About Us

BFS Board Members

  • Chris YoungPresident. Attorney, Watson Law Office, P.C
  • Andrew NelsonVice President. PhD Assistant Professor of Film, Montana State University School of Film & Photography
  • James Van NessTreasurer. Retired Executive – BSChE Univ ND, MBA Univ Conn, MSUAF student mentor, poet, hiker, skier & lover of great independent film
  • Lori LawsonSecretary. MSU Faculty Lecturer – Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship and College of Letters & Science, Liberal Studies Program
  • Marie Gary – Allstate Insurance, Owner/Agent
  • Bill Neff – Emeritus Board Member, MSU School of Film and Photography Professor and KGLT voice of “Keep ‘Em Flickering!”
  • Lisa McGrory – Executive Director. Owner/founder, Beaucoup Custom Framing


 The Bozeman Film Society looks for experienced, enthusiastic and forward-thinking film lovers to serve on our Board of Directors. If  you are interested in serving on our BOD, please complete an  online application, save as a PDF and email to: info@bozemanfilmsociety.org


The Bozeman Film Society (formerly Bozeman Film Festival) began in 1978 with a dedicated group of Montana State University English and Film professors collaborating to bring classic and world cinema to the big screen in Bozeman. A few times a month, Bozeman film lovers could head downtown to The Ellen Theatre on a Sunday evening and see great classics, such as Inherit the Wind (U.S. 1960), Casablanca (U.S. 1942) or La Strada (Italy 1954.) Moving to The Rialto Theater in 1981, the BFS expanded programming to four nights per week and added newer releases to its repertoire through a generous partnership with Carmike Theaters. The catchy tagline “Keep ‘Em Flickering!’ was coined during this early phase and is credited to former MSU Film Professor and longtime BFS board member, Bill Neff. Our collaboration with Carmike Theaters continued for 25 years, eventually expanding to 7 nights per week in the Rialto Theater, in addition to monthly screenings in MSU’s Linfield Hall.
Many Bozeman-ites fondly recall the days when a screening downtown at The Rialto was where you met friends to see great independent films and perhaps catch up in a darkened theater while the projectionist repaired a glitch in the ancient 35mm projector. When both the Rialto and Ellen Theaters sold in 2005, the BFS temporarily moved its films to the Campus Square Theaters. Declining attendance spurred the BFS board to seek another venue, relocating to the Emerson Center’s Crawford Theater the following year. During their 10 years at the Emerson, the BFS expanded it’s audience and worked to make the recently renovated Crawford Theater into Bozemans’ alternative movie house. Working with the Emerson Center and HATCHfest, BFS installed the Ellen Theatre’s abandoned 35mm projector, made upgrades to the theater sound system and purchase a new movie screen.
In 2015, the Bozeman Film Society made the exciting transition back to The Ellen Theatre where it all began. A successful “Go Digital or Go Dark” community campaign raised $25,000 towards the acquisition of a new digitally compliant projector, allowing us to expand our 1st-run film repertoire as well as provide a visually brilliant 2K resolution onscreen image. The combination of the historic Ellen’s elaborate and grand 1919 theatre, it’s high-performance sound system and our new state-of-the-art DCP projector provides a magical movie experience in the heart of downtown Bozeman!

In addition to screening movies, BFS frequently invites guest speakers and talent to bring unique insights and vision to our programming.  Past guests include Dr. Jack Horner, Michael Keaton, Valerie Hemingway, Tom Colicchio, Montana Jazz Collective and Chrysti the Wordsmith! Each summer, BFS also partners with Friends of The Story Mansion for STORY UNDER THE STARS — showing beloved classics and family-friendly movies on warm summer evenings to thousands of enthusiastic attendees since 2009. Thriving for 38 year, Bozeman Film Society has become a mainstay in Bozemans’ cultural community. Thanks to generous community sponsors and dedicated board members, we look forward to an exciting future screening films that engage, entertain and foster an understanding of the world around us.