iTunes & amazon.com Now Taking Pre-Orders for FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON

Visit the iTunes store - http://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/facing-storm-story-american/id516174154

Visit amazon.com DVD page - http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Storm-Story-American-Bison/dp/B007OVGB4W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335211546&sr=8-1

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FACING THE STORM Nominated for NW Regional Emmy Award

FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON was nominated for a NW Regional Emmy Award in the Topical Documentary category this week.  Full details at http://www.natasnw.org/.

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Fundraising Campaign Launched for ALL THE LABOR

News from High Plains Films - April 13, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign Launched for ALL THE LABOR, Feature Documentary About The Gourds

High Plains Films has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new feature documentary, ALL THE LABOR, about the Austin, Texas quintet, The Gourds.  Production on the film began in the summer of 2011. The Kickstarter campaign is intended to support post-production and completion of the film, in preparation for a spring 2013 premiere.  The film will include live concert footage, commentary by band members, private performances by Gourds songwriters, archival images, and lots of behind-the-scenes footage that will tell the story of the 15-year career of the band.

The Gourds’ Montana tour, April 19-21, will be the final shoot for the movie. 

Join The Gourds and film crew for the Montana shows.  We would love to have your participation in the movie.

04/19/12 - Bozeman, Montana @ The Filling Station

04/20/12 - Missoula, Montana @ The Wilma Theatre
Tickets at Rockin’ Rudy’s


04/21/12 - Billings, Montana @ Manny’s

Follow the Kickstarter campaign -

Official Film Page -

Facebook -

In March 2011, The Gourds recorded their tenth full studio album at “The Barn” in Woodstock, New York.  Produced by longtime Bob Dylan sideman, Larry Campbell, “Old Mad Joy” was released in September on Vanguard Records.  Production began on ALL THE LABOR in late August when the band rented an abandoned kitchen in a former mental institution in south Austin to practice the songs Campbell helped them hone back in March.  Since then, the alt-country roots rockers have toured relentlessly - as they have for the past 17 years - in support of their first major label release.  While all of the The Gourds’ critically-acclaimed records deserve the praise they have received, fans know that a full understanding of the band can only be achieved through experiencing them live. ALL THE LABOR will introduce viewers to the energy and excitement of the band’s live performances while painting an intimate portrait of these talented songwriters and musicians at the top of their game.

ALL THE LABOR is a production of Big Sky Pictures, LLC in association with High Plains Films, a program of the Big Sky Film Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions to ALL THE LABOR are fully tax-deductible.

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High Plains footage featured on NBC Nightly News

High Plains Films spent part of last week documenting the historic transfer of 64 Yellowstone bison to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeast Montana.  Some of our footage was provided free of charge to the media to use in stories about the transfer. NBC Nightly News made it up to Fort Peck but used some of our footage in their story.  Watch the NBC story here - http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46828528/#46828528.

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High Plains Films Receives Humanities Montana Grant

High Plains Films is the recipient of a small grant from Humanities Montana to continue production on our film, TWO RIVERS, about the Bonner/Milltown area of western Montana.  Special thanks to Humanities Montana for their continued support of our work. 

Read more about the film and see more sample scenes at http://www.highplainsfilms.org/hpf/films/two_rivers_work_in_progress

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FACING THE STORM U.S. Broadcast Premiere on Independent Lens

Independent Lens, one of the premier showcases for documentary film on television, will include the latest High Plains documentary, FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON, in its upcoming 2011-2012 broadcast season.  This latest work by filmmaker, Doug Hawes-Davis, is an unflinching examination of the complex, centuries-long relationship between humans and bison in North America.  Broadcast date and time will be announced in August.  Independent Lens will also handle on-line distribution of the film.  DVD, Blu-Ray and non-U.S. broadcast rights are available for licensing.

“An incisive history of the animals relationship to man and efforts to restore bison herds to the Great Plains.”  Kansas City Star

“Paints a portrait that’s as broad and subtly shaded as the Great Plains themselves.”  Missoulian

FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON is a co-production of High Plains Films, Montana PBS, and ITVS.  Additional funding was provided by Cinnabar Foundation, Donna Balkan Litowitz, High Stakes Foundation, and Humanities Montana.

For More information about Independent Lens visit - http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/

Complete press release - http://www.highplainsfilms.org/hpf/films/facing_the_storm/press-kit/

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Just got our acceptance to screen in-competition at the NaturVision film festival in Germany.  I don’t know much about the event, but it’s definitely been around a while.  Nice to have the film shown in Europe for the first time.

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We just got news that FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON won the Isla Earth Award at the Santa Catalina Film Festival in southern California, one of three competitive categories at the event!  We didn’t make the trip to LA, but it looks like a pretty cool festival.  Check it out: http://catalinaff.org/

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The complete feature version (78 minutes) of our film, FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON, will be broadcast state-wide in Montana on Montana PBS, April 28, 2011 @ 7 p.m.  Download the press release about the Montana PBS broadcast here.

Broadcast date/time:  Thursday, April 28, 7pm on Montana PBS

About the Film
“An unflinching overview of the long and complex history of the interaction between humans and bison. An honest, unflattering portrait of a nation’s unabated hunger for more, even when faced with less.” Big Sky Journal

“An unexpectedly passionate film about animals and nature and their precarious state in the modern world.”  St. Louis Beacon

May be the most comprehensively-concise examination of how and why we managed to nearly eradicate 30 million animals from the Great Plains… and what’s being done today to ensure their survival.”  Missoula Independent

“A smart, elegant production.”  NewWest.net

FACING THE STORM is the epic account of our tempestuous relationship with the iconic symbol of wild America.  It details the inextricable relationship of the Plains Indians with the animal, and recounts the harrowing near-destruction of the species in the late nineteenth century—from an estimated 30 million bison to a mere 23 individuals by 1885. It graphically exposes the annual slaughter of bison outside of Yellowstone National Park, where the largest genetically-pure herd remains in semi-captivity. Finally, the film explores the epic vision—and monumental obstacles—to restore bison to immense tracts of the Great Plains. This involves a dramatic transformation of how we understand the Great Plains - from a utilitarian world view to a fully-functional ecosystem that combines a lost culture with modern ecological science and contemporary economies.  FACING THE STORM shows us that the bison is not just an icon of a lost world, but may show us the path to the future.

The film includes interviews with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, Montana Stockgrowers Association Director Errol Rice, and former Montana State Veterinarian, Thomas Linfield. 

About High Plains Films
Missoula’s High Plains Films, a program of the non-profit Big Sky Film Institute, dedicates itself to exploring issues about the relationship between nature and society.  Their documentaries have earned more than 35 awards nationally.  Their feature LIBBY, MONTANA was nominated for a national Emmy award in 2008.  In 2007, the team was the recipient of the True West Visionary Award, a career achievement award at the True/False West Film Festival.  Their other films include: VARMINTS (1998), KILLING COYOTE (2000) THIS IS NOWHERE (2002), and BRAVE NEW WEST (2008). 

FACING THE STORM is a product of collaboration between many talented western Montana artists and professionals, including:

Director/producer Doug Hawes-Davis, of High Plains Films, has directed and produced over a dozen critically-acclaimed documentaries.  He co-directed the feature documentary LIBBY, MONTANA, which was nominated for a national Emmy Award in 2008.  In 2003, he founded the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, which has become a top national non-fiction showcase.

Other local contributors include:

  • Dru Carr, also of High Plains Films, contributed to cinematography and editing.  Carr co-directed the national Emmy-nominated LIBBY, MONTANA.
  • Andy Smetanka of Missoula, whose stunning and innovative stop-motion silhouette-animation provides the context for several historical scenes. 
  • Ken Furrow of Missoula contributed to cinematography and sound
  • Missoula co-producers Rita Pastore and Danny Dauterive (Montana PBS)
  • Historian Dan Flores of the University of Montana, who is featured in the film
  • Mike Mease and the Buffalo Field Campaign provided footage from years of work near West Yellowstone
  • Burke Jam, local musician who provided music for the film score
  • Ivan Rosenberg, former Missoulian, who composed original music

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