First Annual Montana International Film Festival Gets Underway In September | Film News


The First Annual Montana International Film Festival has announced its main slate of over 55 films, panels and events that will run from September 14 – 16, 2018 in Billings, Montana. The inaugural festival will see six narrative and eight documentary features competing for $15,000 in cash and prizes, while the overall festival will feature nearly 60 films from over 40 countries.


“We’re excited to have had the caliber of submissions that we received, especially for a first-year festival”, said Executive Director Brian Murnion, while Programming Director Pete Tolton added: “Making the selection was a rewarding challenge. It forms an amazing foundation for both our audience and to help build our goals and reputation for the future”.


Films throughout the festival will feature the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Logan Lerman, Diane Lane, Gérard Depardieu, Rory Culkin, and Mark Boone Jr, with the best being rewarded prizes such as the first-ever MINT Spirit Award, as well as six juried awards including Best Female Director, Best Narrative Feature, and the Made In Montana award.


MINT is working to become an Oscar-qualifying festival by 2019 for Feature and Short Narratives, and is organising a film market for the 2019 festival season with select film distributors. MINT was born from filmmakers and artists endeavouring to enrich global and local film communities, and hopes to be a conduit for filmmakers to grow, expand, and connect with audiences in Billings and beyond.


The Narrative Feature competition will include films such as We Were Islands, a comedy-drama which revolves around a young stand up comedian who is approaching 30 and begins to feel the ever-mounting pressure to get married and settle down, and The Red Goodnight, in which a young aspiring boxer is lured by a powerful impresario into a dangerously compromising situation.


Other films include The Song Of Sway Lake, which stars Rory Culkin as a music collector who recruits his only friend to help him steal a valuable record from his own family’s estate, while animated feature Sgt. Stubby – American Hero will screen out of competition and feature the vocal talent of Carter, Lerman and Depardieu.


The historic Babcock Theatre in Billings will host many of the MINT screenings as it begins to re-emerge as a robust cinema thanks to the efforts of MINT. Murnion said: “The time seemed right for creating space for the unlikely moments that occur when people get together in the same room – well, rooms – at the same time to witness and engage in great storytelling”.


Opening and closing night films, panels and events will be announced shortly, while passes and individual tickets for MINT are already on sale, and are available at



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