The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival hosted the soft opening at their newest venue the Zootown Arts Community Center in Missoula on Friday.
The soft opening featured five short films about love, romance and relationships, as it landed on Valentine’s day.
The event even featured a special musical guest Cidny Bullens, formerly Cindy, from the film “Gender Line.”
This year is the 17th annual BSDFF, with the official opening night on Saturday.
The executive director of the festival Rachel Gregg said the “signs kinda do point to the festival exploding this year.”
There are nearly 20,000 people expected to attend the 10-day festival, with more film makers and film subjects coming than ever before.
Gregg said with people staying at hotels, eating at restaurants and using their money in Missoula, there’s an estimated multi-million dollar boost to the local economy.
“Lots of visitors in what’s usually a slow time in Missoula,” Gregg said. “We’re thinking probably about 3 million dollars that floods into downtown Missoula over these 10 days in February.”
She added the BSDFF is starting to run out of programming.