Montana Film Festival Short Film Highlights
By Nick Rudow, KBGA DJ
One of the great things about the Montana Film Festival is its short film selection and this year’s program is no exception, featuring a wide variety of different genres and styles of filmmaking. This year there will be two blocks of short films, featuring short films from all around the world and some made right here in Montana.
The best short film I’ve seen so far in the lineup is “Willow Creek Road,” which is about a ranch hand named Ruth who begins assuming the role of a mother after giving two children a ride back to their house. Its gorgeous cinematography shows Montana’s big open skies in vivid, almost dream-like ways. Featuring dreamy voice over narration, beautiful music and free-flowing camera movement, this film evokes the feeling of a distant memory, often like the style of the great art-house director Terrance Malick.
While “Willow Creek Road” has a very serious tone to it, the short film “Tampoon” is certainly the funniest and wackiest I’ve seen so far. It’s best not to spoil too much about this but I’ll say that you’ll never think of a tampon the same way again after watching this. Featuring another great comedic premise, “The Good Mother” tells the story of a young boy whose only birthday wish is to have a Donald Trump piñata, causing his mother to go on a long trek to find one for him. It’s a clever idea that’s executed in an entertaining and hilarious way.
The short film “Gordan” refuses to go the traditional narrative route, instead focusing on the remembrance of the filmmaker’s grandfather, through various images, sounds and colors. It’s the shortest of the short films I’ve seen so far, but possibly the most thought provoking and unique.
The most heart wrenching and devastating of the lineup is “The News Today,” a seemingly ordinary story about a gay couple’s life and relationship, which goes in an unexpectedly shocking direction. Let’s just say that you may need a box of tissues for this one.
The Montana Film Festival has a short film in their lineup for any taste. Whether you’re looking for comedy, drama or simply something that defies categorization, this festival has that short film for you.
The first block of short films will play on Thursday, October 5, at 6:00 PM and the second block of shorts will play on Friday, October 6, at 6:00 PM. Both short film blocks will play consecutively on Saturday, October 7, at 2:00 PM. Q&As with the filmmakers will follow each of these screenings.