BZN International Film Festival goes virtual

Third annual event delivers films, interviews via online platform Aug. 27-Sept. 5

New & Notable

The third annual BZN International Film Festival goes virtual Aug. 27-Sept. 5.

“Out of an abundance of caution we have decided to take the festival to an online-only platform,” says Artistic Managing Director Beth Ann Kennedy.

“BZN’s virtual pass includes more content than has ever been available to BZN audiences,” she notes. “For the first time, the BZN experience will be available to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.”

The virtual event will include more than 40 interviews and panel discussions with filmmakers, actors and community members, as well as more than 110 independent films, including all of 2020’s offerings, plus selected films from 2018 and 2019.

Inspired by true events, this year's experimental short award goes to "Umbrella."
Inspired by true events, this year’s experimental short award goes to “Umbrella.”

“This year’s festival focuses on solution-based films that offer strategies to help heal ourselves, our families, businesses, the country and the world during this challenging time,” says Kennedy.

The pass includes access to this year’s award winners:

  • Glenn Close, who received the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her performance in the feature film “Albert Nobbs” was lauded by The New York Times as “dazzling and infinitely resourceful”;
  • “Umbrella,” an experimental short about Joseph, a boy whose only dream is to have a yellow umbrella;
  • “For Walter and Josh,” a documentary feature that examines the historical trauma and other factors contributing to the Indigenous suicide epidemic through the experience of a Flathead Indian Reservation basketball team that lost two members to suicide.
  • “Two Yellow Lines,” a narrative feature about a father and daughter who embark on a motorcycle trip across Montana.
  • “The Great American Lie,” an examination of the deep roots of systemic inequalities through a unique gender lens, won the BZN Spirit Award; and “Saving African Species,” a collection of short documentaries made by some of Africa’s leading filmmakers, claimed the Ted Turner Award for “the film that most inspires environmental stewardship.”

The festival’s 18 documentary features roam around the globe, from “100 Days of Solitude,” about one man’s quest to live for 100 days in a cabin in the mountains of Redes Natural Park,” to “Bamboo and Barbed Wire,” the story of Lubna Al Aboud, who immigrated at age 15 to rural Idaho, as Syria crumbled amidst deadly gas attacks and bombings, to “Lords of Water,” which investigates the financialization of water across three continents, and “Microplastic Madness,” about fifth graders in NYC who are driving a youth-led plastic-free movement.

A slew of documentary shorts focus on everything from saving the Louisiana bayou, to a portrait of a Pawnee-Cree moccasin maker, to the story of a man and the forest that survived Rwanda’s darkest period.

Ten intriguing feature films and several narrative shorts (three made in Montana) are also part of the lineup.

Virtual passes are $125, and veterans, first responders and all Bozeman community members receive 25% off by using the discount code BZN2020 when purchasing a pass here.

By purchasing a virtual pass, audiences will receive access to all films and interviews, as well as discounts for products and services from sponsors.