Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Missoula

Mark Barnett
Last Updated: February 15th, 2023

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has so far spanned two decades and is known as a key hub for non-fiction film-making in the U.S. Western regions.

The event provides the opportunity for filmmakers to showcase new offerings and help build long-term industry collaborations and connections.

With attendance figures well over the 20,000 mark, this top-rated festival draws film buffs to Missoula from across the globe and is one of the biggest annual events to hit the region for cinemagoers and documentary lovers.

Guide to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

documentary film festival
Image: Lisa Ronald

Why Was the Festival Established?

The purpose of the event is to bring film-making tales from across the globe into the mountain town regions and provide support for documentary filmmakers.

The events are designed to engage and expand the documentary film community while developing the field of information and knowledge related to the subject. The festival is described as ‘hybrid’ in that the festival program in Big Sky’s virtual cinema can be followed from virtually anywhere.

What Kind of Activities and Entertainment are Featured?

why was the festival established
Image: Lisa Ronald

The event plays host to a couple of hundred guest artists, and an average of 150 non-fiction films get screened throughout the festival and offers a variety of exciting events at the town’s historic theatre.

Aside from that, there’ll be a 5-day industry affair known as the Big Sky DocShop. This segment of the festival features various workshops, panels, master classes, and pitch sessions.

Some of the former participants involved in these highly-regarded sessions include HBO Documentary Films, The New York Times Op-Docs, and ESPN Films.

Do I Need Tickets?

activities and entertainment
Image: bigskyfilmfest

You bet you do. There are various entrance packages and festival passes that allow entrants the best access to hundreds of films, live performances, and industry networking events.

The All Access pass allows entrants to get fully into the festival experience. This means access to all movie screenings along with workshops and special events like DocShop.

The All Screening Pass allows admission to every public film screening, while the slightly less-indulgent  5-Film Pass lets attendees select five films for viewing as well as the option for in-person or online screenings. The Virtual Pass will allow either individual or complete household virtual access.

All tickets are available HERE for sale in late January. There may be a Holiday Sale on some of the pass options throughout December, and you can see the details and prices from a previous event HERE.

Where is the Venue for the Event?

venue for the event
Image: marcmoss

The annual 10-day event takes place in downtown Missoula at several venues like the historic Wilma Theatre, Zootown Arts Community Center, and Missoula Community Theater.


Related Articles

About The Author

Mark Barnett

Mark Philip is a writer and lifestyle enthusiast from the Midlands in the U.K. With a background in martial arts and fitness, Mark headed out to Bangkok, Thailand where he now lives and works. Mark has authored e-books, articles, and blogs across a wide range of topics for commercial, educational, factual, lifestyle and leisure-based purposes.

Leave a Comment