The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is the largest nonfiction film festival in the American West and Montana's premier cinema event. Hundreds of filmmakers, industry professionals, and nearly 20,000 highly engaged filmgoers attend screenings, live events, educational programs and film industry forums. Over ten days each February, Big Sky presents an average of 150 new and classic non-fiction films at the historic theater The Wilma and neighboring downtown Missoula venues. An Academy Award-qualifying event, BSDFF brings stories from around the world to our beautiful mountain town, creates a vibrant, quality event that gathers our engaged community, and expands the knowledge and conversation around issues that matter.
In addition to screenings, the DocShop filmmakers forum is a 5-day conference including panels and workshops that takes place during the festival and geared towards filmmakers, innovators, students, and media industry leaders to explore cutting edge ideas that are shaping the field of documentary film today. Special retrospective programs have included the films of The Maysles Brothers, Kartemquin Films, Frederick Wiseman, Lucy Walker, Ondi Timoner, Daniel Junge, and Penny Lane. Special guests have included Indy Rock legends Yo La Tengo, Academy Award winning director Steve James (Hoop Dreams), Les Blank (Burden of Dreams), Greg Barker (Sergio), Joe Berlinger (Crude), Ron Mann (Grass), Brendan Canty & Christoph Green (the Burn to Shine series), Chuck Workman (The Life & Times of Andy Warhol), Hart & Dana Heinz Perry (Sex: The Revolution).