HURON — An award-winning film, conceived and shot in South Dakota, with backing of a South Dakota producer is opening tonight in Huron, as part of a statewide premiere event.
“Tater Tot & Patton” is written and directed by South Dakota native Andrew Kightlinger. Kightlinger will host a question and answer session on the film after its showing on Wednesday, March 13, at Huron Luxury Theater.
Kightlinger is a Pierre Riggs High School grad who attended Augustana and serves on the S.D. Arts Council Board. He describes the film as a city girl from Los Angeles escapes to her uncle’s ranch in South Dakota, upsetting his lonely, boozy life. The film was shot entirely north of the Pierre and Fort Pierre area on a ranch and features the same herd of buffalo used by Kevin Costner in “Dances with Wolves.”
Andie - played by Jessica Rothe from La La Land and also starring in Happy Death Day 2U, which played at the Huron Luxury Cinema - is the troubled youth from the big city who has the law laid down by her mom. Either go to the ranch or go to rehab.
She chooses the ranch, and invades the life of her uncle Erwin, played by Bates Wilder. But a great deal happens on this journey from tolerance, to acceptance and eventually, deep caring.
Sean Covel, who is from Edgemont, is the executive producer of the film. Covel also produced the independent classic Napolean Dynamite. Producers Adam Emerson and Ryan M. Hall also have solid South Dakota histories.
“Tater Tot & Patton” won the Best Screenplay award at the Vail Film Festival, took Best Film at both the South Dakota and Beloit International Film Festivals and was selected for the Napa Valley Film Festival.
The film will be in Huron for one week only.