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The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival at a Glance

This winter, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival celebrates its 3rd year of showcasing the best in documentary film from around the world. From February 16 - 22, 2006 Big Sky will present 96 films and videos from 28 countries, including 14 World Premiers and 10 U.S. and North American Premiers.

Big Sky has quickly built a strong national and international reputation for its programming excellence and established itself as the premier venue for nonfiction film in the American West. In 2005, after moving the venue into the Wilma Theater, attendance grew to nearly 10,000 during the week-long event. This year Big Sky received over 800 entries, making it one of the most submitted-to documentary film festivals in the world.

All Big Sky Documentary Film Festival screenings will once again be shown on the largest screen in Montana at the historic Wilma Theater in scenic downtown Missoula. The official selections represent a broad array of filmmaking styles, formats and production dates, from classics to world premiers.

The 2006 BSDFF Jury includes an accomplished group of visiting and local filmmakers, industry delegates, writers, journalists and academics. The jury will present three awards to competition films at a reception and press conference on the final day of the festival in the following categories:

o Documentary Feature Competition - The award for Best Feature Documentary will be given to one film 60 minutes or longer in length, released after September 1, 2004.

o Documentary Short Competition - The award for Best Short Documentary will be given to one film under 60 minutes in length, released after September 1, 2004.

o Big Sky Award Competition - The Big Sky Award will be given to one film with significant content about the American West released after September 1, 2004.

"We are pleased to bring such an excellent line-up of films from around the world to our Montana venue," says Festival Programmer, Doug Hawes-Davis. "It is a real privilege to have the opportunity to watch such a variety of great films. The large number of high quality entries made for a very challenging pre-screening and selection process for our programming staff."


Festival Director, Damon Ristau adds, "Within three years, we have seen unprecedented growth in Big Sky's film submissions and festival attendance. Our high quality programming combined with Missoula's dynamic population and scenic beauty has helped establish the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival as the premier venue for nonfiction film in the American West. We are really excited to present another round of incredible films at the 2006 festival."


Each year Big Sky recognizes the work of important filmmakers by highlighting their contribution to documentary arts in the Big Sky Retrospective Series. The 2006 Retrospective Series is proud to announce "The Work of Les Blank." Ten celebrated docs were chosen from the forty-year filmmaking career of this distinguished documentarian. Blank continues to make exciting new work today and will be one of this year's BSDFF Judges.

Q & A sessions with filmmakers follow most screenings. This year Big Sky offers two panel discussions with filmmakers that are free and open to the public. "Women in Documentary Film" will be held on Saturday, February 18, at 1 p.m. and the other (Topic T.B.A.) will be held Sunday February 19, at 1p.m. Both will be held at Marianne's in the Wilma Theater Building.

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival at a Glance:

o Big Sky received over 800 submissions.

o Big Sky 2006 presents 96 documentaries in the following categories:

Documentary Feature Competition (18)
Documentary Short Competition (29)
Big Sky Award Competition (10)
Out of Competition Films (29)
Les Blank Retrospective (10)

o Big Sky 2006 presents a total of 82 premieres:

14 World Premiers;
8 North American Premiers;
2 United States Premiers;
39 Northwest Regional Premiers;
19 Montana Premiers.

o Big Sky's 2006 selections are drawn from 28 countries. Documentaries were produced by and/or in the following countries:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tibet and United States.

o Big Sky 2006 Jury:

Les Blank - Filmmaker (subject of 2006 BSDFF Retrospective Series)
John Hoskyns-Abrahall - President, Bullfrog Films
Andrew Smith - Writer/Filmmaker (The Slaughter Rule, 2002)
Mary Lance - Filmmaker (Agnes Martin: With My Back Turned to the World, 2003)
Roger Hedden - Writer (Bodies, Rest, and Motion, 1993)
Amy King - Associate Director, SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival
Cindy Stillwell - Associate Professor, Montana State University, Media and Theatre Arts
Denise Dowling - Associate Professor, University of Montana, School of Journalism
Brad Tyer - Editor, Missoula Independent


Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - 2006 Official Selections
For details and descriptions see http://highplainsfilms.org/festival/selections.html

FEATURE COMPETITION FILMS
89 Millimetres, 77 minutes, 2005
Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge, 83 minutes, 2005
Beethoven's Hair, 84 minutes, 2005
Be Here to Love Me, 100 minutes, 2005
Bob Smith, USA, 83 minutes, 2005
Cesarino and the Colours of Life, 70 minutes, 2005
Disarm, 67 minutes, 2005
Fatboy: The Movie, 67 minutes, 2005
Favela Rising, 80 minutes, 2004
Hand of God, 96 minutes, 2005
Homemade Hillbilly Jam, 80 minutes, 2005
McLibel, 85 minutes, 2005
Once They Were Neighbors, 65 minutes, 2005
The Sandman's Garden, 66 minutes, 2005
Sentenced Home, 76 minutes, 2005
Village Life, 60 minutes, 2005
Waiting to Inhale, 85 minutes, 2005
Weekend Warriors, 93 minutes, 2005

SHORT COMPETITION FILMS
Afloat, 5:15 minutes, 2005
Another World, 52 minutes, 2004
Bhopal, 52 minutes, 2004
Blue Fish, 21 minutes, 2005
Caught in the Crossfire, 20 minutes, 2005
Cheating Death, 24 minutes, 2005
The Cole Nobody Knows, 21 minutes, 2005
Dodge City, 5 minutes, 2004
Do You Want the Elephant Music, 17 minutes, 2005
The Elevator Operator, 7:50 minutes, 2005
Emma, 59 minutes, 2005
G8 Scotland: Won't Get Fooled Again, 43 minutes, 2005
Grand Lucheonette, 4 minutes, 2004
Gray days, 13 minutes, 2005
Gussie, 50 minutes, 2005
Hammer and Flame, 10 minutes, 2005
The Intimacy of Strangers, 19 minutes, 2005
Left Behind, 24 minutes, 2005
Life List, 16 minutes, 2005
Living to Work, 9 minutes, 2004
My Saraab, 22 minutes, 2005
Out in the Heartland, 19 minutes, 2005
Phase, Iran 2005, 40 minutes, 2005
Platinum, 54 minutes, 2005
Pushing up Daisies, 30 minutes, 2004
Sweet Little Sixties, 4 minutes, 2005
Two Museums 53 minutes, 2005
Unschooled, 25 minutes, 2005
Vocalize, 17 minutes, 2005

BIG SKY AWARD COMPETITION FILMS
Clearcut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon, 72 minutes, 2005
Cowboy del Amour, 87 minutes, 2005
El Inmigrante, 90 minutes, 2005
Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana, 16 minutes, 2004
Last Thoughts, 72 minutes, 2005
Milepost 314, 8 minutes, 2005
Site Specifc_Las Vegas '05, 11 minutes, 2005
Teachings of the Tree People: The Work of Bruce Miller, 58 minutes, 2005
The Fire Within, 10 minutes, 2004
Walking the Line, 57 minutes, 2005

OUT OF COMPETITION FILMS
Aerosol, 22 minutes, 2005
Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World, 57 minutes, 2003
B224, 28 minutes, 2004
Bessie Cohen, 3 minutes, 2000
The Big Question, 69 minutes, 2004
The Bird People, 61 minutes, 2004
Color of Love, 69 minutes. 2004
Don't Fence Me In, 30 minutes, 2004
French Fries to Go, 14 minutes, 2002
Game Over: Kasporov and the Machine, 85 minutes, 2005
Happy Crying Nursing Home, 30 minutes, 2005
It's Like That, 7:15 minutes, 2003
Lawn, 12 minutes, 2004
Lolo Ferrari, 2 minutes, 2001
Mashallah, 73 minutes, 2004
The Mythologist, 26 minutes, 2004
NH2, 52 minutes, 2004
Noel, 5 minutes, 2005
On Hostile Ground, 72 minutes, 2000
One Shot, 50 minutes, 2004
Phase II, 87 minutes, 2003
Pleasure and Pain, 89 minutes, 2002
Post No Bills, 56 minutes, 1992
Richart, 23 minutes, 2004
Salt Men of Tibet, 110 minutes, 1998
Shulie, 30 minutes, 1967
Stranger With A Camera, 60 minutes, 2000
Taylor Chain, 33 minutes, 1981
The Venus Theory, 52 minutes, 2003

LES BLANK RETROSPECTIVE
A Well Spent Life, 44 minutes, 1971
Burden of Dreams, 94 minutes, 1982
Dizzy Gillespie, 20 minutes, 1964
Gap-Toothed Women, 31 minutes, 1987
I Went to the Dance, 84 minutes, 1989
Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge, 11 minutes, 1991
My Old Fiddle, 17 minutes, 1994
The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins, 31 minutes, 1969
The Maestro: Kind of the Cowboy Artists, 54 minutes, 1995
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, 22 minutes, 1980

visit the website at http://bigskyfilmfest.org.


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