Film Forums

The Montana Film Forum, sponsored by Montana Film Office.

MTFF welcomes guest writers, directors, actors, and industry professionals to experience Montana hospitality over the four-day festival. The festival’s special guests enrich filmmaker development opportunities through the Montana Film Forum. The Forum runs alongside the festival, offering a variety of resources for anyone interested in finding a path into the MT film workforce or to sharpen their artistic prowess.

The 2021 Montana Film Forum is co-presented by the Montana Film Office and The Roxy Theater for two days. By scheduling the Forum just before Thanksgiving when shoots are wrapped - many key production leads, crew members, and students are able to be present. This year’s Forum will be free to the community and will include:

Session Descriptions and Schedule are listed below

Saturday November 20

 Film Forum Sessions
(free admission)

10-11:30-Theater 2
Montana Film Office presentation on the State of Film in MT

Allison Whitmer, MT Film Commissioner will present the state of film in Montana. The Film Office team of Stacey Zyliak, Sean Tippin, and Laura Benedict will review varied resources for independent productions state-wide including crew & cast services, database, locations, tax incentives, grants plus a review of set safety protocols. Time will be reserved for questions at the end of this presentation. Following the Film Office presentation, Gina Lavery with Econsult Solutions Inc will conduct a crew survey.

12-1:00 -Theater 2
Crew Survey with Gina Lavery & Allison Whitmer

In June 2020, Econsult Solutions Inc (ESI) completed an analysis of the impact of Montana’s film industry and the MEDIA Act’s tax credit on the state’s economy. This session will review the key findings of that study as well as highlight the next stages of the study—where we will provide an update on production activity and highlight localized stories about the value for Montana’s communities. ESI is seeking participation in our cast and crew survey and focus groups, to provide personal examples of the state of the industry. The session will include a time for questions with Gina Lavery (ESI) and Allison Whitmer (Montana Film Office).

1:15-2:15 -Theater 2
A Conversation with David Siegel & Scott McGehee.
Moderated by MTFF & Roxy Programmer Mike Emmons

David Siegel and Scott McGehee have been a filmmaking team since the early 1990s, with six feature films under their belt, including the 2021 MTFF selection Montana Story. This conversation will dig into the dynamics of a strong and long-lasting collaboration, the directors’ influences, and how a sense of place is reflected in their work.

2:30-3:30 -Theater 2
Visual Storytelling with Avela Grenier & Marshall Granger. Moderated by Mike Steinberg, Roxy Executive Director.

The session will include a few short sequences edited by each editor and they’ll walk the audience through their decisions when making each cut. The panel will discuss the process of shot selection, rhythm, problem-solving, and what else goes into weaving a story together.

3:30-5:00- Annex
Special Effects Wound Tutorial & Demo with Ciara Griffin
(Registration required. Limited to 20.)
SIGN-UP at the Roxy Box Office or by calling the Theater - 406 728 9380,
If your call is not answered -leave a message with your name & email - it's been a little busy!

Join Ciara Griffin is an international makeup artist and member of IATSE 488. Watch some fun demos and tricks to use on your next shoot. Then, follow along on your own arm to create bloody wounds, blisters, bruises, scrapes, cuts, and bullet holes. Drinks & concessions will be available for purchase. Registration is required, limited to 20 people. Concessions and beverages will be available. 

Sunday November 21

Film Forum Sessions
(free admission)

10:00-11:00 -Theater 2
Festival Circuit Wisdom with 3 Pros: Brooke Swaney, Alana Waksman, & Toby Poser. Moderated by Carrie Richer

Making a film is only half the story; next, you have to navigate the festival circuit and get your film out into the world. Add a pandemic and virtual screenings on top of all of that and it is complex! These three directors are running the festival circuit under ever-evolving circumstances. They will answer your questions about the work that came between their final cut and screenings. We’ll get into geoblocking, audience caps, travel support, and the unexpected connections made along the way. 

10:00-11:00 - Annex
For Actors in MT Film with SAG actor Jared Broxterman

Come meet Montana Acting Studio and Casting, founded by Mother and son, Jared Broxterman and Cammy Maughan who have over 25 years of experience on and off set. This session will cover the basics of how to present yourself as an actor for film projects, mastering a cold read, resume coaching, reel development, casting services, SAG-AFTRA union guidance, and learning terminology for film and TV. 

11:15-12:15 - Theater 2
How to be an Extra with Daniel Molloy

There are growing opportunities for those in the Missoula area to be involved in our state’s film production industry as extras in films or tv series like Yellowstone and indie films like the ones shown at MTFF. Assistant Director, Daniel Molloy will line this process out from signing up, choosing photos to submit, suggesting contacts and email lists to follow, and breakdown all the steps involved. Daniel will be joined by seasoned extras - Zuzu Weingart and Dan Sullivan - who will tell stories of their experiences on various local sets, and advise on how you can get involved in the process and show up on-screen yourself.

12:30-1:30 - Theater 2
Crewing Up for your Indie Film with Jeri Rafter, moderated by Carrie Richer

It is important to have the right collaborators around you on a film set that supports the project vision and contributes to a positive and productive work environment. Join us as Jeri Rafter, an experienced producer maps out how to find and build a successful production crew. We’ll discuss how to source the right crew for your budget size, techniques for interviewing candidates, and negotiating rates. Plus any red flags you should be on the lookout for when forming your team. Jeri will touch on the steps needed to get on Producers' call lists to break into the MT Film scene. The session will share best practices and resources for productions and individuals in the area and may include a heads-up on upcoming projects. 

11:15-2:00 - Theater 3
Training and Knowledge for AC's with hands-on camera instruction from Taylor Lennox

(Registration required. Limited to 20.)
SIGN-UP at the Roxy Box Office or by calling the Theater - 406 728 9380,
If your call is not answered -leave a message with your name & email - it's been a little busy!

Montana Video and Production Rentals’ camera package and truck are available for instruction and hands-on experience during this workshop. Taylor Lennox demonstrates and will guide each person through the motions of what is required on set as an AC. If you have been thinking about jumping on a crew but your camera skills are rusty - this is the perfect opportunity to get trained up with specific equipment. AC set protocols, technical requirements, reels, and slating will be covered.
Sponsored by Montana Video and Production Rentals.


1:45-2:45 - Theater 2
Supporting Indigenous Stories in Film with Ivy MacDonald,
Jesse Desrosier, and  April Charlo, moderated by Lynn-Wood Fields

How can non-Native filmmakers respectfully work on films about Indigenous stories and movements? Who should be telling these stories and how? Come and learn from these acclaimed panelists about how to be allies for Indigenous projects.


3:00-5:00  - Roxy Annex
FILM FORUM HAPPY HOUR

 - Media Looping: Premiere of finished promos from the BASE PA training sessions.

 - Trailers featuring upcoming Montana films. 

 - Beverages and popcorn will be hosted by the festival and Draughtworks.

We’ll wrap the Forum with a networking mixer and look ahead to the expanding future of Montana Film. Sponsored by Treasure State Studios & MT Film Office.