Interview with Filmmaker Dawson Ahrenstorff (MIRACLE IN MISSOULA)

MIRACLE IN MISSOULA, 39min,. USA, Documentary
Directed by Dawson Ahrenstorff
A documentary featuring the greatest comeback in Brawl of the Wild history and the unbridled passion for football between the University of Montana and Montana State.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was a student working as a creative videographer at Montana State when this game took place and I witnessed the game unfold firsthand. While taking an undergrad documentary class two years later, the idea of making a doc around this game came to fruition, and I went all in on it.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

The entire process took about 14 months in total.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Unbridled passion.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle was working with such a small crew. And when I say small, I took nearly all the responsibilities in producing, directing, and editing the film. It made me appreciate larger crews so much more.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Most of the people I’ve talked with about the film have an understanding of the rivalry or the teams that played, but hearing from this audience, they were truly outsiders. So to hear from them that so many of my goals and themes from the doc were received in the intended way is the biggest compliment.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Growing up I was always good with a camera, but in college I learned you can have an immeasurable impact on an audience just through a film you make.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Without a doubt- Surfs Up, 2007

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I wish I knew more about the festival before it happened, events or more marketing helps create that buzz.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Really great, first time submitting a film to festivals through FilmFreeway.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Hard to beat mom’s tater tot casserole.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Currently working on a weekly docuseries for LSU Football.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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