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'Bella Vista"

In this scene from "Bella Vista," Doris (Kathleen Wise) visits the Historical Museum Fort Missoula.

Montana filmmakers are well-represented at this year's Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, which takes place next weekend in Polson.

Twenty-one in-state directors are among the 82 films from 13 countries that will be screened Friday through Sunday, according to festival co-chair Daniel Smith.

"Bella Vista," a feature film shot in Missoula and on the Flathead Indian Reservation, will be screened at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Before the film from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., director Vera Brunner-Sung and producers Jeri Rafter and Brooke Pepion Swaney will participate in a panel discussion and Q&A, share some of their short films and talk about their experiences making films in the state.

"Where God Likes to Be," a documentary about young people's lives on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, will be screened at 8 p.m. Friday and again at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The composer of the score, Tobias Wagner, will be in attendance Friday for a question-and-answer session, and two of the subjects of the movie, Andi Running Wolf and Douglas Fitzgerald, will participate as well.

Other Montana-made highlights include "Mission Mountain Wood Band: Barging In," which documents the group's Fourth of July performance on a barge just offshore on Flathead Lake. Filmmaker David W. King, who produced the viral hit "I Love Polson," used a camera-equipped drone to get aerial shots of the band on the water.

The documentary "Sitting Bull's Voice," about the Lakota spiritual leader and his great-grandson's personal journey, will screen at 8 p.m. Saturday. A Q&A with Bill Matson, the director, and Ernie LaPointe, the subject of the film, will follow the screening.

A standout among the short films is "One Armed Man," a 27-minute movie directed by Tim Guinee, whose TV acting credits include "Revolutions," "The Good Wife" and "Hell on Wheels." The screenplay was written by the late Horton Foote, who won the Academy Award for his adaptation of "To Kill A Mockingbird."

In the film, "a wealthy cotton gin executive is confronted by a disgruntled former employee demanding the return of an arm lost in the gin’s machinery," according the plot summary.

The short film, executive produced by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, was one of the judge's favorites, Smith said.

Outdoors fans can also catch "The Bec des Rosses: Mountain of Legend," a Swiss feature about ascending and free-riding a peak in the Alps. It screens at 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Among the features is director Mike Ott's "Lake Los Angeles." said its "metaphysical, near spiritual exhalation of an immigrant's experience in America is spellbinding to watch unfold." It screens at 9:30 pm. Friday.

As always, the festival will open with a party starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at KwaTaqNuk Resort.

The theme this year is “Spectacular Spectacle," and party-goers are invited to don eyewear from their favorite films such as "Top Gun," the Harry Potter movies or "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

Tickets for the party are $40, available at

Saturday’s events start at 8:30 a.m. with a free kids’ movie, "How to Train Your Dragon 2," sponsored by Polson Rotary. Free breakfast will be provided and kids are invited to wear their pajamas.

The closing-night awards ceremony, sponsored by Salish Kootenai College, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, at Showboat Cinemas. Judges will present awards for best feature-length film and best feature-length documentary, best director, best actor and actress, and more.

Award-winning films will have screenings the following week, Smith said.

The festival drew about a thousand attendees in 2014, and has doubled in attendance each year, he said.

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