From the moment we entered pre-production on my first feature, Bella Vista, in Missoula, Montana, I knew I wanted to do a statewide screening tour.
It felt important to show Bella Vista in the place that inspired it, but regardless of how distribution panned out for us, it was clear it would be a challenge to reach our state’s heavily rural audience. Following our premiere at Rotterdam in 2014, my producers and I began plotting.
Call it entrepreneurial or just plain practical. First and foremost, however, it was an experiment. Could we bring in audiences in Montana, where few independent theaters exist? Could we do it on a tiny budget, without the help of PR professionals? And then, how would our movie—a long-take, landscape-centered narrative—be received? These days everyone talks about “knowing your audience,” but aside from the amorphous “art”/”art-house” category, we didn’t fit into an obvious niche or genre. But we believed Bella Vista could appeal to a Montana rancher as much as a European festivalgoer, so we took a leap of faith. We were going on the road." Read Full Interview