Film: Best Last Place

Carroll Campus
Best Last Place Film Graphic

On February 28, 2023 from 12:30 to 2 PM we will have a viewing of the Montana PBS documentary, Best Last Place in the Simperman Hall Auditorium Wiegand theater. 

After we have the viewing there will be a question and answer session with the filmmaker, Jim Jenner and Father Patrick Beretta.

About Best Last Place

A sequel to the international award-winning “Saving the Burg”, which documented the 30-year comeback of Philipsburg, MT.  This new work from Director Jim Jenner captures the irony of a frightening virus-spawned economic shutdown being followed by unprecedented waves of pandemic and political “refugees” into Montana.   Interviews include dozens of people who experienced the changes wrought when Covid closures then added rocket fuel to remote digital work access and inbound migration to rural communities.    Unprecedented real estate price spikes, once-in-a-century building booms, evaporating workforce housing and busier highways are new realities in the Rockies.  How Montana communities deal with these challenges shows that saving our legendary “Last Best” culture is now very much a work in progress.

Jim Jenner Bio:

Director Jim Jenner, 73,  is a fifth-generation Westerner who began his media career at 18 as a writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.  He later joined CBS News there and worked throughout Asia, including appearing, at 21, on the Cronkite Evening News reporting stories during the civil war in East Pakistan.  He then worked in New York with the CBS News Special Events Unit covering the 1972 Presidential elections and the final Apollo moon landings.  Jim returned to the Northwest and in 1975 founded Pacific Communications, [PACCOM] a television advertising and production company that grew to 60 employees before he sold it to what is now Comcast in the early ‘90’s.  Following the sale Jim began creating documentaries including two award-winning films on Route 66, instructional films and, following a childhood interest, over a dozen films on pigeons and pigeon racing.  An lifelong fly fisherman Jim first visited Philipsburg, Montana in the 1970’s and returned there in 1991 and bought several properties.  He created Philipsburg’s historic Broadway Hotel in one of them in 2003 and used Montana as a base for documentary film work in both Europe and China.   Prior to Philipsburg’s 150th Sesquicentennial in 2017 Jim was asked by the local Arts Fund to create a documentary on the historic mining town’s noteworthy comeback.  “Saving the Burg” aired more than a dozen times on PBS and won a top award at the 2019 UN “Better Cities” international film festival in Dubai.  The film’s follow-up, “The Best Last Place”, was created over the next three years and premiered on PBS in November of 2022.  Jim and his wife Tori live in Philipsburg and remain active in community groups.