15th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Announces Selections, Competitions, and More!

15th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Announces Selections, Competitions, and More!

The 15th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (BSDFF), the largest documentary film festival in the American West, is slated for February 16-25, 2018 in Missoula, MT. This year Big Sky is proud to launch the Native Filmmaker Initiative, funded in part by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including a strand of films directed or produced by Native American filmmakers and a fellowship program. Additional special programming will include a free opening night screening of campaign finance exposé Dark Money, a special live listening event with audio documentaries, and virtual reality selection The Antarctica Series from New York Times VR.

BSDFF will screen over 180 non-fiction films selected from nearly 2,000 submissions and 75 countries. 35 films are in competition, including a record number of world premieres in the feature competition. Big Sky is an Oscar-qualifying event for short form documentaries, and winners in the shorts competition and mini-doc competition automatically qualify to compete for an Academy Award.

In addition to screenings, BSDFF hosts the Big Sky DocShop, a five-day filmmaker's forum that includes panels, workshops, and the popular Big Sky Pitch for works in progress. The 2018 DocShop conference will focus on the intersection of film and technology, an exploration of innovative production equipment and systems, multimedia platforms and distribution, and how to navigate the increasingly prominent world of virtual reality.

"We are very excited about DocShop 2018, which is funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and will feature representatives from Vimeo, Vulcan Productions, Sundance Institute New Frontier, Tribeca Film Institute, Gravitas Ventures, SEED & Spark, Fandor and ITVS among other industry voices," said Rachel Gregg, Executive Director, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

The festival will also feature a retrospective program spotlighting two-time Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated documentary film director Kirby Dick. His most recent film, The Hunting Ground, a monumental exposé of rape culture on college campuses, received an array of awards, was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He is currently completing a new original investigative feature for Netflix and is in the early stages of production on a Hollywood Assaults film.

BSDFF is also delighted to present a retrospective on veteran documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist Greg Barker. For his most recent film, The Final Year, Barker secured unprecedented access to the White House and State Department, capturing the emotions and human dynamics behind American diplomacy at its highest levels.

The 15th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival takes place February 16-25, 2018. Tickets, passes, selections and schedule available at www.bigskyfilmfest.org

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