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The 9th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival announced this year’s award winning films in the four competitive categories: Best Feature, Big Sky Award, Best Short Film and Best Mini Doc (under 15 minutes) on Thursday evening at a ceremony at The Loft in downtown Missoula. Each category winner will receive $500, courtesy of The Documentary Channel.

FEATURE FILM COMPETITION  The Best Feature prize was awarded to Jeff Orlowsskis CHASING ICE,  about National Geographic environmental photographer James Blalog.  Jurors Amy Shattsky and Ben Fowlie called the film, an extremely timely and important documentary about one man’s journey to demonstrate global warming in action by photographing the recession of the glaciers. Touching, terrifying and informative, we feel the highs, lows, frustrations and joys of the ultimate success of his experiment. Through a patient and thoughtful filmmaking approach, the director vividly captures the power and awe of the glaciers falling apart. As they recede into the ocean, the glaciers cry out, warning us of the peril that our planet is in.

SHORT FILM COMPETITION  Reva Goldberg and Caveh Zahedi awarded the Short Film prize to Matt Leighs BLUE RINSE, a sweet observational film set in a Dublin hair salon.  They also awarded an Artistic Vision Award to KUDZU VINE by Josh Gibson.

MINI-DOC COMPETITION  Yance Ford awarded the Mini Doc awarded to MR SMITHS PEACH SEEDS, Stewart Copelands beautifully realized portrait of Tennessee folk artist Roger Smith.

BIG SKY AWARD  Brian Bolsters film THE LOOKOUT received the Big Sky Award, presented by filmmakers Marshall Curry and Beth Harrington. In addition, Audrey Halls film about portrait artist Hugh Wilson was give an Artistic Excellence Award.

All awarded films will re-screen the final weekend of the festival.


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