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Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Big Sky Documentary Film FestivalWow! A full week of great documentary films just wrapped up here in Missoula at the Wilma Theater. Amazing stuff. For many of us that own & rent units as vacation rentals here in the Wilma building, we had the opportunity to accommodate some of the visiting filmmakers and press. These are some incredibly talented folks and I know that I feel very lucky to have been included in this very unique, and very “Missoula” event.

At one of the reception parties that happen alongside these film screenings, I was approached by a filmmaker who was here in town to show her recently completed film “A Circle and Three Lines” . She was so inspired by Missoula and a story she’d heard about our infamous “Peace Sign” that she’s planning to do another film on the story behind this piece of Missoula history. I’ll leave most the storytelling to her, but this sign was a piece of radio relay equipment located on Missoula’s north side, up on the hill. People would regularly, and illegally, climb up this large structure and paint a peace sign on it. It would get cleaned up, then repainted, then cleaned off, then repainted by a reclusive group of Missoulians who were proud to climb the structure and broadcast their message with the peace icon. FInally, Qwest, the owner of the structure no longer had a need for it and decided to have it torn down. By this time, the famous symbol on the hill had become a big part of Missoula’s “personality”, in many ways. Some Missoulian’s cheered at its removal, others sobbed. Many of the key players in this cat-and-mouse game with Qwest actually ended up with the pieces and it looks like this whole story will now become the basis for a future film. One that will certainly be shown in an upcoming screening some year at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (BSDFF).

If you’re ever find yourself in Missoula, in early February, be sure to stop in and check out the BSDFF, it is a well organized smorgasbord of films about any and everything where “reality plays itself”.