MILWAUKEE, WI - Wednesday, April 5th, 2023:
Milwaukee Film has announced the Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night films showing as a part of the 15th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by Associated Bank.
These films will join others as a part of the crowd-pleasing Premium screenings lineup offered within Milwaukee Film Festival’s Spotlight Presentation program, presented by Donald and Donald Baumgartner, and are perfect for first-time festival goers and seasoned screen junkies alike.
“Our Spotlight Presentations are those films where the screening is a can’t-be-missed event. Whether it’s a film with live accompaniment or a gala premiere with filmmakers in attendance, any one of this set of films is a great starting point for crowd-pleasing festival experiences that exemplify why film festivals are more than just movies,” explained Cara Ogburn, artistic director at Milwaukee Film. “If you’ve never been to the Milwaukee Film Festival, these special nights are the place to start,” she concluded.
Opening Night on Thursday, April 20th at the historic Oriental Theatre will set the stage for 2 weeks of thrilling, entertaining, and heartwarming experiences that the Milwaukee Film Festival is known for, and features the world premiere of the Wisconsin-set documentary, “Mom & Dad’s Nipple Factory,” directed by Justin "Justinsuperstar" Johnson and produced by Jason Cohen and Noah Lang.
“Opening Night is always an exciting kickoff to fifteen days of incredible films, and this year’s film will set precisely the right tone with this heart-warming love story about family and dignity following the director’s mom’s battle with breast cancer. We are so excited to celebrate the world premiere of this Wisconsin story that has so much wider resonance for survivors and their families everywhere as the kick-off to our festival,” enthused Ogburn.
The film’s director, participants, and crew will be in attendance to walk the red carpet and engage further during a post-screening Q&A. Following the 6:30 PM screening, an Opening Night Party and performance from the alternative, electronic “retrofuture” band and duo Immortal Girlfriend will take place at the Historic Pritzlaff Building. All opening night screening ticket purchases include access to our Opening Night Party and will go on sale to members online April 10th and online to the public April 12th.
Mid-way through the Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival’s Centerpiece screening will open on Saturday, April 29th for the Sundance-premiering documentary film, Little Richard: I Am Everything, with Milwaukee Film Festival alum and director Lisa Cortés scheduled to be in attendance. Little Richard: I Am Everything explodes the whitewashed American rock n' roll canon revealing the Black queer originator at its center - Richard Penniman. This trove of archival and performance footage, interviews of family, peers, and trailblazing Black and queer scholars reveals how Richard created an art form as an ultimate act of self-expression.
Milwaukee Film Festival’s Closing night film on May 4th at The Oriental Theatre has been aptly selected as A Disturbance in the Force, a documentary that Rolling Stone describes as “a transitional moment between old showbiz razzle-dazzle and New Hollywood blockbuster entertainment." A cavalcade of STAR WARS players and historians tell the bizarre history of the “Star Wars Holiday Special” that aired to an audience of 13 millions people and almost ended the galaxy far, far away. It never re-aired and is considered one of the worst shows ever to air. George Lucas has said, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy ... and smash it.”
Milwaukee Film plans to release the full 2023 Festival Program Guide TOMORROW, April 6th, 2023, online at mkefilm.org/mff. To help aid the quest in figuring out what you want to see and where you want to be over the two weeks of the Festival, Milwaukee Film is holding a Friends & Family Preview Night at The Oriental Theatre which is FREE and open to the public. Join us for an inside look at the Festival and watch trailers curated by the incredible programmers that put it all together (along with free popcorn, soda, giveaways, early access to Festival merch).
MOM & DAD’S NIPPLE FACTORY
OPENING NIGHT! WORLD PREMIERE!
United States / 2023 / 81 min / English
DIR - Justin “Justinsuperstar” Johnson
PROD - Jason Cohen, Noah Lang
Screening schedule: Thursday, Apr 20 | 6:30 PM | Oriental Theatre: Abele Cinema,
Still: Download here
Synopsis: After his wife Randi survives breast cancer and a mastectomy, Brian Johnson, a serial entrepreneur and tinkerer, embarks on an extraordinary journey to help her feel complete. From a bedroom in Eau Claire, WI, director Justin "Justinsuperstar" Johnson's parents pursue the perfect prosthetic nipple, transforming what began as an intimate labor of love into a "factory" with the power to change thousands of survivors' lives in this fascinating tale of resilience, dignity, and family.
"...a quirky and heartwarming look at how a conservative Christian couple deals with starting a nipple prosthetic business, all while staying under the radar from their friends, church and five children." - VolumeOne
OPENING NIGHT FILM TICKET INFO
Includes admission to Opening Night Party
$20 General Public
$18 Seniors (60+), Students/Educators (with ID) and Military Members (with ID)
$17 Milwaukee Film Member
OPENING NIGHT PARTY TICKET INFO
$15 General Public
$12 Milwaukee Film Member
LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING
United States / 2023 / 98 min / English DIR - Lisa Cortés
PROD - Caryn Capotosto, Lisa Cortés, Robert Friedman, Liz Yale Marsh
Screening schedule: Saturday, Apr 29 | 6:15 PM | Oriental Theatre: Abele Cinema
Still: Download here.
LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING explodes the whitewashed American rock n' roll canon revealing the Black queer originator at its center - Richard Penniman. This trove of archival and performance footage, interviews of family, peers, and trailblazing Black and queer scholars reveals how Richard created an art form as an ultimate act of self-expression. MFF alum Lisa Cortés guides us through the rollicking career of a man careening between God, sex, and rock n' roll.
"This is one of those instances where a film thoughtfully reexamines previously established truths about a musician’s legacy so fervently that it completely upends you." - Huffington Post
"This is a fitting tribute to a complicated Black queer icon who deserved more in his life and deserves more in his death." - Autostraddle
A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
UNITED STATES / 2023 / 84 MIN / ENGLISH
DIR Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak
PROD Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak, Kyle Newman
Screening schedule: Thursday, May 4 | 7:15 PM | Oriental Theatre: Abele Cinema
Still: Download here.
In 1978, CBS aired the two-hour “Star Wars Holiday Special” to an audience of 13 million people. It never re-aired and is considered one of the worst shows ever to air. George Lucas has said, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy ... and smash it.” A cavalcade of STAR WARS players and historians tell the bizarre history of the special that almost ended the galaxy far, far away.
"...it maps a transitional moment between old showbiz razzle-dazzle and New Hollywood blockbuster entertainment." - Rolling Stone
"...offers an insightful exploration of the production and context of the special." - Hollywood Reporter
"A Disturbance in the Force ends up being a celebration of Star Wars and its history, even in its weirdest forms." - Collider