With a lineup of independent films from all over the world, Montana Film Festival embraces the expansive possibilities of filmmaking. The festival highlights emergent independent talents and favorites from major international festivals, with special attention paid to Montana’s burgeoning film industry. Just as this festival honors the makers, it is also a perennial local favorite from our audiences, who consistently value Taking The Time To Watch Cinema. 

The beloved Roxy Theater, located on “The Hip Strip” in downtown Missoula, Montana, is the host venue for MTFF. If you love film, you’ll fall in love with this charming art-house theater. Only more charming than the theater is the regular staff who truly make the difference in terms of the festival experience. Hosting 4 festivals each year, the ‘Roxys’ are experts at hosting visiting filmmakers.

Our regular event welcomes guest writers, directors, actors, and industry professionals to experience Montana hospitality over the four-day festival. With special events to introduce audiences to filmmakers, spark conversation and reveal the inner workings of filmmaking, MTFF’s retreat-like atmosphere adds to the filmmaker development opportunities through our presenting partner, the Montana Film Office.

MTFF has welcomed a number of special guests to Missoula over the years: Charles Burnett, Bill Pullman, Lily Gladstone, Sophia Takal, Mya Taylor, Sarah Adina Smith, Emily Hubley, Benjamin Wiessner, Wendy McColm, Kenneth Turan (LA Times critic), Neal Block (Magnolia Pictures Head of Distribution & Marketing), Andrew and Alex Smith, Annick Smith, Amber Sealey, Krisha Fairchild, Ty Hickson, Annabelle Attanasio, Natalie Metzger, Richard Pearce, Lynzee Klingman, Jessica Oreck, Toby Poser, and more.

Past MTFF selections and Montana Premieres include Shiva Baby, Cowboys, Thunder Road, Tangerine, Mandy, Birds Without Feathers, Certain Women, Wildlife, Micky and the Bear, Hellbender, and The Power of the Dog.

MTFF accepts short and feature-length work in the following categories: narrative, documentary, and experimental. A Montana programming strand gives priority to films with strong connections to the state, whether that connection is through key crew roles, shooting locations, or a thematic focus on living in the contemporary West.  

The Montana-focused programming strand makes up about half of the MTFF selections, bringing Montana-centric films to home audiences. Too often traditional audiences fail to see–or value–the in-state film production that feeds both our artistic community and our state’s economy, nor are they able to feel a part of it. Equally often, Montana-made films that deserve a wider audience, or just to be seen on a big screen, don’t get the attention they deserve.
The Montana Film Festival is Co-Presented by the Montana Film Office.
The Film Office is an ideal partner to work with to support, highlight, and grow the filmmaking community within the state which are core goals of MTFF. During the festival, MTFF offers:

  • A Montana-made programming strand that brings excellent indie films shot in-state to MT audiences.
  • An evening of Cinematic Trivia that touches on film history in the state, film production facts, MT film updates, and also straight-up movie titles and artist fun facts. This competitive community event rewards the winning trivia teams and also manages to share nuggets of knowledge on the great impact of state-wide film production.
  • A presentation on the state of film by the Montana Film Office providing up-to-date industry information, crew surveys, breakdowns of state film resources, and special guest presentations.
  • Professional development workshops and certifications for various crew roles.
  • A closing party for passholders, presenters, filmmakers, festival supporters, and guests to encourage networking and future collaborations.