Flashing lights, theatrical smoke, Native American dancers and drummers,and motion picture star Kevin Costner got the 2009 South Dakota Film Festival off to a rousing start tonight.
Costner spent a little time chatting with Governor Mike Rounds and First Lady Jean Rounds before the festivities got under way.
Lakota Dancers and drummers blended their talents with the first few short films of the festival at Northern State University's Johnson Fine Arts Center.
Costner then took the stage with South Dakota Public Television interviewer Paul Guggenheimer. Returning to South Dakota on the 20th anniversary of the filming of his iconic western "Dances With Wolves," Costner discussed the movie, the process of making it, and how it affected his life and his family's.
Funny, fascinating, and heart-felt, Costner's address held the audience spellbound as he described the difficulties of directing his first movie, working with animals, and financing what became one of the most successful movies of all time.
Tonight also served as a reunion for some of the cast and crew of "Dances With Wolves," and Costner reminisced with Lakota actor Michael Spears who played "Otter."
Plenty more is on schedule for the rest of the weekend at the South Dakota Film Festival, including many film screenings and more appearances by Kevin Costner. Check out SD Film Fest for all the details.
There are also more posts about "Dances With Wolves" here at Cinema South Dakota.