2020-2021 Backcountry Film Festival Information

We’re bummed that we can’t host our traditional in-person Backcountry Film Festival parties this year. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to bring our community together to celebrate quiet winter recreation in Montana and watch some rad backcountry skiing and riding films!

Thanks to the great work of our friends at Winter Wildlands Alliance, we’ve actually got TWO film lineups to watch this year. You can buy a ticket for one or both and get stoked on the season! The first lineup is a “Best of Fest” that’s made up of some fan favorites over the last 15 years of the Backcountry Film Festival. The second lineup is a set of all new 2020-2021 films that carry on the tradition of past festivals.

Here’s how it’s all going to work this year:

We are kicking off a month-long viewing opportunity on December 10th and 11th with statewide watch parties. Gather up your family and/or “pod” and join us a 7:00 pm on the 10th and 11th as we watch the films together from the safety of our homes. While we can’t be in person, we can all get together virtually, celebrate our favorite winter activity and support MBA.

We’re going to watch the Best of Fest on Thursday the 10th and the 2020-2021 lineup on Friday the 11th. We’ll kick things off at 7:00 pm when the films officially become available for streaming. Tickets are $15 for an individual and $30 for a family (yes, we know we can’t track this…). Watch trailers for both lineups below.

Use this link to purchase tickets for the “Best of Fest” showing.

Use this link to purchase tickets for the “2020-2021” showing.

To make it more of an “event,” we’ll be giving away an MBA t-shirt to 5 folks who send us photos of their watch party. We’ll post the photos that you send us on our Instagram feed during each virtual watch party. Just snap a shot of you watching the films and send it to montanabackcountry@gmail.com between 7 and 10 pm on Thursday and/or Friday. We’re going to randomly pick 5 winners on Monday, December 14th and reach out via email. If you don’t want your photo posted, just let us know in the email and you’ll still get a chance to win a shirt; we just won’t post your photo!

Use this link to purchase tickets for the “Best of Fest” showing.

Use this link to purchase tickets for the “2020-2021” showing.

If you can’t make it to the watch parties, no worries! We will be offering the opportunity to buy Festival tickets that support MBA through Sunday, January 10th! That gives you plenty of time to wax your skis, make some popcorn, chill some beers, and enjoy the shows! We hope you’ll join us on the 10th and 11th, but if you can’t make it, we’ve got you covered. Just be sure to note the “viewing windows” that limit how long you have to watch the films once you purchase your ticket(s).

The system Winter Wildlands Alliance set up to purchase tickets and stream the films is great. Once you purchase your ticket(s), you will receive an email providing detailed instructions on how to access the viewing platform when the films are available for viewing.

Your confirmation email will include instructions on how to cast the films from a computer to a cast-enabled TV (e.g. Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast TV, etc), so you can watch on your TV if you’d like.

Warm-clothing Drive

We are also hoping to get our community to help others who are less fortunate this year by pairing the watch parties with a warm-clothing drive to support the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance in Bozeman and the Poverello Center in Missoula.

Bozeman friends, simply bring winter gear you don’t need or use anymore (jackets, hats, warm socks, gloves, etc) to Uphill Pursuits in Bozeman where they’ll collect it and our board member will take it to MIJA.

Missoula friends, just give the Poverello Center a call (406-529-5643) and set up a time to drop off winter gear you don’t need or use anymore (jackets, hats, warm socks, gloves, etc) and they’ll put it good use.

MBA depends on the Film Festivals to raise funds that help us plow Hyalite Canyon Road in the Bozeman area (through Friends of Hylalite) and help us maintain access to Gash Point and plow a parking area for access to Lockwood Point and Wisherd Ridge in the Missoula area. We have also donated $1,000 to both the Missoula and Gallatin County Avalanche Centers this year as their main fundraising events have been cancelled by Covid.

MBA will receive a portion of the ticket sales, which will help us keep doing what we do, but if you want to make an additional donation, we’d be grateful. Just send us a check (we’re old school) at PO Box 8691 and indicate if you want your funds to go to BZN or MSO efforts. If you want to make a larger donation and want tax-deduction documents, just send us an email and we’ll follow up.

We’re grateful for all the hard work the folks at Winter Wildlands Alliance have put into this year’s film festivals. Of course, we’re bummed we can’t gather as we have in the past to celebrate our sport and quiet winter recreation, but we’re glad we can still come together as a community, even if only virtually.

This year will be a busy one in the backcountry. Please be safe, respectful, helpful, and patient as more folks turn to the backcountry this season. Be sure to check avalanche forecasts, ski and ride within your abilities, and stay safe at trailheads and summits. Healthcare systems are at capacity and we can all do our part to recreate responsibly this winter.


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