Festival Dates: April 20-25, 2024
Virtual IWFF program offered April 28-May 3 through Eventive

The mission of the International Wildlife Film Festival is to promote awareness, knowledge, and understanding of wildlife, habitat, people, and nature through excellence in film. The long-standing festival champions wildlife filmmakers and challenges conventional expectations about how we conserve wildlife and habitat.

Films screen to packed theaters full of sharp audiences that want to learn more about themselves and the world we live in. Filmmakers can expect lively Q&As, engaging panel discussions, and a casual, jovial atmosphere. Guests range from top-notch filmmakers and producers, cutting-edge conservationists or biologists, to the Roxy Theater audience members that sometimes see every IWFF selection. IWFF’s collaborative spirit offers opportunities for many national conservation partners to be involved in post-film screening discussions and day trips throughout western Montana.

Due to the success of past virtual programs, the festival will continue to offer our international audience the chance to view films. An IWFF virtual catalog will be offered post-festival from April 28-May 3, 2024.

IWFF & The Roxy Theater History
Founded in 1977 at the University of Montana IWFF is the first and longest-running event of its kind. Founder, Chuck Jonkel sought to highlight films that demonstrated ethical filmmaking when he founded the festival. In 2013 The Roxy Theater - home to IWFF - began operating as a year-round art-house theater and began an extensive collaboration with the university, businesses, and community, serving a diverse, all-ages population with broad programming. A unique, historic venue with incredible resources, The Roxy houses three cinema screens, a micro-cinema, an outdoor movie garden, 35mm projection, state-of-the-art sound systems, and two stages. IWFF embraces its home inside The Roxy Theater and as the heart of the Missoula community.

The IWFF makes its film selections & announces category finalists in mid-February. Category winners, Best of Festival, and an Audience Award are announced during the April event at the Awards Ceremony.

An anonymous preliminary jury made up of highly trained conservationists, biologists, and filmmakers view every submission. This team takes care to have three screeners view each submission and the festival's program is based on the feedback of this initial jury. The preliminary jury prioritizes exemplary filmmaking craft, accurate representations of science, ethical approaches to filming and presenting wildlife, and successful visual storytelling.

Two to three films are selected in each category as Finalist film selections. The festival program consists of about 50-60 film selections. Some films may not be finalists within a category yet are chosen to screen as general selections outside of the film competition.

The winner in each category is chosen by a FINAL JURY of three esteemed and highly qualified individuals. These awards are presented at the festival’s AWARD CEREMONY. Winners are selected for each category, plus Best of Festival, and the Audience Award.

Films eligible for the International Wildlife Film Festival's juried competition must demonstrate exemplary film craft. They must also have a central focus on non-domesticated wildlife species, natural habitats, or conservation. The jury prioritizes scientific accuracy, ethical decision-making made during production, and demonstrated efforts toward the betterment of our natural world. IWFF highlights both the best of this long-lasting genre as well as alternative approaches to storytelling within the wildlife film genre. The jury prioritizes new voices and stories that have been excluded from this industry in the past as well.

Film entries must also match the following criteria:
Entries must have a release date, copyright date, or air date after 2022.
Entries must be permitted to stream virtually - at the very least to a Montana audience, audience caps are negotiable.
Due to the robust Youth Matinee program, some selections submitted in other categories may also be considered for the Youth Program category and screening program.
The IWFF jury reserves the right to make the final decision on the category of any film entered.
Filmmakers must submit 1 viewing copy per entry, preferably online.
Non-English language productions must include an English voiceover or subtitles.
The submitter of the film entry is responsible for all copyrights.
The applicant must be legally authorized to enter the film in the festival and, if selected for the festival, authorized to give screening permission.

Please preview your entries before submitting them. Programs with time code, broken links, or other defects may be disqualified.
No refunds.

Overall Rating
  • Asgeir Helgestad

    IWFF is fantastic festival with an excellent line up of high quality films, engaged audiences, strong community feeling, and a generous and hardworking team. We enjoyed every minute and hope it will continue rocking the Roxy for many more years.

    May 2024
  • Betsy De Fries

    Our film Yellowstone88 was part of the 2022 selection and we were invited to take part in their Labs program in which 2 groups of 3 film makers take on the challenge to create a documentary in 5 days. It was an absolute blast. I had such a great time meeting all the organizers and other film makers. The IWFF team couldn't be nicer. It was a super eventful week with hard work, parties, interviews and viewing films. This is a festival you'll never forget!

    June 2022
  • Fantastic festival. Great team dn really welcoming. So glad I made the effort to travel to the States for the Premier of my film. Thanks again guys.

    May 2022
  • Andrea Odezynska

    The team at IWFF is warm, welcoming, professional and awesome! I met many interesting filmmakers. My feature, "Return Sasyk to the Sea" had two screenings with good Q & A feedback. Missoula, MT is an cool town. Loved the whole experience.

    May 2022
  • Joel Penner

    Our film Wrought was selected for the 2022 edition of the IWFF. It was such a pleasure to attend. We met amazing filmmakers and the people running the festival were so kind and hospitable. The films shown at the festival were thought-provoking and beautiful and Missoula is also an awesome city! Looking forward to attending again!

    May 2022