A total of 26 independent films -- ranging anywhere from features to short films and documentaries -- will be showcased at the 4th annual Bigfork Independent Film Festival at the Bigfork Center for Performing Arts in October,
Bigfork Film Festival Director Steve Shapero said all films are shot in Montana by Montana filmmakers. He noted that the event gives directors an audience to showcase their films they might otherwise not have.
“You will be amazed by the quality of the films, these are real stories, these are not people who shot their vacations, these are people who actually wrote scripts and got actors and did these films and they’re very well done and very fun to watch, and this is one of the few chances people are going to have to see these films,” said Shapero.
Originally planned for April, Shapero decided to move the festival to October due to coronavirus concerns. The event will now run from Oct. 2 until Oct. 4. He said the added time has allowed the festival to put in extra safety measures such as capacity limits, blocked off rows, and a mask requirement for all patrons.
Shapero tells MTN News the theater will be deep cleaned after each block of films and social distancing will be strongly enforced in the theater lobby.
“So we want to make it a fun event but we want to make sure it’s as safe as we can make it, so that we don’t have any issues or problems related to COVID-19 that could happen when you have people in one place,” said Shapero.
One piece new to this year’s festival is the hybrid model option, which gives viewers the chance to watch films from the comfort of their own home. Shapero said films will be loaded onto an online platform starting the day after the in-person festival and will be made available to viewers for up to three weeks.
“It gives people a chance to see them without having to necessarily be inside the theater,” said Shapero.
Shapero said online viewers will still have the chance to rate films helping determine the audience choice award winners. Click here for more information about the film festival.