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Youth Education

The Big Sky Film Institute offers exciting educational programs that promote media literacy, opportunities for students, filmmakers, and families to access, evaluate, create, reflect and engage in discourse on documentary film. BSFI is dedicated to bringing film education opportunities to Montanans and visiting filmmakers alike during the BSDFF and throughout the year. 

Explore our diverse programs for all ages to create, learn, and enjoy documentary film:

DocShop - DocShop is a 5-day conference for filmmakers and professionals, to discuss the art and impact of filmmaking. For all media makers and enthusiasts, DocShop tackles the filmmaking process through panels, workshops, pitches, screenings and presentations – invaluable continuing education for the veteran and emerging filmmaker. 

Filmmakers in the Schools - BSDFF filmmakers are invited to screen their films in classrooms all over Western Montana, giving students the unique opportunity to ask questions, voice opinions, and dive deeper into the content of each film.

Native Filmmaker Initiative - The NFI aims to bring more Indigenous stories to the festival, support and engage the American Indian media arts community and have a greater impact on community youth. The initiative includes special festival programming, educational outreach, a digital toolkit curated for Native filmmakers, and a fellowship program.

Schoolhouse Docs - Our after-school programming for kids takes place Monday through Friday during the festival, and is the perfect opportunity to bring the whole family to the BSDFF!

Big Sky Documentary Youth Fellowship - The fellowship is a five month long mentorship program giving up to five Missoula County high school students the opportunity to make a short documentary film which will screen at the BSDFF in February.

Teen Doc Intensive - This exciting, comprehensive two-day workshop gives teens from across the state the opportunity to shoot, edit and screen a documentary during the BSDFF under the mentorship of a local filmmaker.




Youth education programs at the Big Sky Film Institute are supported by grants from the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, the Llewellyn Foundation, Humanities Montana, the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the William B Pratt Foundation.