Audience Awards Presents AudFest: Film & Innovation Festival
AudFest: Film & Innovation Festival bringing award-winning short films and innovation leaders to Missoula.
December 5 – 8, Missoula-based global video platform will screen the year’s best short films and spotlight women innovators.
Recognizing Missoula as a hub for technological and cultural innovation, Audience Awards is bringing home its annual film festival, AudFest, December 5 – 8 to the Roxy Theater. Previously held in Los Angeles, the Audience Awards Film Festival, also known as AudFest, will screen the 100 best short films of the year from its global video platform that receives more than 20,000 short film submissions each year.
The online video platform, headquartered in Missoula, has become considered the curated version of YouTube, where a global audience and professional jury panels select the best short films in Audience Awards’ hosted online film festivals. AudFest will live screen the award-winning short films from its online festivals in 15 diverse genres, including music, dance, romance, LGBTQ, women in film, comedy, environment, and impact, adventure, and even horror. Plus, AudFest will offer two free screening blocks for middle and high school students at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 5 and Friday, December 6.
“Missoula audiences know us through our online platform, but for the first time we’ll get to interact with local followers in person and introduce them to our global filmmaking community and award-winning films,” said Paige Williams, founder, and CEO of Audience Awards.
Williams, who has helped put Missoula on the map as a hub of start-up activity and sits on the board of the Montana High Tech Alliance, is also adding an Innovation track to AudFest spotlighting women innovators in the 406 and beyond. Designed for those who lead brands, venture capital, and investment firms, and those who work with them, the Innovation track will offer a platform to elevate female and diverse voices through two days of lighting rounds, fireside chats, and panels. Female leaders from Missoula-based companies ATG, Submittable, LumenAd, and onX will participate in a panel discussion in topics ranging from talent acquisition to company culture. Other discussions will encompass investing in female-founded companies and gender equity in higher education.
Dr. Chelsea Bodnar, a pediatrician and the spouse of the University of Montana President Seth Bodnar, will also keynote as part of the university’s new S.E.A Change Initiative, a sponsor of the AudFest Innovation track. The S.E.A. Change initiative — standing for Safe, Empowered, Accelerated — launched earlier this year with the goal to address the challenges and embrace the opportunities ahead as our community seeks equity for all women leading up to the August 2020 centennial of the full ratification of the 19th Amendment.
The AudFest Innovation track will be held on December 5 and 6 at the Zootown Arts Community Center.
“A lot is changing in our world right now,” Williams said. “We want to show female creators, leaders and everyone who strives to make a difference the amazing potential for growth within themselves, within their fields and here in our own state.”
Williams, who started her career as a documentary filmmaker, founded Audience Awards in 2013 and has been a vocal supporter of the Montana film industry and start-up community. The company specializing in connecting aspiring filmmakers with sponsors, festivals and media outlets has worked with Hilton Worldwide, 21st Century Fox, Better Business Bureau, and GoDaddy to support filmmakers and produce valuable content for the brands with which they work.
“Storytelling through filmmaking has immense potential to impact brands as well as important causes,” Williams added. “As we grow our impact on the business and film community, we also want to support those who are trying to tell their stories and make a difference.”
In addition to elevating the voices of female creators and leaders, every screening block at AudFest will support a local nonprofit through AudFest’s “Impact through Film” program. Find the full AudFest schedule at audienceawardsfilmfestival.com, where passes for screening blocks and the Innovation track are available for purchase as well.
We are excited to bring you Audience Awards Presents AudFest: Film & Innovation Festival!