Pitch the 406 Winner Announced

Film Office
February 1, 2012

The Montana Film Office (MFO) recently announced the winner of their $20,000 “Pitch the 406” contest.

The MFO launched the contest in September of 2011 to encourage independent filmmakers to shoot their films in Montana. The winning entry receives $20,000 worth of production equipment, lighting and crew services to assist in getting their movie made in Montana.

Contestants were required to submit a three-minute video pitch explaining why Montana was the ideal location for their movie. After 28 quality submissions were narrowed down to ten through viewer popularity, Montana’s Studio 406 Hollywood panel of judges selected the winner.

Pitch the 406 Winners

The winner, announced during the Sundance Film Festival this past January in Park City, UT, is a project named “Magpie”. It was pitched by a group of young Montana filmmakers, who made their first independent feature last summer in Dillon, Montana. (The drama, called “Cooper,” is currently in the post-production process and will soon be on the film festival circuit.)

With “Magpie,” Matthew Smaglik and his production company, Sanshead Studios, are focusing their creative energy on an original story that takes place in eastern Montana. The script is fictional but based on real-life issues facing the residents of that part of the state with the current Bakken oil boom. It is a story of a ranch family and how it adapts to the changing world. The script outlines the struggles of a stepfather and his daughter over control and ownership of their family’s future — torn between the fortunes to be made in the oil boom and keeping the traditions of family ranching alive. It’s a story the judges found of great interest in a part of Montana that has seldom been filmed.

“We’re very excited to work with this talented group of filmmakers” said MFO Manager Sten Iversen. “ In addition to awarding them $20,000 in production services and equipment, they will also be able to take advantage of our Studio 406 Incentive Package, which will enable them to use our free scouting services, signage, office equipment and, of course, competitive tax incentives as well.”

Sanshead Studios will begin scouting locations in eastern Montana this spring and plan to shoot this summer. As the winning filmmaker, Matthew Smaglik and his company will receive $20,000 worth of rent-free equipment and labor — from grip trucks, cranes and lighting to experienced crew — offered through Filmlites Montana.

The MFO was very pleased with the response for the contest with plans to make it an annual event. In the next several months, the MFO will be posting information on Scout406.com about when they will be accepting entries for their 2012 “Pitch the 406” contest.

For more information on all of Montana’s one-of-a-kind locations and the Studio 406 Incentive Package, visit the Montana Film Office at www.montanafilm.com.