Vermillion will become the epicenter of the South Dakota film world this September when the Vortex Film Festival comes to life!

Movie lovers and filmmakers are all invited to the Coyote Twin Theater in Vermillion, to celebrate regional filmmaking from September 20th through 22nd.

The Vermillion Cultural Association (VCA) is partnering with festival organizers Casey Kelderman and Sam Lenz. Kelderman and Lenz annually head up the film portion of SiouxperCon and together host the horror films podcast Screams from the Basement.

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Their South Dakota film community connections and enthusiasm will be key to the event’s success, said ShannonCole, the VCA Executive Director.

The Vortex Film Festival takes its name from Vermillion’s reputation as a “vortex” that draws folks back time and again—for example, kids who grew up in the town and moved away only to return to raise their families, or University of South Dakota graduates who return to work at the school or for local businesses.

The Vortex Film Festival wants to offer opportunities to filmmakers of all levels and abilities with a particular focus on our midwest area, including films from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

VCA also plans to include panel discussions with featured filmmakers and a technical workshop as part of the festival lineup.

movie items, camera, popcorn, etc
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Submissions of short and feature-length films to the Vortex Film Festival can be made via FilmFreeway, where interested filmmakers can also find complete rules and regulations. The submission deadline is July 20, 2024.

READ MORE: Check out some of the best beaches in South Dakota

For more information and updates on the Vermillion Vortex Film Festival, visit the Vermillion Cultural Association and follow it on Facebook.

35 Movies That Take Place in South Dakota

When it comes to South Dakota and Hollywood, we've seen our fair share of films that have used our state as the backdrop for a number of productions over the years. They may not have always filmed here, but movie folk love to set stories here.

We're all familiar with the blockbusters like 1990's Dances With Wolves, 1959's North By Northwest, and more recently, 2007's National Treasure: Book of Secrets. But our state's life on the big screen goes back nearly 100 years.

According to IMDb, it all started with Courtin' Wildcats, a 1929 film which, like so many of the 29 films on this list, is a Western set in the time before South Dakota became a state in 1889.

Gallery Credit: Jeff Harkness/

Haunted Locations and Scary Legends Around Sioux Falls

Halloween is steeped in scary traditions. Trick-or-Treating, frightening costumes, local actors in "haunted" houses, and the pitch-black darkness of area corn mazes.

However, if we set out to find the real haunted areas what would we find? Over the last 30 years that I have lived in Sioux Falls, a few locations still gain attention as being haunted.

And yes, a handful of thrill-seeking people will show up on our favorite eerie night for what could be a viral video moment or experience a misty phantom first-hand.
Let's take a little tour of the more famous hauntings around Sioux Falls. Turn on the lights and cue the Cowardly Lion: "I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks..."

Gallery Credit: Danny V

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