A new feature motion picture entitled "Sanctified" will be the first major film to be produced in the Medora area in over 16 years. Sanctified is a collaboration between executive producer Daniel Bielinski, theater chair at the University of Mary, and the Bismarck-based production company, D&N Cinematics. Crew and cast for the film will total around 40 people.
According to the film’s director, Nick Swedlund, Sanctified will is a classic western with a North Dakota twist. “This is going to be a very beautiful, exciting film thanks to its setting in the Badlands—it’s going to be uniquely North Dakotan in its imagery and story.”
Principal photography will begin this May.
Sanctified is set in the 1890s and is the story of an outlaw who is rescued from death by a nun traveling through the Badlands. She nurses him back to health in exchange for him guiding her to a Church in Williston. A deep friendship develops between these two unlikely characters as they learn to work together to survive.
This isn’t the team’s first film.
“We’ve produced 4 other short films leading up to this” said Bielinski. “The most recent film, The Badlands Girl, proved a there was a lot of interest and support around producing films in North Dakota—especially a western set in the Badlands.”
Producer Dave Diebel said the film’s creators are proud that the crew will be comprised primarily of local professionals. “We’re fortunate to have such a wide array of skills, expertise and passion to draw from right here in our state.”
Bielinski says the most inspiring aspect is the outpouring of support from the local community across the state. “We are blown away by how many people have stepped up to support the film. It takes a lot of people to make a film happen here in North Dakota.”
Bielinski says this isn’t the only project on the horizon. “There are a lot of North Dakota stories to be told and we’re in it for the long haul. We’re just getting started.”
The team behind the film says audiences can expect to catch Sanctified in North Dakota theaters in spring 2021. A Kickstarter will be live through mid-February for anyone wanting to support the film in exchange for various rewards and perks.