February is Full of Fantastic Local Film Festivals
The weather has been nudging people indoors this month, and some convenient film festivals in Missoula and the Bitterroot are waiting for you. Of course, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has garnered lots of national attention, with its huge lineup of non-fiction entries, starting February 16 at the Wilma, the Elks Lodge, and the MCT Center for the Performing Arts, all within a few blocks of each other in downtown Missoula. It has films showing through February 24. Check their website to see the avalanche of films they've scheduled. A few of those films will be shown at a free mini-festival in Hamilton Monday, February 18, when the MAPS Media Institute presents "Film Makers in the Schools." It runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the South 6th and Madison Street location.
Before all that, the Backcountry Film Festival is taking over the Community Room of Hamilton's City Hall on South 2nd Street Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., for an evening of ten short films that comprise the 14th Annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival. It is touring 100 cities and was recently in Missoula. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is $10. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The presentation is sponsored by the Montana Wilderness Association's Shining Mountains Chapter. Another film festival is Sunday, February 17, when the International Fly Fishing Film Festival will be at Hamilton's Pharaohplex Cinema, with doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the fishing films from around the world starting at 11 a.m. Advance tickets are $13 at the Bitter Root Water Forum office or Freestone Fly Shop. Admission at the door is $15. The movies are followed by a Reels N Brews gathering at the Bitterroot Brewery from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., a fundraiser for the Bitter Root Water Forum. And, we're in the midst of the Bitterroot Public Library's annual Documentary and Narrative Film Series. Two more free presentations are scheduled - Thursday, February 14, "The New Fire" by David Schumacher and Thursday, February 21, "Night Will Fall" by Andre Singer. The films will be shown in the library meeting room at 7 p.m., 306 State Street in Hamilton. Check their calendar for more information.