Montana Film Office

Montana Film Office • 301 South Park Ave Helena, MT 59620 • tel: 800.553.4563 • 406.841.2876 • fax: 406.841.2877 • AFCI Member


Press: July 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger on Montana fire lines filming documentary on climate change

MISSOULA, Montana — Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is out on the fire lines in western Montana filming a documentary on climate change.

Fire Information Officer Nancy Guerrero says a film crew is profiling the Snake River Hotshots as they work on the lines of the 9.6-square-mile West Mullan Fire burning north of the town of Superior. Members of the National Interagency Fire Center are also on hand.

Schwarzenegger had breakfast with the fire crews Monday morning before heading out to the lines.

KECI-TV reports ( Schwarzenegger is the executive producer of the documentary, which is looking at climate change and how it impacts the fire season. It is scheduled to be aired on Showtime.

The Snake River Hotshots are based in Pocatello, Idaho.


Montana-based film debuts in Missoula

MISSOULA – The red carpet was rolled out over the weekend for the premiere of Winter in the Blood.

The film, which was shot in north central Montana in 2011, is the project of Montana natives and brothers Alex and Andrew Smith.

Tickets for the Saturday showings had been sold out all week for the special in state premiere.

The Roxy Theater, where it was shown, is a non-profit theatre that shows new and classic films.

Mary Plumage says she came to see the film because the book is based where she grew up.

“There are a lot of family names that I know from over there from the book like Lame bull that we’re excited to see in the film. Just to see a lot of past ancestors to see how the film turns out,” she explained.

The Roxy Theatre presents screenings of new and classic films from around the world each week, starting on Aug. 2.


For lead actor, long wait worth it for ‘Winter in the Blood’

Courtesy of ‘Winter in the Blood’

by Cory Walsh | July 21, 2013

If it felt like a long wait to finally see “Winter in the Blood” at its Montana premiere Saturday in Missoula, imagine how Chaske Spencer feels.

The lead actor was attached to the project for upward of a year before filming began on the Smith brothers’ independent adaptation of the late James Welch’s novel.

“The research was done, I did all my homework. I was just waiting to shoot,” Spencer said in a phone interview ahead of his trip to Missoula. “I felt like a racer, because you’re already on the starting point, just waiting for the gun. So I was ready to go.”

Spencer plays the lead role of Virgil First Raise, a man searching for an heirloom gun, his estranged wife and reconciliation with his past on a Montana Indian reservation. Spencer, best known as the werewolf Sam in “Twilight,” says he signed on because it’s a type of role he hadn’t been able to play yet.

“As an actor, I just thought the character was very rich,” he said.

Read the full article here.


Deep thaw: From book to screen, Winter in the Blood finds its way home


Courtesy of Missoula Independent

by Nick Davis | July 18, 2013

Back in 2002, Alex and Andrew Smith were riding a wave of good fortune, creative vision and hard work. The Missoula-raised writer-director twin brothers, sons of noted local author and documentarian Annick Smith, had just released their first feature film, The Slaughter Rule, to high critical acclaim.

Over the next five years, they worked on a half-dozen film scripts covering an array of genres and formats, but the initial green lights on every one of those projects eventually turned red. Frustrated, they began thinking about following their hearts back to Montana, to the landscape that had birthed The Slaughter Rule. That quest ultimately led them to Winter in the Blood, the first novel from James Welch.

Read the full article here.


Much-anticipated film “Winter in the Blood” has its Montana premiere this weekend in Missoula


Photo by Ken Billington


The new Montana-made film “Winter in the Blood” received a warm reception at its recent premiere at the Los Angeles film festival, and will have its Montana premiere this Saturday evening in Missoula. The film is based on the acclaimed novel by the late Montana author James Welch – who was a family friend of the film’s directors, brothers Alex and Andrew Smith. Both the novel and the movie give a harsh but authentic portrait of growing up on Montana’s Blackfeet reservation and the hi-line, where it was filmed. In this feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with Alex and Andrew Smith about their desire to make the film as true to the novel as possible.

Listen to the interview at


‘Winter in the Blood’ film debuts, stays Montana-true, powerful

A new star has appeared on the horizon in the form of actor Chaske Spencer, lead actor in “Winter in the Blood,” an independent film that made its home-state debut recently at a packed but intimate screening at The Roxy Theater in Missoula.

Spencer stars for Missoula siblings Alex Smith and Andrew J. Smith, who stay true to the late James Welch’s acclaimed 1974 novel about a sensitive young man coming to terms with tough living conditions and alcohol-fueled coping strategies on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

Spencer’s heritage includes Lakota Sioux, Nez Perce, Cherokee, Creek, French and Dutch. He grew up in Idaho and Montana and has played key roles in the Twilight series, “Skins,” “Dreamkeeper” and “Into the West.”

A true hunk in every sense of the word, the tall, dark, muscular Spencer can flat-out act, especially when words are not necessary to carry a scene.

Through a series of flashbacks to his childhood and discovery of his father’s frozen, drunken body in a snow bank, Spencer, as Virgil First Raise, tries to makes sense of losing several family members. But that’s merely a piece of his heart-wrenching puzzle.

Read the full article here.



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Montana Film Office • 301 South Park Ave Helena, MT 59620 • tel: 800.553.4563 • 406.841.2876 • fax: 406.841.2877 •