The North Dakota Film, ‘Sanctified,’ Now Streaming and in Theaters

Screen view of the Sanctified Movie

BISMARCK, ND — The North Dakota Western film “Sanctified,” set in the late 1800s, is now on streaming platforms across North America. As of August 11, “Sanctified” can be streamed for rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spectrum and more.  

“Sanctified” tells the story of an outlaw who is rescued from death by a nun traveling through the North Dakota 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 people as they learn to work together to survive their dangerous journey. 

“Sanctified” was shot in the Badlands of North Dakota in May 2021 and produced by local production companies Canticle Productions and D&N Cinematics, along with Minnesota production company Headwaters Entertainment.  

It was a priority of the movie’s makers to use mostly local talent for the production. The film’s co-star and producer Dan Bielinski is a Fellow in Catholic Studies and chair of the very popular Dramatic Arts program at the University of Mary in Bismarck. Bielinski earned his MFA from the Columbia University School of Arts in 2012 and has continued his love for theater and film production at the professional and university level. He lives in Bismarck with his wife and children. 

Bielinski and his students produce popular theater performances every year that garner rave reviews from students and public audiences. Several University of Mary students served in various roles on and off-screen for the making of “Sanctified.” 

“It was a long journey to bring ‘Sanctified’ to the big screen,” exclaimed Bielinski. “It began with a successful kick-starter campaign back in early 2020, and then our production was postponed due to COVID. Finally, we were able to put together a fabulous team and shoot the film in May of 2021. It’s a very beautiful, exciting, action-packed story, and we were fortunate to have some wonderfully talented artists on the team. The film is also fantastic showcase of North Dakota scenery.” 

In 2018 Bielinski founded Canticle Productions to create film and theater that celebrates the history, land, and culture of North Dakota and Great Plains. His North Dakota feature films include “A Heart Like Water” (winter 2021), “Sanctified” (spring 2022), and “End of the Rope” (fall 2022). Bielinski’s original theater productions include “Voices of Dakota Prairie,” (2021), and “Voices of the Badlands,” (2022). 

Nickolaus Swedlund joined Bielinski to direct and write “Sanctified.” He’s a native of Plymouth, MN, and is a writer, director, and producer. As a writer and director his feature projects include “All the Time in the World” (2015), “Bough Brothers” (2022), and “Sanctified” (2022). After a decade in Los Angeles, CA, Swedlund returned home to Minneapolis, where he works in the commercial market; he co-founded Lost Forty Studios, a vertically integrated Los Angeles and Minnesota-based studio and production and service provider, allowing him to write to direct. A current project includes “Junk,” a feature film about a scrappy teenage girl who must grow up fast when she and her uncle are forced to defend their northern Minnesota scrapyard from a hostile criminal element threatening to destroy them and their whole town’s way of life.  

“Sanctified” will continue to run in theaters across the region throughout the winter. For more information about tickets and screenings, visit Canticle Productions’ new film “End of the Rope” premiered in theaters this spring. 

Anyone who wishes to learn more about the University of Mary can do so at or by contacting an admissions representative at, or by calling (701) 355-8030. The University of Mary is one of only 15 Recommended Cardinal Newman Society Residential Colleges and Universities in the US. 

About the University of Mary: True to its motto “lumen vitae”—The Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 18 master’s, and five doctoral programs—in Business Administration, Education, Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The 20-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and the USA College Clay Target League. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings. 

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