The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is the premiere venue for non-fiction film in the American West. Big Sky offers an ideal setting for filmmakers to premiere new work and develop lasting relationships with fellow filmmakers and industry. The festival draws an audience of 20,000 and film entries from every corner of the globe to a uniquely intimate mountain town setting with a local Montana flavor.
The festival hosts over 200 visiting artists, presents an average of 150 non-fiction films, and offers a variety of exciting events throughout town. In addition to screenings, the Big Sky Doc Shop is a five-day industry event that includes panels, master classes, workshops, and The Big Sky Pitch Session. DocShop’s participants have included: HBO Documentary Films, Participant Media, BBC Storyville, CNN Films, ITVS, POV, PBS, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Doc Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Fledgling Fund and Catapult Film Fund.
The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences qualifying event for short form documentaries. The winner of the Best Mini Doc and Best Short Documentary categories automatically qualify to compete for a Documentary Short Oscar the following year. Distinguished judges from around the country chose the winners in each category during the ten day festival. Special guests of the festival have included Sam Green, John Cohen, Lucy Walker, Ondi Timoner, Barbara Kopple, Steve James, Les Blank, Robert Drew, Joe Berlinger, Doug Pray, Cazeh Zahedi, Hart & Dana Perry, Ron Mann, Brendan Canty, and many many more.