The Montana Film Festival promotes bold independent films from around the world and aims to engage our community with remarkable, shared, cinematic experiences.

With a lineup of independent films from all over the world, Montana Film Festival embraces the expansive possibilities of contemporary filmmaking. The festival highlights emergent independent talents and favorites from major international festivals, with special attention paid to Montana's burgeoning film industry. Just as this festival honors the makers, it is also a perennial local favorite from our audiences, who consistently value Taking the Time to Watch Cinema.

The beloved Roxy Theater, located on “The Hip Strip” in downtown Missoula, Montana, is the host venue for MTFF. If you love film, you'll fall in love with this charming art-house theater. Only more charming than the theater is the regular staff who truly make the difference in terms of the festival experience. Hosting 5 festivals each year, the 'Roxys' are experts at hosting visiting filmmakers.

Our regular event welcomes guest writers, directors, actors, and industry professionals to experience Montana hospitality over the four-day festival. With special events to introduce audiences to creators. spark conversation and reveal the inner workings of filmmaking, MTFF’s retreat-like atmosphere provides every attending filmmaker development opportunities through our presenting partner, the Montana Film Office.

MTFF has welcomed a number of special guests to Missoula over the years: Charles Burnett, Bill Pullman, Lily Gladstone, Sophia Takal, Tobi Poser, Mya Taylor, Sarah Adina Smith, Emily Hubley, Benjamin Wiessner, Wendy McColm, 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, The Unknown Country, Bitterbrush, Quantum Cowboys, and The Power of the Dog.


MTFF accepts short films work in the following genres: narrative, documentary, and experimental. We also accept feature film submissions only if that have a Montana-centric programming strand. This strand gives priority to films with strong connections to the state, whether that connection is through key crew roles, shooting locations, or a thematic focus on living in the contemporary West.

The Montana-focused programming support screening work curated especially to our Roxy + MTFF audiences. Too often traditional audiences fail to see--or value--the in-state film production that feeds both our artistic community and our state’s economy, nor are they able to feel a part of it. Equally often, Montana-made films that deserve a wider audience, or just to be seen on a big screen, don’t get the attention they deserve.

For those interested in submitting feature films for consideration. We are most interested in viewing feature films that have a Montana connection. This connection might be shared crew, shooting locations, budget support, or be more topical. Our jury is very eager for films that explore what it is like to live in the contemporary West in a new, unexplored way.

TIP: We are not interested in the classic documentary structure yet are open to documentary work only if it is notably genre-bending and challenges storytelling perspectives as well as possesses that Montana or Western-connection.

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.


Overall Rating
  • 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
  • Cat Dale

    Even though COVID forced the festival online, it was such a special event. The organizers were open, had clear communications, and made great efforts to connect filmmakers with their audience and fellow filmmakers. I cannot wait to submit again when we can all be in-person in Missoula. Wonderful festival!

    October 2020
  • Ryan Graham-Laughlin

    This festival is always an amazing experience. The staff are sincerely dedicated to making the best experience possible for filmmakers. A truly wonderful festival to submit to. I’ll definitely submit future work again!!

    October 2020
  • Drew Danburry

    Wonderful experience. Wonderful people. Great time.

    October 2019