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


Success Stories: Montana Filmmakers Make Great Strides Forward

Award Winning Team Sees Production into Shorts Fest
FireSeasonAn award winning team made up of Montana designers, filmmakers, and artists has seen their latest short feature Fire Season accepted into competition at the Palm Spring International Shorts Festival.

The Montana-built team, led by writer/director Courtney Saunders, consists of filmmakers Gita Saedi, Emily Lundin, Vera Brunner-Sung, and Brooke Swaney. The powerhouse team came together to present a new vision of the American west that utilizes a different atmosphere to present a slow burning, intense tale of two sisters and the “young man who sweeps into their lives like a prairie fire.”

Starring Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Nicole Halverson, Derek Mychaylo, and Ella Steinberg, the film premiered as part of the “Landscapes” series at the Palm Springs Festival. Billed as one of the top films for short festival premieres (along with heavy-hitters such as Cannes and Sundance), Palm Springs offers short films of every genre and a number of forums and discussions for filmmakers and buffs alike.

“Fire Season” will make its Montana premiere in mid-July in conjunction with Missoula Colony 19, an eight day writer’s workshop whose focus this year is “women creating theater”. More information about the film and its festival run may be found on the “Landscapes” page of the festival site or by contacting the film office at

Montana Short Winter Light Takes Spotlight Spread in American Cinematographer
Shooting in a Montana winter is always a risk, however, for filmmakers Julian Higgins and Andrew Wheeler, a little challenge is never enough. That’s why, once again, Higgins and Wheeler made the decision to shoot their icy, Montana thriller Winter Light on exclusively film.

Shooting on real film was not a first for the pair, however. Their thesis film, Thief, was shot on 35mm film as well and received a 2011 Student Academy Award Gold Medal. Winter Light has been a project for Wheeler and Higgins for several years and they were excited to bring it to Montana.
The spread, along with multiple production stills and photos may viewed at the Kodak website.

Notable Kickstarters
Montana filmmakers have been taking the crowdfunding world by storm these past few months. Tapping deep into the sense of community that bonds Montanans together from the from the Rocky Mountain Front to the Yellowstone River, more and more projects are getting the support they deserve. Here are some of the most recent projects to be published on the crowdfunding giant. You can see current projects and past successes on the curated Montana Film page:

BUG MovieThe Bug Movie
“The Bug Movie is a feature length documentary film about the most beloved and recognizable vehicle on Earth, the Volkswagen Beetle. This is the greatest automotive story ever told. From race car to art car and grocery getter to road warrior, the VW Beetle has served humanity in ways only limited by the owner’s creativity and needs. The Beetle has enabled progress and captured the hearts and minds of the human race over the better part of the last century. A machine rooted in practicality that has brought love and stability where there was none. A car that fulfilled dreams and gave mobility to the masses. It’s become an icon, bringing smiles to faces around the globe.” – The Bug Movie Kickstarter Page



The Alan Lane StoryAlanLane
“A true and inspiring story about a talented musician who lost his arm in a logging accident.
This is a true and inspiring story about overcoming obstacles and hardships in life. We believe stories like this need to be told.
The footage will be comprised of spectacular landscapes and time lapses around Montana, interviews with Alan and his wife at their home in the mountains near Libby MT, Alan playing intimate acoustic songs and Alan & his band 17 Mile playing at different venues around Montana.” – The Alan Lane Story Kickstarter Page



From Selma to Stonewall: Are we there yet?
“The LGBTQ rights movement is often called the new civil rights movement of today. But is that entirely true? Are they similar or fundamentally different? Are the two movements headed toward the same destination? Why aren’t we there yet? And why are they fighting in the car along the way?
We are two unlikely friends—Gil, an 80-year-old black, straight retired preacher and civil rights leader, and Marilyn, a 52-year-old white lesbian activist and author—and we wanted to find out just what lies at the conflict and the crossroads of these two important American movements.” – From Selma to Stonewall Kickstarter Page


Do you know of a Montana media kickstarter that deserves some time in the spotlight? Email the kickstarter link and some information about the project to and get them curated!




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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 •