The Dells Theater in Dell Rapids is premiering a movie that was filmed in parts of KELOLAND. The movie’s screenwriter made the creative leap from the farm to filmmaking.
Kathy Swanson returned to her family roots shooting her film “Farmer of the Year” on the Tyler, Minnesota farm where she grew up.
“I didn’t feel like I could ever really savor it. Because we were so busy. But I knew it was wonderful, but I couldn’t sit back and relax,” Swanson said.
“Farmer of the Year” tells the story of a widowed 82-year-old Minnesota farmer who leaves for his World War II reunion in California, bringing along his granddaughter in a personal journey of discovery.
“Essentially, you’re as young as you feel. You’re age, I mean you’re constrained by your physical body, but you are as young as you are in your head,” film editor Vince O’Connell said.
Part of the movie was filmed at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Swanson says it was her favorite scene.
“We had the run of the Corn Palace and what was it like? It was beautiful. One of the tour guides is in the film and has a line,” Swanson said.
he filmmakers have been a couple for 37 years. So working together on this project was truly a labor of love.
“Awesome. Was that good, Kathy? No, no, no, it’s great. Interestingly, having strong personalities, we still work together really well. There’s a great division of labor,” O’Connell said.
The filmmakers say the local settings give their movie an authentic look into rural life. For its South Dakota debut, “Farmer of the Year” becomes Farmer in the Dells.
The movie is playing at the Dells Theater through next week.
To see a trailer from the movie, click here