The official selections of the 20th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival were announced today by the Big Sky Film Institute. The milestone year features the second consecutive hybrid format for the festival, with nearly 150 nonfiction films screening in downtown Missoula, Montana, between February 17th and the 26th, with subsequent screenings in the festival’s virtual theater running from February 20 through March 1.
The 20th year lineup includes 51 features and 83 short documentary films including 41 World Premieres, 14 North American Premieres and 8 U.S. Premieres. Over 90% of the annual Big Sky program is selected from the festival's open call, which this season drew nearly 2,000 submissions from 81 nations. An exhibition of the transformative power of documentary storytelling, the 2023 selections explore revolutionary art, profound female strength, defiant politics, elder wisdom, stirring portraits, an environment in crisis, contemporary media literacy, and a globalized world in flux.
In addition to open call selections, Big Sky will showcase IN THE MAKING Season 2, a documentary short series following the lives and journeys of emerging cultural icons who bring insight and originality to their artistic craft, presented by Firelight Media and American Masters. The lineup also includes short films made by student filmmakers in Big Sky Film Institute youth education programs and the Montana State University MFA in Science & Natural History Filmmaking.