Montana International Film Festival | Billings, MT Sept 19-23, 2018

2018 festival award winners

Mint spirit award | american relapse

Image by Kenneth Jarecke

Image by Kenneth Jarecke


Directed by Pat McGee & Adam Linkenhelt | Documentary Feature | USA, 105 mins | Montana Premiere

AMERICAN RELAPSE is a feature documentary about the ripped-from-the-headlines heroin epidemic and the corrupt underground rehab industry that has sprung up around it in Southern Florida. This, on-the-ground documentary follows the day-to-day struggle of recovering addicts Allie and Frankie attempting to place addicts in treatment, but can they stay clean themselves?

Best female director | amrita pradhan for WE WERE ÍSLANDS

Image by Kenneth Jarecke

Image by Kenneth Jarecke


Directed by Amrita Pradhan | Narrative Feature | USA, 80 mins | Montana Premiere

Reeta, a young stand-up comedian, feels the heat. As she edges closer to the ominous age of 3-0, she feels the ever-mounting pressure to fall in love, get married, and settle down. Her growing doubts and conservative Indian family are certainly not helping the situation. When she meets lonely funeral home employee Juliun, her happy ending finally feels imminent... so why isn’t she happy? A whimsical dramatic-comedy about trying to fix something that may have been broken all along.

Best made in montana film | willow creek road

Image by Kenneth Jarecke

Image by Kenneth Jarecke


Directed by Francesca Mirabella | USA, 15 minutes

Big Sky Film Grant Recipient

An isolated ranch hand is forced to confront herself, when she unexpectedly picks up two children along a rural Montana road.


Best Narrative Feature

Human Affairs

Directed by Charlie Birns | Narrative Feature | USA, 78 mins

A compassionate drama about a young, successful theatre couple in New York City who meet their surrogate mother for the first time, and embark on a startling and intimate weekend of surprises and revelations.


Best Documentary Feature

General Magic

Directed by Sarah Kerruish & Matt Maude | Documentary Feature | USA, 93 mins

The side of Silicon Valley you never see, General Magic is a tale of how great vision and epic failure can change the world.


Best narrative Short Film


Directed by Severine De Streyker & Maxime Feyers | Belgium, 20 minutes

France meets her son's girlfriend for the first time. She loses control...


Best Documentary Short Film

The Battered Wife

Directed by Jessica Portuondo | USA, 5 minutes

A Battered Wife tells the story of Montana and its tormented relationship with industrial mining.

Special jury awards


Mud (Hashtł'ishnii)

Category | Short Film

Directed by Shaandiin Tome | USA, 10 min

On her last day, Ruby faces the inescapable remnants of alcoholism, family, and culture.


Riding Wild

Category | Documentary Feature

Directed by Charles Cohen | USA, 83 mins

This documentary follows one man’s quest to lead a tribe of BMXers to bushwhack a secret bike trail through a patch of forgotten woods in Baltimore City to escape the violence outside their doorsteps.


The Song of Sway Lake

Category | Narrative Feature

Directed by Ari Gold | USA, 94 mins

It’s summer on Sway Lake, former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Young music collector Ollie Sway (Rory Culkin) recruits his only friend, a rowdy Russian drifter (Robert Sheehan), to help him steal a one-of-a-kind vintage record from his own family's glamorous lake house.


The Pushouts

Category | Best Female Director(s)

Directed by Katie Galloway and Dawn Valadez | USA, 60 mins

I was in prison before I was even born. So begins the story of Dr. Victor Rios who, by 15, was a high school dropout and gang member with multiple felony convictions and a death wish…