7th Annual Montana Film Festival kicks off at the Roxy

MISSOULA, Mont. - After going virtual last year, the seventh annual Montana Film Festival returns to in-person festivities at the Roxy. 

The festival highlights talents from all over the world, but focuses on Montana's film industry, its community and growth through the pandemic. 

This year's festival features nine feature-length and 11 short films. 

The film industry is booming in the Treasure State. Based on the latest economic impact report from the Montana Film Office, from 2019 through June 2020, 117 production filmed in Montana, spending $24 million locally and creating 280 jobs. 

Mike Emmons, programming coordinator for the festival, said Montana is becoming a filmmaker's destination. 

He explained how that plays into the festival's major theme.

"There was a moment kind of early on where we thought we would be entirely Montana-centric, but we've expanded a little bit from that," Emmons said. "It's still a major strand running through the festival this year, a focus on the Montana landscape, the Montana history and the people who live here."

One of the films featured this weekend is Sooyii (Creatures), a film fully shot in the Pigani language on the Blackfoot Reservation with an all-native cast. 

Another film, The Power of the Dog, will release on Netflix in December.

Along with the films, there'll be a film forum with a variety of panels, Q and A's with filmmakers and parties at Western Cider and Clyde Coffee. 

The festival runs November 18-21. For program and ticket information, click here. 

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