Festival Dates: April 23-30 2022
Virtual IWFF program offered May 1-7

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. The festival staff is well-known for clear communication, inventive programming, and delivering a fun, satisfying festival experience. 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 the virtual programs in 2020 & 2021, the festival will continue to offer our international audience the chance to view films. An IWFF virtual catalog will be offered for a week, May 1-7, 2021.

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 four 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.

3 films are selected in each category as Finalist Films. The program consists of 60-75 films - some being outside of categories and included as festivals selections.

The winner in each category is chosen by a FINAL JURY and announced at the festival’s AWARD CEREMONY. Winners are selected for each category, plus Best of Festival, the Audience Award, and the Chuck Jonkel Legacy Award.

This year - IWFF launches a new opportunity open to selected filmmaking teams only. Selected filmmakers (those who held a key role within one of the 2022 selections) are invited to be ONE of the EIGHT-hosted filmmaker guests who participate in IWFF LABS film retreat and be a VIP guest of the festival. IWFF LABS is filmmaker residency that happens alongside the festival every April.
Filmmakers are special guests of the Festival and come in early to begin collaborating on a short 3-5 minute film with 3 other filmmakers. The retreat includes some Montana wild encounters, fresh mountain air, the promise of new collaborators/ peers, and the opportunity to represent your film for IWFF audiences at the Roxy Theater. The hosted residency extends through the festival and includes travel support, lodging, food, and an incredible experience in Missoula, MT.

Films eligible for the International Wildlife Film Festival's juried competition must demonstrate exemplary film craft. They must 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.

Film entries must also match the following criteria:
Entries must have a release date, copyright date, or air date after 2020.
Entries must be permitted to stream virtually - virtual screening conditions 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
  • 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
  • Selket Kaufman

    Wonderful Event! So inspiring so proud to have been selected.

    June 2021