News from High Plains Films, April 18, 2011

High Plains Films launches all-new web site with video, music, interviews, trailers, blog and more.
Our first web site has been officially retired after a dozen years and an entirely new site is now live.  Special thanks to Sara Osborn and Dana Hawes-Davis who conceived, designed, and built our very first web site (launched in 1999) that carried our organizational web presence for more than a decade.  The new site design and function is a collaboration between Greg Twigg (University of Montana), Jim Coefield (Wild Rockies Info Net), and High Plains Films.
The new site will allow us to regularly publish more original content for free distribution to the public.  Content will include full un-cut video and audio interviews from the making of High Plains films, deleted scenes, trailers, original music from the soundtracks to our movies, and complete short documentaries.  A great deal of new content is already live on the site.
The new design also includes a framework to provide on-line preview of stock images.  Collections of stock images will be added to the site as there is interest in particular collections.
And, we have established a blog where the public is allowed to post comments about our work.
Please let us know what you think!
High Plains Films is a project of the Big Sky Film Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
News from High Plains Films, April 18, 2011

News from High Plains Films, January 11, 2011

FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON now available on DVD with Public Performance Rights.
This limited-edition DVD includes the full feature-length documentary, the one-hour broadcast version, several short companion movies, and more. It is available exclusively from the High Plains Films web site

Public performance rights purchase allows for exhibition, at the purchasing institution only, including classroom use, to public audiences where no admission is charged. Please contact us for rental prices for exhibition where admission is charged. Home video and wholesale buyers, please contact High Plains Films for details.
FACING THE STORM, a co-production of ITVS and Montana PBS, is the epic account of our tempestuous relationship with the iconic symbol of wild America. It explores the inextricable relationship of the Plains Indians with the animal, and the harrowing near-destruction of the species in the late nineteenth century. 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 American bison is not just an icon of a lost world, but may very well show us the path to the future.

What reviewers are saying about FACING THE STORM –

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

“A smart, elegant production…sure bison are photogenic, iconic and mostly gone, but the latest from High Plains Films gets beyond the familiar story we think we know.”

“Maps the tragic history of the American buffalo, the majestic species that was hunted to near extinction by western settlers and is slowly making a comeback.” St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Beautifully documented…both historical documentary and wildlife film, FACING THE STORM may be the most comprehensively-concise examination of how and why we managed to nearly eradicate 30 million animals from the Great Plains in less than 50 years, and what’s being done today to ensure their survival.” Missoula Independent

“You might think a 78 minute film would be more than you’ll ever need to know about the buffalo. If that’s the case, FACING THE STORM will surprise you. The film is part nature documentary, part history lesson and part an affectionate appreciation of the American bison.

It’s hard to say which is more impressive: the newly filmed footage of buffalo, offering insight into their behavior and giving a fair example of their majesty, or the well-selected archive footage that pulls the film just short of connecting to the old west, when the creatures were nearly wiped out. This is an unexpectedly passionate film about animals and nature and their precarious state in the modern world.” St. Louis Beacon

“Directed by national Emmy-nominee Doug Hawes-Davis, the film explores efforts to protect and restore bison herds and details the complex relationship between the Plains Indians and the animal. It also recounts the near destruction of the species from an estimated 30 million in the mid-19th century to fewer than 300 by the late 19th century.” Great Falls Tribune

“Featuring archival film and photographs, breathtaking original footage, evocative animated sequences, and a slate of interviews with a diverse array of characters – from scientists to ranchers, animal rights activists to state governors -from scientists to ranchers, animal rights activists to state governors – FACING THE STORM paints a portrait of the issue that’s as broad and subtly shaded as the Great Plains themselves.” Missoulian

“Besides being an enduring symbol of the Great Plains, the buffalo is also an emblem of survival. For nearly 10,000 years these animals were the driving force behind Native American culture and economy; then, in the nineteenth century, their numbers plummeted from the tens of millions to fewer than 1,000. Though they’ve been saved from extinction, recent history hasn’t been so romantic for the buffalo, as their storied past has given way to an uncertain future tied up in the realities of land management, bureaucracy, court trials and town-hall meetings. Today, even as buffalo unite Indian tribes under a common cause, they divide hunters and conservationists, lawmakers and constituents, as America continues to argue what, exactly, home on the range means for the buffalo. FACING THE STORM analyzes these ongoing challenges in a beautifully shot film that combines interviews with Native Americans, conservationists and ranchers with sweeping panoramas of the plains, simple yet effective animation and not-for-the-squeamish scenes from slaughterhouses. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, the film’s look at North America’s history and future serves as a poignant reminder that civilizations are at their best when the land and its people live in mindful accord.” Riverfront Times

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High Plains Films is a program of the Big Sky Film Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


High Plains Films is a project of the Big Sky Film Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

News from High Plains Films, January 11, 2011