Ends on November 9, 2018

The Big Sky Film Institute is proud to carry out the Native Filmmaker Initiative to bring more Indigenous stories to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival supporting and engaging the American Indian media arts community and have a greater impact on community youth. The initiative includes special festival programming, educational outreach, a digital toolkit curated for Native filmmakers, and a fellowship program.

The Native Filmmaker Fellowship offers four filmmakers the opportunity to attend the 2019 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, DocShop filmmaker's forum, and the 4th World Media Lab at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2019.  At Big Sky fellows will participate in a private seminar with leaders in the Indigenous filmmaking community and the film industry at large. The 4th World Media Lab offers industry master classes and hands-on training in the SIFF urban festival atmosphere. 

The program is open to American Indian (Native American), Alaska Native and Hawaiian Native documentary filmmakers who are United States residents. Finalists will be selected and announced in early December. The selected fellows will receive:

  • One All Access pass to BSDFF including all screenings, DocShop sessions, VIP events and special performances
  • 5 nights of accommodations in Missoula, Montana during BSDFF
  • One round trip ticket to Missoula, ground transportation arranged
  • A cash stipend for meals and incidentals in Missoula
  • All expenses 4th World Media Lab experience to include round trip transportation, lodging and food for 4 days in Seattle


Eligible to apply are Native American filmmakers with at least two year's experience in filmmaking. You will be asked to provide information on filmmaking projects, however you do not need to have a project in progress to be considered.


Requested application materials include:

  • Cover letter and professional bio
  • List and description of past projects
  • Description and examples of any current documentary film project(s)
  • Work sample links or upload
  • Artist statement on why you are interested in participating in the NFI Fellowship


The application deadline is Friday, November 9, 2018.


To apply, create an account on Submittable or sign in to open the application form.

Find more information on the Native Filmmaker Initiative, the fellowship program and the Big Sky Film Institute at: