MISSOULA, Mont. -

Big news out of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival this week – Festival Director Nick Davis says films that win in the short and mini-documentary categories will now have a shot at winning an Oscar.

The festival has been recognized as a qualifying screening by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  It's a huge achievement, and organizers believe it will raise the bar on what has already become a nationally recognized festival.

"We expect this news, with the Academy qualification to really augment our efforts within the industry,” said Davis. “This has gone out within the industry and that is really going to raise our stature even higher among film makers."