Zach Volheim

(KPAX) The International Wildlife Film Festival returns to Missoula on April 20, 2024, for the 47th time — continuing to be the longest-running festival dedicated to wildlife and conservation.

Founded in 1977 at the University of Montana by biologist Chuck Jonkel, this Missoula tradition is full of films that bring a touch of the wild to the audience.

The festival runs from April 20 until April 25, and each day will feature films as well as Q&As with the filmmakers and panel discussions.

In case you miss some films that you need to see, all but 10 of the films will be available for streaming for a short time after the festival.

But viewing them on a big screen is unbeatable.

Mike Steinberg, executive director of The Roxy Theater, said that “carrying the torch” by hosting the film festival throughout the years “fits right into the mission of our organization, which is to make the world a better place through cinema.”

The festival has been a staple of the community with people of all ages attending year after year.

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The programming by and large is meant for audiences of all ages but several films may not be suited for everyone as Steinberg noted that “animals do pretty awful things to each other.”

That is part of the draw of the festival, however, as through the films the audience can be transported to landscapes and environments they otherwise may never see.

One of the most unique aspects of the festival is how it begins — a parade where people dress up as animals and march down Higgins Avenue. It's fun for all ages and is something that you won’t want to miss.

Visit for show times and ticket and pass prices.