The South Dakota Film Festival received word that Sean Covel of Napoleon Dynamite fame, is attending our festival. We took advantage of some open time, will hand Sean a mic, and let him talk to everyone about financing independent films. Perhaps a few would be interested in the topic. Sean Covel is a film and television producer with roots deep in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Those roots are on full display in Covel’s film, Napoleon Dynamite. Made independently, Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and quickly sold to 20th Century Fox Searchlight and Paramount Pictures / MTV Films. The film went on to become one of the most successful independent films of all time. Covel has since produced 7 films in all genres and is on track to return to comedy with his next movie, Matt Epic, which he wrote and will direct. When not filming, Covel teaches independent film business at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and guest lectures at a number of universities and film festivals internationally. Covel holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a MFA from the University of Southern California’s (Fight On!) Peter Stark Producing Program. Covel and his producing parter, Chris “Doc” Wyatt, were nominated for the Producer’s Award at the Independent Spirit Awards – which they proceeded to lose on national television. Covel is frequently on location with film projects but hangs his nunchucks in Los Angeles.