nominated for an Emmy for his direction of Cowboys in his ten-hour mini series, Wild West for Warner Television. Three of his films: Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets (IMAX);Windwalker (feature); and Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic (IMAX) have been listed by Daily Variety on their roster of “film rental champions from independent distribution.” Two films (Grand Canyon andWindwalker) are in the top 100 independent films of all time.



You can purchase Flm Festival passes at the following locations or click here: TICKETS

Elks Theatre — Rapid City
Warriors Work Gallery — Hill City
Black Hills Film Office at the Visitor Information Center – Hill City

Change Due To Weather

The Black Hills Film Festival Cinema Celebration originally scheduled for 5 pm at Main Street Square in Rapid City has been changed.

The “Rex Appeal” book signing will be at the Elks Theatre lobby from 5 to 6 pm and all Festival attendees receive free admission to the Museum at the Black Hills Institute in Hill City during the Festival  to see the Sue Story exhibit.

2014 Film Seminars

2014 Seminars for Aspiring Filmmakers

Taught by award-winning film industry professionals

Made Possible by South Dakota Arts Council

See Festival Program for Presenter Bios

SEAN COVEL – Director / Producer of Napoleon Dynamite
Finance for Film
Friday, May 2 – Hill City Harley-Davidson - 9 am to 11 am
This seminar delves deep into the “nuts and bolts” of financing independent films. If you’re on the lookout for investors for your next project, then you need to be at this seminar.

How Not to Make a Short Film 
Friday, May 2 – Hill City Harley-Davidson -11 am to Noon
This seminar will walk you through the common mistakes made by many short film producers and directors.  Learn how to make a high-quality film that people really want to watch.

DOUG LEE — Award-winning Director/Cinematographer
Shooting and Lighting Techniques for Visual Storytelling
Saturday, May 3 - Hill City Harley-Davidson - 9 am to Noon
This course is designed for the beginning to intermediate level filmmaker, or anyone wanting to improve their shooting and lighting skills on location.  Filmmakers are storytellers and good lighting and shooting technique is essential to telling a compelling story.
Topics include:

  • Lighting the documentary interview
  • How composition, framing, and aperture affect lighting choices.
  • Lighting styles, lighting instruments and light control
  • What is “good” lighting
  • Knowing when to break the rules for dramatic effect

Sunday, May 4 – Hill City High School Commons -11 am to Noon
Lighting People Outdoors
We will practice some techniques outdoors.  Otherwise we will be in the Commons Area of the Hill City High School which has a lot of natural light.  We will have use of a grip truck and special equipment.  The Audio class participants will help with audio and we will get volunteers for our subjects.

RICK VANNESS – Location Sound Mixer / Recordist for film and TV
Intro to Location Sound
Sunday, May 4 – Hill City High School Commons –10 am to 11 am
Sound is 50% of your film.  This seminar  teaches you how to capture good, clean sound for your films. After all, sound can help define the place and can make the action on the screen come alive.

DOCUMENTARY PANEL moderated by Doug Lee 
Saturday, May 3 – Hill City High School Theatre –Noon to 1 pm
This is an opportunity to learn about making great docs from some of the best documentary filmmakers in the business today.  Included are Kieth Merrill and Todd Miller.

KIETH MERRILL – Writer / Director / Producer (Academy Award winner for Great American Cowboy)
TODD MILLER – Producer / Director of Dinosaur 13

Festival Mobile App

Choose your schedule on your phone with Eventbase and the Black Hills Film Festival.

2014 Schedule

Fifth Annual Black Hills Film Festival

The fifth annual Black Hills Film Festival kicks off with Dinosaur 13 at the Elks Theater in downtown Rapid City on April 30.  A great success at the Sundance Film Festival, this Hill City (South Dakota) story was immediately acquired by major media companies. Also see it in Hill City on Saturday, May 3 where it is being paired with special presentations.  Don’t miss these opportunities to see Dinosaur 13 before it’s distributed worldwide.

The Festival starts Wednesday evening April 30 at 5:00 p.m. with A Cinema Celebration, a gala in Main Street Square, Rapid City. This will be followed by independent film premieres at the Elks Theatre in Rapid City on Wednesday night and Thursday, with an extensive slate of films and parties in Hill City Friday through Sunday.

We highly recommend purchasing a Full or VIP Festival Pass this year to guarantee your seat.

Passes can be purchased online HERE:

Click for Black Hills Film Festival Passes

Dinosaur 13

On August 12, 1990, in the badlands of South Dakota, paleontologist Peter Larson and his team from the Black Hills Institute unearthed the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found. It was “the find” of a lifetime—the world’s greatest dinosaur discovery. They named their dinosaur Sue.

Two years later, when the FBI and the National Guard showed up, battle lines were drawn over ownership of Sue. The U.S. government, world-class museums, Native American tribes, and competing paleontologists became the Goliath to Larson’s David as he and his team fought to keep their dinosaur and wrestled with intimidation tactics that threatened their freedom as well. Dinosaur 13 chronicles an unprecedented saga in American history and details the fierce battle to possess a 65-million-year-old treasure. With consummate skill, filmmaker Todd Miller excavates layer after layer, exposing human emotion in a dramatic tale that is as complex as it is fascinating.

Passes can be purchased online HERE:

Click for Black Hills Film Festival Passes

2014 Black Hills Film Festival

April 30th – May 4th

The Black Hills Film Festival dates are set! We’re going to be showing the best films, throwing the best parties and having the most fun anybody who loves film could have from April 30th to May 4th.

Mark the dates on your calendar, because with the announcements we have coming, you’re not going to want to miss this!