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 or for more information and a complete list of rules and guidelines.

Post Festival Tour

The 37th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival is now on tour!

Learn how to bring the longest running wildlife film festival into your hometown, organization, business, agency, or school by downloading the Post Festival Tour Packet.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Closing the festival with the winning films

Congratulations to our Winning Films!

After viewing, deliberating and debating, the IWFFl’s competition jury has reached consensus on our awards categories. The winners are:

Best of Festival Short – PRIDE
Best Cinematography: SHORT – CATALINA ISLAND
Best Cinematography: FEATURE _ ON A RIVER IN IRELAND
Conservation – DamNation
Judges’ Merit Award for Best Science Content – FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES

Award screenings of select winners will show at 7 and 7:15 pm today at the Roxy Theater. The lineup is:
7:00 pm: AWARDS SCREENINGPride, Catalina Island and Touching the Wild
7:15 pm: AWARDS SCREENING: Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface and On a River in Ireland

Special Event!

Bat Honey presents  Squidbelly 

11:00 am, Special Admission $5 or FREE with a Festival Pass

IWFF is please to welcome a magical, musical puppet show by the immensely talented Bat Honey. Follow the young boy Gumeris as he encounters a magic book, a misunderstood squid, an Ambassador Gorilla, and many more in his quest to uncover the mystery of the missing fish in this puppet musical extravaganza! “Squidbelly” features an original script, original songs and fifteen handmade puppets!

Bat Honey is comprised of Britt Juchem and Ariel Gregory, a Missoula-based artist duo. Their art is uniquely comedy-driven and possesses a surreal approach to storytelling which reflects their unique perspective.  They have toured nationally with shows in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Boston.  They also tour the rural communities of Montana performing in libraries and small schools.

Sponsored by the Montana Arts Council

Showing Today

11:00 am: SPECIAL FEATURE: Squidbelly
11:15 am: 
Catalina Island and Meet the Coywolf
12:15 pmTiger Experiment and Orangutans: The Great Escape
1:15 pm: Sticky and Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
2:00 pm: Cheetah Race to Rule and Islands, Philippines: Islands of Mystery
3:15 pm: We are the Land and Elemental
4:30 pm: White Diamond
5:30 pm: Land of the Tiger, Tide, and Arabian Goddess
7:00 pm: AWARDS SCREENINGPride, Catalina Island and Touching the Wild
7:15 pm: AWARDS SCREENING: Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface and On a River in Ireland


Wrap Party (Location TBA). 8:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet



About the Films

Catalina Island

image-223532-fullJust 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles lies Santa Catalina Island. Home to over 25 endemic plant and animal species, Catalina is the last bastion of true wildland in Southern California. Catalina Island’ explores the unique ecology and conservation strategies taking place on the island as told through the eyes of the island’s most iconic species: the American Bison, the Catalina Island Grey Fox, and the Bald Eagle.

Meet the Coywolf


Susan Fleming, Canada, 52 min.

A mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, the coywolf is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent – within the last 90 years – a blip in time in evolutionary terms. Beginning in Canada but by no means ending there, the story of how it came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere. Tag along as scientists study this new top predator, tracking it from the wilderness of Ontario’s Algonquin Park through parking lots and backyards in Toronto all the way to the streets of New York City.

Tiger Experiment


Axel Gomille, Germany, 28 min.

Tigers are under threat. Poaching and the destruction of their habitat are the main reasons why their wild populations have decreased by a frightening 96 percent – to around 4000 individuals. About half of them live in India. The decision about their future has to be made there. When a wild tigress left behind two orphaned cubs, instead of taking them to the zoo, they were raised by the forest department and reintroduced to the wild. It is the first such effort in the world that could perhaps set a precedence for the future. But will these tigers behave like their wild counterparts, could they even become man-eaters? If this experiment proofs to be successful, it would open up completely new avenues for conservation.

Orangutans: The Great Ape Escape

An Orangutan at BOS

2013, UK, 55 min.

Leonora is no ordinary orangutan, she is a pioneer. With her three year old son in her arms, she is about to set off on an epic journey back to the wild – the great ape escape. It is a long way from what she is used to. After being orphaned as a baby, she has spent the majority of her life in a rescue centre. She is leaving behind 600 other orangutans, all of whom are relying on her for their chance at freedom. If Leonora can make it, they could too.



Jilli Rose, Australia, 19 min.

Exiled from the tropical paradise where they evolved, a handful of remarkable stick insects, the last of their kind, clung to life on a single, windswept bush on a remote sea stack for 80 years. Now they’re back from the brink of extinction, but when can they go home?

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch


Angela Sun, 2013, USA, 57 min.

Angela Sun’s journey of discovery to one of the most remote places on Earth, Midway Atoll, to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the way she encounters scientists, industry, legislators and activists who shed light on what our society’s vast consumption of disposable plastic is doing to our oceans, and what it may be doing to our health.

Cheetah: Race to Rule

Cheetah Race to Rule4

South Africa   46 min.

Gunner is a young cheetah born into a cheetah coalition. From the moment he opens his eyes the odds are stacked against him. He is the runt of the litter. And from now on, Gunner will have to fight hard for every scrap of food and attention. But when both his siblings are tragically killed Gunner becomes the sole survivor and carries a new burden. His coalition is destroyed. Life becomes harder by the day and without support from his brothers, defending his territory grows more difficult. Against all odds Gunner rescues his legacy and earns his territory. Gunner’s no longer a runt, he’s a ruler!

Wildest Islands, Philippines: Islands of Mystery

AB - DSC_0254

Allison Bean, UK, 5 min.

The Philippines, over 7,000 islands, forming one of the most ancient archipelagos in the world where both the wildlife and the people have had to adapt to survive. Much of the country is mountainous and suffers earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. Typhoons and strong storms assault the coast, shaping human civilisations. Enveloped within an otherworldly landscape of sea, jungle and insurmountable cliffs – the Philippines harbours one of the highest bio-diversities of wildlife on the planet. A vast number of species are endemic to the Philippines including the Philippine Tarsier, Carnivorous Plant species and the Palawan Bearcat. On these isolated islands, it is not only the wildlife that has had to adapt to survive, so too have the Filipino people…

We Are The Land


Andrew Heskett, Lauren Lindberg, Ryan Westra, 2013, USA, 13 min.

Amidst national controversy surrounding the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ environmental activist Pauline Matt stands alone to protect her native homeland – the Blackfeet Reservation of northern Montana.



Gayatri Roshan, 2012, Canada/India/Australia,  92 min.

Elemental tells the story of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. The film follows Rajendra Singh, an Indian government official gone rogue, on a 40-day pilgrimage down India’s once pristine Ganges river, now polluted and dying. Across the globe in northern Canada, Eriel Deranger mounts her own “David and Goliath” struggle against the world’s largest industrial development, the Tar Sands, an oil deposit larger than the state of Florida. A young mother and native Denè, Deranger struggles with family challenges while campaigning tirelessly against the Tar Sands and its proposed 2,000-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, which are destroying Indigenous communities and threatening an entire continent. And in Australia, inventor and entrepreneur Jay Harman searches for investors willing to risk millions on his conviction that nature’s own systems hold the key to our world’s ecological problems.

The White Diamond


Werner Herzog, 2005, Germany/Guyana, 90 min.

Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog follows enigmatic airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington as he embarks on a trip in the heart of Guyana to test his new helium-filled invention above the rainforest. Dubbed the “white diamond” on account of its unique teardrop shape, the expedition begins with some early mishaps but is soon airborne high above the treetops. With every success though, Dorrington is haunted by a similar expedition twelve years ago that killed his friend as they were testing an airship much like the “white diamond.” Herzog magnificently captures Dorrington’s struggles to atone for what he calls “a stupid, meaningless accident” while at the same time presenting stunning never-before-seen images of the true beauty of nature.

Land of the Tiger, Tide, and Arabian Goddess


Moushumi Basu, 2013, India, 58 min.

The world’s largest mangrove delta — the Sunderbans, bordering Bay of Bengal in South Asia is well-known for its Royal Bengal Tigers and its unique Eco system. But little is known of the indigenous forest communities, surviving at the edge of this tiger territory for generations. They are compelled to enter into these menacing forests day after day, out of hunger– in search of fish and crabs or honey. Life to them, is striking a constant balance with death while braving the tigers and tides in these watery jungles. The film explores the livelihood challenges of the natives, their culture and ethos reflected through their ultimate kinship they share with the forests and its terrifying protagonist- the man eating tiger.



Roshan Patel, USA/India, 14 min.

Pride explores the cultural relationship between residents of Gujarat, India and the last remaining population of Asiatic Lions in the world. With fewer than 50 lions living in the wild at the turn of the 20th century, rural communities started working with the government to create a haven for this top predator and are successfully securing this animal’s place in the ecosystem.

Touching the Wild


David Allen, USA     55 min.

Joe Hutto’s idea of research is anything but normal, dedicating seven years of his life to becoming a wild mule deer. Incredibly, these keenly intelligent animals come to regard this stranger as one of their own. Accepted by the matriarch, he walks among them and can lie with a pregnant doe talking to its unborn fawns. As he crosses the species divide Joe is tapping into a new understanding about these elusive animals. The captivating joy he feels for his new family is nothing short of infectious, but this human predator also learns to see the world from the point of view of prey – sharing their world so personally finally takes a toll that sends him back to his own kind. Produced by Nature/WNET.

Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface


UK, 2013, 55 min.

 The killer whale was long feared as a sea monster until, in May 1964, one was brought into captivity for the first time. This spawned a journey of discovery into the killer whale’s true nature. It quickly became clear, these were not mindless killers – they were, in fact, highly intelligent social creatures. Today, our understanding is deepening still further and the latest revelations are among the most sensational – not only will these top predators ‘adopt’ and care for injured and abandoned orphans, but it seems there’s no longer just the ‘killer whale’.

On A River In Ireland


John Murray, Ireland, 58 min.

On a River in Ireland follows Colin Stafford Johnson on a journey along the River Shannon – Ireland’s greatest geographical landmark and the longest river in Ireland and Britain.For 340km, the river carves its way through the heart of the country, almost splitting the country in two. On its journey, the Shannon passes through a huge palette of rural landscapes, where on little known backwaters wild animals and plants still thrive as almost nowhere else in Ireland. The film follows the river from dawn to dusk over four seasons capturing it’s ever changing moors and exploring the countless waterways, islands and lakes that make up the entire river system.



What’s Happening in the Wild – Friday, April 18

Special Event!

IWFF Awards with Whizpops! & IMAX® Showcase

6 pm, Special Admission $5 Kids are FREE

The IWFF Awards just got a whole lot more fun! The evening begins with a CD release party for the new record by Missoula’s own Whizpops! – the fun and lively band that the Missoulian calls “kids’ music done right.” Following the show we’ll announce the Best Of Fest and Merit Award winners.  After the awards stick around for two extraordinary IMAX productions Journey To the South Pacific and Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar.

Sponsored by Animal Planet

Showing Today

3:00 pm: Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero
4:00 pm: Spirit Creatures: Niassa’s Invisible Realm and Jaguars are Born Free
6:00 pm: SPECIAL FEATURE: IWFF awards with the Whizpops! at the Wilma Theater
7:00 pm: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar and Journey to the South Pacific at the Wilma Theater


Anatomy of a Story – an informative session hosted by NATURE’S Janet Hess. 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Life on Terra (with sponsored pizza lunch) A look at the successful Life On Terra podcast hosted by filmmaker and MSU faculty member Gianna Savoie. Sponsored by MSU. 1:00 -2:30pm (Pizza at Noon)
New Technologies/New Behaviors – How are high tech drone cameras and micro field units revealing behaviors we never knew? How can science utilize this knowledge for better conservation? Featuring Elizabeth White, Producer/Director at the BBC Natural History Unit and Beau Larkin from MPG Ranch. 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Award ceremony and iMax Showcase at the Wilma Theater – 7:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet


About the Films

Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero


UK 120 min.

Comedian Bill Bailey tells – and joyfully re-enacts – the story of Alfred Russel Wallace, the “geeky Victorian collector” whom Bailey paints as the greatest naturalist of his era. Wallace’s role in working out how species evolved has been overshadowed by Darwin: each independently came up with the theory of evolution, but Wallace’s tireless efforts, collecting tens of thousands of specimens in the islands of what is now Indonesia, have been sidelined. Bailey wants him back in the pantheon, so he retraces Wallace’s steps and has fun catching frogs, meeting monkeys and eating toasted dragonflies. You can tell he’s in his element, crashing through jungles, wading in rivers, pinning butterflies to boards  – with a payload of fascinating history on a neglected hero.

Spirit Creatures- Niassa’s Invisible Realm

Spirit Creatures 1 Colleen Begg 2014

Keith Begg South Africa   48 min.

Northern Mozambique’s Cyao people both revere and struggle against wildlife on a daily basis. To help them cope they regularly call on their ancestral spirits, some of whom are embodied in animals. This invisible realm called ‘Majini’ greatly influences how people think and act. It seems to be connected to just about everything from man-eating lions and the bushmeat trade to the elephant poaching crisis sweeping across Africa today. ‘Spirit Creatures’ documents Keith and Colleen Begg’s journey to gain a deeper understanding of people’s spiritual relationships with wildlife inside Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve. They are lead to an important sacred site called Chemambo where all the yellow baboons are believed to be people. Understanding local culture helps the Begg’s become more effective conservationists.

Jaguars Born Free

Leandro _ Anah excersizing the cubs

UK, 55 min.

Three tiny orphaned jaguar cubs are discovered in a Brazilian forest. A family decide to take the place of their mother and train them to become wild again. Over two years they must learn to climb trees, swim, and hunt for their dinner. If they can be successfully released, it will give new hope to these rare animals. Narrated by Zoe Wanamaker.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar


David Douglas, USA, 39 min.

Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman narrates Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, the incredible true story of nature’s greatest explorers – lemurs. Captured with IMAX 3D cameras, the film takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar. Lemurs arrived in Madagascar as castaways millions of years ago and evolved into hundreds of diverse species but are now highly endangered. Join trailblazing scientist Patricia Wright on her lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world.

Journey To South Pacific

1. Jawi and Whale Shark

Stephen Judson & Greg MacGillivray, 2014, USA, 40 min.

 Narrated by Cate Blanchett, Journey to the South Pacific will take moviegoers on a breathtaking IMAX® adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Join Jawi, a young island boy, as he takes us on a journey of discovery to this magical place where we encounter whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and other iconic creatures of the sea. Home to more than 2,000 species of sea life, this exotic locale features the most diverse marine ecosystem on earth. An uplifting story of hope and celebration, Journey to the South Pacific highlights the importance of living in balance with the ocean planet we all call home. With stunning photography by 2013 IWFF Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Howard Hall.