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SD Native Finding Hollywood In Badlands

June 9, 2010, 6:06 PM by Austin Hoffman

SD Native Finding Hollywood In Badlands
BADLANDS, SD - A Pierre native is breaking into Hollywood, right here in South Dakota by filming a short movie in the Badlands.

Andrew Kightlinger spent a good part of his childhood growing up in Pierre, graduated from Augustana and recently finished film school in Boston.

It's sunset in the Badlands and with a 20-minute short film, "You Don't Know Bertha Constantine," Andrew Kightlinger is diving straight into Hollywood.

"It’s about a woman who's husband dies of a heart attack after they make love, and she decided to honor him by burying him in the Badlands," Kightlinger said.

Kightlinger lost his mother and says the pain from that experience is the focal point of this movie.

"I'd say that every single frame of the movie is inspired from the feelings that I've felt since she has passed away.  You have to make movies about things you know, and this movie is about grief and it's about South Dakota," Kightlinger said.

Many in the production crew are from South Dakota; as for the faces you'll see on the big screen, there is a chance you've seen them before.

"We hired a cast of a lot, a few Hollywood professionals, including David Midthunder, who was in "Terminator 4" and in other upcoming big movies.  And then Bates Wilder, who was just in "Shutter Island," and then the lead actress, Julia Bennett, who is a local South Dakotan," Kightlinger said.

When the film is over, that's just the beginning for Kightlinger. He has high hopes for the film industry right here in South Dakota.

"We hope that this movie does well enough that we can bring big productions to this state.  I hope that I can direct movies in South Dakota for the next 20, 30 years if possible,” Kightlinger said.

Which he hopes will bring Hollywood to South Dakota in a big way.

Kightlinger hopes to have the movie finished around August. It will premiere in Pierre, Sioux Falls and Rapid City before it's sent off to film festivals around the world.

The screenplay has already won awards at two international film festivals.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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