calendar close phone angle-left angle-right angle-down facebook flickr google plus instagram twitter twitter external-link search

And the Winner Is...

Although we here at Milwaukee Film fully believe in the egalitarian value of participation trophies and constant positive reinforcement, we also like to honor and celebrate the filmmakers who have exceeded expectations and whose films have defied imaginations.

Here's a roundup of awards given out in recent years, but please check out the Film Finder to see all the fantastic films that have graced the MFF's screens in past years.

Interested in All Things Milwaukee?

Check out the Experience Milwaukee page to find MKE Film's favorite eateries, drinkeries, and do-eries.

Festival Awards & Past Winners

Abele Catalyst Award (Founders Award)

The Abele Catalyst Award is inspired by Milwaukee Film founder Chris Abele’s interest in having a catalytic and long-lasting positive impact on our community through film. It is given annually to the person or organization whose generous support embodies that enthusiasm.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: Brico Fund
  • 2016: Katie Heil
  • 2015: Donald & Donna Baumgartner
  • 2014: Marianne Lubar
  • 2013: Chris Abele
Allan H. (Bud) And Suzanne L. Selig Audience Awards

Thanks to the continued visionary support of Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig, Milwaukee Film is able to provide the city of Milwaukee with a vibrant, year-round cultural institution as well as the premier film festival in the Midwest. The Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Awards are awarded annually to the best feature and short films of the entire festival.

PAST RECIPIENTS: BEST FEATURE FILM

  • 2017: The Blood is at the Doorstep
  • 2016: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
  • 2015: Romeo is Bleeding
  • 2014: Alive Inside
  • 2013: The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
  • 2012: Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
  • 2011: Louder Than A Bomb
  • 2010: Waiting for “Superman”
  • 2009: Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

PAST RECIPIENTS: BEST SHORT FILM

  • 2017: The Tables
  • 2016: Joe’s Violin
  • 2015: Grounded (Au Sol)
  • 2014: The Numberlys
  • 2013: Eddie Adams: Saigon ’68
  • 2012: Magic Piano
  • 2011: The Wheel
  • 2010: Drunk History: Tesla & Edison
  • 2009: The Violinist
Black Lens Jury Awards

An esteemed jury will award $4,000 to the standout feature-length selection and $1,000 to the best short film from our Black Lens program.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: Dear Mr. Shakespeare
  • 2016: Can You Dig This
Brico Forward Fund Award

The Brico Forward Fund returns for its fourth year to support local film projects in production or development with cash and donated production services. An external jury divvies the rewards from a pool of $50,000 cash and more than $75,000 in donated rentals and services.

Presented by Brico Fund, with thanks to Steinhafels, The Electric Sun Corporation, Independent, North American Camera, and Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. for offering production rentals and other services in support of this program.

Cream City Cinema College Filmmaker Award

This $2,500 cash prize—sponsored by Major League Baseball pitcher and Milwaukee Film programmer and supporter John Axford—is awarded to the standout film made by a student filmmaker from our Cream City Cinema program.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: ANGELAAA
  • 2016: Sterile
Cream City Cinema Jury Award

This $5,000 prize is awarded by a jury to the standout short or feature film selection from our local Cream City Cinema program.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: Scott Road
  • 2016: Twin Sister (Jimagua)
  • 2015: Lemon
  • 2014: New Planet
  • 2013: Before You
  • 2012: The Jeffrey Dahmer Files
  • 2011: Don’t Go
  • 2010: Mickey Burgermeister
  • 2009: Mary’s Friend
Documentary Jury Award

This $5,000 prize, supported by Christine Symchych & Jim McNulty, is awarded by a jury of film industry members to the standout selection by an emerging director from our Documentary Festival Favorites program.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: Quest
  • 2016: NUTS!
  • 2015: The Look of Silence
Herzfeld Competition Award (Founders Award)

Under the guidance of Milwaukee Film founders Carmen and Bill Haberman, the Herzfeld Foundation has provided boundless support to innovative arts and education programs here in Milwaukee. This $10,000 prize is awarded annually by a jury of film industry members to one filmmaker from our Competition program whose film best exemplifies the same spirit of innovation so championed by the Herzfeld Foundation.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: Rat Film
  • 2016: The Fits
  • 2015: No One’s Child
  • 2014: The Tribe
  • 2013: War Witch
  • 2012: Crulic–The Path to Beyond
  • 2011: Nothing’s All Bad
  • 2011: Somewhere Between
  • 2010: A Brand New Life
  • 2010: My Perestroika
  • 2009: Munyurangabo
Kids Choice Short Film Award

This $1,000 cash prize is awarded by a jury of kids (ages 9–12) from the greater Milwaukee area to the standout short film from our Rated K: For Kids shorts programs.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: Litterbugs
  • 2016: MOOM
  • 2015: A Place in the Middle
  • 2014: Sweet Love
Milwaukee Music Video Award

This annual $5,000 prize is awarded by a jury of music and/or film industry members to the local filmmaker and musical artist who collaborated on the standout selection from The Milwaukee Music Video Show.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: IshDARR - “Locals”
  • 2016: WebsterX – "Lately"
Shorter Is Better Award

This $1,000 cash prize is awarded by a jury of film industry members to the standout short film from our Shorter Is Better program.

PAST RECIPIENTS

  • 2017: The Burden
  • 2016: Bird Hearts (Fuglehjerter)
  • 2015: Giovanni and the Water Ballet
  • 2014: Love. Love. Love.
Women in Film Audience Award

New in 2018! We are thrilled to have Livewire Productions underwrite a $2,500 cash prize for the top-rated film directed (or co-directed) by a woman based on audience voting. Be sure to cast your ballots and check in after the festival to learn whose career you are helping sustain!