2016 Special Guests

Danny Tusa


DANNY TUSA was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Willmar, MN where lived in his youth. Danny is currently pursuing a career in Graphic Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead and is in his third year. Danny had the fortunate ability to work alongside lifelong friend, Zach Thompson, on their collaborative project “MAY THE PRICE BE WITH YOU”  which was originally filmed for and screened in their introductory video productions course at MSUM. Danny serves in this short film as acting talent, editor, and producer. Danny is excited to be a part of the South Dakota Film Festival.


Allison Pisha


ALLISON PISHA, director of GRACKLE’S GROVE –  hails from a ranching family located near Martin – a small town hugging South Dakota’s southern region west of the the Missouri River. In 2010, she applied and was accepted into the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology to study Computer Science; however, three semesters of study prompted the would-be coder to search for a different career. Allison transferred to SDSU and unexpectedly found a love for art after taking her first drawing class.  As of this past May, the studio artist received her Bachelor’s Degree in addition to certificates in Animation and Art History.

Regan Meyer


REGAN MEYER  Director/ Writer/ Producer [un]HEARD is currently a student at MSUM study Film Production and Creative Writing. This is her third time attending a festival with her short film [un]Heard, and she hopes will not be her last.

As well as film making Regan also has acted in a collection of student short films, including Aaron Beck’s THE SPLIT.

Brandon Murray


BRANDON MURRAY portrays the prudish villain from outer space in Alien Showdown in Rock n Roll City which won several awards including Best Film and People’s Choice at the Fischgaard Short Film Project 2016.  This is the third film screened at the SDFF featuring Brandon in a starring role.  Murray, who also writes and produces films, is currently in pre-production of his super hero film; Quickman.  Beyond film work, Brandon writes sci-fi novels, writes and performs with the band Better Ride and takes any chance he gets to show off his Michael Jackson dance moves.

Kevin Kunkel


KEVIN KUNKEL actor CASEFILE 293610 is film maker and actor from Sioux Falls SD.  He has been acting since he was 11yrs old and writing, producing and acting in films for the last 10 years. He has appeared in numerous local indie films as well as 2 films by Alexander Payne, Nebraska and the soon to be released Downsizing staring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig. Kevin is always looking for new film opportunities and
hopes the fledgling  film industry in South Dakota will keep growing. Kevin
attended O’Gorman High school and SDSU, USF and UIC where he attained no
degrees in acting or film making oddly enough.

Greg Carlson


GREG CARLSON, Director of A PERFECT RECORD is a native of Fargo, North Dakota, Greg is the director of film studies at Concordia College, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Greg also writes about movies for the High Plains Reader and produces the annual 2-Minute Movie Contest at the Fargo Film Festival. With his creative partner Tucker Lucas and a team of talented collaborators, Greg has directed three consecutive top-twelve finishers in the Fusion/International Documentary Challenge. The most recent short, “A Perfect Record,” received two awards at the Slamdance premiere, including Best Cinematography.

Keith Mullin


KEITH MULLIN Director/ Producer / Writer PRECIPIENT graduated from Metropolitan State University in 2010 with a B.A. in Screenwriting. He has been involved with over twenty short film productions in the last six years and has worn just about every hat there is in film production. His work been selected to screen at film festivals all over the country and has won awards for directing, editing, cinematography and lighting. He is always eager to get his hands dirty learning a new technique or piece of equipment.

Brianna Overstreet


BRIANNA OVERSTREET  Director/Writer/Producer – DEMENTIA is currently a film student at Minnesota State University Moorhead. She was born and raised in the great city of Savage, MN. Brianna has had a passion for movies since she was a child, first making films for her and her friends in middle school. She has acted on stage all throughout high school and last year, she acted in multiple student films. Brianna believes film lets her represent her faith and others in a way no other medium could. She is excited for this year’s festival!

Brian Hoesing


BRIAN HOESING – director of DUFFY’S JACKET was born and raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His interest in filmmaking began at age 5 when he learned how movies were made and discovered his family’s home video camera. He then spent most of his youth making films. He now works for Labyrinth Films, and his credits include “Bonejangles,” “Dust of War,” and “Until Forever.”

Edward Linder


EDWARD LINDER  Co-Director/Co-Producer/Co-Writer/actor of HELP DESK is an award-winning filmmaker. He is excited being a first time attendee at the SDFF.  Some of his past film that have shown at the SDFF were Dear Daddy, The Negative and a Fistful of Donuts.  He is currently in production for his next film called Analog Gaming, a documentary about the renaissance of tabletop game designs/published strictly through Kickstarter. Please visit www.tmjproductions.com ohttps://www.facebook.com/tmjproductions or follow him on twitter @tmjproductions.  When Ed is not creating films he is an avid geek.

Marek Ryszard Dojs


Marek Ryszard Dojs director, editor of THE GOOD FATHER is a filmmaker, Professor of Film/Video, and Chair of the Communication Program at the University of Mary. As a filmmaker his work has been screened at national and international venues. His most successful documentary is Return to Stolowicze, which is a short poetic film about his grandmother’s village and forced deportation. The film debuted in Mexico City and went on the be broadcast on Texas PBS stations. He earned an MFA in Documentary Production from the University of North Texas. He lives in Bismarck with his wife Madeline and their six children.

Daniel Bielinski

Daniel Bielinski  producer, writer, actor of THE GOOD FATHER is the Director of Theater at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Previously, he was an actor in NYC, appearing in films, TV, off-Broadway theater, and web series. He stars in the upcoming South Dakota feature western film “The Long Look Back.”

Sean A. Skinner


Sean A. Skinner  directed and produced Scarepy and co-wrote, produced and co-directed ‘Help Desk’.  Sean has been filming, editing, producing and directing news stories, documentaries and short films for more than 20 years. His love for film called him to start Red 23 Films to create original content. The work ranges from music and corporate videos to weddings and web content.  His short films have won numerous awards at film festivals including the South Dakota Film Festival, The Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival and Z-Fest Film Festival. He has earned Associated Press and Emmy awards for his journalism work and 2 recent Telly’s for his short film ‘Help Desk’. Sean lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and 3 kids.

Lucas Murray


Lucas Murray producer and director of Sandlot Hockey is a graduate of SDSU and life long resident of Aberdeen with a passion for film to match. He currently works at the Capitol Theatre and, most importantly, he is a proud single father of four.

JL Menzel


JL Menzel, an Aberdeen native and Art Director of New York indie film company One Way or Another Productions, premieres her first film as producer, director and camera operator in Sandlot Hockey. Her most recent project with One Way includes poster and promotional design for award-winning filmAlienated, featuring the late Taylor Negron. The film received nationwide VOD distribution via Gravitas Ventures in 2016. Jenny is also a roster artist with the South Dakota Arts Council where she teaches graphic design and promotional marketing.

David Mair


David Mair is the writer/director of ’Mister Massive and the Super Squad.’ He is a psychiatrist by day and filmmaker by night and weekend. His short films have appeared in tons of film festivals (ok, about 10 festivals). He’s even won a few awards! He grew up in South Dakota (Sioux Falls) and is honored and excited to make his first appearance at the South Dakota Film Festival.

Kurt Dean


KURT DEAN has been in the film industry for ten years.  He is credited in two SDFF 2016 films.  He portrays a suave rockin’ mayoral candidate and holds set and prop credits in “Alien Showdown in Rock n Roll City” and was key grip and cameraman in “Sandlot Hockey” and holds props/makeup credits in the film.  He is honored to be part of these dreams becoming reality.

Connie Von Ohlen


CONNIE VON OHLEN director/ writer/ animator of PAL is a Minnesota native who grew up on a small hobby farm. She is currently a senior at Minnesota State University Moorhead and will be graduating this coming May with a degree in Animation and a minor in Film Production and Psychology. Since a young age she has been interested in films and what goes on behind the scenes. Her hobby in art fueled her passion towards animation, leading her to where she is today.

Hanna Loegering


HANNA LOEGERING is a senior at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Her major is Graphic Communications with an emphasis in 3D.  The film RECRUITED was created last year as a final for her film class. She can play the trumpet and is minoring in music. Fun Fact: She can sing the alphabet backwards (and forwards).

Liz Geyer

South Dakota native, LIZ GEYER  is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a Bachelor of Arts in Film with an emphasis in production. She was the production designer of  WESTALL working on set building, set design, wardrobe, and props.