Filming the Festival

Gus Applequist is on a five year mission to capture the sights and sounds of the Smoky Hill River Festival – through the lens of his camera.

The owner of Salina based Fili Creative and a talented crew of five employees are winding their way though tents and performers to film the action in Oakdale Park.

“We’re making a documentary about the River Festival,” he said.

“This is our fourth year of five in production and it’s going to be a little bit of a celebration of 50-years of the Festival and what is really important about the Festival – why do people come here and how does it bring people together.”

He’s busy while you play

Applequist is a Kansas native and admits that over the last four years he’s run into a ton of friends and family while he’s filming in Oakdale Park.

“I honestly have to smile, nod and ignore them,” he said with a grin. “And so to anyone I’ve offended – I’m so sorry.”

The project will wrap up filming next year during the 49th Annual Smoky Hill River Festival and then Applequist and company will spend 2025 in post-production to bring the finished documentary to the screen.