Here's the lineup for the final day of the all-virtual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.
This is the final day to watch films! The virtual cinema closes at midnight tonight. Any film or shorts block being viewed at that time will stream to its conclusion.
All 50 short films remain available to view. There are 13 blocks of short films, each of which can be accessed by one single-screening ticket or one bundle/pass use.
More than a half-dozen feature films remain available to view, including the closing weekend feature “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust” (live Q&A, 6 p.m.). All competition-winning films have been reopened for viewing: “Águiles (Eagles)” and “The Roots Weaver” (Mini-Doc); “Meltdown in Dixie” (Short); “Red Heaven” and “Victoria” (Big Sky Award); “The Snow Calls” and “Il Mio Corpo” (Feature).
Spotlight — Made in Montana (Live Q&A)
“The Orange Candidate” — An outsider runs for office in a small Montana town. World premiere. Mini-Doc Competition. (8 min). “Bitterroot” —A filmmaker explores his parents’ marriage and the Montana valley that defined it. World premiere. Big Sky Award Competition. (15 min). “Life in the Slow Lane” — Lois is 83. Getting old sucks, but she’s rolling with it. When age slows her down, what does she do in her spare time? She bowls. Satisfying Lois’s competitive spirit, bowling keeps her active and relieved from the social isolation many older Montanans are facing at staggering rates. World premiere. (17 min). “Born to Work” — Shot over a period of 16 years, "Born to Work" is a contemplative portrait of 93-year-old John Hoiland, as he works his ranch in Sweetgrass, Montana. North American premiere (28 min).
Live Q&A with Kelly Bouma (director, “Life in the Slow Lane”); Adam Meeks (director, “Bitterroot”), Raymond and Maryellen Meeks (subjects, “Bitterroot”); Ryan Weibush (director, “The Orange Candidate”). 4 p.m.
Spotlight — Shorts Block 7: Onward
“Seahorse” — Against the prosaic backdrop of a community pool, a young Yezidi girl wrestles quietly with her traumatic memories of the Mediterranean Sea. North American premiere. Short Competition. (16 min). “Driven” — In a world of adrenaline and speed, a quadriplegic race car driver pushes to keep his dream alive. World premiere. Short Competition. (17 min). “Alone Out Here” — In the era of catastrophic climate change Jon Wright, a gay farmer, is faced with a dilemma. His 22-year commitment to transform the genetics of his bull herd is pitted against the attitudes of the beef industry. Through his journey of loss and survival, we learn what it takes to be true to yourself, at any cost. Northwest premiere. (23 min). “Rust” — Mariola Wawrzusiak-Borcz is an artist-welder. She roams post-industrial landscapes in search of scrap metal to use in her artwork, using the material to create sculptures of endangered animals and children affected by war. Her critique of the ravages of civilization drives her obsessive need to create. North American premiere. Short Competition. (30 min).
Prerecorded Q&A with directors Luke Cornish (“Alone Out Here”), Cody Wilson (“Driven”), Rafal Malecki (“Rust”), and Nele Dehnenkamp (“Seahorse”).
Spotlight — Shorts Block 10: In the System
“Party Line” — At the early voting line in Ohio’s most populous county, civic duty is made public. World premiere (7 min). “Frida” — In 2017, when the strongest earthquake in a century hits Mexico, 12-year-old Frida survives under the rubble of an elementary school. The whole country is following every step of her rescue through 24-hour media coverage when the story takes a very strange twist. Northwest premiere. (19 min). “The Golden Buttons” — An observational portrait that reveals the inner world of child cadets, from the first machine gun in their hands to their future as fighters in The National Guard of the Russian Federation. U.S. Premiere. (20 min). “The Interview” — For incarcerated people serving life sentences in New York State, the parole board is their only hope of release. But how do you convince a group of strangers that you are more than the worst thing you ever did? World premiere. Short Competition. (20 min). “Blood on Our Side” — In the city of Juarez, Ana Gonzalez works day in and day out on the forensic team. The work is relentless and emotionally exhausting, compounded by cartel violence. As Ana grapples with the sheer volume of homicides in one of the region’s deadliest cities, she and her team undergo a special departmental inspection. If they pass, Ana’s team will receive crucial support from the U.S. government to help them with their investigations. Northwest Premiere. (27 min).
Prerecorded Q&A with Pho Si Teng (producer, “Blood on Our Side”), Laura Tejero Núñez (director, “Frida”), Jonathan Miller and Zachary Russo (co-directors, “The Interview”), and Lydia Cornett (director, “Party Line”).
The 18th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is an all-virtual affair. Our online platform is super user-friendly. It allows viewers to browse film selections, pre-order and watch films on their phones, tablets, computers or TV screens. Details on how to sign up and purchase single-screening tickets, five-film bundles, and festival passes can be found at bigskyfilmfest.org.
Note: Feature films generally have a four-day window in which they can be viewed. When a viewer unlocks a film or a shorts block, they have 48 hours to begin watching. Once viewing has begun, there is a 24-hour window in which to finish watching. Nearly all films have a virtual Q&A with the filmmakers — included in the price of the ticket — and a number of those Q&As will be live, so viewers can participate.