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Big Sky Film Fest highlights for Wednesday

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Up on the Mountain

"Up on the Mountain" is an exposé of the inequities present in U.S. National Forests through the compelling stories of the mostly unseen people harvesting its most elusive crop.

The 19th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is a hybrid event. Screenings at the Wilma, Roxy, ZACC and MCT run through Feb. 27. Seating is limited; it is highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance at bigskyfilmfest.org/festival/tickets. Door sales are not guaranteed to viewers who arrive without a ticket. All tickets are good for in-person or online screenings.

Short films are available online through Thursday, March 3. Feature films will be available to view online for four days, beginning the day after the film’s last in-person screening.

Films

Competition Shorts Blocks continue. 24 short films vie for the jury prize — and automatic qualification for the Oscars — in two categories: Shorts (under 40 min.) and Mini-Doc (under 15 min.). Block 3 at 1 p.m.; Block 4 at 3:15 p.m. Wilma.

Schoolhouse Docs continue. Films curated especially for school-aged kids. Roxy, 4 p.m.

“Outta the Muck” — Pahokee, Florida, is a rural town on the banks of Lake Okeechobee. Beyond sending over a dozen players to the NFL, Pahokee has a legacy of resilience in the face of great storms and personal trauma. This film presents an intimate portrait of a family and community that resists despair with love, and remains fiercely self-determined, while forging its own unique narrative of Black achievement. World Premiere. Wilma, 5:30 p.m.

“When a City Rises” — A gripping account of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. The film follows a teenage couple in love, a student leader, and a father as they navigate a year inside the movement. Relationships break and form amidst tear gas and rubber bullets, and across the border, China’s People’s Liberation Army awaits. North American Premiere. Roxy, 6 p.m.

“Up on the Mountain” — Big Sky Centerpiece Film! Deep in the mountains of Montana and Idaho a diverse group of Southeast Asian refugees, Latino immigrants and rural white Americans search for rare fungi. Despite the sustainability of the harvest, the workers who supply these mushrooms are repeatedly denied access to public lands. An exposé of the inequities present in U.S. National Forests through the compelling stories of the mostly unseen people harvesting its most elusive crop. World Premiere. Wilma, 8 p.m.

“Dugout Dick” — A heartwarming portrait of an Idaho hermit, Richard “Dugout Dick” Zimmerman, who lived in caves that he dug on the banks of the Salmon River. It was the hope of finding precious metals that kept him digging and mining, but ultimately it was his simple life of living off the land that sustained him. World Premiere. Shorts Block 10. ZACC, 8:15 p.m.

“As I Want” — An explosion of sexual assaults takes place in Tahrir Square on the second anniversary of the revolution. In response, a massive outpouring of enraged women fill the streets. Director Samaher Alqadi picks up her camera as a form of protection and begins documenting the growing women’s rebellion. A uniquely raw and personal perspective of the Egyptian revolution from deep inside the movement. Montana Premiere. Roxy, 8:45 p.m.

Filmmakers in attendance

Q&A following film screening

“Above Boy” — Jan Vogel, Sebastian Funke, Lucy Martens, directors; Liz Silver, Chloe Thornton, producers. World Premiere. Competition Shorts 3. Wilma, 1 p.m.

“Stranger at the Gate” — Joshua Seftel, director; Richard McKinley, subject. World Premiere. Competition Shorts 4. Wilma, 3:15 p.m.

“The Trails Before Us” — Fritz Bitsoie, director; Emma Hsu Jackson, producer. World Premiere. “Time & Temperature” — Justin Foreman, director; Mathew Pindell, producer. World Premiere. Schoolhouse Docs. Roxy, 4 p.m.

“Outta the Muck” — Ira Mckinley, Bhawin Suchak, directors. Wilma, 5:30 p.m.

“To the Bone” — Andy Sarjahani, director; Johnny Carrol Sain, subject. “American Scar” — Daniel Lombroso, director. Northwest Premiere. “Seeds, The Legacy of the Land” — Fernando Valencia, director; Cristóbal Camarena González Rubio, producer. “Sentinels” — Lawrence Lerew, co-director. Shorts Block 9. ZACC, 5:45 p.m.

“When a City Rises” — Han Yan Yuen, co-director and producer. North American Premiere. Roxy, 6 p.m.

“Up on the Mountain” — Olivier Matthon, Michael Reis, directors; Alicia Dominguez, Erin Yanke, producers. Wilma, 6:15 p.m.

“Dugout Dick” — Harrod Blank, director. “Last Days of August” Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, co-director. World Premiere. “After Skid Row” — Lindsey Hagen, director. Northwest Premiere. Shorts Block 10. ZACC, 8:15 p.m.

DocShop continues! Panels and workshops all week at the Missoula Public Library. Free and open to the public. Check bigskyfilmfest.org/docshop for schedules and seat reservations.

Festival HQ: ZACC, 216 W Main St. Purchase tickets, passes, and merchandise. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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