15th Annual

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

February 16, 2018 to February 25, 2018

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113 West Front Street, Suite 105
Missoula MT 59802
Phone: (406) 541-3456

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Documentary Films & Videos
This festival is open to non-fiction films and videos on any subject in any form/style, of any production date from anywhere in the world.


The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival celebrates the art of non-fiction filmmaking and promotes media literacy by establishing a forum for documentary film in the American West.


The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is the premiere venue for non-fiction film in the American West. Big Sky offers an ideal setting for filmmakers to premiere new work and develop lasting relationships with fellow filmmakers and industry. The festival draws an audience of 20,000 and film entries from every corner of the globe to a uniquely intimate mountain town setting with a local Montana flavor.

The festival hosts over 200 visiting artists, presents an average of 150 non-fiction films, and offers a variety of exciting events throughout town. In addition to screenings, Big Sky holds DocShop a five-day industry event that includes panels, master classes, workshops, and The Big Sky Pitch Session. DocShop’s participants have included: HBO Documentary Films, Showtime Documentary Films, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Doc Fund, New York Times, ESPN Films, Participant Media, BBC Storyville, CNN Films, ITVS, POV, PBS, The Film Collaborative, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Seed & Spark, Gathr Films, Film Independent, The Fledgling Fund and Catapult Film Fund.

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences qualifying event for short form documentaries. The winner of the Best Mini Doc and Best Short Documentary categories automatically qualify to compete for a Documentary Short Oscar the following year. Distinguished judges from around the country chose the winners in each category during the ten day festival. Special guests of the festival have included Les Blank, Daniel Junge, Lucy Walker, Ondi Timoner, Barbara Kopple, Steve James, Robert Drew, Joe Berlinger, Sam Green, John Cohen, Doug Pray, Cazeh Zahedi, Hart & Dana Perry, Ron Mann, Brendan Canty, and many many more.


Doug Hawes-Davis (Director of Programming); Michael Workman (Associate Programmer)


The competitive event is open to nonfiction films and videos of all styles, subjects, and lengths. All films selected for screening will be notified of their status by approximately January 5, 2018. The filmmaker agrees to be responsible for all shipping and insurance costs for shipping materials to the festival office. All submitting filmmakers will be notified of the official selections prior to the festival.

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival takes the "Terms and Conditions" below very seriously. If you are not prepared to have your film screened at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February 2018, DO NOT ENTER. Please read the "Terms and Conditions" carefully. If you have questions, concerns, or special considerations, please email them to <programming@bigskyfilmfest.org>.


By submitting this documentary, I understand that I am agreeing to the following:

I own or control the copyright in and to, and am duly authorized to submit this documentary film to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Big Sky) and to the best of my knowledge, all statements on this document are true; This documentary contains no material which could result in tort claims, royalty claims, claims for breach of contract, or claims of any sort whatsoever; If this documentary is selected for screening at Big Sky, I grant Big Sky the right to screen this film in Missoula, Montana, February 16-25, 2018; I understand and agree that this film entry, if selected for the Festival, may be used for promotional purposes for the Festival, Big Sky and/or its partners and I grant Big Sky and its partners the rights to use up to two minutes of footage, photographic stills and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes; I fully indemnify and hold Big Sky and its partners harmless from: a) damage to or loss of the film print or videotapes en route to or from Big Sky or during the course of festival possession of the entry; and b) from an claims which may arise in connection with this documentary film. If a claim arises in connection with this film, I will bear all the costs of defense incurred by Big Sky and pay any award of damages which may ensue. I also agree to reimburse Big Sky for any attorney fees incurred in connection with the defense of such a claim. I understand that Big Sky reserves the right to place my film in the appropriate competition category. By submitting my film, I am indicating that I understand, comply with and agree to the Terms of Entry and the eligibility requirements.