Monthly Archives: April 2016

Local Actor and Producer Mark Popejoy to Emcee Prairie Lights 4!

markpopejoyWe’re stoked to announce that this year’s Master of Ceremonies for Prairie Lights 4 will be local Nebraska actor and producer Mark Popejoy! Here’s a little bit about him:

Mark  Popejoy, Born November 20, 1968 and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Mark started his acting and film making journey in 2000. Since then, he’s been cast in, gripped on, P.A.’d on, production managed and location and vehicle secured on a multitude of Nebraska made films.  These include DIE SISTER DIE, SOCKETS, Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA and most recently cast as lead in THE AMITYVILLE LEGACY. In addition to these, Mark has worked on a handful of commercials and music videos, all of which have been filmed in Nebraska. Mark is also partner in Splitsville Productions of Omaha producing cutting edge short and feature films. When Mark isn’t acting in or helping on film projects, he has been a devout husband to Jenny Popejoy since April 2005 and father of 4 great kids.

Prairie Lights has a proud tradition of bringing unique and talented Nebraska voices to the hosting duties and you’d be hard pressed to find someone as knowledgeable, hard working, and involved in the Nebraska film scene as Mark Popejoy.  Mark will be curating  Q&A’s as well as announcing and giving info about the films over the course of the entire 3 day weekend. Tickets are on sale right now for the low price of $10, so go get em!


Mitchell Lyon’s THE CHAUFFEUR to screen at this year’s PLFF!

pic1We’re excited to announce that Mitchell Lyon’s THE CHAUFFEUR will screen at this year’s PLFF!  Here’s some info on the film:


Phil needs help. He just failed his driving test for the 13th time, and how will he ever make friends when he can’t drive a car? Phil notices a vague advertisement offering “help for something”, and follows it to the stately home of an eccentric scientist named Dr. Thoreau. With the “help” of Dr. Thoreau, Phil embarks on a journey to create a monstrous Frankenstein-like personal chauffeur, discovering unexpected friendship and somewhat-expected danger in the process.

The Chauffeur was shot on location in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Thoreau’s mansion is located in the historic Near South neighborhood on the corner of 11th and D Street and the gas station from the final scene is the iconic Emerald Mini Mart located on West O Street. The Chauffeur was produced by Fortunate Pictures, which is located in Aurora, Nebraska, and The Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company out of Lincoln. The Colonel Mustard is known for its outdoor musicals which can be seen for free every summer in Lincoln’s Near South neighborhood.

This is just one of many fantastic films screening this October at Prairie Lights! Order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see this film and a ton of other great flicks!


World Premiere of Daniel Grzeskowiak’s BACKWASH to screen at this year’s PLFF!

backwashPrairie Lights is excited to bring a new collection of World Premiere short films to attendees this year! For PLFF 3, we had a group of first time and seasoned filmmakers do Volume 1 of FLAT WATER TERRORS.  Not only are we expanding that to Volume 2 this year, but we’re proud to bring a brand new collection of never before seen films: NEBRASKA NOIR VOLUME 1!  We’ve announced Dorothy Booraem and Chad Haufschild’s KISS A FELLA and now we’re proud to announce Daniel Grzeskowiak’s BACKWASH!

Rita, an online journalist finds a suspect who links several murders together. As she investigates, she finds herself out of her mind and body, and is forced to decide between her life or revealing the truth.

This is the 2nd of 5 World Premiere Films Noir that we’ll be showcasing at Prairie Lights this October! In addition, the director, Daniel Grzeskowiak, will be on hand as part of the entire NEBRASKA NOIR filmmakers Q&A panel. Order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see this film and a ton of other great flicks! And keep checking back for the rest of the NEBRASKA NOIR and FLAT WATER TERRORS VOLUME 2 announcements!


LEAVING KANSAS by David Weiss and Chuck Mittan to screen at this year’s PLFF!

Leaving Kansas Trailer from David M. Weiss on Vimeo.

We’re stoked to announce that LEAVING KANSAS, directed by David Weiss and Chuck Mittan and written by Nebraska’s own Chuck Mittan will be screening this year! Here’s a synopsis:

A high school teacher stricken with cancer enlists the help of a former student to obtain marijuana to ease the horrible side effects of chemotherapy.

Be sure to check out the trailer above and then  head over to the Tickets page and order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see the film and a ton of other great flicks!


Special Guest Announcements: Sam Lyons and Lilia Fromm from THE TIDE!


We’re super excited to announce that, straight off the heels of THE TIDE directorTatum Lenberg’s appearance at this year’s PLFF,  she’ll be joined by co-writer and assistant director Lilia Fromm and editor Sam Lyons! Here’s a quick bio for each:

liliapicLilia Fromm is a sophomore at Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was a speaker at TEDxYouth@Lincoln in 2014 and TEDx@Lincoln in 2015. She has qualified twice for National Individual Tournament of Champions Speech competition in her two years on the award-winning Lincoln High speech team. Lilia has failed to live up to her childhood goals of becoming a mermaid, although she has ambitions of becoming a cat lady if marrying various celebrity crushes proves impossible. She co-wrote, translated, assistant directed and starred in ‘The Tide’ when she was 13 years old.

Sam Lyons goes to high school in San Francisco. He is an honor roll student andSamLyons an accomplished member of the speech and debate team. In his free time, he enjoys doing photography and robotics. Sam fell in love with the beauty of Nebraska while filming in Lincoln. Sam Lyons edited and starred in ‘The Tide’ alongside his best friends Lilia Fromm and Tatum Lenberg when he was 14 years old.

It’s an immense sense of pride in the Nebraska filmmaking scene that there are such talented and young filmmakers doing their thing and we’re honored to be able to show this film on the big screen! Don’t miss Tatum, Lilia, and Sam’s Q&A along with a bunch of other short filmmakers by heading over to the Tickets page to order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 !

World Premiere of Tom Lombard’s JESSE’S CHILI to screen at this year’s PLFF!

chiliPrairie Lights is stoked to announce the World Premiere of JESSE’S CHILI by first time Nebraska filmmaker Tom Lombard!  Here’s a run down about the film:

chili2Jesse’s mother dies while he was quite young leaving his father to raise him alone. When Jesse entered the US Navy after high school, Jesse’s father fell in love with a much younger woman, remarried, and started a second family. Tragedy struck again as an accident took the lives of both Jesse’s father and his new wife leaving their three young children to be raised by relatives. It fell on Jesse, per the will that was left behind, to distribute a substantial inheritance to his much younger siblings – John, Maddy, and Jim – when they were “mature enough”.

As they became adults, Jesse began hosting an annual chili3meal where the three would try to convince Jesse that they were finally “mature enough” but it was difficult as one was a gambler, another joined a circus, and the third had a never ending string of big ideas that went nowhere. “Jesse’s Chili” is about one of those meals, the final one with Jesse still alive, and another meal several months later after Jesse is killed in a tractor accident. It’s only after his death that Jesse, with some help from his wife, Mary, is finally able to get the required maturity into John, Maddy, and Jim.

chili4This short film borrows heavily from the format and feel of an episode of The Twilight Zone circa 1960 complete with commercial breaks. This short film project was intended to be simple & fun (Hey… it’s my first film!). It lacks monsters & dismemberment but should leave you a bit creeped out at the end.

We’re proud to screen this brand new short film by a Nebraska filmmaker in part inspired by a visit to last year’s Prairie Lights Film Festival! Tom will be on hand as part  of the short filmmakers Q&A group to talk all about the creation of his first film!  Be sure to head over to the Tickets page and pre-order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see the film and attend Tom’s Q&A!


Special Guest Announcement: Nickolas Robison, director of A COLD DAY IN HELL

nickPrairie Lights will be having a bunch of fantastic Nebraska filmmakers and one we can announce is Nickolas Robison, director of A COLD DAY IN HELL, a feature length that will be screening! Here’s a bit about the director:

Nick Robison was born in Grand Island, NE and grew up south of Kearney in the small farming village of Axtell. Almost immediately, he realized that the farming lifestyle was not for him and after becoming involved in the performing arts a spark of passion and a new sense of ambition began to grow within him. Since then he has obtained a college degree in the Media Arts- Video Production, currently has 2 years of professional working experience with 1Vision Productions studio, has completed 5 feature length documentaries, 4 shorts, 1 independent feature length film, and has acted in multiple films, shorts, and commercials. Nick’s other passion involves outdoor adventures and environmental preservation, and plans on merging the two in one of his upcoming projects.

Check out the trailer for A COLD DAY IN HELL right here! Nick will be holding a Q&A session after the A COLD DAY IN HELL screening so be sure to head over to the Tickets page and pre-order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see the film and attend Nick’s Q&A!


THE HYPNOTIST by Pete Lipins to screen at the PLFF!

Prairie Lights is stoked to announce we’ll be screening THE HYPNOTIST, a feature length sci-fi drama faux documentary from Pete Lipins! Here’s a bit about the film:

hypnoCan you be hypnotized against your will? Michael Morris thinks so. He sets off to make the documentary that proves it; to his eternal regret.

Hypnotize your friends and family and and pre-order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see this and a ton of other awesome Nebraska films!


World Premiere of Christina Marie Leonard’s FOOD JUNKIE to screen at this year’s PLFF!

foodjunkiePrairie Lights is excited to bring Nebraska native Christina Marie Leonard’s short film FOOD JUNKIE to the big screen! Here’s a little about the film from Christina herself:

“Food Junkie” is a female-centric comedy about two dysfunctional roommates written and directed by Omaha native Christina Marie Leonard, with cinematography by another Nebraskan, Kearney native John Albrecht! A true example of Nebraskans coming together for a creative purpose in Los Angeles, we set out to create something light and heartwarming… that might also be based on Christina’s own roommate problems and could possibly explain why she now lives alone.

This film will be part of a block of films highlighting Nebraska filmmakers who have left the state and are making some rad movies in places such as Hollywood and beyond! So head over to the Tickets page and pre-order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see this and a ton of other awesome Nebraska films!


Colleen Kenney’s HANDLE WITH CARE to screen at the PLFF!

rolls_film_H_ChenowethPrairie Lights is excited to announce the short documentary HANDLE WITH CARE: CELEBRATING THE WORK OF HAROLD CHENOWETH! Here’s a little about the film:

Harold Chenoweth was Nebraska’s first film producer. He began shooting in the silent-film era.  He left behind unbelievable footage:  Huskers playing football in the old Memorial Stadium. … Old Civil War veterans marching in a parade, one in a wheelchair. … Babe Ruth holding a chicken, laughing about it with Lou Gehrig. … Buster Keaton in Hollywood, standing alongside Harold. … Footage of his Omaha family. Lots of footage of his family – footage that feels real in each reel. In that family footage, you see a baby boy grow into an ornery little boy.

Come check out this rad short film about Harold Chenoweth and learn about this relative unknown Nebraska film icon! So head over to the Tickets page and pre-order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see this and a ton of other awesome Nebraska films!