2021 COHORT

Meet the six incredibly talented Milwaukee filmmakers chosen for our 2021-2023 Focus Finder cohort.


MIKEY MURRY

Mikey (pronounced my-key) Murry, also known as Mikey Cody Apollo, is a Black queer writer, filmmaker, educator, and feminist killjoy from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most of their work explores themes such as race, gender, sex, and religion. Mikey is the author of the self-published collection of poetry titled Black Girls, Silence, and Other Things Made of Gold, which has been used in classrooms, workshops, and book clubs across the United States. Mikey currently works for UBUNTU Research & Evaluation, a team of unapologetic Black women, femmes, and non-binary folk committed to disrupting systemic oppression through strategic evaluation, facilitation, and education. Mikey resides with her partner and favorite photographer, Mahdi Atif, and their two fur babies, Mercury and Ruby, on Milwaukee's Eastside. When Mikey grows up, she wants to be the first Black woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.\ 


MARQUISE MAYS

Marquise Mays is an award-winning emerging filmmaker and media scholar based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Experienced in an array of media and arts practices—from cinematic storytelling to exhibition curation—Marquise brings imagination, technical expertise, and cultural awareness to entertainment productions, journalistic undertakings or media-rich events and civic engagements. 
 
He holds a M.A from the University of Southern California (USC) and a B.A from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). As an independent filmmaker and film studies scholar, both Marquise's films and research are careful renderings of individual life. He presents a range of access points for participation in dialogues, theoretical deliberations, and creative enterprises related to the projections of Black life on screen.  
 
Whether it be a sweeping study of one woman’s blindness and insight (Blindspot, Director, 2020); or surveying the intimate history of Latasha Harlins, an often-overlooked figure in the L.A. riots depicted in the Student Academy Award Winning Film, The Dope Years (Associate Producer, 2019); or interrogating the unrequited love between Black kids and the city of Milwaukee (The Heartland, Director, 2021), Marquise seeks to capture the humanity of individual subjects with precision and integrity. Indeed, Marquise’s films and multimedia work evince a sympathetic depth and clarity of voice. 


JACK MCGREAL

Jack McGreal is a Queer Filmmaker out of The UWM Peck School of The Arts in Milwaukee. He has been involved with multiple queer film organizations, including Frameline and The Milwaukee LGBT Film, while also creating projects that further a mission of queer representation. His recent short LEATHERBOY was well received in the leather community and will hopefully be showing at festivals in 2022. 

 


VIANCA ILIANA FUSTER

Vianca Iliana Fuster is a Puerto Rican documentary filmmaker from Milwaukee's South Side. She has directed, shot, and edited a body of original documentary work for local and national media outlets, including TODAY Show and AJ+. Vianca co-founded LionArt Media, a woman-owned and operated video production company with the goal of creating more work opportunities for women and BIPOC filmmakers in Milwaukee. Fuster directed and is editing a short boxing documentary titled The Warrior Princess, which was a recipient of the 2019 BRICO Forward Fund and was selected to be workshopped through Kartemquin Films' 2020 Diverse Voices In Documentary Fellowship in Chicago, IL.  


DELANEY DOERSCH

Delaney Doersch is a Thai-American documentary filmmaker from Neenah, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2021, producing and showcasing her short documentary Ipseity, a film that examines transracial adoption, identity, and family. Delaney is committed to lifting up minority communities to share their stories, seeking to highlight and contextualize the world around us. 


COLE KIRKENDALL

Cole Kirkendall is a visual artist living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studied film and video production. He has mostly worked with stop motion animation in recent years.