Now in its 10th year, The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has become the largest cinema event in Montana and the premiere venue for non-fiction film in the American West. In 2012, the festival drew an audience of 20,000 and received nearly 1000 film entries from every corner of the globe. The BSDFF offers a unique setting for filmmakers to premiere new work and for audiences to see innovative new films, as well as classics in the genre. The festival hosts over seventy-five visiting artists, and presents an average of 125 non-fiction films annually at the historic Wilma Theater and Crystal Theater in downtown Missoula.
In addition to screenings, public events include panel discussions, workshops, pitch sessions, parties and receptions. Special retrospective programs have included the films of The Maysles Brothers, Kartemquin Films, Frederick Wiseman, Joe Berlinger, Doug Pray, and Les Blank. Special guests have included Indy Rock legends Yo La Tengo, Academy Award® winning director Steve James (Hoop Dreams), Les Blank (Burden of Dreams), Greg Barker (Sergio) Joe Berlinger (Crude), Ron Mann (Grass), Brendan Canty & Christoph Green (the Burn To Shine series) Chuck Workman (The Life & Times of Andy Warhol) Hart & Dana Heinz Perry (Sex: The Revolution).
Recent Award winners at the festival have included This Way Of Life (Thomas Burstyn) Steam of Life (Joonas Berghäll & Mika Hotakainen) Last Train Home (Lixin Fan), Sweetgrass (Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor), Gasland (Josh Fox), Rough Aunties (Kim Longinotto), Ashes of American Flags (Brendan Canty & Christoph Green) In A Dream (Jeremiah Zagar), and Bronx Princess (Yoni Brook & Musa Syeed).
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