"Winter Light," a short adaptation of a James Lee Burke story, has made the final 10 list for the 2015 Academy Award for live action short films.
The five nominees will be announced Jan. 14.
The movie was directed by Julian Higgins and shot on film in the Missoula area in winter 2014, including scenes on the University of Montana campus, in the Jocko Valley and at Accu-Arms, a gun dealership on South Third Street West.
"It's a tremendous honor that 'Winter Light' has been selected to the shortlist," Higgins wrote in an email. "We never could have predicted this. It's the furthest thing from your mind when you're making a movie, especially knee-deep in snow in Jocko Canyon in a blizzard at midnight in February. It has been an incredible journey to this point, and I know I speak for the entire team when I say we are just so grateful."
The movie was produced by TV and film actor Josh Pence and co-produced by Abigail Spencer ("Mad Men" and "True Detective" season two). Raymond J. Berry ("Justified" and "Born on the Fourth of July") stars as an isolated and stubborn college professor who enters into an escalating conflict with two hunters, played by Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell on "Mad Men") and Pence.
Higgins, a young director who won a 2011 Student Academy Award, adapted the story himself and raised money online to shoot in Burke's home territory. The filming coincided with that winter's strongest snowstorm.
The 30-minute film screened in Missoula this past July.