Scheme Birds – Nov. 7th

On Thursday, November 7th, 2019, at 7pm at the Emerson Center, The Bozeman Doc Series presented the Montana premiere of the award-winning new documentary, Scheme Birds.

Scrappy Scottish teenager Gemma has never backed down from a fight. That’s the way of life in the small-town, low-income housing scheme where she grew up, southeast of Glasgow. A place where you “either get knocked up or locked up,” there’s been nothing to do there since the local steelworks closed in the 1980s. Everyone finds a distraction: Gemma’s grandfather keeps pigeons and teaches boxing, the kids drink and commit petty crime, and Gemma finds motherhood.

An intimate portrait of a fading town, and of a young woman’s coming-of-age in a place scarred by society’s broken promises, Scheme Birds captures Gemma’s tenacity and determination as she struggles to rise above her surroundings. Though her budding voice provides a chilling commentary on the violence and loneliness all around her, there is a clear strand of hope in this absorbing story of survival.

Scheme Birds world-premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival where it won the Best Documentary Feature Award.

“Superb…an alternately lyrical and gut-punching coming-of-age study. Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin announce themselves as docmakers to watch with this piercing chronicle of a Scottish teen’s drastic coming of age.” Variety

“Intimate and wrenchingly affecting…this extraordinary documentary weighs the bleak details against moments of lyrical beauty and even humor. It’s a remarkable achievement.” Screendaily

“It’s a beautifully shot, often heartbreaking slice-of-life tale that quickly pulls the viewer in with its captivating lead.” Film Pulse

Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets are available at the door or before the show at Cactus Records and Movie Lovers. Tickets are also available online at, where you can also buy Season Passes and 7-film punch cards, and view trailers for upcoming films. The Bozeman Doc Series is a bi-weekly documentary screening series curated by award-winning filmmaker Jason Burlage. The series brings brand new films from around the world to the Emerson’s Crawford Theater between October and April.