What’s Happening in the Wild – Thursday, April 17

Special Event!

Science Is Fiction: 8 Underwater Films by Jean Painlevé

8 pm, Special Admission $10, Free with Festival Pass

One of the first filmmakers to descend underwater with a movie camera, French avant-garde filmmaker Jean Painlevé created hypnotic and surreal films that capture the beauty and weirdness of life undersea. His evocative images are taken to a new level of dreaminess by NextDoorPrisonHotel (The Roxy’s resident silent film duo, John Sporman & Travis Yost) who will perform their original score to eight of Painlevé’s rarely seen films.

Hyas and Stenorhynchus (Hyas et stenorinques) 1927, 13 min.
Sea Urchins (Les Oursins) 1954, 11 min.
How Some Jellyfish Are Born (Comment naissent des Méduses) 1960, 14 min.
Liquid Crystals, (Cristaux liquides) 1978, 6 min.
The Sea Horse (L’ Hippocampe) 1933, 13 min.
The Love Life of the Octopus (Amours de la pieuvre) 1967, 13 min.
Shrimp Stories, (La Crevette), 1963, 13 min.
Acera or the Witches’ Dance, 1972, 12 min.

Presented by special arrangement with Les Documents Cinématographiques
Sponsored by The Montana Film Office

Showing Today

3:30 pm: Wild Thailand and A Day in the Life of Lolita
5:00 pm: Game of Lions and The Mating Game
5:30 pm: Ocean Odyssey
8:00 pm: SPECIAL FEATURE: Science is Fiction: 8 Underwater Films by Jean Painlevé  with live accompaniment by NextDoorPrisonHotel 


Artists as Activists Roundtable – Filmmakers and Media-makers discuss the role of advocacy in creative work. Featured participants include M. Sanjayan, Feodor Pitcarin, Deia Schlosberg, Dave Mizejewski, Rob Whitehair and Gianna Savoie. 9:00 – 11:00 am at The Downtown Dance Collective, 121 West Main Street.
Works in Progress – Filmmakers screen scenes from developing projects and receive feedback from a panel of industry professionals.  12:30 – 3:00 pm
New Frontiers and Social Media – How are social media platforms changing distribution and exhibition? How do you make content go viral? What’s on the horizon for filmmakers & broadcasters? Panelists include Susannah Smith, Roshan Patel, Pam Voth and Steve Bumgardner 3:30 – 5:00 pm
After Party sponsored by the Montana Film Office – Le Petit Outre, 129 South 4th Street, West. 9:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet


About the Films

Wild Thailand


Kanit Prukprakarn and Peter Ringgaard, 50min.

Thailand is a land of incredible beauty with more than 50% protected national parks accounting for nearly 10 % of the country’s surface, but its stunning array of wildlife is forgotten and rarely seen. In this 2 part episodes we follow the courtship and mating rituals of the Great-horn-bills. Elephants digging strange holes in search of life giving salt. Sam-bar deers fighting for dominance. Pheasant tailed, polyandrous birds mating and giving birth to chicks. Macaques, playing and fighting in the rain forest. The long tailed deer, living in the hostile environment of the northern mountains. A black bear, dancing, digging and scratching. The vampire castle, filled with waterfall climbing cave-fish, like ghosts, aliens on earth. Birds creating a symphony, designing and building complicated, individual constructions.

A Day in the Life of Lolita the Performing Orca

Lolita crop

Daniel Azarian, USA, 9 min.

World-renowned orca biologist Dr Ingrid N. Visser visits Lolita, a killer whale that has been captive in Miami, Florida for the past forty-three years. This short documents Dr Visser’s visit as well as her thoughts and scientific observations concerning Lolita’s current living conditions.

Game of Lions    


Beverly and Dereck Joubert, 2014, South Africa   48 min

Only one out of eight lions survive into adulthood. Their fate has always been a mystery that has stumped conservationists and scientists for years. Game of Lions is a film about the hidden lives of these surviving males before they become kings. This is a game of kings, as each bloodline fights for its ultimate survival and right to win a pride. Those that do not survive are the noble offspring that fate or natural selection simply determined would be dead ends in their particular family tree. Each survivor however, is the result of hard battles against hunger, attack by older males, run-ins with different nomads all trying to win the ultimate prize: life.

The Mating Game


UK, 2013, 55 min.

David Attenborough narrates the charming and fascinating story of some real-life animal romantics. There are show-offs and singers, dancers and fighters, stories of undercover affairs and heart-warming devotion. These include a male polar bear that plays hard to get, a lemur whose odor bags him a mate, and a lizard who is tender and faithful to the very end. It reveals that animals can be loving, complex, funny and inventive – it is all part of the mating game.

Ocean Odyssey


Fedore Pitcairn, 57 min.

Commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, OCEAN ODYSSEY takes viewers on an undersea journey to remote and magical places. Follow Feodor Pitcairn, a pioneer in underwater HD cinematography, as he explores the marine ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, Rajah Ampat in Indonesia, the Maldives, the Azores, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Channel Islands, British Columbia, the Gulf of Mexico, French Polynesia and Belize. Filmed in high definition, with commentary by Feodor Pitcairn and fellow cinematographer Bob Cranston, OCEAN ODYSSEY is a stunning film that reveals some of the most amazing underwater footage ever seen and offers reflections by two of the most prominent cinematographers at work today.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Wednesday, April 16

Special Event! 
An Evening with M. Sanjayan

At The UC Theatre at The University of Montana, 6 pm. FREE ADMISSION

IWFF and The University of Montana are pleased to welcome leading global conservation scientist, writer and an Emmy-nominated news contributor Dr. M. Sanjayan to this year’s festival to present an episode from his upcoming Showtime documentary series Years Of Living Dangerously.

Sanjayan has focused on the role of conservation in improving human well-being, wildlife and the environment.  He serves on Conservation International’s senior leadership team as Executive Vice President and Senior Scientist.

 Sanjayan’s broad-reaching television experience includes numerous documentaries for Discovery Channel and the BBC and serving as a frequent contributor to CBS News.  He is currently filming his new TV series, Earth – A New Wild airing on PBS in 2015.  He is also the science correspondent for Years of Living Dangerously, a Showtime documentary series debuting in April 2014. In January 2014 he returned as the featured contributor to the BBC World News series The Power of Nature.

His scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology. Raised in Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, Sanjayan’s unique background and expertise have also attracted mainstream media coverage in Outside, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Afar and The New York Times.

Sponsored by The President’s Office at The University of Montana

Showing Today

6:00 pm: SPECIAL FEATURE: Years of Living Dangerously with Dr. M. Sanjayan. Free Screening at the UC Theater
7:00 pmLegends of the Giant Squid and Mystery of Eels
7:15 pmAatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys


Daylong Field Trip to the National Bison Range and the breathtaking Mission Mountain Range – Sponsored by Nature. 9:30 am – 2 pm
Canon Camera Demonstration – Capture the views of and learn about Canon’s new line of cinema cameras during the National Bison Range field trip. 9:30 am – 2 pm
After Party – Sponsored by the School of Film and Photography, MFA in Science & Natural History Filmmaking at MSY. The Loft, 119 W Main St. 8:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet


About the Films

Legends of the Deep: The Giant Squid


Yasuhiro Koyama and Leslie Schwerin, USA/Japan, 52 min.

The giant squid is a perfect example of what is still a deep-sea mystery in the 21st century. Reaching amazing lengths of up to 18 meters, they are the largest squid in the world, yet they have never been seen alive in the deep sea. One of best chances of encountering a giant squid is in the waters off the Japan’s Ogasawara Islands. Using two state-of-the-art submersible vessels and special ultra-sensitive, high-definition cameras for deep-water use, film crews, along with some scientific experts, launched an expedition 1,000 meters beneath the sea. After 100 dives totaling 400 hours, they finally succeeded in capturing footage of a giant squid in its natural, deep-ocean habitat. The previously unseen, shimmering beauty of a giant squid lies ahead.

The Mystery of Eels

Nature: The Mystery of Eels

USA 55 min.

Though much of the natural world is discovered and understood, a few great mysteries remain. Consider the eel, unappealingly snake-like and slimy, with strong jaws and rows of sandpapery teeth. Aside from these fearsome qualities, we know little about the life of this amazing fish. Where it goes, what it does, and how it dies, nobody knows. Hailed by poets as the siren of the North Sea, this shadowy creature has fascinated researchers for centuries. And now James Prosek, artist, writer, and eminent naturalist, takes on the mystery of eels, shedding light on the cultural history, biology, and economics surrounding the creature, as well as the passions it inspires in those who seek to know it. Produced by Nature/WNET.

Aatsinki: The Story Of Arctic Cowboys


Jessica Oreck, 2013, Iceland, 85 min.

One year in the life of a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland. A study of hard work, hard earned leisure, and an intricate bond between man and nature. Brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki are cowboys of the Arctic. Quiet but good natured, dare-devilish but humble, rugged but gentle, and exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to their little slice of wilderness. These men are what John Wayne wanted to be. The brothers, along with their wives and children, live well north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, where they are the leaders of a collective of traditional reindeer herders who manage the last group of wild reindeer in all of Finland. Aatsinki follows the family for the span of one year, quietly observing their seasonal routines and the difficulties and joys of a life so closely tied to the land.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Tuesday, April 15

Showing Today

3:00 pm: William and the Windmill
3:30 pm: Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface
5:00 pm: Chattahoochee Unplugged
5:15 pm: Snows of the Nile and Black Mamba- Kiss of Death
7:00 pmDamNation
7:15 pmTouching the Wild and She Wolf
8:45 pm: Encounters at the End of the World


Welcome Session: 9:30 am – 11am
Adventures in Science – with Greg Trenish 10-11 am
Animal Corridors – John Davis, trekker and scout at TrekWest leads this informative discussion. 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Positive outcomes – Panelist discuss real world strategies and successful outreach initiatives. 1-3pm
Touching The Wild – a conversation on Animal Handling with Dave Mizejewski – 3:00 – 4:30
Cocktails & Tour – Montgomery Distillery 6:30pm


About the Films

William and the Windmill


Ben Nabors, 2013, USA/Malawi/South Africa, 88 min.

 William Kamkwamba, a young Malawian, builds a power-generating windmill from junk parts to rescue his family from famine, transforming his life and catapulting him on to the the world stage. His fame and success lead him to new opportunities and complex choices about his future, distancing him from the life he once knew.

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’.

Chattahoochee Unplugged


Rhett Turner, 2014, USA, 56 min

Chattahoochee Unplugged’ is about the removal of two dams the Eagle Phenix dam and the City Mills Dams in Columbus, Georgia. The program shows the behind the scenes of these two dams being removed and in its place put in a world class white water course. The white water course was designed by the same designer who designed the Ocoee Olympic Course for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The show also goes into detail about why Columbus because it is a fall line river at this point on the Chattahoochee River and gives a brief history of the city. The show contaminates with an incredible white water rafting and kayaking shots.

Snows of the Nile

Snows of the Nile2_Photo by Neil Losin

Nathan Dappen, Neil Losin, USA, 20 min.

Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains rise 5000 meters from the heart of Africa. At their summits are some of Earth’s only equatorial glaciers. But these ‘Mountains of the Moon,’ whose existence caused a sensation in Europe when they were first climbed in 1906, are changing fast. Snows of the Nile follows two scientist/photographers on an ambitious expedition to re-capture historical glacier imagery from the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda. If they could retrace the steps of the Duke of Abruzzi’s legendary 1906 expedition and re-capture the famous glacier photographs taken by Vittorio Sella, they could visualize the impacts of a century of climate change.

Black Mamba- Kiss of Death


2013, South Africa, 46 min

It is Silly Season in Mamba Valley and like zombies from their graves, the heat draws Black Mambas from the shadows. They are on the hunt for summer lodgings but as the deadliest snake on the planet, they are not popular neighbors. Many will fall foul to a gunshot or the sharp end of a shovel. But some will be lucky enough to be rescued by a snake wrangling team with a passion for Mambas. One snake has a special mission, she is recently mated and ready to deliver a new generation of silver killers into Mamba Valley. She is the deadliest snake in Africa.


Matilija Dam with scissors showing the way forward.

Travis Rummel & Ben Knight, 2014, 87 min.

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the Monkey Wrench Gang. When obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. “DamNation”’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move us through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

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.

She Wolf

Bob Landis, USA, 2014, 50 min.

The Lamar Canyon pack is one of the most famous of all Yellowstone’s wolf packs for one unusual reason: its leader was an especially powerful female, “’06″/832F (aka “The ’06 Female”). Filmmaker Bob Landis retraces the life of this incredible animal, the She Wolf, who was forced to leave her original clan and strike out on her own when she was still a young cub, confronting Yellowstone’s beautiful but merciless wilderness alone.

Encounters at The End of the World


Werner Herzog, 2008, Germany/Antarctica, 99 min.

In the most hostile, barren, alien environment on the planet – you meet the most interesting people. Welcome to Antarctica – like you’ve never experienced it. You’ve seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award-winning, iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog, to be the first to explore the South Pole’s most fascinating inhabitants…humans. In this one-of-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, “professional dreamers” who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty – perhaps the last frontier on earth.


What’s Happening in the Wild – Monday, April 14

Showing Today

5:00 pm: Path of the Pronghorn & Hunt for the Super Predator
5:15 pm: Invasion of the Giant Tortoise and Szigetkoz- The Delta of the Danube
7:00 pm: GMO OMG
7:15 pm: Valley of the Sharks
8:30 pm: Grizzly Man


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



About the Films

Path of the Pronghorn


Jake Willers, USA, 8 min.

Since 2003, Wildlife Conservation Society conservation scientists have been involved in a long-term study of the Path of the Pronghorn, an age-old migration route that connects summer range in Grand Teton National Park with winter range far to the south in the western Wyoming’s Green River Valley.

Hunt for the Super Predator

Search for the Ocean's Super Predator Image

Michael Lynch, Smithsonian, Australia, 58 min.

In the depths of Australia’s Southern Ocean a Great White Shark is savagely attacked by a far larger mystery predator. An electronic tracking device attached to its fin records a high speed underwater chase before the shark and its tag are devoured. Two weeks later, after being carried in the belly of the unknown killer, the still functioning tag is excreted and washed ashore, withholding clues that could reveal the identity of the sharks super predator. This is a story of a super predator’s underwater attack that leads investigators to a mysterious natural phenomenon that attracts the ocean’s most fearsome predators.

Invasion of the Giant Tortoise


Theo Lipfert, USA, 27 min.

Invasion of the Giant Tortoises explores the controversial introduction of a non-native species to the African island of Mauritius. Once home to the dodo, Mauritius was teeming with giant tortoises until the arrival of man. The introduction of predators and habitat loss doomed these majestic creatures to extinction. Now biologists have embarked on a radical plan: to replace the extinct Mauritian tortoise with a close relative: the giant tortoise from Aldabra, a deserted atoll near the Seychelles. How will the island’s ecosystem respond? And how do the results of this experiment change how we thing about biodiversity?

Szigetkoz- The Inland Delta of the Danube


Szabolcs Mosonyi, Hungary, 51min

In the Western access areas to Hungary life had speeded up – there are wind-mills, motorways, big cities and industrial parks all over the place. Yet, something is hiding between them. This is an enormous cone-shaped alluvial deposit with tiny villages, forests, and river branches. On one side of this region is today’s Szigetköz.

Flowing out of the Alps and Carpathians the Danube River created this land delta unique in Europe. Arriving at the plain the river broke into wide branches where unparalleled fauna developed. These days the river cannot change its course as freely as it used to in the old days. The decisive change came about some twenty years ago with the diversion of the river and the building of the hydroelectric plant of Gabcikovo. Seeing the grip of the built in surroundings the question is obvious: can the fauna preserve its former abundance?


gmo omg poster image for website

Jeremy Seifert, USA, 2013, 90 min

The documentary explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity’s most precious and ancient inheritance: seeds. Director Jeremy Seifert investigates how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affects his young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. GMO OMG follows one family’s struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system. In GMO OMG, the encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing global movement to take back what we have lost. Has the global food system been irrevocably hijacked?

Valley of the Sharks

black tip reef shark3

John Ruthven, USA, 57 min.

“In the heart of the Pacific Ocean the sea around the Tuamotu islands is coursing with life. Hundreds of shards cruise though underwater canyons above a seabed carpeted with coral. Scientists often cite the relationship between healthy reefs and top predators, but they don’t really know how it works. Time and again as top predators disappear entire ecosystems below them fail. This film will find out why corals need sharks, just as much as sharks need corals. It uncovers how two of the most threatened groups of animals in the ocean are truly dependent on one another, and therefore must be protected if either of them are to survive into the future.

Grizzly Man


Werner Herzog, 2005, USA, 103 min.

Grizzly Man documents the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell lived unarmed among the bears for thirteen summers, and filmed his adventures in the wild during his final five seasons. In October 2003, Treadwell’s remains, along with those of his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were discovered near their campsite in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Reserve. They had been mauled and devoured by a grizzly, the first known victims of a bear attack in the park. (The bear suspected of the killings was later shot by park officials.) Was Timothy Treadwell a passionate and fearless environmentalist who devoted his life to living peacefully among Alaskan grizzly bears in order to save them? Or was he a deluded misanthrope whose reckless actions resulted in his own death, as well as those of his girlfriend and one of the bears he swore to protect?



What’s Happening in the Wild – Sunday, April 13

Showing Today:

3:00 pm: Saving Otter 501 and Shark Girl
3:15 pmBluebird Man and Parrot Confidential
5:00 pm: Lion Guardians and Congo: Deep and Dangerous
5:15 pm: La Soufriere and Flying Doctors of East Africa
7:00 pm: Pride and On A River in Ireland
7:15 pm: Great Zebra Exodus and Winning the War

Saving Otter 501

RW05-080.tifMark Shelley, Bob Talbot, USA, 55 min.

On a typical late summer day a baby sea otter washes up on the beach in Monterey, California, hungry, lost, injured. For decades marine biologist Karl Mayer and his small staff have worked unceasingly to bring this keystone species back from the brink of extinction so it can play its important role in the local marine environment. This is the story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save an orphan otter. From her discovery as a stranded newborn pup crying on the beach through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Aquarium, we follow as Otter 501 learns how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in the wild, where survival is a long shot at best. Produced by Nature/WNET.


Shark Girl


Gisela Kaufmann, Australia, 58 min.

Conservationist, filmmaker, activist, delinquent – 19-year-old Madison Stewart has been called many things, but to her friends she’s simply ‘shark girl’. Growing up on the Great Barrier Reef, Madison soon realized the creature she loves most is disappearing fast. Driven by fear, every year up to 80,000 sharks are killed in this UNESCO World Heritage Site for cheap steaks and luxury shark fin soup. Turning passion into action, she sets out to stop the slaughter and shatter our perception of these alleged man-eaters. SHARK GIRL is a powerful wake-up call and a moving record of one determined young woman to save the animal she loves most, but most others would like to see dead.

Bluebird Man


Matthew Podolsky, Neil Paprocki, USA, 27 min.

Bluebird Man is the story of 91-year-old Al Larson, a self-taught conservation hero who has committed the last 35 years of his life to saving North America’s bluebirds. Breathtaking scenery, intimate conversations and stunning footage of all three species of bluebird create a powerful film with the goal of inspiring our next generation of citizen scientists.

Parrot Confidential

Nature: Parrot Confidential

Allison Argo, USA 55min

Exotic beauty, outrageous intelligence and remarkably advanced language skills have made parrots one of the world’s most popular pets. But unlike dogs and cats, parrots have not been domesticated. Their ear-shattering squawks and unpredictable behavior are designed for the rainforest, not for captivity. Sooner or later, some owners come to the conclusion that they have taken on a more difficult challenge than they can handle, and turn to overcrowded shelters and sanctuaries for help. From the suburbs of our own country to the wilds of Costa Rica, parrot owners, rescuers, breeders, and biologists involved in conservation programs share their stories and the stories of their parrots in this bittersweet and unforgettable film about the difficulties and consequences of keeping and caring for parrots as pets. Produced by Nature/WNET.

Lion Guardians


Kire Godal, Kenya, 19 min.

Made for the Lion Guardians program this film is to help stop the rapid decline of lions. Just over 60 years ago there were estimated to be more than half a million lions in Africa. Today, fewer than 30,000 remain. Lion Guardians is a unique approach that relies on and preserves the cultural traditions of pastoralist communities in Africa, while at the same time actively engaging young warriors in protecting lions rather than killing them. This film is shown to communities that live with lions to introduce them to the Lion Guardians program, explain how it works, and to encourage them to participate and save their lion populations.

Made for the Lion Guardians program this film is to help stop the rapid decline of lions. Just over 60 years ago there were estimated to be more than half a million lions in Africa. Today, fewer than 30,000 remain. Lion Guardians is a unique approach that relies on and preserves the cultural traditions of pastoralist communities in Africa, while at the same time actively engaging young warriors in protecting lions rather than killing them. This film is shown to communities that live with lions to introduce them to the Lion Guardians program, explain how it works, and to encourage them to participate and save their lion populations.

Congo- Deep and Dangerous


Thomas Behrend, Germany, 48 min

The Congo: more powerful and dangerous than any other river, yet a sanctuary and home for some of the most wonderful creatures on our Earth. ‘Wild Congo’ follows the second largest river on Earth from its source in Zambia on its journey through marshland areas and rainforests. The Congo’s journey stretches over a distance of 5000 kilometres, starting as a small stream and developing into a raging river that engulfs everything in its path. Biologists consider it to be the cradle of evolution: an experimental location for the emergence of new species! The shoebill, elephant fish and blind eel are just a few examples of the wildlife of the Congo and its astounding ability to adapt.

La Soufrière


Werner Herzog, 1977, West Germany, 31 min.

As 75,000 people were being evacuated from the island of Guadeloupe in 1976, Werner Herzog characteristically flew in to film the predicted eruption of ‘La Soufrière’ volcano and find the one peasant reported to have remained behind.

The Flying Doctors of East Africa

FD plane

Werner Herzog, West Germany, 1970, 45 min.

 A documentary on the work of an independent group of physicians in remote areas of East Africa. A film about the differing mindsets of African patients and Western medicine, a difference that calls for a new way of thinking.



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.

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.

Great Zebra Exodus

A herd of zebra stampedes along the Boteti River.

USA, 55 min.

When thunderclouds begin to gather over the Kalahari of Botswana each year, 20,000 zebras get itchy feet. As the first fat raindrops hit the dust, southern Africa’s biggest animal migration gets underway. In a never-ending quest for grass and water, the striped herds undertake an annual epic trek across the vast lunar landscape of Makgadikgadi Pans of the Kalahari. The story of this spectacular annual migration is told through the eyes of a single zebra family: a stallion, his three mares and their offspring. Documenting their journey across this otherworldly landscape, the film reveals their trials and triumphs as well as the fascinating social bonds that hold zebra families together.

Winning the War


Mark Strickson, South Africa, 25min

Poaching is big business with rhino horn now worth more than gold. The only thing standing between South Africa’s animals and possible extinction is a new breed of anti-poaching rangers – prepared to lay their lives on the line for Africa’s wildlife.

The six-part series takes a unique look at the issue of poaching through the eyes of trainee rangers as some leave home for the first time, enter a brutal world of military training and finally head to the frontline of Africa’s Wildlife WarzoneWinning the War is a featured episode from within the Wildlife Warzone series.


Opening Night at the International Wildlife Film Festival

Welcome to the wild! The IWFF is back and better than ever and it all begins today with two great films:

The festival opens at  7:00pm tonight with a double feature: Flight of the Butterflies and Brooklyn Farmer.

Flight of the Butterflies

ImageJoin millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey along with one scientist’s 40 year search to unravel the mystery. A natural history epic and human detective story. Weighing less than a penny, the monarch butterfly makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent to a place it has never known. Follow the amazing migration and the scientific adventure of one man’s decades-long search for where the butterflies go each Fall-a mystery he solved in 1975 with a remarkable combination of perseverance and good luck. A powerful and moving film with breathtaking 3D cinematography from an award-winning team including macro-photography pioneer and Oscar winner Peter Parks. Experience Flight of the Butterflies.

Brooklyn Farmer

ImageBrooklyn Farmer explores the unique challenges facing Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm within the landscape of New York City.  As their growing operation expands to a second roof, the team confronts the realities inherent in operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.

Flight of the Butterflies – Opening the IWFF

Don’t miss our opening film, Flight of the Butterflies. It plays  Saturday April 12, 7pm at the Roxy Theater.

Join millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey along with one scientist’s 40 year search to unravel the mystery. A natural history epic and human detective story. Weighing less than a penny, the monarch butterfly makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent to a place it has never known. Follow the amazing migration and the scientific adventure of one man’s decades-long search for where the butterflies go each Fall-a mystery he solved in 1975 with a remarkable combination of perseverance and good luck. A powerful and moving film with breathtaking 3D cinematography from an award-winning team including macro-photography pioneer and Oscar winner Peter Parks. Experience Flight of the Butterflies.

Get Ready for the WildWalk with the ZACC!

Image Are you ready to WildWalk?  Sunday April 13th, join Missoula’s wildest citizens as we dance, crawl, swing and slither through downtown!

Dress up and line up at the Red Xs in downtown Missoula at 11:15am to join the fun!  Don’t have a costume? No problem! This Saturday, April 12  join us from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Zootown Arts Community Center  (235 N. First St. W.) for our WildWalk parade workshop! Artists and supplies will be on hand to help you build a three-dimensional animal mask to wear during the WildWalk.

For more info check out this video the Missoulian made of the workshop and parade puppets:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40ooYW2cUpA&w=560&h=315]

37th International Wildlife Film Festival Returns to its Roots

37th International WIldlife Film Festival

Join us, April 12-19, 2014

It’s back and better than ever! Housed at the recently renovated Roxy Theater, get ready for a stellar week packed with groundbreaking, inspirational films and exciting special events.

This year’s festival includes over sixty films from around the world – and a variety of events that propel our festival into new, creative frontiers. But for us it’s less about reinvention and more about a return to the core values that have made the festival a beloved part of our community. We have a wealth of family friendly programs including WildWalk and WildFest, daily children’s matinees, a rock show at The Wilma by The Whizpops! and “Squidbelly,” a magical, musical puppet show by The Bat Honey Puppeteers.

We offer new and engaging work from the world’s most talented wildlife filmmakers; challenging and inspiring environmental films including an evening with M. Sanjayan and a look at his new Showtime documentary series Years of Living Dangerously. We are also screening classics like our special series by master German documentarian Werner Herzog. Merging the contemporary and the classics, NextDoorPrisonHotel will perform an original score for eight classic underwater films by pioneering filmmaker Jean Painlevé.

With dozens of opportunities for exploration, discussion, and insight, this year’s event will welcome filmmakers, industry executives, scientists, conservationists and enthusiasts from around the world to participate in screenings, Q&As, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, and other free events at The Roxy and The University Of Montana. Nurtured by the enthusiasm of Missoula’s local community, this year’s festival brings a world of issues and ideas to our cozy little mountain town.

More information on the events and the films is available on our website. 

Registration Now Open For IWFF 2014

Registration for the 37th annual festival is now open.  Delegates from around the world will converge on Missoula for a week of lively film screenings, energizing discussions, and cozy opportunities to meet and network with colleagues.

Sign up today to come back to the wild!

Download a registration form here.

Or buy passes online.

Check out the 2014 IWFF Program Booklet here.


For questions about entries or registration please contact: iwff (at) wildlifefilms (dot) org