Mixed Devotions Short Slot

Fri Feb 28, 2020 – 5:00 pm | Bagels & More
Sun Mar 1, 2020 – 2:30 pm | Bagels & More

The Dakota Family

Directed by Toni Hilgersson
Narrative Short
Belgium | 29 min | 2019

A strange deathlike creature roams around grandpa Dakota. The patriarch knows it’s time to call on the members of his tribe. A family, his family, atypical and dismantled will then have to reunite. Will they arrive in time to share a last moment with their clan chief?

It always comes down to characters. Superficially, combining science fiction and the wild west may seem difficult. But, the challenges weren’t the visual effects or science fiction weapons; the challenges were about character.

I don’t believe in genre. I believe a writer’s primary job is to be a malevolent manipulator, crafting deeply flawed characters and then constantly thwarting their ambitions.

And in that sense, this science fiction western is really a story of failed friendship, mistrust and an inability to take a leap of faith. It is, I hope, funny, quirky and deeply human.

But, my script would never have been possible without my amazing team! James Wulfgar’s science fiction weaponry and props are as good as any Hollywood film. Branden Miletta’s visual effects work is stupendous. Luis Caffesse’s amazing editing blows me away; I could never do what he does. Bytheway-May’s music carefully balances the comedy and action of this short film. The costumes and sets are incredible.

And the cast! The cast did such an amazing job! Michael Tabb, Jason R. Moore and Chris Ranney own their roles. They bring so much depth and detail to their characters.

I’m truly blessed to have such an amazing team help bring my quirky, strange, genre mash-up to life. We hope you enjoy Honor Among Thieves!

The Dakota Family - Poster

The Dakota FamilyToni Hilgersson

Born in 1984 from Belgium’s womb, Toni Hilgersson studied
film editing at INRACI Brussels. Enamored of music and cinema, he combines those two passions and directs a lot of music videos, developing his
particular universe. The Dakota family is his first short film.

Film Information

Director: Toni Hilgersson
Country: Belgium
Language: French
Runtime: 29 min.
Rated: PG-13


Producer: Serge Kestemont, Emma Orselli
Writer: Toni Hilgersson
Music: Dawans-Bonesso
Director of Photography: Son Doan
Editor: Antoine Lanckmans
Set Designers: Nikko Noirhomme and Mélanie Gallez
Key Cast: Joaquim Vincent, Dominique Pattuelli, Jérémie Vanhoof, Emma Orselli, Gaël Soudron

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival