Big Sky Documentary 2018 Overview

The 15th Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

February 16-25

Montana’s largest film event includes more than 50 features as well as shorts and extensive retrospective programming.


Among the world premieres included in the Features Competition are: Christoph Green and Brendan Canty’s THE LIBERATION, about second chances through a culinary training program; Rita Baghdadi and Jeremiah Hammerling’s MY COUNTRY NO MORE, on a rural community’s reckoning with the oil boom; Floris-Jan van Luyn’s THE BASTARD, about the consequences faced by a father and son both abandoned by their own fathers; Joe Tropea’s SICKIES MAKING FILMS, an exploration of the history of film censorship; and Eric Liner’s BIRD OF PREY, chronicling an attempt to document the rare Great Philippine Eagle.


The Big Sky Award celebrates the American West through films like Saila Huusko and Jasper Rischen’s MORONI FOR PRESIDENT, which follows the campaign of a gay Navajo Mormon; Collin Monda’s THE TROUBLE WITH WOLVES, about the contentious place of wolves in the wild; and Dave O’Leske’s DIRTBAG: THE LEGEND OF FRED BECKEY, a portrait of the legendary climber.


The fest’s various thematic strands include Made in Montana, with Riccardo Ferraris’ THE WAR IN BETWEEN, about a program pairing PTSD-suffering veterans and wolves; Sports & Adventure, with Tomas Leach’s THROUGH THE DARKNESS, on the San Quentin State Prison’s baseball program; Activism & Justice, with Victoria Mills’ LIKE ANY OTHER KID, focused on the relationship between prison staff and juvenile inmates; and Peace & Conflict, with Hassan Khademi’s DEATH AND THE JUDGE, a portrait of an Iranian criminal judge, and Olya Schechter’s A SNIPER’S WAR, about an anti-American sniper fighting for Russia in Ukraine.


Additional strands include Stranger Than Fiction, with Skye Borgman’s FOREVER “B”, about a bizarre tale of child abduction; All Abilities, with Chris Suchorsky and Oliver Ferraro’s A SHOT IN THE DARK, following a blind high school wrestler; and Indigenous Stories, with Ciara Lacy’s OUT OF STATE, about two men who connect with their indigenous roots while in prison, and Karen Lynn Weinberg’s KEEP TALKING, following Alaskan Native women as they try to save their indigenous language from disappearing.

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