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Montana middle-schoolers can enter wildlife film fest art contest

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Vaquita sign

A WildWalk Parade participant holds a Vaquita sign aloft during the march down Higgins Avenue on April 13, 2019. A team of documentarians handed out 10 Vaquita signs to represent the 10 dolphin-like animals left in the world.

Montana middle-schoolers are sought for a project that covers wildlife and visual storytelling.

The International Wildlife Film Festival, the “Endangered: Short Tales For The Nearly Forgotten” podcast, and the University of Montana's Broader Impacts Group are celebrating Earth Day and the 45th International Wildlife Film Festival by offering a storyboarding art contest for middle school students. Winning student storyboards will be exhibited at the festival in the Missoula Public Library at spectrUM Discovery Area from April 22-May 7. Winners will also receive IWFF passes, spectrUM memberships, and cash prizes. Storyboard art should be submitted by March 25.

Participants are invited to participate in a virtual course that outlines elements of storytelling, personal expression, and drawing techniques from professional storyboard artist Vincent Lee.

This opportunity is ideal for individuals, after-school clubs, classrooms and more. Through the short virtual lessons, participants are given the assignment of selecting one of the seven short stories from the “Endangered: Short Tales For The Nearly Forgotten” podcast to bring the story to life on the page. The endangered species featured are the fairy possum, African white-backed vulture, black-footed ferret, golden dart frog, saola, axolotl and the humphead wrasse. Email to get involved. This project is remotely accessible and is free to all Montana middle school-aged students.

A jury will select winning storyboard art to be featured in “The Nearly Forgotten Endangered Exhibition” at spectrUM Discovery Area in the Missoula Public Library. The exhibit will include QR codes to the stories, hands-on learning activities, and additional information about each featured species.

Interested artists should submit their work by March 25 to IWFF for review. To submit, scan your artwork and email it to or send artwork in the mail to the Roxy Theater, 718 S. Higgins Ave. Missoula MT 59801. The film festival is April 23-30 and available virtually May 1-7. Visit for more information.

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