Montana State University

MSU professor's film selected for Italian film festival

October 11, 2012 -- MSU News Service

Cindy Stillwell. Photo by Daniel Peddle   High-Res Available

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"Mating for Life," a film by Cindy Stillwell, a professor in Montana State University's School of Film and Photography, screened Oct. 5 at the 2012 Sondrio Festival in Sondrio, Italy.

Stillwell's film about sandhill cranes was one of 12 films from around the world selected for the festival, which features nature themes, especially those that highlight parks or protected areas of wildlife and nature. The festival is in its 26th year and is located in the Lombardy region of Italy. Stillwell's film was translated into Italian for the festival.

Stillwell's film focuses on the migration of sandhill cranes through the Rowe Sanctuary in central Nebraska each March. Along the way she makes several stops, wondering about cranes, a bird species that mates for life. She compares them to herself and her own ability or inability to mate for life and said the film is a poetic essay about the human need for connection and solitude.

Stillwell said she was honored to be the only American filmmaker selected for the festival.

"They approached me after learning about my film through the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula this past February," Stillwell said. "It is really a great testament to Big Sky Doc Fest, a world class documentary film festival right here in Montana. Clearly the world is watching the festival's lineup."

Stillwell's film will also screen at the Eugene International Film Festival in Oregon later in October and at the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival in Tennessee in November. She is working on putting together a regional tour of the film.

To read more about the film, and view the trailer, visit: or or

Cindy Stillwell (406) 994-6521,