Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2015: Top Five Towns

 

missoula

4. Missoula, Montana

It’s hard to confine all that’s going on in the Big Sky town of Missoula in this space… To go along with the dramatic landscapes, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF) call Missoula home, as does the Montana Film Academy, which offers camps and classes to young people sponsored by the Montana Film Office, and the Roxy Theatre, a popular venue for screenings of made-in-Montana films.

Overall, these come together under the mission of the Montana Film Office: “encouraging and stimulating the growth of local filmmakers in state,” said Mike Steinberg, Executive Director of the IWFF and the Roxy.

The beautiful landscape of Missoula, Montana, as captured in Vera Brunner-Sung's Bella Vista

Mission Valley, north of Missoula, in Vera Brunner-Sung’s Bella Vista. Courtesy of Slowtale LLC

One of the films shot in 2014 and recently screened at the Roxy was Vera Brunner-Sung’s powerful Bella Vista, which centers on outsiders in the Missoula community, set against the isolation of some of the Montana landscapes. The film’s team included students from the University of Montana’s School of Media Arts.

“The Montana Film Office and its Big Sky Film Grant were a huge support,” Brunner-Sung said. “The typical attitude was, ‘How can I help?’ People gave us a hand tracking down equipment, offered discounts on their day rates, made us lunch, volunteered to PA for a few days. Homegrown support has been especially key for us, working on a tiny budget. I feel fortunate to have found a team here that was dedicated to making this film happen.”

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2 Comments

  1. Megan Torgerson

    January 21, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Filmmaker’s new social media platform is along the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana too! Theauienceawards.com, check it out. It’s connecting filmmakers, film festivals, people in the industry and cinephiles from around the world!

    • Gina Lazarowich

      January 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Vancouver, BC Canada is the BEST place to shoot movies (and TV) and live here…with being one of the #1 most beautiful cities in the world, it’s ideal to shoot…A-list crews, healthy lifestyle living for the Actors, Directors and Producers that fly in and end up living here…and only 2.5 hours from LA!…should I mention the 33% tax incentive for shooting here AND the dropping Canadian dollar, all add up to why we are called “Hollywood North”.

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