Just as the weather turns a little cooler, the Aberdeen cinema scene starts warming up.
The South Dakota Film Festival runs Thursday through Sunday in Aberdeen, showcasing dozens of films from the Great Plains and beyond.
The festival is one of the events I've been looking forward to most since I moved here. I just missed the 2010 edition, and I don't plan to let that happen again.
Film festivals have become popular in the past several years, with many smaller towns getting in the act. The model for these fests has been the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The small town (fewer than 8,000 permanent residents) attracts thousands and thousands of visitors each snowy January to watch the best from up-and-coming filmmakers. Those who want a break from the movie action can enjoy many of the popular outdoor recreational opportunities in the area.
Sound like any place we know?
Aberdeen is well situated for a film festival. It's a small city with lots of amenities. There are also the natural terrain and historic structures that can be inspiring to filmmakers, and a supportive network of artists and students.
And the Capitol Theatre, which plays host to most of the films, really has a great feel at night with the marquee lights on.
If organizers wanted to go that direction, there would seem to be natural room for growth, at either of the colleges. Guerrilla cinema is also popular in some cities - showing movies in bars or against the sides of buildings. (Has anyone ever tried to project on a big white snow mound?)
Beyond the movies themselves, there will be special guests, including cinematographer Adam Greenberg, whose credits include "Ghost," "La Bamba" and "Three Men and a Baby." He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
Actress and Screen Actors Guild member Irene Bedard from Alaska was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in "Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee." She plans to use full American Indian cast and crew on future productions, according to the South Dakota Film Festival website.
We'll have more coverage of the film festival as the week goes on.
A caller recently asked us if we could publish a daily list of guidelines for flying the American flag.
He said he flies the flag at his home and often hears about orders from state or national officials about when to fly the flag at half-staff and for what reason.
Sunday, for instance, Gov. Dennis Daugaard requested that flags fly at half-staff in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
I'm not sure we would be able to keep up with the requests, either, though we try our best.
There are a couple of websites readers might want to check out:
·flagandbanner.com has a list of all the days the flag should be flown and notes which regular occasions flag should be flown at half-staff. The site also will email reminders about those dates.
These should get folks started on properly handling and flying the flag.
Follow @jjperry_news on Twitter.