These films explore the environments, events, creatures, and people that help define the wild American West.
American Horses: American horses are icons. Mustang. Appaloosa. Morgan. Quarterhorse. Even their names suggest a timeless power. Horsepower that shaped a nation. A nation whose demands shaped them. Each has a unique story to tell. Born of legendary historical moments, charismatic figures, and singular places, AMERICAN HORSES takes us on a journey tracing the emergence of these breeds over time. But the work to understand, create, and maintain their legacies is not over. Today’s horse trainers are as diverse as the horses they care for. Their passion is unbridled – for they continue in the long tradition of innovation and husbandry that is now part of the very fabric of America. Narrated by Bill Pullman. Directed by Smithsonian Channel. Producers: Alex Burr, Tria Thalman, Jeff Turner. Sponsored by American Prairie Reserve.
Yellowstone '88 - Song of Fire: In the summer of 1988 dry lightning sparked a fire in the parched landscape of Yellowstone Park, igniting a blaze that would scorch over 1.5 million perimeter acres of the park. The fire only ceased after an intense snowstorm. That winter surviving Fauna, exhausted from fire and weakened by hunger, die in greater numbers than those claimed by the fire. But the seasons change, and life begins again. This animated short, guided by the narrative poem "Song of Fire," tells the story of Yellowstone in '88. Directed by Jerry van de Beek and Betsy De Fries. Produced by Betsy De Fries. Sponsored by MT Film Office.
Life in the Land: The Big Hole Valley: The Big Hole Valley still consists of open, connected landscapes, where cattle ranchers steward the land, and anglers venture for world class trout fishing. Witness how entities that have not historically worked together; ranchers, anglers, conservationists, and agencies, are collaborating to maintain the health of the river and create resilience in challenging years. Sponsored by The Keep.
The 4/25 Screening will include a post-film discussion with Big Hole Watershed Committee Pedro Marques, Life in the Land: The Big Hole Valley filmmaker Lara Tomov, and Yellowstone 88: Song of Fire filmmaker Jerry van der Beek.
The 4/28 Screening will include a post-film discussion with Lara Tomov, Jerry van der Beek, and American Horses filmmaker Eric Bendick.