What’s Happening in the WIld – Tuesday, April 21

Return of the River – Free Screening at the UC Theater


Join us for a FREE screening of Return Of The River with filmmaker Jessica Plumb and Dean Jim Burchfield, College of Forestry and Conservation. Sponsored by The President’s Office at The University of Montana.  Screening will be held in the UC Theater at the University of Montana.

A documentary infused with hope, Return of the River explores an unlikely victory for environmental justice and restoration. The film follows a group of committed people as they attempt the impossible: to change the public opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring two dams down. Ultimately the community comes to consensus; launching the largest dam removal in history and showing the way to a more sustainable future.

Showing Today

5:00 pm: Earth-A New Wild: Plains & Greater Sage Grouse: Emblem of the American West
5:15 pm: Sardine Run Walking Under Water
6:00 pm: UC Theater: Screening Return Of The River with Dean Jim Burchfield, College of Forestry and Conservation. Sponsored by The President’s Office at The University of Montana. FREE

Today’s Events

Welcome: 10:00 -11:00 am

Distribution: New Frontiers.  Participants include Suzanne Harle (Green Planet Films) and Pam Voth (Tree & Sky). 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Cameras: What’s Now, What’s Next.  Featured participants: Tim Barksdale, Rob Whitehair, Colin Ruggerio. 1:00-2:30 pm

Footloose Trap-Release Workshop (public lands safety). 3:30-4:30 pm, free and open to the public.

Screening Return Of The River with Dean Jim Burchfield, College of Forestry and Conservation. Sponsored by The President’s Office at The University of Montana. 6:00 pm UC Theater, free and open to the public.

Earth A New Wild: Plains

14. Plains Cows Maasai in the mist 4 DSCN2553

Nicolas Brown, 55 minutes, 2014

A revolutionary look at how both predators and humans can help save the spectacular gatherings of animals found on the world’s plains.

Greater Sage-Grouse: Emblem of the American West

Greater sage-grouse flying 1

Tatiana Gettelman, 7 minutes, 2015

The Greater Sage-Grouse is well known for its bizarre breeding displays, but it is also a species that has evoked controversy in the Great Basin region over how to best manage the population, which has been in steady decline over the past several decades. This short documentary tells the story of the Greater Sage-Grouse from the perspective of the USGS biologists who are studying this bird in the heart of its range in Northern Nevada.

Sardine Run

Christine Mayall, 5 minutes, 2014

It’s been called the greatest “shoal” on earth. Every year, in South Africa, is the sardine run, one of the world’s largest marine migrations. Billions of sardines chasing cooler waters swim along the coast while predators are hot on their heels in anticipation. With sharks, dolphins and whales diving into the “buffet”, it’s a feeding frenzy, as swarms of sardines try to escape a deadly attack. In the water with them, photographer and tour guide, Rainer Schimpf tries to capture the spectacle while avoiding being mistaken for bait.

Walking Under Water


Eliza Kubarska, 76 minutes, 2014

An underwater documentary about the last days of the Borneo sea nomads told through the touching voice of a young boy and tired fisherman and their unique bond with the ocean.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Monday. April 20th

Showing Today

5:00 pm: Wild Australia The Greater Caucasus
5:15 pm: Consider the Ant, The Wild Wet, Hallowed Isles
7:00 pm: Leopards: 21st Century Cats Silencing the Thunder
7:15 pm: Salmo Trutta Lacustris & Rivers and Tides

Today’s Events

IWFF Registration at The Roxy- 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Filmmaker’s Welcome Party – 6:00 pm

Consider the Ant

Consider the Ant Still_Labyrinth

Emily Fraser, 11 minutes, 2014

Abandon all hope ye who enter here? A personal search for ethics in the post-modern wilds of an overpopulated planet – where Catholic guilt, environmental destruction, and the fascinating lives of ants collide. Featuring Paul Ehrlich, the world’s leading expert on overpopulation, this kaleidoscopic journey of science and spirituality asks us, as individuals and as a species, “who are we?” and “who do we want to be?”

The Greater Caucasus

Henry M. Mix, 48 minutes, 2014

The last mountain bison, Caucasian ibexes, craggy peaks and extreme weather fluctuations – an impressive nature documentary was filmed in the immediate hinterland of Sochi, venue of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Hallowed Isles


James Reardon & Luke Padgett, 50 minutes, 2014

Small chains of weatherbeaten islands lie alone in the cold South Pacific. The Chatham Archipelago has been discovered by many kinds of explorers. Here, every creature is the descendant of some original pioneer who traversed the wide ocean. Humans and animals must all adapt in their own ways. But what does it take to become native? This film searches for the connection between creatures born for exploration and the ultimate journey to find home.

Leopards: 21st Century Cats


Steve Gooder, 60 minutes, 2013

Against a backdrop of escalating and often deadly human-leopard conflict across India, conservationist Rom Whitaker sets out to uncover the fascinating truth behind the gory headlines.

Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time

|| Artists on Nature Series ||


Thomas Riedelsheimer, 1h 32m, 2002

Andy Goldsworthy’s art is supposed to fall apart. He creates large-scale outdoor sculptures and artworks out of natural materials like mud, wood, ice and stone in an attempt to imbue the physical world with a spiritual, ephemeral element. Director Thomas Riedelsheimer follows Goldsworthy as he constructs his art everywhere from upstate New York to his home village in Scotland, and questions the solitary artist about his inspirations, frustrations and artistic goals.

Salmo Trutta Lacustris


Daniel Göz, 12 minutes, 2014

Each fall the rare and highly endangered European lake trout (Salmo trutta lacustris) embarks on a strenuous journey upstream to mate in small Alpine streams. Guided by extraordinary senses in order to return to their place of birth the last of their kind follow a complex spawning ritual in this harsh mountain environment to reproduce successfully.

Silencing the Thunder

bison on road

Eddie Roqueta, 27 minutes, 2014

When temperatures drop in Montana, wild bison migrate to lower elevations outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. But once outside, they run the risk of being killed because some carry a chronic disease called brucellosis that ranchers fear could spread to cattle. Silencing the Thunder presents the obstacles ranchers face, as well as the side of those trying to protect one of America’s most iconic animals.

Wild Australia: Desert of the Red Kangaroo

Thoralf Grospitz & Jens Westphalen, 48 minutes, 2014

Their kingdom is the desert: in the heart of Australia lives the largest marsupial on earth, the red kangaroo – a true master of adaption in a world full of natural wonders and extremes.

The Wild Wet

Strangler Fig Tree

Joshua Mayo & Moritz Katz, 25 minutes, 2014

The planet’s most ancient rainforest is dark, damp and dangerous – a difficult place to survive! Come on a journey to the far north eastern corner of Australia where the descendants of dinosaurs still roam.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Sunday, April 19


Kick off the festival in style with the WildWalk parade! Join us at this fun and free community event, where children and families dress like their favorite wild animals to dance,crawl, swing and slither through downtown Missoula as our wildlife parade roars down Higgins Avenue. Parade Lineup begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Red X’s (600 Railroad St. W). The parade ends in Caras Park for WildFest, a community celebration (12:00-3:00pm). Stay in costume and enjoy live entertainment, face painting and concessions with your fellow wild animal revelers – plus a fun fun fun FREE concert by The WhizPops!

Showing Today

3:00 pm: Prehistoric Planet & Life Force: Borneo
3:15 pm: A Sloth Named Velcro, Sophisticated Ants, & Potty Time
5:00 pm: Manufactured Landscapes
5:15 pm: Invasion of the Killer Whales & Leopard: Ultimate Survivor
7:00 pm: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
7:15 pm: A Wolf’s Place & Snow Monkeys

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

cave-herzogIn this documentary, filmmaker Werner Herzog and a small crew are given a rare chance to film inside France’s Chauvet Cave, where the walls are covered with the world’s oldest surviving paintings. To preserve the art, people are allowed to enter the site for only two weeks a year. Examining the 30,000-year-old drawings, Herzog discusses how the artwork represents humanity’s earliest dreams with scientists and art scholars conducting research at Chauvet.

Invasion of the Killer Whales

nature_invasionofthekillerwhales_2_photographer-gretchen-freund-copyright-terra-materAs the ice shrinks, the polar bear is struggling to survive in a fast melting world. Although a marine mammal, the polar bear is not adapted to hunting in the water. And they are certainly no match for the world’s greatest aquatic hunter – the killer whale. In the last few years scientists have started noting an ever-growing number of killer whales in Arctic waters in the summer months. More and more have been attracted to these huge hunting grounds by the growing expanses of open water. And they are attacking exactly the same prey animals as the polar bears.

Leopard: Ultimate Survivor

maxresdefaultA filmmaker’s chance encounter leads to a rare opportunity to follow a mother and her cubs through the first precarious years of life in the wilds of Botswana, where competition is tough and predators are fierce.

Life Force II: Borneo

lf2-borneo-orangutan-adult-and-baby-borneoThe tropical island of Borneo: a strange and mysterious place of mutant creatures and plants seen nowhere else on Earth. Pygmy forest mammals, weird co-evolved partnerships between plants and animals, the world’s rarest ape and incredible gliders, occupy these 130 million year old jungles.

Manufactured Landscapes

ÒManufacturing #18Ó Cankun Factory, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province,This documentary reveals the gritty underside of industrial landscapes. Photographer Edward Burtynsky explores the subtle beauty amid the waste generated by slag heaps, dumps and factories. Memorable scenes include a Chinese iron factory where employees are berated to produce faster, and shots of children playing atop piles of dangerous debris. The contrasts between wealth and poverty are most striking in Shanghai, with new high-rises towering above old slums.

Potty Time

pottytime_screencap2One sloth’s epic journey to go to the bathroom.

Snow Monkeys


In the frigid valleys of Japan’s Shiga Highlands, a troop of snow monkeys make their way and raise their families in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows their place. Their leader is still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. But one little monkey, innocently unaware of his own lowly social rank, reaches out to this lonely leader, forming a bond with him that manages over time to warm his less than sunny disposition. It is a rare and remarkable gesture that alters both their lives. Changing seasons bring new babies to care for, a profusion of insects and blossoms to eat, family disagreements to squabble over and tragedies to overcome. Mating season brings competition for females as the days grow shorter and colder in a rush toward winter. But with their now confident leader to guide them and their families to shelter and care for them, this troop of snow monkeys is ready to face the world.

Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet

dinosWalking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D is the most ambitious giant screen 3D film ever to feature photo-real dinosaurs set in real live action landscapes, immersing audiences in an amazing prehistoric age. It is an epic natural history film that shows the life and world of these amazing animals as though we have taken our cameras back 70 million years.

A Sloth Named Velcro

nature-a-sloth-named-velcro-ana-salceda-and-rescued-sloth-2014-thirteen-productions-llcIn 2000, Ana Salceda, a young journalist, moved from her native Spain to explore the wilds of Panama where she became the caregiver for a tiny orphaned baby sloth named Velcro. For two years, the two became inseparable as Ana learned how to become a successful adoptive mother to Velcro, until finally the day came for Ana to reintroduce Velcro back to the wild. This is the story of Ana’s return to Central and South Americas to see how much has changed since Velcro came into her life. Sloths, once largely ignored, have become a hot topic of scientific researchers.

A Wolf’s Place

a-wolfs-place-still-2Twenty years after their reintroduction, wild wolves have made a remarkable comeback in the Rocky Mountains. But as new hunting seasons take heavy tolls and politicians push to remove all protections across the US, gray wolves stand on the edge of a precipice. ‘A Wolf’s Place’ examines how wolves impact entire ecosystems in what scientists call a “trophic cascade.” It also explores the personal side of large carnivore conservation through the story of Wolf 10, the first wild wolf released into Yellowstone in over 70 years – his triumphant life and tragic death in the sights of a poacher’s gun.

Wildlife – Sophisticated Farmers: Leafcutter Ants

The leafcutter ant, living in the tropical forests of Central America, has been part and parcel of this jungle terrain, cultivating the land and creating a labyrinth of underground farms for over 50 million years. These tiny creatures live in one of the most complex societies known in the animal kingdom, and they play a crucial role in the wellbeing of the forest.

Opening Night at the International Wildlife Film Festival

Welcome to the wild! The IWFF is back and begins today with two great films:

The festival opens at tonight with Enchanted Kingdom (6pm) and How to Change the World (8pm).

Enchanted Kingdom

EnchantedKingdomis_PageEnchanted Kingdom is the most spectacular 3D journey for all the family to experience nature at its most powerful and magical. Set in Africa, home to the most amazing wildlife on Earth, you will travel through seven unique realms and meet the extraordinary animals who live in each one. Here is nature at its most generous and most harsh, most terrible and most beautiful. An enchanted land where nature weaves its incredible magic, finally transforming into an abundant paradise, where life is at its most joyful.

How to Change the World

dt-common-streams-streamserverIn 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world’s imagination. Using never before seen archive that brings their extraordinary world to life, How To Change The World is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement.

Enchanted Kingdom – Opening the IWFF

Don’t miss our opening night film: Enchanted Kingdom, Saturday April 18 at 6pm

An extraordinary, spell-binding journey through the realms of nature to discover that the natural world is stranger, more magical, more mystical than anything you could possibly imagine. You’ll be propelled from enchanted forests to the edge of the underworld, from a paranormal planet into fantastical seas, from celestial mountains through mercurial waters, finally to experience the ultimate celebration of nature’s magic, the greatest gathering of wildlife on Earth. You won’t believe your eyes or ears as you meet amazing creatures and experience nature as it’s never been seen before, eye-to-eye with the creatures, on an adventure where you will truly believe the real world is more extraordinary and awe-inspiring than any fiction.

Getting ready for IWFF 2015

We are working hard here at The Roxy Theater, gearing up for the 38th Annual Wildlife Film Festival, but still taking time to enjoy the beautiful Montana weather!

The official films selection list and the official screening schedule are now up! Be sure to check out what films will be screening during the 2015 IWFF.

We are also excited to share some events that will be free and open to the public during the week of the festival:


WildWalk Parade, Line up @ 11:30 am at the Big Red XXXs [100 Railroad St W], free and open to the public. Dance, crawl, swing and slither through downtown Missoula as our wildlife parade roars down Higgins Street, ending at Caras Park.

WildFest, 12:00 – 3:00 pm, Caras Park, free and open to the public. With live entertainment, face painting and concessions with your fellow wild animal revelers – plus a fun FREE concert by The WhizPops!


Trap-Release Workshop – an informative public lands safety workshop by Footloose Montana. 3:30-4:30 pm, The Roxy Theater, free and open to the public.

Screening Return Of The River with Dean Jim Burchfield, College of Forestry and Conservation. Sponsored by The President’s Office at The University of Montana. 6:00 pm, UC Theater, free and open to the public.


Special Earth Day Screening: Planetary. 8:00 pm, The Roxy Theater, see ticket prices.


Screening The Plow That Broke The Plains & The River with LIVE musical score by NextDoorPrisonHotel. 7:30 pm, The Roxy Theater, see ticket prices.

2015 Film Festival Selections

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted films for the 2015 International Wildlife Film Festival! We have reviewed all of the submissions and will post the official selections list soon!

We are so excited to share the amazing work of these filmmakers at our 38th annual festival in Missoula, MT April 18-25.

The IWFF Children’s Matinee Program Returns in 2015

The 2015 IWFF Children’s Matinee Program is continuing with the momentum from last year’s hugely successful program. UM Spectrum will join us again in 2015 with even more pre-show performances. We are also working on screening programs geared directly towards middle and high school students, with guest speakers and question and answer sessions. Over 2,000 students came to IWFF in 2014. Most of the students and teachers said that it was the best program in years, and they can not wait to see what is in store for 2015. We hope you will join us and find out.
 With hundreds of award winning entries from around the world, you can always expect an excellent program during the school matinees. Many films are suitable for multiple age groups, but films in the morning (9:30-11:30am) target grades K-5 and afternoon (12:30-2:30pm) films are best for grades 6-12. You can count on engaging, fun, and age appropriate films. Student tickets will continue to be only $3.00!
We will contact schools in January with details. Registration will begin January 5th, and has an online option this year. Full details will be sent along with the official registration letter. Please share this info with your school-to teachers, principals, parents and students.
Experience the magic of wildlife films through one of Missoula’s oldest traditions
Don’t miss the 38th IWFF April 18-25, 2015 

2015 Open Call

A herd of zebra stampedes along the Boteti River.

IWFF is now accepting submissions for the 2015 festival, happening in Missoula, Montana April 18-25 at the historic Roxy Theater.

Now in its 38th year, the week-long event will feature new and exciting films, special guests, workshops, seminars, field trips, technology sessions, product demos, parties and dynamic networking events. With 6000 annual attendants, IWFF engages Missoula’s progressive community with dozens of screenings and the annual WildWalk Parade and Wild Fest family event.

A filmmakers’ festival, IWFF focuses on films and filmmakers, and celebrates emerging filmmakers and the future of wildlife & environmental media. Our expanded programming welcomes all films about the natural world, from environmental and conservation films, to issue driven explorations of earth and its inhabitants.

With twelve categories to choose from (listed below), online submission is available via Withoutabox and Submittable.

  • Regular Deadline: January 9
  • Late Deadline: January 23

Submit online via Withoutabox or Submittable.  Links, rules and guidelines below.


Entry Categories

Theatrical Feature
Films over 51 minutes produced for the purpose of being exhibited in a theatrical setting.

Broadcast Feature
A television program produced specifically for broadcast on commercial or public television or Internet. Program can be one-off production or part of an ongoing television series. 

Broadcast Series
Up to two episodes which represent a Limited Television Series. These programs constitute a single entry. Please submit no more than two hours total running time.

Programs made by an independent producer or production house – not by or on contract to any major broadcaster.

Short Film 
Films designed for exhibition in a theatrical setting, Television or Internet broadcast, that run less than 50 minutes in length.

Programs produced by a person or team newly established as a producer in the professional film or television field and no longer considered amateur. This category will accept films made with support from a major broadcaster.

Programs produced by a student while attending an accredited university. A copy of the filmmaker’s student ID and at least one faculty reference must be provided. Films in this category should operate with the festival mission an/or primary categories.

Environmental relates to people & cultures, the habitat or the environment where humans co-exist with wildlife; it’s also about where we live, work and interface with wildlife and the broader environment.

Conservation relates to any program that features or emphasizes wildlife conservation. What are we doing, what is happening, how is the future of a species or group of species being impacted or being saved? The program entered must have a clear and well-defined wildlife conservation message.

Human-Wildlife Interactions
Programs that emphasizes social, cultural, economic or spiritual aspects of people and their relationship with wildlife.

Children & Young Adults
Programs produced specifically for broadcast to a youth audience. Information and presentation should be based on a young person’s comprehension level. This category accepts programs designed to inform about non-domesticated species, but may use tame or captive animals.

Government Agency 
Programs produced by any government agency to educate or inform the public or a special audience on a particular wildlife issue, topic or species.

Entry fees vary by category and deadline.  Please visit withoutabox.com or submittable.com for more information and a complete list of rules and guidelines.