Information for Montana's Tourism Industry


The Montana Film Office promotes the state as a location for feature films, commercials, television, documentaries, music videos, still photography, and new media productions by providing information, scouting, and support services to the film production industry - including producers, directors, location managers, and studio executives. Montana Film Office also encourages growth of the indigenous film industry in Montana by offering resources and technical support to Montana filmmakers and film festivals.

The Montana Film Office website

Montana Film Office administers the Big Sky on the Big Screen Act, Montana’s film production incentive program. See a description of our current filming tax incentives HERE

Advertising & Marketing
The Montana Film Office undertakes specific promotional projects to build and sustain the out-of-state production community's awareness of Montana as a prime filming location.

Print & Online Advertising
Montana film ads have been featured in various trade publications such as AFCI Locations, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Shoot, American Cinematographer, Creativity, Screen, DGA Magazine, Production Update, Produced By, Below The Line, Moving Pictures, MovieMaker and Filmmaker Magazines. Along with print advertising, Montana Film Office ads have been featured on various websites such as,,,,,,, and

Direct Mail Campaigns
Each December production decision makers receive a Montana calendar featuring Montana locations. These calendars provide a monthly reminder of the state and its features. Throughout the year, the Film Office will distribute brochures and promotional products to film industry professionals as an effort to entice them to bring their projects to Montana.

Social Media & Electronic Newsletters
The Montana Film Office also networks with the film industry, crew members, and the local community online via Facebook and Twitter social media sites. Daily posts include information on cast/crew calls, events, film festivals' call for entries, upcoming contests, trivia, and other film industry news. The Film Office also uses You Tube to promote Montana videos on the montanafilm channel. Quarterly electronic newsletters are broadcast to production companies and Montana crew members to keep them informed on recent projects and film events.

Public Relations
The Montana Film Office's public relation efforts include proactively soliciting stories in key publications and online through the creation of an editorial calendar that tracks relevant opportunities. From this calendar story pitches and media alerts are issued about a variety of topics including locations, tax incentives and events. The Office also responds to reactive requests from the media interested in publishing stories about Montana or looking for photography to represent the state. Finally the Office solicits speaking engagements and interview opportunities for the Film Office Manager.

Scouting/Industry Liaison
The Montana Film Office provides year-round scouting trips to show producers and other studio personnel possible locations for their upcoming projects. When appropriate, the Montana Film Office works with its industry and regional liaisons to help facilitate this process.

Trade Shows & Film Festivals
Representing Montana at major industry trade shows and film festivals in the United States and abroad allows the Film Office the opportunity to increase awareness and knowledge of the state as a film location on a one-to-one basis. Along with sponsoring various film festivals and trade shows, the Film Office will host filmmaker receptions as an opportunity to network directly with film producers and directors attending the event.

Sundance Film Festival
Each January directors, producers, and studio executives meet and conduct workshops and screen new independent feature films and documentaries at this nationally recognized film festival held in Park City, Utah.

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Held each February in Missoula, MT, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has evolved into an internationally-recognized venue for showcasing innovative, contemporary and classic documentary films from around the world. The week-long festival brings documentary filmmakers to Montana to screen their films, and presents films from more than 25 countries each year, including World and North American Premieres. Montana Film Office has been a supporter and sponsor of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival since its inception in 2004.

South By Southwest Film Festival
The South By Southwest Film Festival, held each March in Austin, TX is a  gathering of a wide range of filmmakers, including a huge representation of independent filmmakers and veteran filmmakers; it also attracts established directors.

International Wildlife Film Festival
The International Wildlife Film Festival, held each May in Missoula, MT, is the first and longest running wildlife film festival in the world. Veteran filmmakers, student filmmakers, scientists, conservationists, and industry leaders of wildlife films come together for a week of award-winning films, dynamic seminars, and social events. The International Wildlife Film Festival provides opportunities for networking, project development, and learning, and Montana Film Office continues to provide support and sponsorship.

AFCI Locations Trade Show
The Montana Film Office participates and exhibits at the AFCI Locations Trade Show held in conjunction with the Producers Guild of America’s “Produced By Conference.” The Produced By Conference has been the world’s premier educational event for producers for the past two years. Over 1000 producers as well as hundreds of other industry executives attend what is becoming film and television’s most important event.

Los Angeles Film Festival
The Los Angeles Film Festival, held annually for ten days in June, showcases the best of American and international independent cinema and attracts a huge spectrum of audiences from Los Angeles and around the world. The festival screens over 175 narrative features, documentaries, shorts, and music videos.

Independent Film Week
Each September, over 2,000 top industry executives, filmmakers, producers, and distributors of independent films gather in New York City to attend the IFP (Independent Feature Project) Filmmakers Conference which runs concurrently with Independent Film Week.

HATCHfest takes place annually in October in Bozeman, MT where it has continued to grow and attract the attention of the filmmaking world. HATCHfest is a festival based on mentorship. Each year groundbreaking new filmmakers are chosen to screen their works at HATCHfest. Those selected then meet and are mentored by industry leaders who attend the festival.  Montana Film Office has been a supporter and sponsor of HATCHfest since its inception in 2004.

AFI (American Film Institute) FEST is an international film festival held in Los Angeles each November that attracts independent producers, directors, and studio executives. AFI FEST runs concurrently with AFM (American Film Market), a marketplace for production and distribution deals for independent films.

The Montana Film Office responds to requests from producers for information about locations, along with the guidelines, laws, and permits regarding shooting in Montana. Turnaround time for information ranges from immediate to 24 hours.

Internet Web Site
The Montana Film Office web site at offers comprehensive information about filming projects in the state. In addition to offering the information detailed in the Montana Production Guide, the web site includes hundreds of photos of locations throughout the state, a new featured location every month, and a searchable locations database.

Photo & Information Files
Responding to inquiries quickly is one of the best ways to ensure that Montana is considered for a project. The Montana Film Office files include more than 170,000 images from all areas of the state and can be sent at a moment's notice electronically or by overnight delivery. The photo files are continually updated.

Reel-Scout Database
Montana Film Office uses Reel-Scout, a comprehensive database system created for film commissions that integrates all data for locations, projects, contacts, and crews in one interconnected database. Reel-Scout is a powerful state-of-the-art system that has become a database standard for film commissions.

Montana Production Guide
The Montana Production Guide, distributed to key decision-makers within the motion picture industry, is an all-encompassing reference for shooting a production in Montana. The guide includes more than 190 pages detailing information such as: production services and crews; contacts for federal, state, and city agencies; hotels and motels; weather data; aircraft charters; major locations, towns, and cities; and photos of Montana locations.

Evaluation Mechanisms
The Montana Film Office tracks location inquiries and requests as a measurement of the level of interest in the state. The true measure of success, however, is the increasing amount of revenue generated in Montana through motion picture and commercial projects. The Film Office calculates production company expenditures from data collected from personal interviews, queries to production personnel, and financial reports submitted for the film incentive program. These figures are then presented in aggregate on an annual basis. Long-term results, such as building the image of Montana both as a viable location and tourist destination, are difficult to quantify but do provide a future return.

Additional Information
For a complete list of the Film Office's projects and other useful information about the program and its operations, check out the following links: