It’s back. Today marks day five of nine of the eleventh annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. As in years past, the festival is packed with films which make you laugh. Make you cry. Make you think.
This year, viewers may vote once per day for their favorite feature film and favorite short/mini doc. The winners in each category will receive the first ever BSDFF Audience Awards. An audience member will be a winner, too. Everyone who participates in the BSDFF Audience Survey will be entered to win an All-Access Pass to next year’s festival.
One Missoula woman, Shanna Lodge, may consider herself to be the biggest winner of the festival to date. Following a big-screen-turned-live marriage proposal, she said, “Yes. This is yes!”
Five days remain in the 2014 BSDFF. A seat is calling your name.
The 10th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival was held February 15th-24th in Missoula, Montana. For the fourth year running, my husband, Rich, and I were fortunate to partake in many of the Festival’s films.
Our introduction to the BSDFF was in 2009. That year, our brother-in-law Lance’s friend, Kimberly Reed, directed and starred in one of the feature films,Prodigal Sons. Missoula Independent’s Nick Davis wrote, “In a story that would push the limits of even the most madly creative of fiction writers, this reality show just keeps getting better.”
He was right. In addition to Reed’s thought-provoking film—about identity, family, and relationships—we were treated to a lively Q & A with her following the movie.
Rich and I left the theater that evening asking each other how we had overlooked the Festival the previous five years. We left, too, wanting to see more. There were 143 films that year and though we did see more in the following days, we barely skimmed the surface.
Since 2010, we’ve purchased all-screening passes for the Festival. We have friends who’ve joined us as well, and collectively we’ve applauded, laughed, cried, and discussed a variety of the subjects and people we’ve watched on the big screen. We are better stewards of the earth because of the BSDFF. We’re more conscientious about our use of water and electricity. We bought reusable produce bags and a composter which have decreased our use of plastics and reduced the amount of garbage we generate. And we recycle everything we can.
Seven people attended the first film of the inaugural BSDFF ten years ago. The numbers have multiplied since then.
This year, the winner of the Best Feature Documentary was Blood Brother, a poignant story about Rocky Braat and his journey to care for HIV-positive orphans in India. Our efforts to be more mindful of how we live pale compared to the difference Rocky Anna, as the children call him, is making in the lives of the children he serves.
The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, now heading into its eleventh year, is held each February in Missoula. Filmmakers from across the country and around the globe grace our city with their presence and their films. Keep an eye out for the 2014 dates and mark your calendars. The BSDFF is a treat beyond measure.