Ryan Seitz

Recent Posts

Documentary traces history of Great American Hill Climb


In case you haven’t heard, the 99th annual Great American Hill Climb, billed as the world’s oldest motorcycle hill climb, and the one with the largest riders’ purse, gets underway Friday in Billings. Whether you’re a big fan of the event or have never seen it live, you’ll wanted to check out a “The Great American,” a 15-minute documentary on the climb made by Highway Goat Productions. One of the founders of the production company is Ryan Seitz, a graduate of Billings Senior High School. The documentary features lots of interviews, action scenes from last year’s hill climb, and archival footage tracing the history of the event—including a priceless black-and-white scene from the earliest days of the climb, showing a competitor on a big, heavy Harley-Davidson. And no helmet, of course. Continue Reading →

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Refugees, settled in Montana, to tell their stories in film


Much has been written about the African and Middle Eastern refugees who have resettled in Missoula in the past year, welcomed by many and looked at with fear and disdain by many others. Now, some of those refugees will be using video cameras to tell their own stories of what it means to resettle so far from home, and to share with the rest of us their perceptions of their new surroundings. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Trying to understand freight riders’ desperate freedom


“Bums,” they called them. “Lazy trash,” they said. I was standing at a railroad crossing in downtown Billings during a frenzied street dance when a slow-moving train passed by. Three modern-day hobos sat in one of the box cars—two young men and a young woman. The businessmen and women standing next to me that June afternoon apparently couldn’t help but comment to one another, as if reassuring one another that their lives were superior. Continue Reading →

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At the film festival: Years of work, one big night


Neil LaRubbio is a journalist and filmmaker currently working the oil fields of Colorado. He has written for High Country News and Vice.com. This is his inside look at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. I arrived at the little house after a 12-hour drive, sustained by canned-salmon sandwiches and loose tobacco. Brushed by years of soot, the little house sits 20  feet away from the Missoula rail yard. Continue Reading →

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