History

1st Annual MTFF
The Roxy Theater, home of MTFF, during the inaugural festival

Montana Film Festival began in 2015 at The Roxy Theater, spearheaded by the Roxy's well-known duo Andrew Rizzo and Aaron Roos. In 2018, the festival was handed over to a new pair of Roxy employees, Alana Waksman and Marshall Granger, who cultivated MTFF until 2021. Now engaged and making movies in Los Angeles, Alana and Marshall's unique aesthetic and special relationships within the film industry shaped a Missoula tradition. They crafted festival line-ups full of undiscovered gems, festival favorites, a distinct MTFF aesthetic, and robust line-ups each year. In 2021, Roxy staff continue to support MTFF embracing films that audiences wouldn't get the chance to see outside of this locally loved festival. This year we welcome Roxy Programmer Mike Emmons and Festival Director at The Roxy, Carrie Richer to lead this program in the midst of an ever-changing climate.

The inaugural year celebrated Montana on the silver screen with a retrospective of the state’s presence in films like Northfork, Heaven’s Gate, and Always, alongside premieres for three new Montana-made features. Sean Baker’s Tangerine had its state premiere with lead actress Mya Taylor in attendance.

In 2016, the festival expanded from Montana content, welcoming featured guest Charles Burnett and his classic films  Killer of Sheep and To Sleep With Anger. The second MTFF also served as the Montana premiere for Kelly Reichert’s Certain Women, starring MTFF close friend Lily Gladstone, who joined LA Times critic Kenneth Turan for a live discussion.

 

Lily Gladstone and Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan (LA Times critic) in discussion with Lily Gladstone at Montana premiere of Certain Women
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The Montana Film Forum was launched in partnership with Montana Film Office and Montana Film Society. This centerpiece event gives a platform to local crew and talent to meet and discuss the state of film in Montana.

These new practices continue to be a huge part of the Montana Film Festival's core, strengthening our ties to the Missoula community and creating an environment where filmmaking in Montana can thrive.

MT premieres at Montana Film Festival:

  • The Alchemist Cookbook
  • All About Nina
  • Always Shine
  • Among Mountain Crags
  • Bad Hurt
  • Bad Lucky Goat
  • The Ballad of Lefty Brown
  • Beach Rats
  • Birds Without Feathers
  • Certain Women
  • First Girl I Loved
  • I Am Not a Witch
  • I Believe in Unicorns
  • In Between
  • Krisha
  • Lemon
  • Little Woods
  • Love Like Gold
  • Lucky
  • Mandy
  • The Midnight Swim
  • No Light and No Land Anywhere
  • Results
  • A Stray
  • Subterranea
  • Super Dark Times
  • Tangerine
  • Tanna
  • Thunder Road
  • To Dust
  • Too Late
  • Tower
  • Track Town
  • The Triangle
  • Tyrel
  • Walking Out
  • Wildlife
Writer/director Wendy McColm (Birds Without Feathers) at Montana Film Festival 2018
Writer/director Wendy McColm (Birds Without Feathers) at Montana Film Festival 2018
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