‘Behind the Boom’ selected for the Omaha Film Festival

The Big Bang Boom feature-length documentary “Behind the Boom” is an official selection for the 2023 Omaha Film Festival. The film will be one of 11 documentaries presented during the festival’s 18th annual event, Tuesday through Sunday, 7-12 March.

This is the first time the documentary will be screened to the public and the public is invited to attend the festival at Aksarben Cinema in Omaha. The film will be screened on Sunday 12 March at 2.30pm. Tickets can be purchased online at

“Behind the Boom” is a feature-length documentary that takes viewers through the history of the Fourth of July celebration in Norfolk and goes behind the scenes of the production of the community fireworks display.

Boomfest is an annual Fourth of July community celebration that has been presented in Norfolk since 1976 and is organized by a non-profit group called Big Bang Boom Inc. What was once a $1,500 fireworks display shipped in the trunk of a Auto is now a nearly $70,000 show that ships via truck straight and takes nearly a week to install. Over the years, the celebration has morphed into a two-day family festival that includes live music, food vendors, a cookout, and more.

Each year, community members volunteer countless hours to help organize and stage this show that celebrates our independence and freedom. “Behind the Boom” takes you back down memory lane and introduces you to the largest fireworks show in northeast Nebraska attended by people from all over the United States.

The film’s production wrapped in October 2021.

The film was directed and produced by Brittnay Therese Dawson, a native of northeastern Nebraska now living in Miami where she is an executive producer at Emerald Design Bar, a media studio specializing in content strategy and audiovisual creative storytelling for brands .

“As someone who grew up going to Big Bang Boom shows, it was an honor to make this film for the Norfolk community about something very personal to me,” Dawson said. “It’s a powerful story that takes viewers on an emotional journey through the history of the festival, as well as how pyrotechnics has evolved over the past 45 years. This film was two years in the making, with production being delayed during a worldwide pandemic, and serves as a testament to how a relentless community and group of volunteers will stop at nothing to continue the tradition of the festival and make sure the show goes on.”

Don Wisnieski is the president of Big Bang Boom Inc. and said that “the entire reason for creating this documentary was to preserve the tradition that began in 1976 to commemorate the United States Bicentennial and has now continued for more than 45 years”.

“Being selected by the Omaha Film Festival is an absolute honor,” said Wisnieski. “We are incredibly pleased that ‘Behind the Boom’ has been recognized as a quality work that showcases what a community does to create a tradition that has lasted so long.”

Boomfest 2023 will be held at Skyview Lake and Park in Norfolk on Friday and Saturday, June 30 and July 1. The two-day event will culminate in Northeast Nebraska’s largest fireworks show at 10pm on Saturday. For a full schedule of events and times, visit

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