The 17th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival starts Friday February 14 and you won’t want to miss it. The festival hosts over 200 visiting artists, presents an average of 150 non-fiction films, and offers a variety of exciting events. Executive Director Rachel Gregg explains.

“It is a 10-day event that is in four downtown Missoula theaters,” Gregg said. “We are showing about 150 films this year. We will be at the Wilma, the Roxy, and we build a theater in the Elks Lodge. We are also starting a new space in the Zootown Arts Community Center. This year was an exciting response to our open call. We received nearly 2,000 submissions from 84 countries.”

According to Gregg, they are looking for the best documentary films in the world. She says they have a team of programmers who are always looking for really polished storytelling and high production quality.

“We are always looking for things we know Missoula will love because this is the Big Sky Documentary Festival,” Gregg said. “We want to bring things to Missoula that we know people will enjoy, but also heartwarming stories about musicians and every day people that are experiencing the world. We also have a lot of international stories. Of the many countries that submitted, I think we have 35 countries that are bringing stories to the festival. There will be a whole range of stuff and something for everyone.”

Big Sky is an academy award qualifying festival. If you win the shorts competition at the festival, you can be considered for an Oscar. Their winner from last year is up for the award this Sunday and Gregg says they are really excited.

“The film is called St. Louis Superman,” Gregg said. “It is about Bruce Franks Jr. who is a battle rapper from Missouri who actually ran for the legislature to be able to serve his community in east St. Louis. He got legislation passed to call youth violence a public health crisis. He has gone to 80 some funerals in the last few years, seen so many of his friends and relatives pass away, and decided to take action and go represent his community.”

For those interested in attending the festival, there are a variety of different ticket options right here.

Ticket Prices

Single Screening Ticket - $9

Student/Senior Single Screening Ticket - $7

5-Punch Pass - $40

Student/Senior 5-Punch Pass - $30

​All-Access Pass - $325

All-Screening Pass - $175

Weekend Pass (3 days of Films and Parties) - $150

DocShop Pass - $150