Milwaukee Film Blog

posted by Anna on April 23rd, 2014

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Director Jason Mann ("Delicacy") at a post-screening Q + A last year.

In my (only slightly biased) opinion, watching a shorts program at a film festival is the ultimate viewing experience. The audience is taken on a journey from one short to the next, absorbing the emotions and narrative of each self-contained world as it compounds upon the next to create a communal exploration of what "Shorter is Better" really means. When watching a shorts program, just like the weather in Wisconsin, all you have to do is wait a few minutes and you've got something completely different.

And the filmmakers who contribute to the Shorter is Better programming come from all different corners of the world: from Sweden to Seattle, Austin to Australia. A kaleidescope of cultures, the Shorter is Better programs give viewers small curated glimpses into stories told from all walks of life. So use your email, carrier pigeon, or telekinetic powers and pass along our Call for Entries to shorts filmmakers everywhere! It's FREE to submit and the deadline is June 23!

Click here to get all the information needed to submit!




posted by Milan on April 17th, 2014

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Jodorowsky’s Dune @ Oriental Theatre (Opens Fri, April 18) 
(Frank Pavich, USA, 2013) 
30 years ago, a little film called Dune hit theaters directed by a young David Lynch. (Perhaps you've heard of him?) But almost a decade before they shouted "action" on that set, Dune was cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's to direct. Based on his plans, the film would have been roughly 14 hours long and involved the likes of Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger, Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, and David Carradine, among others. This is a film about that, and how financial reasons tragically halted the project, leaving the rights to expire, and, well, the rest is history as we know it. 
Watch the trailer for Jodorowsky's Dune here.

The Trials of Muhammed Ali on DVD (Tue, Apr 22) 
(Bill Siegel, USA, 2014) 
When the United States asked Muhammed Ali to join the Army and head to Vietnam, he refused because of his Muslim beliefs. As a result, he was convicted of draft evasion and received a five-year prison sentence, a $10,000 fine, and a three-year ban from boxing. And though he stayed out of jail while his case was appealed, it wasn't until four years later that the Supreme Court overturned his conviction. Through countless interviews with the people who knew him, The Trials of Muhammed Ali tracks this period in Ali's life where he chose what he believed was right over what would best help his career, and the positives and negatives that resulted from it. 
Watch the trailer for The Trials of Muhammed Ali here.


Dom Hemingway @ Oriental Theatre (Opens Fri, April 18)
Robert Nelson’s Suite California Stops and Passes @ UWM Union Theatre (Tue, April 22 @ 7p)
To Make A Farm @ UWM Union Theatre (Wed, April 23 @ 7:30p)
Thin Ice @ Charles Allis Art Museum (Wed, Apr 23 @ 7:30)

(Want this info and more sent to your inbox every Thursday? Sign up for the Milwaukee Film Newsletter.)


posted by Kristopher on April 16th, 2014

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Your April members-only screening is ...Like Father, Like Son.



Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu (Nobody Knows) has been garnering festival prizes around the world for his touching family drama, Like Father, Like Son, winning the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and the Audience Award at both the 2013 San Sebastian and Vancouver Film Festival.


The film explores the complicated meaning of parenthood and the debate of 'nature' versus 'nurture' in child rearing. Hard-working and successful Ryota is forced to make a life-changing decision when he learns that his 6-year-old child was switched with another family at birth.


"5 Stars. A tender poem about the ebb and flow of paternal love." - The Telegraph


The screening takes place on Wednesday, April 30th at 7 PM at the Landmark Oriental Theatre. The film has a running time of 121 minutes.


RSVP HERE to reserve your spot for the screening. Space is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Reservations close at NOON on Tuesday, April 29th. No RSVPs will be taken after this time. If you do not receive a reply to your RSVP within 48 hours, please call me at 414-755-1965 x204. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at


"Hey, Kristopher! What if I'm NOT a member, but I want to come to this and all subsequent screenings, and I want to get lots of great deals on festival tickets and merchandise, and--"  Whoa! Slow down, friend! I have just the solution. BECOME A MEMBER THIS VERY MINUTE and all your movie-related dreams will come true!


posted by Milan on April 15th, 2014

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Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ben Balcom, our new Technical Director.

Ben first joined our festival seasonal staff in 2011 as a projectionist. We liked him so much that we're keeping him around permanently! As Technical Director, he'll be responsible for making sure you get to experience every film at the festival with the best possible sound and projection. 

Born in Boston and raised in Illinois, Ben came to Milwaukee in 2011 to pursue an MFA in filmmaking at UWM. In addition to being our brand new staff member, Ben is also an associate lecturer at UWM, and curator of a small neighborhood screening space in Riverwest called Microlights, which specializes in underground and experimental cinema. And as if that weren't enough to do, he's also a filmmaker, whose film and video work addresses (in his words) "everything from metaphysics and the moon, to hand massages, and household objects. Its pretty weird." 

Welcome to the family, Ben!

posted by Cara on April 14th, 2014

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Today is Milwaukee Day (4/14) and one of the things we love most about about this city is the film work we get to show at our festival made by Milwaukee-area filmmakers of all ages. No, seriously, all ages. We even have a special showcase for films made by local youth under the age of 18. It's called the Milwaukee Youth Show, and if you're a young filmmaker under the age of 18 (or you know a young person who fits that description), we want your film!

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival is now accepting submissions for films for The Milwaukee Youth Show until June 23. The Milwaukee Youth Show is our showcase of short film (20 minutes or shorter) made by young filmmakers from Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Walworth, or Washington counties. The films must have been written, directed, and produced by young people. (No helping, parents!) We accept all kinds of films—documentaries, fiction, animation, silent, music videos, PSAs and any other type of film you can imagine!

And the best part? It's free to enter!

You can get all the ins and outs about submitting your film here.

If your film is accepted into the festival, we will let you know no later than August 31, 2014. And if you have any questions, send them our way: We look forward to watching your film!