Governor Steve Bullock on Tuesday announced a grant of $500,000 in Big Sky Film Grants to film, television, and documentary productions that will be shot in Montana.
According to a press release, the Big Sky Film Grant builds partnerships with filmmakers and production companies by providing seed funding to enable the creation of jobs in the industry.
The aim is to increase the economic impact related to filmmaking production, enhance the marketing of Montana’s tourism regions, history, and overall quality of life, and to support Montana’s filmmaking industry.
The grant money must be spent in Montana.
Here is an overview of some of the projects that have been awarded grant money:
Feature Film and Television Grant
- “RISE” (Narrative) will receive a $125,000 grant to film in Livingston. "RISE" is a heart-warming coming of age drama set within the spectacular scenery and rich history of Livingston. The story, set in the present, was inspired by true events in 1986 when Burlington Northern Railroad closed the “largest locomotive repair yards in the country.” The New York Times reported, “It is the end of the line for the company town.” Despite the odds, with a high poverty rate and lost jobs, the community pulled together, restored the old depot, turned it into a museum and made the town an artist enclave and tourist destination.
- “The Apprehension of Dr. Kaczynski” (Narrative) will receive a $50,000 grant to film in Helena and Lincoln. Ted Kaczynski, a conflicted serial bomber, pursued by his tortured memories and the FBI, finds redemption when he confronts a being who looks exactly like him, trying to destroy the world.
- “2000 Miles to Christmas” (Narrative) will receive a $48,000 grant to film in Missoula and Butte. In this tale of holiday travel gone awry, Chicago food blogger Mitch Greenfield finds his world turned upside down when he’s dumped by his fiancé the week before Christmas. When his boss offers him a chance to lick his wounds at her condo in Maui-- the very place his former fiancé is spending the holidays-- Mitch jumps at the chance to go win back his former bride-to-be.
Resident Filmmaker Grant
- The Streak” (Documentary) will receive a $7,500 grant to film in the Bitterroot Valley. The river carved the valley they call home. Entering its nineteenth year, two friends have caught a trout from the waters of the Bitterroot every month of the year, a feat that has been anything but easy. To keep "The Streak" alive Rick and Kris must battle health, the seasons, the weather, and the river itself.
- When They Were Here” (Documentary) will receive a $15,000 grant to film in locations across Montana. “When They Were Here” is a documentary that focuses on the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls’ crisis. The stories of these women and girls go beyond the statistics and figures used to define them. They were mothers; they were grandmas; they were daughters; they were loved when they were here.
- Monster Gold” (Narrative) will receive a $1,500 grant to film in Whitefish. This comedy sets out to showcase the beauty of Montana as we watch an incompetent young man constantly underestimate the harsh wilderness of Montana as he searches for a gold nugget protected by a monster named Greed.
- “Montana’s Best” (Television/Internet) will receive a $100,000 grant to film across a variety of Montana locations. Host (Julie Mac) is out to find experiences that entice both locals and visitors to the state of Montana. There are six communities that the show will visit in this 8-episode series. Julie discovers businesses and attractions that are considered the best at what they do in each location. She brings the viewer on journey to where they will meet dynamic men and women who create amazing services for the public to enjoy and learn the history of what makes a place/attraction so unique.
- “Fifth and the Dragon Knights” (Internet/Animation) will receive a $4,000 grant to film in the Paradise Valley. The popular young adult book series “Eragon” is adapted from the landscape around the Paradise Valley. As filmmakers and digital animators, we are basing everything in Montana, forest, trees, castles, knights and Dragons, but set off in another world.
- “Weekend Guide To” (Television/Internet) will receive a $20,000 grant to film in a variety of locations across Montana. This is a travel series that focuses solely on smaller towns and communities across Montana, locations that are often less-traveled to in a state known for its unique beauty.