UM Entertainment Management Alum Now Leads Big Sky Film Festival

Winford Hunter
Gregg poses for a picture along the Clark Fork River as it snows.
Gregg attained her master’s in interaction and environmental rhetoric at UM.

By Kelly Mulcaire, UM News Service

MISSOULA  It didn’t take lengthy for Oregon indigenous and University of Montana alum Rachel Gregg to drop in love with Montana when she took a summer season position in Glacier Countrywide Park.

“I took the train from Oregon more than to East Glacier and worked there for a period,” Gregg mentioned, an Oregon Condition freshman at the time. “And I in no way still left.”

Above a ten years afterwards, Gregg however calls Montana property. She now serves as the govt director of the Missoula-centered Large Sky Documentary Film Competition, celebrating its 20th yr this thirty day period. The job would seem tailor-designed for her just after years of training and experience that all began at UM.

Her introduction to the film business enterprise begun as an undergraduate pupil when Gregg enrolled in UM’s Enjoyment Administration software, where she swiftly created an desire in the backstage and at the rear of-the-scenes workings of the industry.

“They introduced genuine people in from the market to train, so you experienced true-existence illustrations and application of the issues you were finding out in class,” she explained. “That’s really a higher-price education and learning when you get access to that caliber of persons.”

Gregg attended the once-a-year Pollstar meeting as a pupil and took a task at The Wilma theater, helping manage community events. As an undergrad, she also took classes in the communications section. 

“Some of the most highly regarded scholars are at UM,” she mentioned. “I bought actually fascinated in the willpower, and I made a decision to make that my target.”

She went on to total her master’s in conversation and environmental rhetoric at UM. Expanding up on a farm, the setting was often a relevant concept in Gregg’s everyday living –something she expanded on in the course of her research. Her thesis paper centered on environmental documentary films as a tool for social motion.

“My issue grew and my curiosity in comprehension environmental plan and difficulties just expanded as I was likely through the interaction system,” she said.

Gregg put in time working in the Adams Centre box business in advance of using a career in the Montana Film Workplace, eventually becoming the general public relations manager there. She helped lay the basis for what is now a bustling movie business in the Treasure State. 

When she observed the Big Sky Documentary Film Pageant was using the services of a producer, Gregg jumped at the opportunity to blend her instruction, experienced knowledge and private curiosity in documentary movies. Setting up in 2016, she was serving as the festival’s government director.

Gregg led the competition via two many years of pandemic limits and is now seems ahead to at the time once more embracing the local community element in the festival’s 20th calendar year. The slate of functions capabilities in-particular person screenings and discussions, as effectively as quite a few choices to participate practically. Gregg is also thrilled to welcome back again international filmmakers. The lineup has illustration from all 50 states and 42 countries.

For Gregg, although, some of the most crucial customers of the festival’s viewers are the area Missoulians who come again calendar year following 12 months.

“Many of them are alumni of the College and perform in large-degree industries,” she mentioned, “and that curiosity that took you to university in the initially location or that bloomed though you were there carries on into your existence and that is a significant component of our viewers. They are lifelong learners.”

Gregg is hunting forward to audiences using in this year’s assortment of films, which she feels presents an appealing look into put up-pandemic shifts in modern society. For students seeking to break into an ever-evolving enjoyment market, Gregg encourages getting gain of every single learning possibility.

“Experiment with what is readily available to you, and check with queries and never come to feel like you have to be really intelligent correct now,” she reported. “It’s often likely to be a journey.”

The 2023 Major Sky Documentary Film Competition opens Friday, Feb. 17, with a screening of “Subject” at the Wilma theater. The competition will operate through Sunday, Feb. 26, and tickets are on sale now.


Make contact with: Kelly Mulcaire, electronic communications manager, UM Alumni Affiliation, 406-243-4658, [email protected].

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