Year-Round Reel Talks
Milwaukee Film’s Reel Talks program brings visiting and local filmmakers to high school, college, and afterschool learning spaces to inspire young people by talking informally about their work.
Year-round (non-festival) Reel Talks involve local filmmakers who live and work in our community and/or filmmakers who are visiting Milwaukee. Each Reel Talk session (45-60 minutes) usually involves screening of clips from the film and an informal, facilitated discussion of the film’s content and/or the guest’s career.
Below is a list of local filmmakers (and their films) who’ve expressed interest in visiting with area youth between late-February – May 2020.
If you are interested in hosting a local filmmaker, please fill out the interest form by Tuesday, February 11 for our first round of visits. Or, if you’re seeing this late, we will add visits as capacity allows.
If you are interested in a late spring visit but are unsure of your precise availability, that's ok, we'll work with you as your schedule becomes more clear!
Note: visits will be are subject to filmmaker availability.
2018 | 11 min | short documentary
Natasha Woods (Director)
Synopsis: A family portrait that traces a mother's journey from Brazil to rural Iowa while echoing the maker's own experiences. Blending landscapes, storytelling, and personal documents together in an attempt to understand radical memory.
2019 | 16 min | short fiction
Joseph David Bowes (Producer), Nicklas Hendrickson (Director)
Synopsis: A young woman's brutal and transformative first night as a vampire.
Garden City Beautiful
2019 | 12 min | short fiction
Ben Balcom (Director)
Synopsis: One sunny afternoon in the middle west, suspended in a time between, two commuters daydream of a life lived otherwise.
Give Me Liberty
2019 | 110 min | fiction feature
Moira Tracey (Production Designer)
Synopsis: Medical transport driver Vic is running further and further behind schedule, as he shuttles his Russian grandfather and émigré friends to a funeral, navigates closed roads, and befriends one of his clients, Tracy (Lauren “Lolo” Spencer in a breakout performance), a vibrant young woman with ALS. This locally made Sundance/Cannes indie darling returns to Milwaukee in an encore homecoming tour, showcasing a hilarious, compassionate, and intersectional portrait of American dreams and disenchantment.
2019 | 15 min | short fiction
Emily Kuester, Ian Cessna (Producers)
Synopsis: After the death of their older sister, two estranged sisters are brought back together. They discover they have been left her entire estate, but only if they first complete a list of tasks she has left for them with her eccentric lawyer. From going back to their favorite childhood diner, to kissing an old crush, to skinny dipping, the list makes them look hard at their relationship with their sister and with each other.
My First and Last Film
2019 | 69 min | documentary feature
Kristin Peterson Kaszubowski (Producer), Tracey Thomas (Director)
Synopsis: When filmmaker Tracey Thomas turned 60 she began interviewing dozens of other 60-year-olds, discussing themes of life, death, love, the afterlife, and more. But when her romantic and filmmaking partner, Dennis, passed away suddenly, Thomas’ work took on a much deeper meaning as she grappled with grief while continuing her project. This sensitive and deeply personal film, featuring many local subjects, ruminates on love and loss and the power of film to explore the most unanswerable of questions.
2019 | 70 min | documentary feature
Lajwanti P. Waghray (Director/Producer)
Synopsis As technology overtakes more and more of society it’s easy to forget that one of the most powerful tools people have is their hands. Contemplative and observational, On Hands follows the work of a variety of makers who use their hands to create, offering a unique experience they couldn’t achieve otherwise. This meditative doc from Laj P. Waghray examines the quiet power of hands and the beauty of what they can create.
2018 | 2 min | short fiction
Xarion Latimore (Director) **Near-Peer, MFF2019 Milwaukee Youth Show Alum**
Synopsis: After seeing The Hate U Give, I was deeply inspired. I saw in the film, struggles within my own city. I wanted to have the same message of power within the community, and most importantly the youth. I created Rosario as an interpretation of Starr and wanted to show the same themes of racial tension in a high school setting, as well as what teenagers view happening around them in our actual lives. I wanted there to be an emphasis on the fact that it isn't only on the big screen but on our televisions and cell phones every day.
Saebra & Carlyle – “Rabbit Hole”
2019 | 4 min | music video
Brian Klewin (Director)
Synopsis: A woman with a killer past gives the crown to her new love. Filmed in one true continuous take.
We Were Hardly More Than Children
2019 | 9 min | documentary short
Cecelia Condit (Director/Producer)
Synopsis: We Were Hardly More Than Children tells an epic tale of an illegal abortion as lived by two women on a perilous journey through a world that has little concern for their survival.
Content Notes: Descriptions of blood, potential triggers of traumatic memories of abortion. Encourage students to take care of themselves.
Sons of Dogs (Hijos De Perros)
2019 | 15 min | documentary short
Lucio Arellano (Director/Producer)
Synopsis After the grip of the cartels begins to loosen, an immigrant Mexican family living in the United States is granted the chance to re-visit their hometown of Plateros, Zacatecas. Home of the Santo Nino de Atocha (Holy Infant of Atocha), who is believed to have guided local miners out of collapsed mines, the shrine stands as a testament to the irony displayed between hope and complacency in Plateros. This documentary shot in the observational mode offers viewers a glimpse into the lives of those living in this era, as well as the places they look towards to overcome distrust, irony, and fear.