This fall, the Roxy Theater will launch the first annual Montana Film Festival.
Coming to Missoula October 1-4, the festival’s theme is “Past, Present, and Future” and will feature premieres of films made in Montana, a retrospective covering 70 years of Montana film history, as well as an offering of festival hits from around the country.
The festival will also welcome guest writers, directors, actors and industry professionals to Missoula.
The Montana Film Festival came about when University of Montana media arts graduate students Aaron Roos and Andrew Rizzo joined the Roxy staff.
Both had worked to curate the year-end student showcases for the Media Arts department at UM. They wanted to build off the existing programming at the Roxy, and create a similar event for the Montana filmmaking community at large.
“It all just kind of made sense. The state had no national recognized narrative film festivals,” Roos said. “We saw what the Roxy was doing, what we were doing in Media Arts and thought we can do this on a larger scale.”
Three made-in-Montana films will have Montana premieres at the festival: “Subterranea,” “Love Like Gold” and “The Triangle.”
Additionally the festival will celebrate the history of Montana filmmaking by screening classics such as “Heaven’s Gate,” “Slaughter Rule,” “Always” and “Little Big Man.”
The MTFF aims to create a space for patrons to engage with films and filmmakers without barriers.
“Supporting filmmakers as artists is all about creating environments where intimate conversations, new life experiences, and stirrings of the imagination can exist. And should exist,” Roos said.
The festival is also working with Tell Us Something to curate a festival storytelling event where filmmakers, writers and local Missoulians can come together and share personal stories about film.
Roos also hopes that out-of-state attendees leave the festival with fond Montana memories that will bring them back to work in the state.
“We want filmmakers and writers to come here and see how magnificent this country is and we want them to know what a great location this is for film,” he said.
For more film listings and showtimes check the festival’s website at montanafilmfestival.org.
Montana Film Festival Film Premieres
Director: Matthew Miller
After being contained his entire life to a darkened cell, never seeing the light of day or another human being, The Captive (Bug Hall), is released into “society” for the first time as an adult. With no more walls to contain him, he faces a new world and the unknown, full of unlimited and threatening horizons.
LOVE LIKE GOLD
Director: Kier Atherton
We meet Gage, a wayward ranch hand in search of something different in his life, and Lola, a singer who wants to get away from the bad choices and hardships that have fallen on her. When these two meet they can’t tell if they should trust each other to fall in love and start clean, or try to run away like they always have.
Director: David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson, Adam Pitman, Andrew Rizzo, Adam Stillwell
Three filmmakers receive an unsettling postcard from an estranged friend living in a secluded commune. The filmmakers take their cameras into the wilderness of Montana to document the mysterious inner workings of the group on their disconcerting road to self-sufficiency, witnessing something more shocking than they ever imagined.