Event to Remember the Role Central SD Played in Dances With Wolves

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PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) This month brings a weekend of remembering-as several local citizens will gather to look back 25 years at their involvement in the award winning Kevin Costner film Dances With Wolves. Much of the movie was filmed in South Dakota-including in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area. Bill Stevens of Pierre was a production assistant and van driver throughout the pre-production and filming of the movie in South Dakota. Stevens is part of a committee planning the July 18-20 event to recall the work done in the film here in 1989.  Stevens says at least 100 central South Dakotans were directly involved in the cast of the movie. They played the roles of soldiers, Lakota Village extras, buffalo warriors and were crew members. He says the upcoming mid-month event will give those citizens a chance to talk about their experiences with the movie-and interested residents can learn more about the stories behind the scenes, as well.

Presentations during the anniversary event at the Ramkota are planned by several people, including Steve Nelson, former staff member of the SD Department of Tourism who helped Costner and co-producer Jim Wilson with their first site locations; David Hanson who was on the locations crew; Pearl Stone, who helped with casting on-camera Lakota extras; Bill Markley who appeared in numerous scenes as soldiers and Jeff Mammenga who was cast as a soldier at Fort Sedgewick.

Stevens says there aren’t many movies that are associated so directly with where they were filmed like this movie is with South Dakota. He says besides events marking filming this year, plans call for a possible event next year to note the 1990 release of the film.

The dates July 18-20 mark the first three days of principle photography for the film in central South Dakota in 1989. Stevens says they are not requiring registration for those who want to attend the 25th anniversary gathering. For questions, contact Stevens at 224-0223 or email svsvideo@pie.midco.net.

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