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Montana Film Office

Jun
10
2011
June 2011 – Press & News

cliffFilmmaker debuts horror flick online

BadFritter Films latest project is 15 minutes long and features only two words of dialogue. Producer Adam Pitman, of Whitefish, says that many who tune in to watch the online premiere this Sunday will have a lot of questions.

“And those questions won’t get answered,” Pitman told the Pilot.

He admits the horror short “Cliff Lake” — shot entirely at Cliff Lake near Tally Lake — is a convoluted and artistic experiment, and “some people won’t like it.” But the home grown film company is betting that it will please the horror connoisseurs who follow the crew and possibly lead to a bigger TV or online series. The film company known for producing the award-winning flicks “Roulette” and “Paper Dolls” filmed “Cliff Lake” last summer. Since then, the crew of Pitman, director Adam Stilwell and producer David Blair went their separate ways in search of steady work. With Pitman in Whitefish, Blair in Arizona and Stilwell in Los Angeles, the trio edited and wrapped up the short. They decided the best way to release the film was via the Internet.

Click here for a PDF of the full article by Matt Baldwin of the Whitefish Pilot.


winter11‘Winter in the Blood’ to begin filming

Summer may have just begun, but two Missoula filmmakers are planning to bring “Winter in the Blood” back to the Hi-Line in the next few months.

The 1974 novel by James Welch, the late writer of Blackfeet and Gros Ventres bloods, is being directed for the screen by Alex and Andrew Smith, Montana-born award-winning filmmakers and professors at the Universities of Texas and Montana respectively. The brothers were raised on a ranch about 30 miles outside of Missoula, where Welch used to spend time and in fact met his wife, they said. As they grew older, “Winter in the Blood” not only grabbed them, but has held on to this day.

“As teenagers it really helped us, ” Alex said. “We’ve read it several times over the years, using it as a map home, something to get strength from. ”

It’s that strength that they want to share with all of the unfortunate non-Montanans.

“We feel Montana has been under-filmed, ” Alex said. “So we were excited to bring a bunch of film folks up to Montana. ”

As most of the story of novel was heavily drawn from Welch’s life, growing up on a ranch on Fort Belknap, the Smiths say that they couldn’t imagine filming this novel anywhere else but here, and on the Hi-Line in particular.

The brothers said that throughout the filmmaking process, they’ve faced pressure to film the movie in other parts of the state, like near Bozeman, or even in Canada, where the production could get larger tax breaks, but they’ve insisted on the Hi-Line.

Click here for a PDF of the full article by Zach White of the Havre Daily News.


lastFilm could be shot locally, if funding is secured

An independent feature film focused on a fictional Crow youth and his family will be made in Montana this fall, if funding can be secured. The producer of “Last Man Stands” is Petra Ahmann of Silverline Cinema in New York City. Ahmann is a 2004 graduate of Laurel High School. Alex Portugal, also of Silverline, wrote the screenplay and will direct the full-length film.

Locations for the movie could include Laurel, Hardin, the Crow Reservation and other local spots. Ahmann and Portugal were in town for about 10 days to solidify more of the production details. Most of the cast is already in place, Portugal said, with Alex Meraz, one of the wolves from the “Twilight” movies in the lead role of Taylor Brewer. Irene Bedard, who plays the part of his mother, is best known as the voice of Pocahontas in the Disney movie of the same name. Raoul Trujillo, who has a part in the upcoming “Cowboys and Aliens,” has been cast in the role of Taylor’s father, and Chaske Spencer, another “Twilight” wolf, has the role as Taylor’s older brother.

“Last Man Stands” is the first full-length movie the pair has tackled, Ahmann said. They met three years ago, Portugal added, when he directed a short film called “B-Hurst” on which Ahmann worked as line producer.

Click here for a PDF of the full article by Susan Olp of the Billings Gazette.


MarketingFilm Office Wins AFCI Marketing Awards The Montana Film Office won several awards for their marketing initiatives at the recently-attended AFCI Locations Show in Los Angeles, CA. The AFCI Marketing Awards is a global competition encouraging film commissions to put forth winning components of their marketing and advertising campaigns. An independent judging panel of professional marketers and entertainment industry experts assessed each entry according to the criteria and selected finalists. The Montana Film Office received awards in the following categories:

• Campaigns: 2nd Place – Print Advertising Ad Series (click here to download a PDF of the ad series)
• Other/Specialty Item: 1st place – Montana Film Office Magic Cube
• Digital Video: 3rd place – Studio 406 DVD, “Montana. The Ultimate Location” (click here to watch web series)