Special Events


All Events Take Place at the Roxy Theater Unless Otherwise Noted


Saturday April 14th
Line Up at 11:30AM at the Big Red XXXX’s 100 Railroad St. W.

Parade Starts at Noon. We party till 3PM in Caras Park. 

Dance, crawl, swing, and slither through downtown Missoula as our wildlife parade roars towards Caras Park and WildFest!  
Welcome by Missoula Mayor John Engen! Music by Shakey Trio! Food vendors, face painting and lots of activities for kids.

WildFest and WildWalk Sponsored by Rangitsch Brothers!

Saturday April 14th

Opening Night Events at the Roxy Theater 

5-6PM Retrospective Artist Bob Landis Keynote Presentation  

Sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife


Director Kate Brooks in attendance

A ranger looks out over Garamba National Park at daybreak. Garamba is the second oldest national park in Africa and one of the deadliest for both elephants and rangers.


Sunday April 15th

10AM – 2PM          DELEGATE REGISTRATION at the Roxy Theater

6 – 7PM       WILD SOUNDS: Threshold Podcast with Amy Martin


Monday April 16

10AM – 2PM       DELEGATE REGISTRATION at the Roxy Theater

12 – 1:30PM    OUR WILD FUTURE DIALOGUE: The Citizen Scientist Connection

Where does citizen science and science communication meet? What strategies are creators using to engage the curious directly with science research? Video is an important part of the social media sphere, we will hear from these creators about what they’ve done to connect citizen scientists, real scientists and the research that needs to be shared.

GUESTS: Eddie Roqueta/Mongabay, Andrew Howley/Adventure Scientist, Filmmaker Max Lowe

MODERATOR: Jeri Rafter

2 – 3PM      WILD SOUNDS: Subsurface Podcast with Nicky Ouellet

6PM       FREE EVENT at University Center Theater 

Lecture: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRESENTS TRACKING AMERICA’S WILD HEART with filmmaker Joe Riis and National Geographic Society’s Program Leader for Beyond Yellowstone Chris Johns. Introduced by UM President Seth Bodnar.


Director Collin Monda in attendance

Sponsored by the UM President’s Office + UM Wildlife Biology Department.

Sponsored by the UM President’s Office + UM Wildlife Biology Department.

Free and open to the public.


Plonk – 322 N. Higgins

We’ll toast to National Geographic and all welcome our filmmakers to town!

Open to Delegates and All-Access Passholders.


Tuesday April 17

12-1:30PM –  OUR WILD FUTURE DIALOGUE:  The Future of Natural History & Science Storytelling in the Digital Landscape

Natural history and science documentaries aren’t just for BBC and PBS anymore. In the last decade, short web films have emerged as one of the most popular formats for connecting diverse audiences with great stories about science and the natural world. But, the landscape of storytelling on the web has changed dramatically and continues to evolve. This panel of experts will discuss lessons they have learned in the last 10 years and speculate on what the next decade holds.

GUESTS: Steven Bedard/BioGraphic, Andrew Howley/Adventure Scientists, Rob Whitehair/Mammalz

MODERATOR: Neil Losin/Day’s Edge Productions

2 – 3PM                WILD SOUNDS: The Biology of Superheroes with Shane Campbell-Staton & Arien Darby – a live recording with Doug Emlen

5 -7PM     SCREENING + PANEL: Beavers The Great Climate Change Manipulators

GUESTS: Will McDowell/Clark Fork Coalition, Andrew Jakes/National Wildlife Federation, Lisa Eby/UM Biology Department & Filmmaker Sarah Koenigsberg  With a special guest appearance from Animal Wonders & Huckleberry the Beaver!


7-8PM   LECTURE: WARRIORS WHO ONCE FEARED ELEPHANTS NOW PROTECT THEM – A presentation by National Geographic Photographer Ami Vitale 

7PM PARTY: A Backyard Celebration at Private Residence. Delegates and By Invitation Only. 


Wednesday April 18

8AM – 4PM FIELD TRIP: Beavers, Birds and the Burn.

Join us for a day-long excursion to the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge and Travelers’ Rest State Park to learn about riparian and post-burn habitats with the National Wildlife Federation.  Picnic lunch and a stop at Lolo Peak Brewery included.

Sponsored by Montana State Parks, National Wildlife Federation, and Lolo Creek Brewery 

Open to Delegates and All-Access Passholders.

12PM  IWFF Labs LECTURE: The Business of Documentary Film Production

Location: University of Montana. Room TBD.

Guests: Eric Bendick of Grizzly Creek Films

5PM OUR WILD FUTURE DIALOGUE: Science, Politics and Media: Finding Truth in a World of Alternative Facts

How do we navigate this new world where facts are influenced by what side of the political spectrum we stand on? Has the debate about science led us to forget the real struggles and concerns of our fellow citizens? Despite our best efforts, the state of wildlife and the natural world is more dire than ever. If we are to make impactful media that can make a difference, we need to take a hard look at our industry and come up with solutions that can bridge the divide between a clearly polarized society.

at Imagine Nation Brewery, 1151 W. Broadway St.

Guests: Jeff Gailus, Jon King, and Diana Six

Moderated by Rob Whitehair/Mammalz

7:30PM HomeGrown Comedy presents the IWFF COMEDY SHOW with John Howard

7-10PM PARTY at Clyde Coffee 610 S. Higgins

Join us as we collaborate with our friends from the Zootown Arts Community Center and Last Best Printfest. Live printmaking! Bring a t-shirt to print on! Kids rock band!

Open to Delegates and All Access Passholders.


Thursday April 19

12-1:30PM WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Path of the Panther

GUESTS: Eric Bendick/Grizzly Creek Films

Take a look behind-the-scenes of a documentary that is nearing completion, explore the difficulties in making a film about a big cat as Eric Bendick from Grizzly Creek Films give us a candid glimpse into the wild world of the Florida panther.

2 – 3:30PM  WILD SOUNDS: Last Best Stories with Jule Banville


Join us for a discussion with NATURE series editor Janet Hess and NATURE contributors Nigel Pope and Niobe Thompson about what is new in the television game, how things are changing, and what the future holds for broadcast.

GUESTS: Janet Hess/NATURE, Niobe Thompson/Clearwater Documentary, Nigel Pope/Maramedia

5-7PM PANEL: Blackfeet Beaver and Other Opportunities in Natural Resources Management and Sovereignty

Presented by Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) in conjunction with Indian Law Week

at UM Law School Room 201 – $10

6-7PM IWFF Labs Short Forms Premiere

IWFF Labs students make four films over the course of five days in Missoula during IWFF LABS.

Sponsored by NATURE, UM Wildlife Biology Department and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

7-9:30PM PARTY: Western Cider Co. 501 N California St.  

Join us for good cider and good food.

Open To the Public.


Friday April 20th

8A-3P FIELD TRIP: Exploring Spaces of Refuge  

Come along to the Owl Research Institute at the Ninepipes National Wildlife Refuge where we’ll look at owl nesting sites and plenty of birds with expert Denver Holt. We’ll then move on to check out one of the oldest national wildlife refuges in the US – The National Bison Range.

Open to All Access Passholders and Delegates. Bring binoculars and a camera.



We’ll talk to producers and stakeholders on both sides of the wolf re-introduction and management story to talk about how wolf issues are portrayed in film and television, how producers make decisions behind-the-scenes and what it is like as a content creator to work with ranchers, scientists, hunters and communities that live with wolves.

SCREENING: Canis Lupus Colorado

at Imagine Nation Brewery, 1151 W. Broadway St.

Guests: Tom Winston/Grizzly Creek Films, Deny Staggs/Vision Hawk Films, Vanessa Boshoff/Vision Hawk Films

Moderated by: Rob Whitehair/Mammalz

2-3PM      WILD SOUNDS: Master Wildlife Filmmaking with Jake Willers

6:30-8PM AWARD SHOW at Natural History Center 120 Hickory Street

Sponsored by the Montana Film Office.

Open to the public.  


Saturday April 21st


At Dunrovin Ranch at 5375 Terry Lane

11AM Buses start leaving from the Roxy Theater

Kickoff workshop led by Gianna Savoie and Jeff Reed of the Ocean Media Institute.  

Do you work at a nonprofit and want to learn how to shape and expand your organization’s story through powerful media? Would you like to meet filmmakers who can help you communicate your message? We’ll look at case studies of effective nonprofit online messaging and how to tell a story through video. Bring those business cards and notebooks, meet like-minded folks, and break the ice at this informative, fun — and we will actually have some fun! — networking event.

Also! Horseback Riding, Archery Lessons and BBQ by Bitterroot Bison.


SUNDAY April 22nd

4-6PM DRESSED (NOT) TO KILL: A Sustainable Fashion Event

Screening of The Python Code: Snakeskins for Luxury Goods

Panel By Missoula’s Most Sustainable Fashionistas

Super Fun Fashion Show with models you may know and love!

Betty’s Divine – Divine Trash Vintage – The Green Light – Carlo’s One Night Stand – Grain – Donkey Girl Designs – Gemini Swimwear – Moonrush Designs –  The General Public – Fairends


at Downtown  Dance Collective 121 W. Main Street

  Come close out the festival with tasty treats from Five on Black, music by Partygoers, and a silent auction to benefit multiple Missoula-based wildlife organizations.

Sponsored by Five on Black and Missoula Independent