Film festivals on the horizon in Missoula, Bigfork and Bozeman
IWFF: Celebrating wildlife and environmental filmmaking
Every spring, the International Wildlife Film Festival draws industry, filmmakers, scientists, conservationists, and audiences to the heart of the Rockies for this long-standing Missoula tradition. Festival no. 42, April 13-19 and headquartered at the Roxy Theater, is no exception.
Through diverse programming and community events, IWFF celebrates ethical wildlife and environmental filmmaking as well as emerging filmmakers. This year, 70 films, originating from 36 countries, were selected.
Filmmakers and audiences can expect lively Q&A’s after every screening, and engaging day-time programming including panels, dialogues and networking opportunities with top-notch filmmakers, fresh media makers and scientists working on the brink of discovery. The festival also hosts IWFF Labs, a highly competitive science-driven filmmaking intensive.
As usual, the festival kicks off at noon Saturday, April 13, with the the WildWalk Parade down Higgins Ave., followed by the WildFest in Caras Park, featuring live music, food vendors, and fun activities hosted by local organizations.
Learn more at wildlifefilms.org.
Bigfork festival focuses on Montana films
The third annual Bigfork Independent Film Festival, held April 5-7 at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts, offers a variety of short, feature, documentary and student films that were either made by Montana filmmakers, or were made in Montana.
Just as last year, the selected films will be divided into film blocks, each between two and three hours long; available filmmakers offer a Q&A at the end of each block.
This year’s festival offers three free filmmaker workshops at 10 a.m. daily:
• “Make Your Feature Film,” led by Flathead Valley filmmakers Ridge Mallery and Mitch Underhill on Friday morning;
• The Saturday morning workshop, “Drones: From Simple to Cinema,” is led by Birds Eye of Big Sky;
• Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated composer Lance Bendiksen presents the Sunday morning workshop, “The Creative and Business Side of Film Composing.”
For details, visit bigforkfilmfestival.com.
BZN showcases 60 independent films
The second annual BZN International Film Festival brings more than 60 films from around the world to Bozeman June 6-9. This four-day event celebrates independent filmmaking, creative expression, and emerging as well as established voices.
The screenings at various theaters across the city will be complemented by a rich slate of Q&A sessions, panel discussions, community-wide events, and parties. Additional events include the Opening Film and Reception on Thursday, a free Family Night on Saturday, and an Awards Ceremony and Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday.
The festival opens with the Montana premiere of “The Divide,” presented by actor/director Perry King Thursday, June 6, in the Emerson Center’s Crawford Theater. Set in drought-plagued Northern California in 1976, “The Divide” chronicles the story of an aging rancher with a failing memory, his estranged and independent-minded daughter, and a young ranch hand, who finds himself in the midst of a family in crisis.
Other selected features include “The Etruscan Smile,” starring acclaimed British actor Brian Cox; “Be Natural,” Pamela B. Green’s energetic film about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché; and “Words from a Bear,” which examines the enigmatic life of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Navarro Scott Momaday. Also featured is “Not Enough Time,” a tribute to musician Dave Gruisin, who will facilitate a Q&A after the screening.
“We are delighted that Ted Turner will present the inaugural Ted Turner Award to the film which most inspires environmental stewardship,” says Artistic Managing Director Beth Ann Kennedy, who adds that the festival emphasizes films that educate, encourage and inspire audiences to get involved and take action to protect the planet.
Visit bozemanfilmcelebration.com for details.
Photos: Among the IWFF offerings is “Whale Wisdom” by filmmaker Rick Rosenthal.
The Ellen Theater is among the venues for BZN.