For nine years, the Montana Film Festival has showcased independent films from around the world, engaging our community with remarkable shared cinematic experiences, embracing and expanding the possibilities of contemporary cinema, and welcoming our guests to Big Screen Country.

MTFF highlights emergent independent talents from major international festivals, with special attention paid to Montana's flourishing film industry. It regularly screens features several months before wide release, making it the premiere annual event for Montana's cinephiles.

The Roxy Theater, Missoula's community cinema, is the venue for MTFF. Presenting five festivals each year, the warm and welcoming Roxy staff love hosting visiting filmmakers. Every October, MTFF welcomes writers, directors, actors, and industry professionals to experience Montana hospitality over the four-day festival. Parties and special events allow creators to meet their audiences, and provide valuable space for networking. MTFF provides attending filmmakers development opportunities through our presenting partner, the Montana Film Office.

MTFF has welcomed a number of special guests to Missoula over the years: Lily Gladstone, Charles Burnett, Bill Pullman, Sophia Takal, Anna Camp, Toby Poser, J.D. Shields, Maya Korn, Frances Chewning, Mya Taylor, Sarah Adina Smith, Emily Hubley, Benjamin Wiessner, Wendy McColm, Bonnie Discepolo, Kenneth Turan (LA Times critic), Neal Block (Magnolia Pictures Head of Distribution & Marketing), Andrew and Alex Smith, Annick Smith, Amber Sealey, Krisha Fairchild, Ty Hickson, Annabelle Attanasio, Natalie Metzger, Richard Pearce, Lynzee Klingman, Jessica Oreck, and more.

Past MTFF selections and Montana premieres include Shiva Baby, Cowboys, Thunder Road, Tangerine, Mandy, Birds Without Feathers, Certain Women, Wildlife, Montana Story, The Unknown Country, Bitterbrush, Quantum Cowboys, The Power of the Dog, The People's Joker, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, Fancy Dance, and The Sweet East.

SUBMISSIONS:

MTFF accepts both feature films and shorts in the following categories: narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental. Please note that we are only interested in documentaries if 1) they possess a strong connection to Montana or the American West and 2) they function primarily as works of art, rather than reportage, with an aim to entertain rather than inform.

We are looking for vibrant, unforgettable, one-of-a-kind films, films which are extraordinary after one viewing and even better after the second, films which expand the possibility of the art form.

MTFF gives priority to films with strong ties to Montana, whether that connection is through key cast and crew, shooting locations, or a thematic focus on life in the contemporary West. We are eager to showcase the vitality of filmmaking in our state, and to give Montana-made films the audience they deserve. Please email our team to explain your connection to the state and include a few details about your film.

Montana Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. Please note that Montana Film Festival accepts documentary films. experimental, and fiction films made both nationally and internationally.

All entries should be in English or with English subtitles.
The applicant shall indemnify and hold harmless Montana Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SUBMISSION FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Maya Korn

    I really cannot say enough nice things about this festival. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. We got a huge room comped from the festival and cute goody bag with deals around town. The festival programming was immaculate and we really felt like part of the family. Not many shorts get programmed so if you get chosen you should feel very special!

    October 2023
  • Fantastic festival and great team. Super friendly and take care of their filmmakers. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to Montana, but I was aware of everything that was happening at the festival. Thank you so much for having our short film and I look forward to applying again (hoping to attend in person)

    October 2023
  • Frances Chewning

    Hands-down, one of the best festival experiences I've had. Amazing hospitality, wonderful community, fabulous arthouse theater, excellent films, passionate & thoughtful curation. My block of short films attracted very cool filmmakers, and a vibe you don't want to miss. Would go back in a heartbeat. Also, Montana is gorgeous and Missoula is a great, walkable place to be. I'm so grateful I got to be a part of the 2023 fest.

    October 2023
  • Amber Laird

    This festival felt so personal and intimate. I am deeply grateful to the organizers, especially Carrie Richer, for being incredibly communicative and friendly. She helped me organize housing during my stay in Missoula, and really went above and beyond to make sure my experience getting and staying there was smooth. The people of Missoula really showed up and filled the theaters, which was beautiful to see. There is clearly a vibrant film community here.

    October 2022
  • Such an honor to be nominated this year and such a mindful journey!

    November 2020