*Immediately showcasing select films on the BZN Virtual Platform, available year-round online to all Bozeman Film Celebration Members, in addition to the BZN International Film Festival 2023 event this October in Bozeman, Montana.*

The BZN International Film Festival, a production of the Bozeman Film Celebration, is dedicated to fostering intelligent filmmaking, understanding diverse points of view, and restoring media literacy. The BZN vision is to highlight films that make a positive impact on audiences—stories that showcase the best of the human spirit while inviting a call to action. We champion films that educate and enrich while they entertain: documentaries, indies, comedies, features, and shorts that make our cut must be intelligent and thought-provoking, inspire curiosity, and encourage community and global awareness. Above all, they should stimulate conversation—a lost art we’re determined to help restore.

Every film that screens will be considered for and award whether a Short or Feature film in any category.

These awards will be presented during the BZN IFF —

• Entry fees are nonrefundable and are payable by credit card only.

• Non-English language films must be subtitled in English.

• If a feature film is accepted, we encourage the filmmaker(s) or a member of the film team to attend the festival to represent the film during the audience Q&A and participate in the festival experience.

•. If any portion of your film was produced in Montana, BZN would appreciate your contacting filmoffice@bozemanfilmcelebration.com to receive a submission waiver.

•. If the filmmaker has an affiliation with Montana State University, BZN would appreciate your contacting filmoffice@bozemanfilmcelebration.com to receive a submission waiver.

• Filmmaker has all necessary legal authority and rights required to submit this film to the BZN.

• If accepted, the filmmaker will assume all responsibility for shipping and insurance costs to/from the Festival Office (if necessary). Please include all relevant return addresses & instructions in the packaging.

• The date, time, and location of the screenings of films are solely at the discretion of the Bozeman Film Celebration.

• All filmmakers must be able to provide either an MP4 and/or a DCP. Materials must be postmarked by May 8. BZN does not accept H264 files. (Please read this handy guide if you're having any issues with prepping your screening materials: bit.ly/2m10Qkn)

• BZN is not a “premiere” festival meaning that your film does not have to be a premiere to be accepted.

Questions regarding submissions to BZN may be directed to filmoffice@bozemanfilmcelebration.com


• By submitting your film, you grant BZN the right to utilize an excerpt from this film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Celebration for promotional purposes.

We look forward to seeing your films!

Overall Rating
  • Stephanie Alton

    I had a great experience at the festival.

    March 2023
  • The current festival organizers (2023) make decisions with no thought as to how the filmmakers or anyone else in the festival will be affected. I hope someone familiar with film festivals saves this sinking ship ... but DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AT THIS FESTIVAL.

    My short film was selected to be included almost a year ago. It was the end of our festival run.

    I corresponded with the organizer for several months to get details about the festival as the website had none. Finally, two weeks before the festival he told me my short film was scheduled to play in the 12:30 narrative shorts block on Saturday.

    -- A few days later the director of the festival emailed me to say my film had been cut for time. -- (Put a pin in this.)

    Plans to go to the festival had already been made. Time taken off work, tickets bought, hotels booked. So I went to Bozeman with relatives and went to the festival anyway.

    Other filmmakers I talked to said the festival organizer and director had been making changes to the schedule of their films up to a few days before the showings. A BIG PROBLEM IF YOU HAVE A FOLLOWING WHO WANT TO SEE YOUR FILM and have already planned their schedule according to the details the filmmaker shared with them.

    I will say this: the filmmakers at this little festival? They were lovely human beings and artists who had made beautiful films.

    Over the weekend, all of the filmmakers I spoke with had an uncomfortable feeling about the organization of the festival to an issue with the communication or scheduling around their own film.

    When I ATTEMPTED to politely talk with the festival director about what happened to my film and gently lay out the consequences of the decision during the opening reception, he changed the subject immediately and ended the conversation.

    In the narrative shorts block my film had been selected for, two filmmakers out of five films had q&as right after their films were shown. Only one of those was on the schedule. Filmmakers from each film were present in the audience but did not get q&as.

    HERE'S THE KICKER. Before the final short film in the block, the organizer came onstage and said, "We're ahead of schedule, so we're gonna have a ten-minute break before we show the final short film!"
    -- I sat in the audience, stunned. Multiple filmmakers (who had watched my film on their own) commented to me later that there was plenty of time for my film to be shown, and from a storytelling perspective and after watching other films at the festival, they did not understand why my film had been cut.


    Lessons learned:

    - stand up for yourself. If you feel like something is weird, call out the BS.

    - don't waste your time on a festival that is going nowhere and whose management DO NOT CARE ABOUT FILMMAKERS.

    - it seems like this festival is about the personal STATUS of the organizers. They do not seem familiar with film festivals.

    Ironically, I spoke with local business owners who used to be involved in the festival but had not been notified it was happening the past two years. Several art patrons well-known in Bozeman who used to be heavily involved in the festival have not been since it changed hands a few years ago (though two bought tickets to watch my film and didn't bother to come when it was cut). The audience was at least 90% filmmakers: this event did effectively or intentionally engage with the local community in Bozeman.

    - if you are looking for a solid, great little Montana film festival, submit to the Flathead Lake Internation Cinemafest. They communicate clearly, have over a decade-long good track record, and have an engaged community audience.

    Next time I will be equipped to approach this kind of situation differently. I am honestly thankful for the learning experience, especially for the advice given by older filmmakers. This festival was silly ... and a surprising upside-down gift of laughter and connection over its unorganized bumps and bruises.

    -- "Do not be fooled... a man reaps what he sows." --

    January 2023
    Response from festival:

    Hi Mailli,

    I'm sorry to hear this. It would have been nice to hear this from you in person at any of the film screenings or private reception you attended while you were here.

    You are correct. You should have been notified earlier that your film was being dropped from the live screening event. We apologize for that. In an effort to fine-tune our film lineup, we reviewed all the films that were screening and it was determined that there were some films that weren't at the same caliber as the rest of them. Unfortunately, your film was one of them.

    The fact that you are a self-taught filmmaker is amazing and you no doubt have a bright future ahead of you. We wish you nothing but luck as you pursue your filmmaking career.

  • David Rohm

    Amazing people and excellent management team. The Bozeman International Film Festival really cares about filmmakers and producers and goes out of their way to be inclusive and thoughtful in their film selections. Truly incredible people.

    September 2022
  • Ester T. Ferman

    So thrilled with all the support that the Bozeman community offers to the creatives who live near and far. I was very happy that "Bliss At Last" was included in this year's lineup. The communication was top notch!

    October 2021
  • Unfortunately we aren’t able to attend due to in person screenings in Europe, but they did a good job of communicating. Since we live in Montana we can attest to the great nightlife and big Sky atmosphere of Bozeman!

    September 2021