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$490K in grants awarded for productions filming in Montana

Posted at 10:25 AM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 12:25:58-04

(HELENA) Governor Steve Bullock last week announced $490,000 in grant awards for productions filming in Montana, including a grant responsible for bringing the Ed Harris-backed feature film “The Ploughman” to Fort Benton and Great Falls.

A press release from the governor’s office provided the following information:

“Filmmakers are taking notice that Montana is the ultimate location for film production,” said Gov. Bullock. “By welcoming them into our communities, we’re creating jobs for Montanans, infusing dollars into our local businesses and strengthening our important tourism industry by inspiring folks to visit Montana.”

“The Ploughman” is adapted from the novel of the same name by Montana author Kim Zupan. Harris, who scouted locations in central Montana earlier this year, will direct the film.

Grants have been awarded through the Big Sky Film Grant program administered by the Montana Film Office at the Department of Commerce. The grant comprises three categories: feature film and TV, development, and resident filmmaker. The development category covers any non-feature-length projects such as web series.

The following projects received a grant:

Feature Film and TV Grant 

  • “The Black Cowboy” (Documentary) received a $20,000 grant and will feature locations around Montana.
    • This documentary presents the untold story of black American contributions to western and Montana heritage. Against this historical backdrop, the film provides a rich, visual perspective of the contemporary black rodeo experience.
  • “Mickey and the Bear” (Narrative) received a $50,000 grant and will feature Anaconda.
    • A strong-willed teenage girl navigates a loving but volatile relationship with her veteran father. In a desperate search for independence and her own identity, she risks family, heartbreak and her standing in the only place she can call home.
  • “The Ploughman” (Narrative) received a $300,000 grant and will feature Fort Benton and Great Falls.
    • Montana, 1990: When a young deputy sheriff with a troubled past is put on night duty to watch a notorious old-timer arrested for murder, the strange friendship that develops between them leads to unexpected and harrowing consequences.

Development Grant

  • “Feast Montana” received a $10,000 grant and will feature locations around Montana.
    • “Feast Montana” is a television and online video series telling the stories of Montanans and the food they grow, create and share through documentary-style episodes.
  • “MeatEater” received a $40,000 grant and will feature locations around Montana.
    • In this adventure travel show, TV personality Steven Rinella practices the hunting and fishing traditions of our ancestors, relying on his resourcefulness, the land and its local experts to help him source – and prepare – his next meal.

Resident Filmmaker Grant 

  • “Bitterroot” (Narrative) received a $20,000 grant and will feature locations around western Montana.
    • “Bitterroot” follows several weeks in the life of Lue as he cares for his aging mother, Song. She spends her days embroidering a traditional story cloth, which narrates her and Lue’s escape from Laos decades earlier.
  • “CM Russell and the American West” (Documentary) received a $12,000 grant and will feature locations around central Montana.
    • This documentary about Montana cowboy artist Charles M. Russell is a one-hour adaptation of the three-hour series of the same name, intended for national and international distribution.
  • “Trail of Justice” (Narrative) received a $10,000 grant and will feature Hamilton.
    • After freeing gunslinger Drew Wesley from a group of outlaws, wandering cousins Jeff and Sydney Lawson must find their courage against overwhelming odds and help save a town from notorious outlaw leader Clay Hobbs.
  • “Two Yellow Lines” (Narrative) received a $25,000 grant and will feature Boulder, Helena, Thompson Falls and other locations around Montana.
    • The mountains, the passersby and the small seat of a motorcycle can only do so much to bring veteran smokejumper Jack Elliot and his estranged daughter Hanna together after a four-year separation. The rest is up to them.
  • “Zombies in Zootown” (Narrative) received a $3,000 grant and will feature Missoula.
    • The “Zombies in Zootown” series is a student-run production following a group of home schoolers caught in a zombie apocalypse who must use their wits to survive. This grant is for production of the fourth installment.

Learn more about the Big Sky Film Grant at MONTANAFILM.COM.