Doc Challenge at The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

 In AudAwards

The International Documentary Challenge and Fusion Doc Challenge showcase their short non-fiction films in The Audience Awards‘ hometown of Missoula, Montana at the town’s seminal event,  The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Fusion Doc Challenge films screen at The Top Hat Lounge, Thursday at 2 pm, with International Doc Challenge films following at 4 pm. At 7 pm Thursday, The Audience Awards hosts a party at Le Petit Outre on 4th street in Missoula.

The challenges are timed filmmaking competitions where filmmakers from around the world signed up to make a short documentary in just five days. Filmmakers  had to choose between two assigned documentary genres and were assigned a specific theme (such as “Behind the Curtain”) that dictated the content and direction of their film.

Screenshot 2015-02-11 12.41.36The films were judged by an esteemed panel and premiered at Hot Docs and Slamdance where the overall winners were announced.  20/Nothing, a film from prominent Missoula filmmaker Rachel Stevens,  won the POV award and screens at the 4 pm event.  Her film “Introducing Montgomery Distillery: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Gin,” also premiered at last year’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. You can view this mockumentary at The Audience Awards.

GMOtional, another locally created film by director Tom Staggs, screens at the 2pm event. Check out the trailer and come to the Top Hat Lounge tomorrow to see these celebrated shorts.


Doc Challenge film Maikaru (filmmaker in attendance) won best short film in The Seattle Film Festival and was Oscar eligible. Not bad for a film made in just 5 days! You’ll also want to see the two films that were voted the best from the challenge, Nobody Loves Joel Romeo (filmmakers in attendance) and I am Juli, winner of the Fusion Doc Challenge.

Nobody Loves Joel Romeo

BSDFF is excited to have the Doc Challenge films at their festival. Their festival survey is also powered by

The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films. 

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