10 days. 140 films. 70 filmmakers.

FILM FESTIVALS ARE WHERE YOU FIND community in the filmmaking industry. I took part in that community when I attended the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana.

I went to several of the filmmaker panels and soon found myself talking to established filmmakers like two-time Academy Award nominee Marshall Curry, as well as mingling with people just starting out on the path.

Each of them was willing to talk to me about their projects and the state of filmmaking today; it’s in the beginning stages of a major shift.

As films move from high-budget, cinematic productions designed for theaters to media crafted for viewing on laptops, tablets, and smart-phones, the format is being re-imagined. Feature-length films aren’t going away, but the digital realm is opening up space for people to tell stories that don’t require five years and half a million dollars to film.

While many of the filmmakers I spoke to (even beginners) seemed to fear this change, I found it liberating.

In the coming weeks, Matador will be presenting some of the voices of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival as a web-series. Stay tuned.

Video created by Eric Warren.