Montana State University

MSU film grad's award-winning film screens Feb. 19 in Bozeman

January 21, 2014

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Tom Berninger, a graduate of Montana State University with a bachelor's degree in film and photography, will be featured  at a Bozeman Film Festival's screening of his prize-winning documentary, "Mistaken for Strangers: A Year on the Road with My Brother's Band," at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Crawford Theater in the Emerson Cultural Center.

"Mistaken for Strangers" debuted at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and has been touring the world at various film festivals since then. The film will get a national release in March. Berninger, who wrote, produced and directed the film, will introduce the film and will participate in a question and-answer period following the screening.

The film follows Berninger, descrrbed as "a slacker and aspiring horror director"  as he joins his brother, Matt Berninger,  the lead singer of the successful indie rock band The National, as a roadie on the band's world tour. Tom Berninger, who solely listens to heavy metal and is adrift in the world of indie music, brings his camera to film the experience, "ignoring his job responsibilities in the process. What follows is a hilarious and touching story about family, ambition and self-discovery."

Matt Berninger also wrote a song recorded by The National, "I Should Live in Salt," inspired by his relationship with Tom.

Tom Berninger graduated from MSU in 2002. He will meet with MSU film students the day after the film's screening at the Bozeman Film Festival.

"I am so excited for Tom -- 10 years after graduating he makes the opening night film of the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. What a feat!"  said Cindy Stillwell, professor in MSU's School of Film and Photography who was one of Berninger's professors at MSU. "We are absolutely thrilled he is willing to come back to his alma mater and present 'Mistaken for Strangers'to this community."

Tickets for the screening are $8 for general admission, $7 for seniors and students, and are available at Cactus Records and in the lobby of the Emerson beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The MSU School of Film and Photography is partnering with the Bozeman Film Festival to bring Berninger and "Mistaken for Strangers" to Bozeman.

For more information about the Bozeman Film Festival, see

For more information about the film, see


Cindy Stillwell (406) 994-6521,