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BZN FILM SCEHDULE

January 27 – 28, 2023

Hosted by the Emerson Center for Arts & Culture

Friday, January 27th

4:00PM

HANDSHAKE

Genre: Narrative Feature
Length: 112 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Robert Shupe

After a chance encounter in the Montana wilderness, mild mannered family man Bill Burdick and failed drug dealer Devin Fowler form an unlikely bond, and soon find themselves concocting an unorthodox scheme to resolve their respective financial debts. But when their plan yields a series of unexpected consequences, the nature of their fast friendship and the morality of their shared crime is called into question. Loosely based on actual events and set against a perilous contemporary American west,Handshake charts the enigmatic trajectory of two ordinary men whose toxic chemistry and dire circumstances give way to greed, violence and far-reaching psychological trauma.

6:00PM

OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION

Join us in the Emerson Ballroom adjacent to the theater for hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Mingle with filmmakers and fellow film enthusiasts before the evening screenings.

7:30PM

Followed by Q&A

ATTACK AND RELEASE

Genre: Documentary Short
Length: 15 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Tom Attwater

After moving with his family to the U.S. from Sri Lanka, Ranga lost his father to an unexpected heart attack. Coping with the loss eventually led him to Montana, where he was drawn to the magic of fly fishing and the solace of the river. Through being in nature and meeting the challenges of his personal journey, he learned the importance of mindfulness and living life with an open heart.

8:00PM

Followed by Panel Discussion with members from WestWater Research and the Tribal Waters film: Darren Calhoun, Wes Martel, Bryan David, Cassidy White and Andy Fischer.

TRIBAL WATERS

Genre: Documentary Feature
Length: 50 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Jon Klaczkiewicz

The Shoshone people have lived on the eastern slope of the Wind River mountains for more than 10,000 years—this water runs deep for them. They pray alongside the river. They pray for the river. They pray with the river. But what happens when your river is highjacked by a ruthless system that would stop at nothing to control the resource?

Directed by Jon Klaczkiewicz, TRIBAL WATERS, a film by Teton Gravity Research presented by Patagonia, documents the course and history of the magnificent Wind River, now the home waters of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes. The story of the Wind is a record of stolen ancestral lands, insatiable agricultural demands and a mercurial, unreliable American justice system. Through the eyes of Darren Calhoun, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and a descendent of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, we experience a river that impacts everything it touches—from the price of next season’s crops to a native culture, history and way of life.

Saturday, January 28th

10:30AM

THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

Genre: Narrative Feature
Length: 84 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Michael Pomeroy

A recent college graduate in Columbus, Ohio seeks agency when his girlfriend moves away and Corporate America fails to meet his expectations, with the help of his freewheeling co-worker.

NARRATIVE SHORTS

12:30PM

A BEAUTIFUL AND VIOLENT PLACE

Genre: Narrative Short
Length: 10 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Sam T. McFarland

In this Neo-American western, Joel returns home to avenge the death of his first love. Searching for retribution in the decaying landscape of his childhood, he soon learns that closure cannot be found through acts of violence.

12:45PM

HOMESTEAD

Genre: Narrative Short
Length: 14 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Skye Grace Bennett

When renowned painter Tessa Smith returns home to her Montana muse, she must also face her past. Now an established artist due to her depictions of the American West, she is forced to reconcile her outward success with the very land and relationships that made her.

1:05PM

Director Caleb Morgan and star Ben Tjaden are graduates of the MSU Bozeman Film School and will host a Q&A after the film.

MCCARTHY 21

Genre: Narrative Short
Length: 10 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Caleb Morgan

Ronald is kicked out of his parent’s house after breaking an unbreakable family tradition. Now he needs to decide whether it’s worth earning his way back in, or becoming his own man.

1:35PM

WHAT I KNEW HE COULD BE

Genre: Narrative Short
Length: 16 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Preston Taylor

Damien (Devenaire), a man riddled with grief and remorse from the loss of his brother Darius (A.J. Ware), seeks help at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in the city. Mason (Sky Crystal), a patron of the N.A. group, attempts to befriend Damien. What begins as a casual evening quickly turns into an emotional revelation that forces both men to re-evaluate their past selves & addictions.

1:55PM

TOUCH

Genre: Narrative Short
Length: 15 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Cat Dale

TOUCH is a story about the power of love and how we pass that from one generation to the next. Riley and her grandmother, Nana, always had a special relationship, mostly centered around baking. Riley’s mother, Babs, never understood this connection, nor had much in common with her daughter. When Nana is put into hospice, Babs tries to help Riley accept that Nana will not be around forever. Riley’s whole world is thrown into doubt, but when she finds a mysterious recipe at Nana’s bakery, it creates an opportunity for the three generation of women to forgive past wrongs.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

3:00PM

GRIT: A COWGIRL STORY

Genre: Documentary Short
Length: 6 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Jack LaCalle

This short film offers a glimpse into the life of Paige Rasmussen, a championship-winning rodeo athlete and college student at Montana State University.

3:10PM

HEARTBREAK COUNTRY

Genre: Documentary Short
Length: 25 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Edward Tyndall

The remains of thousands of undocumented immigrants lie undiscovered in the remote and inhospitable landscape of Brooks County, TX. The bodies that have been found were often buried in poorly marked graves, many interred in trash bags and other makeshift containers, a consequence of one of the poorest counties in the United States being overwhelmed by a migrant death crisis that has been unfolding for decades. Heartbreak Country explores attempts by the non-profit organization Operation Identification and the South Texas Human Rights Center to locate, exhume, and identify the dead from this heartbreaking humanitarian crisis. The film also explores the search and recovery efforts of the Texas State Guard and the controversial apprehension efforts of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit. Through interviews and observational footage, the film adds another important facet to the ongoing discussion about migrant issues and immigration reform in the United States. 

3:40PM

YUPIIT: EYE OF BOTH WORLDS

Genre: Documentary Short
Length: 29 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Stephanie Alton

In a remote village in Alaska, local singer/songwriter Byron Nicholai engages a new generation of Yupik natives using rap and beatboxing. Retelling traditional stories, he is helping young people forge a stronger connection to their cultural heritage and values, including music and dance, subsistence hunting, and protection of the environment. These lessons are now passed down by Nicholai.

4:15PM

1/23/03

Genre: Documentary Feature
Length: 42 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Lee Anthony Potts

On a snowy day in January, 2003. Tragedy struck a small town in southwest Montana when a car crash claimed the lives of three high school boys and their teacher. Told from the perspectives of family and friends, 1-23-03 examines the events of the day while serving as a tribute to those lost and the ones who carry on their story.

6:00PM

FILMMAKERS RECEPTION

Private Reception for filmmakers, film students and invited guests at Old Main Gallery located at 129 East Main Street.

8:00PM

ASCEND: REFRAMING DISABILITY IN THE OUTDOORS

Genre: Documentary Short
Length: 10 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Faith E. Briggs

Vasu is not seeking to inspire you to feel good. His trauma doesn’t exist solely to benefit the education of others. He is seeking to inspire you to move mountains. To take action. Skiing is the method, but the real mountains are the “isms” that fail to support Disabled communities, communities of color and so many others for whom access has not been a right. Through his personal journey and approaching a new objective, the famed line “The Skillet” on Mt. Moran, and through over 40,000 “dips to Nirvana,” we hear his truth and begin to comprehend what it might look like to be in solidarity.

8:15PM

SKYLINE

Genre: Documentary Short
Length: 28 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Kael Van Buskirk

Filmed over two years by director Kael Van Buskirk, Skyline follows Jonny Zaugg, a young Swiss-American mountaineer from Southwestern Colorado, as he attempts to complete the first ever traverse of the Sneffels Skyline, all the while confronting his struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide. With nearly 40 miles of perilous ridge lines, a complete lack of water, and serious isolation, Jonny must utilize his years of experience navigating the harrowing complexity of both the mountains and his mind to achieve a dream six years in the making. Through deep introspection, Jonny seeks the discipline to achieve an athletic feat in a self-effacing ethic worthy of this life-giving range—under 24 hours, and alone.

8:50PM

Followed by Q&A

MAVERICKS

Genre: Documentary Feature
Length: 55 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Scott Sterling

Derived from thrilling international competitions, compelling home videos and original cinematography, Mavericks tells the fascinating, timeless story of Montana’s untold freestyle legacy, through the struggles, victories, and journeys of some of the state’s most renowned skiers, as they share a common bond that is the unbreakable Montana spirit.