Montana Film Office to Give Away $20k in 'Pitch the 406' Contest

By Lori Warden  |  25-Sep-2011

Winner to get $20,000 in production equipment and services to film movie in Montana.

September 20, 2011 - Helena, Mont. - It's not hard to get inspired by Montana's one-of-a-kind locations-towering peaks, rolling plains and authentic Western communities; $20,000 might just be the boost a project needs to go from vision to reality. Montana Film Office's recently launched contest, "Pitch the 406," is giving away $20,000 worth of production equipment, lighting and crew services to a filmmaker to get his or her movie made in Montana.

"This is an exciting opportunity for filmmakers, who have the inspiration they need to shoot a movie in Montana," said Montana Film Commissioner Sten Iversen. "All they need is the extra funding to make it happen."

In Montana, $20,000 worth of production equipment and labor can go a long way. The rent-free equipment and services package offered through Filmlites Montana in Bozeman will be customized to the needs of the winner's film-from grip trucks, cranes and lighting to experienced crew, who have worked on the sets of "My Sister's Keeper" and "A River Runs Through It," among many others.

Entering is easy. Contestants simply submit a three-minute video pitch at, explaining why Montana is the ideal location for their movies. It can be a trailer, scene test or a person pitching from his or her couch. Entries may be for any style or genre of film, i.e., documentary, narrative fiction, TV pilot, music video.

Video pitches will be posted to the Montana Film Office's YouTube channel at, and Montana's Studio 406 Hollywood panel of judges will select the winner.

"The contest also offers young and aspiring filmmakers great exposure to some of Hollywood's very talented veterans, who are sitting on our judging panel," said Iversen, who is also on the panel.

The "Pitch the 406" Hollywood panel includes film producer Marty Katz, who has more than 30 years of motion picture and television experience. Katz owns Marty Katz Productions located in Malibu, Calif., and has served as executive vice president in charge of Motion Pictures and Television for Walt Disney Studios. It was during his time at Disney that he first visited Montana while filming "Disorganized Crime."

Other panelists include top industry professionals Erik Brown and Mike Fantasia. Brown is a Montana native, who is a first assistant camera operator and has worked on more than 60 films, including "The Proposal" and "Charlie Wilson's War." Fantasia entered the film industry with his first location scout in Montana for Steven Spielberg's "Always." He is now a supervising location manager and production manager; his credits include features "Munich" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

Filmmakers have until November 30, 2011, to submit their video pitches for the "Pitch the 406" contest. The winner will be announced the week of January 1, 2012. Watch the contest trailer, "Pitch the 406," and visit to find more information on submitting entries, the judges and the prize package.

For more information on the Montana film industry, locations, resources, crews and support services, and the Studio 406 Incentive Package, visit the Montana Film Office at

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