I mentioned last month that I would be attending my first film festival. It is in Missoula, Montana, from February 17 – 26. I’ve never been to anything like this before so I’m really looking forward to it. The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Official Selections were announced recently and I wanted to share some that look interesting to me. Whether I’ll get to all of these or not I don’t know yet as I don’t haven’t figured out my schedule. But there are so many intriguing films! Some are 5 minutes in length and others are over 100 minutes.
You can see the full list for yourself HERE
Some Films That Interest Me
I’m going to list a few of the films that I’m going to do my best to see. I’ve linked them so you can view the trailers if you would like.
- 100 Years is the David vs. Goliath story of Elouise Cobell’s courageous fight for justice for 300,000 Native Americans whose mineral rich lands were mismanaged by the United States Government. For 30 years Elouise Cobell fought “the good fight.” This is the compelling true story of how she prevailed and made history.
- BADGER CREEK is a portrait of Native resilience as seen through a year in the life of three generations of a Blackfeet family living on the rez in Montana. The Mombergs are a loving, family who run a successful ranch, live a traditional worldview and are re-learning their language.
Bright Lights – opening night film
- BRIGHT LIGHTS: STARRING CARRIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS is an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty, in all its eccentricity. At 83 years old, grand dame Debbie Reynolds (star of “Singing in the Rain,”) still performs a Las Vegas act, dressed in gold lamé. But performing takes its toll, and Debbie’s health suffers. This devastates her daughter, “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher, whose response is both hilarious and heart-rending. Carrie is helpless in the face of her mother’s determination that “the show must go on.” Through vintage family films, iconic old-world Hollywood history comes to life. Rich cinema verité also takes us to into the heart of Beverly Hills today, where Carrie and Debbie live together. This is a film about show business, and bittersweet family love.
- This short documentary focuses on the controversial Escalade Development, a proposal which would take a gondola to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers meet. The confluence is sacred to the Navajo people because their creation story teaches that this is where people first emerged into our world. As the film follows a group of Navajo activists fighting to protect this sacred site, we explore how places like the Grand Canyon shape human identities in profound ways.
- After an indigenous Ugandan tribe is violently removed from its forest home, the survivors are left to reconcile with the ghosts of their ancestors as they struggle to maintain their cultural identity.
- Jorge, who was expected to protect the Argentine border as a state trooper, decides to leave the force but remains for the rest of his days in the solitude of the continental ice—where the physical and mental realms keep a tense, reflective dialogue on society and the individuals.
- OYATE is a film about life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. It follows two families as they go about their daily activities over the course of a single summer. They attend rodeos, shoot clay pigeons, and participate in pow wows. Family members get married, have children, and celebrate the 4th of July. All the while, the difficult, often intractable realities of modern reservation life threaten to encroach upon them.
- TELLING THE STORY OF SLAVERY is a short documentary film about the first museum in America dedicated to exploring the legacies of slavery. Discussing the legacy of slavery in America is still a complex and difficult conversation to have. How do we confront this horrible and defining period of our shared history? This is a film about a place that is attempting to do just that: The Whitney Plantation. It’s a former plantation founded in 1752 and located in Louisiana along the historic River Road, which winds down the Mississippi towards New Orleans. John Cummings, a lawyer who founded the museum, spent sixteen years planning and over eight million dollars of his own money to restore this site, which honors the memory of those who were enslaved on plantations and whose labor helped build this country. The Whitney Plantation is not a place designed to make people feel guilt, or to make people feel shame. It is a site of memory, a place that exists to further the necessary dialogue about race in America. This is a film about this place, its founders, and how it is helping America understand it’s most unpleasant past.
- The tender and trusting relationship between two sisters with a common dream: becoming a soloist ballet dancer.
There are others but I don’t want to drown you in movie listings. If you look through and see one that is of interest let me know in the comments and I’ll see if I can fit it into my schedule! Better yet, if you can make it to Missoula for the festival let me know and maybe we can catch up for a cup of coffee,
YOU CAN LEARN MORE ON THE OFFICIAL SITE: BIG SKY FILMFEST
I am receiving press passes to the Big Sky Film Festival so I do not have to pay an entrance fee. I am providing blog coverage in return.