HELENA, Mont. – A new category of selections for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival will highlight films made by Montana filmmakers, shot in Montana or otherwise inspired by the “Last Best Place.”
“Dark Money,” a campaign finance documentary also selected for last month’s Sundance Film Festival, will headline the 22-film Made in Montana category.
“The Big Sky Doc Fest is a major venue for Montana filmmakers, especially Native Americans and students, to share their work and create future opportunities,” said Montana Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer. “It encourages them to document their communities and to tell the interesting stories that make Montana a special place to live and work.”
Other selections include “Drive Them Buffalo,” which follows members of the Blackfeet Nation driving bison to winter pasture. It received a Big Sky Film Grant from the Department of Commerce to expand the story.
Also of note are three films produced as part of the New Neighbors Project, a media initiative and collaboration between resettled refugee families and local filmmakers in Missoula: “Kuwezesha Wanawake,” “Never Give Up While You Are Still Alive” and “Renga for the West.”
BSDFF Executive Director Rachel Gregg said the festival, which received more than 2,000 submissions from 75 countries this year, is always looking for Montana content and even updated its submission process to be more accessible to Montana filmmakers.
“Big Sky has an international reputation, but the heart of the festival is the community of Missoula, the state of Montana and the impressive non-fiction filmmakers who live and work here,” she said. “Through festival events and the DocShop filmmaker’s forum, our goal is to provide opportunities for Montana’s media industry and bring exceptional documentary programming to the Rocky Mountain West.”
The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival runs Feb. 16–25 in Missoula.