Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

DSU students earn accolades at film festival

May 19, 2023

Dakota State’s Lights Camera Action Club (LCA) earned multiple awards from the 54 Film Festival this spring, for their film Agent 54.

“These gentlemen graduated this spring, so they’re going out on a high note,” said Joe Staudenbaur, Associate Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Staudenbaur spent the past four years guiding the students through the fundamentals of filmmaking from a technical perspective. “They have incredible talent. Watching them put together stories and develop their cinematography skills is fascinating.”

“They bring all the creativity,” he added.

He noted their resourcefulness and passion in creating films with limited equipment compared to students from larger programs. In addition to entering film festivals, the students have also worked on the Sioux Falls show Late Night Boomin’, where they were praised for their professionalism and skill.

“We got into contact with one of the producers of the 54 Film Festival because she was from South Dakota and saw our work on Late Night Boomin’ in Sioux Falls,” said Carson Knecht, co-director of Agent 54.

The festival gives participants 54 hours to make and submit a film. As the group worked in post-production, they competed in a subcategory, 5+4, which gave them nine days to complete the film.

With a spy theme, the group created a short comedy spy film, just five minutes long, to fit the rules of the competition.

Ben Anderson, co-director with Knecht, worked with a team of 10 to 15 to write, act, film, produce, add special effects, and edit the film.

The film follows Agent 54, an anxious secret agent, in a training mission to stop a corrupt corporation from unleashing performance-enhancing drugs into the world.

Club member Corey Fink worked as an actor and editor on the film. He enjoyed editing the outdoor scenes they shot. Anderson enjoyed filming, set design, and editing in the special effects used in the film, and Knecht’s favorite part was working with all the actors involved.

The group earned several awards for their film. They were excited to see their work was competitive and incredibly proud to earn the Best Visual Effects award.

Best of categories:

  • Best Student Directing
  • Best Trailer
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Student Visual Effects
  • Best Student Production Design
  • Best Student Wardrobe
  • Best Use of Music
  • Student Use of Genre

Runner up categories:

  • Best Student Film
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Wardrobe
  • Best Student Editing
  • Best Student Sound Design
  • Best Student Cinematography
  • Best Use of Line
  • Best Student Use of Line
  • Best Student Use of Curveball
  • Best Student Use of Elements

Visit the LCA Club YouTube page to watch the film.

Contact Us

Jennifer Burris
Strategic Communications Coordinator
(605) 270-3816

Email Us