Marquee 2014


Filmmakers, Industry Professionals, Students, Faculty & Supporters -- Thank you for a great year! 2014 BSDFF DocShop is officially complete.


The DocShop is an industry-focused feature of the festival that offers documentary filmmakers opportunities for networking, discussion, and professional development. The schedule includes workshops, Work-In-Progress presentations, panels, and the annual Big Sky Documentary Pitch session. These events deal with topics from funding to distribution, and everything in between. The Doc Shop brings filmmakers, industry decision-makers, and experts together in a dialogue about what matters most in the world of documentary film. This year, events for the Doc Shop will be taking place February 17th - 22nd, 2014 during the 2014 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

We are thrilled to partner with the University of Montana as the BSDFF DocShop 2014 Offfical Sponsor!

Happenings this year include:



9:00A Independent Filmmaking 101 Darrien Michele Gipson – National Director of SAGindie and former Vice President of Development, DEF Pictures (GRIDLOCK'D) will be conducting a workshop on "things an independent filmmaker should know."  Covering a wide range of topics, from financing, festivals, distribution deals and new media – this will serve as a foundation of information that any low budget, independent filmmaker will need to know before making an independent film. HOLIDAY INN GLACIER ROOM

10:30a THE MAKING OF CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM -  Hear from this year’s retrospective director Robert B. Weide , who produced and directed the HBO comedy special, Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, serving as the springboard for the Golden Globe-winning series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. He will discuss how the ‘mockumentary’ became the seminal HBO series, of which he was the principal Director and Executive Producer for the first 5 seasons. HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM  

12pm YOU AND YOUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL - A Panel discussion on on-line programming today – visions and strategies in the works. We’ll hear from different producers and strategists designing channels for entertainment, tourism and civic engagement. – HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM

3p EDITING FUNNY -  A panel of filmmakers and editors discuss how to add irony and humor to the tough issues documentary film tackles.  We’ll see clips from films, and discuss the use and skill of bringing the macabre to the difficult stories we tell. HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM



10a ONLINE MARKETING, SOCIAL NETWORKS AND YOUR DOCUMENTARY FILM -  Funders, filmmakers & distributors discuss the opportunities and strategies in play today. HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM

11:30a MEDIA IN OUR CHANGING WORLD - How are we using media differently in the world – and what can we gain from the cultural saturation as media makers and its audience? When should you make a feature-length film and when should something shorter live on the web? UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA, UNIVERSITY CENTER, ROOM 330

1p Panel – ON MAKING A PORTRAIT FILM - Hear from filmmakers and academics on making biographical films – the different styles and methods used to tell the story of one’s life or life’s work. UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA, UNIVERSITY CENTER, ROOM 330

3p PITCHING YOUR FILM IDEA - Hear from funders on how to pitch your film ideas for funding. HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM



10a BEAUTIFUL DATA - CASE STUDIES IN BRINGING DATA AND STORYTELLING TOGETHER with Eric Doversberger - Eric has a deep specialization in interactive data visualization after many years creating cutting edge strategies with Google. He will give an overview of what data visualization can uniquely accomplish for storytellers as well as present specific case studies from his past partnerships with filmmakers.  UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA, MONTANA THEATER, PAR-TV BLDG.

11:30a THE DOCUMENTARY CAREER: Is Documentary Filmmaking Sustainable? - Ken Jacobson of the International Documentary Association asks this question to a panel of filmmakers who offer their perspectives on making documentaries and building sustainable careers. HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM

1p THE BUSINESS OF DOCUMENTARY FILM with GREG RHEM - Greg Rhem is Director of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. For the past nineteen years, he's been involved in discovering new and distinctive documentary programming for HBO Documentary Films. Some of his finds have been: the Oscar®-winning Freeheld, Born Into Brothels, Thoth, and Breathing Lesson: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien; and Oscar®-nominated Mondays at Racine, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner and Spellbound.  UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA, GALLAGHER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ROOM 122 

2:30p WHAT IS TRUTH? - Filmmakers and academics discuss the slippery slope between poetic license and non-fiction in filmmaking, journalism, and transmedia today. STONE HALL (OLD JOURNALISM BLDG); ROOM 304; UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA

4p CROWDSOURCING - Hear the “war stories” from filmmakers on what has worked brilliantly and failed miserably in the world of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdsourcing campaigns and sites. Tips of the trades and changing trends will be discussed. HOLIDAY INN, GLACIER ROOM



BSDFF INTERNATIONAL PITCH 2014: Thursday, February 20th, 2014 from 9a-5p at THE UC THEATER, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA. Come for all or some of the 15 filmmakers who will present or ‘pitch’ their film ideas and sizzle reels to a panel of industry executives. This year’s panelist include HBO, THE FLEDGLING FUND, CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES & AL JAZEERA AMERICA. FREE TO ALL (The public will be allowed in between each pitch)


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21st - Special Addition!

11a-12:30p HANDS-ON TRAINING WITH CANON - offered by Canon Professional Market Specialist Genaro Arroyo. In this course we will be covering the many benefits of the Canon cinema lineup, comparing video quality between the many models, and learning the main camera settings you need to be aware of before you hit record. The models we will have on display will be the C100, C300, C500, and the new XA25 that can be controlled with your smartphone over Wi-Fi.   Regardless of technical prowess, everyone is welcome!


1st ANNUAL MENTOR DAY - February 22nd & 23rd


Montana high school students - this is your chance to get a taste of what it takes to make a film! In partnership with The University of Montana, BSDFF will select a group of students from across the state to participatein a 2-day mentoring program during the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana (Feb. 15th – 23rd, 2014). We’ll begin on Saturday, February 22nd with a guerilla filmmaking course. The workshop will culminate with a collective short film that will screen at the WILMA THEATER on Sunday, February 23rd - the closing day of the festival.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR TO APPLY PLEASE EMAIL: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


2014 Panelists Include:

Emily Verellen, The Fledgling Fund

Cynthia Kane, Al Jazeera America

Greg Rhem, HBO Documentaries

Michael Kananack, Gathr Films

Ken Jacobson, Independent Documentary Association IDA

Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures

Samantha Grant, A Fragile Trust, Independent Filmmaker

Jule Banville, University of Montana School of Journalism

Jan Krawitz, Stanford University Professor of Film

Charles Musser, Yale University, Film Studies

Robert B. Weide, Filmmaker and Producer

Eric Doversberger, People Analytics Team, Google

Gorman Bechard, Independent Filmmaker

Deny Staggs, Montana Film Office

Denise Dowling, University of Montana School of Journalism

Jeremy Workman, Creative director, Wheelhouse Creative

Jon Betz, Collective Eye Films


All Events free to All Students & Pass-holders, for others $5/panels, $8/workshops