Element Film Festival showcases the work of emerging student filmmakers that strive to improve the understanding of science and the natural world through film. The festival specializes in student produced and/or directed short documentaries. The categories include science, natural history, and cultural/social issues concerning science and natural history.

Held annually, Element Film Festival is produced by graduate students who are attending the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program at Montana State University. The filmmakers hope to give a meaningful platform to student projects that create accurate, innovative, and memorable films that advance the public understanding of science in all its many manifestations.


Element Film Festival will take place on November 4th, 2016, in Bozeman, Montana. This year will be the 12th annual Element Film Festival! The festival provides a venue for students from around the world to showcase their films that merge science and art. The festival will be held at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture in downtown Bozeman, allowing student works to be showcased in a thriving community of filmmakers and environmental enthusiasts.


Student Filmmakers from around the world are invited to submit films that showcase science or the natural world. These films can be humorous, informative, reflective, inspirational, artistic, and much more! We encourage students to bring their own vision and creativity to films addressing science and the natural world. Submission should be between 5 minutes and 25 minutes in length.

Films submitted to Element Film Festival are judged on their overall artistic and technical quality. As well as by their ability to tell impactful, creative, and informative stories.


Films will compete to win the Audience Award and the Judges Award. The two winners will each receive a trophy along with a $150 cash prize.

The Judging team will be comprised of faculty in the Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program.

Judges Choice, 1st place: $150
Audience Award: $150

Original trophy handmade by a local Bozeman artist.

All films must meet the following requirements:

Final run time between 5-25 minutes. Entries outside of this run time will not be eligible for festival selection.

The Director or Producer must be a currently enrolled student or at least 80 percent of the film must have been completed while the filmmaker was a student attending an accredited University.

All films must fall under the category of Science, Natural History, Conservation, Technology, Culture, or relating to the people who work in these fields.

We accept all forms of story telling in film, such as: live-action, animation, or any other new and innovative way to tell a story.

Feel free to contact us if you're not sure if your film falls into these categories and we will be glad to help!