Back to Big Sky for IF/Then Shorts

We're thrilled to continue our partnership with Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (for the 3rd year!) to support the art of short-form documentary storytelling.

6 finalists will present their projects, focusing on stories of the American West, at a live pitch event before a panel of industry judges on Thursday, February 21st from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the University of Montana UC Theater.

One project, selected by the jury, will receive up to $25,000 in project funding and will have the opportunity to participate in TFI’s IF/Then Shorts program, which provides year-round mentorship and career development opportunities.

Here are the 6 projects in competition: 

TEAM MERYLAND (Pictured above)
Director, DP: Gabriel Gaurano
Producers: Jason Phillips, Julia Elihu
Location: California
Four years after suffering a seizure that left her with no motor skills and complete memory loss, the nation’s second best twelve-year old female boxer, Meryland Gonzales, fights to become number one with the support of her family and community of Watts, South Central Los Angeles.



Director: Jessica Bernstein-Wax
Location: California; Arizona; Indiana
A team of doctors in San Francisco, an Amish father in Indiana, and a 5 year old Navajo girl in Arizona all pursue a cure for a genetic illness that causes infants to be born without an immune system.



Director, DP: Joseph Van Eeckhout
Location: Wyoming
A young woman in Wyoming embarks on a journey to impact the narrative around conservation and hunting through her work in politics, the environment, and women in the outdoors.



Director: Priscilla González Sainz
Location: California
A chronicle of the professional and personal lives of six first-generation immigration lawyers who call themselves “The Tribe” and who strive to help immigrants obtain safety and status in the United States. They keep each other supported and sane as their work is increasingly under attack by the current administration.



Director/Producer: Dylan Howell
Producer/DP: Carlo Di Blasi
Location: Colorado
Ouray, Colorado (population 1,000, elevation 8,000 ft) used to be a mining town, but its economy now relies on a surge of summer tourism. Tom is known for making the best burgers in town, and for hiring the folks that no one else does. But will his renegade restaurant be ready for the Fourth of July, the busiest day of the year?



Director: Quyên Nguyen-Le
Producer: Anh Phan
Location: California
Weaving through the rigid boys club culture of skateboarding, a group of queer Asian American skateboarders traverse across California, carving out spaces of belonging and cultivating tender networks of kinship, love, and support.