In a truly remarkable feat, two Montana films have been selected to premiere at Sundance this month.
"Wildlife" and "Dark Money" were chosen from thousands of submissions, each earning one of only 16 spots in their respective categories: U.S. Dramatic and U.S. Documentary, according to the Montana Department of Commerce.
"Wildlife," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan and directed by Paul Dano, is a film about a family in crisis in 1960's Great Falls. It's based on the Richard Ford novel of the same name.
In it, Joe Brinson, the 16-year-old narrator, watches his parents’ marriage fall apart after his father brings the family to Montana in search of economic opportunity.
Logistics prevented the crew from going to great falls, so Livingston stood in as the filming site. Local car clubs even helped support the project.
"Dark Money", written and directed by Montanan Kimberly Reed, also made the cut.
Here’s the description from Sundance: “’Dark money’ contributions, made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, flood modern American elections — but Montana is showing Washington D.C. how to solve the problem of unlimited anonymous money in politics.”
It's very hard to get selected for Sundance. Only 110 feature length films are shown, representing 29 countries and 47 first-time filmmakers.
The screenings are later this month in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah. Last year, over 70,000 people showed up.