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Our relentless march towards our 10th Annual Festival continues apace with today's reveal of the complete line-up for the Cream City Cinema program!

This year, the CCC program is comprised of 48 feature and short films covering a broad swath of genres and styles. New this year is HBO’s Cream City Cinema Emerging Voices Award, which will provide one diverse director with the opportunity to travel to Santa Monica for a day of meetings and introductions at the HBO offices. Locally-directed films are eligible for an additional $12,500 in juried cash prizes during the festival.

Annual showcase favorites, The Milwaukee Show I, The Milwaukee Show II, and The Milwaukee Youth Show, and The Milwaukee Music Video Show are back for yet another year, along with a cavalcade of other films (a few of which are screening as part of other programs, as you'll see below!):





Invisible Lines
(USA / 2018 / Laura Dyan Kezman, Nate Imig, Vianca Fuster)



World Premiere! In this special feature-length presentation of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee's acclaimed web series, we see discussion of the divisions that exist in our city - frank, unscripted conversation about segregation, racism, and discrimination from a diverse pool of Milwaukeeans (activists, artists, students, and historians all participate). Springing forth from the notion that there can be no community building without genuine dialogue, Invisible Lines is a much-needed conversation surrounding topics long forced to the periphery.


Lake Michigan Monster

(USA / 2018 / Director: Ryland Tews)


World Premiere! An eccentric ship captain and a group of specialists attempt to hunt down the wiliest creature of the deep - the Lake Michigan Monster. Banned in four lakes, this madcap comedy (filmed in black-and-white) harkens back to creature features of yore with a briny aesthetic all its own, harkening to the absurdist fantasy stylings of Guy Maddin.


This Little Light

(USA / 2018 / Director: Ada McMahon, Wendi Moore-O’Neal)

Pre-feature: Dr. Smith’s African American Museum and Black Vertan Archive (USA | 2018 | Director: Brad Lichtenstein)


World Premiere! Wendi Moore-O'Neal, Black Feminist organizer and freedom singer from New Orleans, is fired from her community organizing job after marrying her wife Mandisa due to a homophobic celibacy policy held by her non-profit employer. A portrait of the power of love, community, and the living legacy of the Black Southern Freedom movement, we follow Wendi on her inspiring journey, calling all of us to rethink how we approach work and building a beloved community in the Era of Trump.


Riverwest Film & Video

(USA | 2018 | Director: Emir Cakaroz)


Long a staple of both our film-loving and filmmaking communities, Riverwest Film & Video gets the documentary treatment it so richly deserves. Offering a diverse range of films for rent, film equipment for sale, and a local radio station for anyone and everyone who wants to have a program, it has long served Milwaukee as a locus of neighborhood activity. Meet the regulars who patronize the store, programmers who run the radio station, and employees who man the shop in this winning documentary.



(USA / 2018 / Director: Tim Seymour, Janine Sijan Rozina)


World Premiere! The inspiring story of Capt. Lance Peter Sijan, Sijan covers the unbelievable yet true circumstances that led to his being a Medal of Honor recipient. While on a mission over Laos on November 9, 1967, a 25-year-old Lance Sijan was forced to eject from his disabled aircraft into the thick jungle environs below. Miraculously surviving for 45 days without food, water, or the hope of rescue, Lance somehow evaded enemy capture. A moving reminder of the value of honor and integrity in an era where we need it most.


Yen Ching

(USA / 2018 / Director: Yinan Wang)

Pre-feature: You Find Yourself (Sick) in Bolivia (USA | 2018 | Director: Hannah Raye White)


World Premiere! This incisive documentary takes a fresh look at the family dynamics in play at the Chinese restaurant of the film's title. Intimate footage captures how the restaurant owner, Chen, and his children pursue the American dream in distinctly different ways. As we learn Chen's life story, we see the dilemma he faces - for very different reasons, each of his sons are not interested in following the traditional Chinese-American path in which they inherit the family business.


The Milwaukee Music Video Show

Amanda Huff - “Gravetalking” (USA | 2018 | Director: Kristin Peterson)

Bruise Violet - “Nightmare” (USA | 2018 | Director: Robyn Ehrlich)

Calliope - “Sea of Red” (USA | 2018 | Director: Victor Buell IV)

DelMar the Poet - “The Burial” (USA | 2017 | Director: Corbin Cox)

King Courteen - “Bucker Boy” (USA | 2018 | Director: Damien Blue)

L. Martin - “ Skipping Rocks” (USA | 2018 | Director: Bryce O’Boyle)

La Armada - “Fire” (USA | 2018 | Directors: Adam Santiago, Derek Shreves)

Mini Meltdown - “Number On Me” (USA | 2018 | Director: Nick Sommer)

Ms. Lotus Fankh “Knowledge” (USA | 2018 | Director: Anthony Diaz)

Platinum Boys - “Lord Knows” (USA | 2017 | Directors: Joey Turbo, Ryan Reeve)

Von Alexander - “Demons” (USA | 2018 | Director: David Naida)

Willy Porter - “There’s Something Growing” (USA | 2017 | Director: Liam Porter)

Xposed 4Heads - “System Overload” (USA | 2017 | Director: Mark G.E.)


The Milwaukee Show I

Brothers (USA | 2018 | Directors: Sheyam Ghieth, Emmett Jack Lundberg)

The Chase Key (USA | 2018 | Director: Dan Boville)

Grandma Charlotte (USA | 2018 | Director: Andrew Swant)

Hounds of Love (USA | 2018 | Director: Nolan Kresnak)

Three Neighborhoods: People, Place, Purpose (USA | 2018 | Directors: Adam Carr, Wes Tank)

Through the Eye Root (USA | 2018 | Director: Vincent Maslowski)

The Water Will Carry Us Home (USA | 2018 | Director: Gabrielle Tesfaye)


The Milwaukee Show II

A Wake Before Mourning (USA | 2017 | Director: Jens Rhude)

Alice’s Garden (USA | 2017 | Director: Jenny Plevin)

El Color de la Libertad (USA | 2018 | Directors: Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, Wes Tank)

Dislocation Blues (USA | 2017 | Director: Sky Hopinka)

Marie (USA | 2017 | Director: Katie Theel)

Meet Uncle Paul (USA | 2018 | Director: Jessica Bursi)

Preset (USA | 2018 | Director: Parker Gayan)

The Same Prison Bars (USA | 2017 | Director: Joseph Garcia-Menocal)


The Milwaukee Youth Show

A Modern Valentine’s Day (USA | 2018 | Directors: Chloe Ullenberg, Mitchell Jakubowski, Katie Koehler)

Attraper des Gemmes (USA | 2017 | Directors: Bria Smith, Brian Le, Alyssa Cunningham, Leilah Covington)

Balance Beam (USA | 2018 | Director: Leean Le)

Cops and Robbers (USA | 2018 | Director: Jay Chontal)

Crescendo (USA | 2018 | Director: Malcolm Ramirez)

Dreams Tonight (USA | 2018 | Directors: Gavin Portilo, Brayden Lemke, Angie Charchesi)

Drink Up (USA | 2018 | Director: TJ Khampane)

Escuela Verde’s Queer Collective: Exploring the Intersectionality of the QPOC Existence (USA | 2018 | Director: Angelo Alvarez)

Incarnate (USA | 2018 | Director: Clayton Allen)

Keys (USA | 2018 | Director: Harrison Hanneman)

ONE (USA | 2018 | Directors: Kyen Ditzenberger, Gabe Brusky)

Respect in Representation (USA | 2018 | Directors: Tori Frank, Elena Gonzalez Clark)

Shoes (USA | 2018 | Director: Wyatt Chang)

The Chamber of Labor: Hamlet (USA | 2018 | Director: Sergio Sandoval)

This Is America (USA | 2018 | Directors: Bria Smith, Aya Fares, Kate Meyer)  

We All Bleed Red (USA | 2018 | Director: Jacob Young)




Back at the Staircase

(USA | 2018 | Director: Drew Britton)


Program Category: Spotlight Presentations/Closing Night


Back at the Staircase - Trailer from Back at the Staircase on Vimeo.

Director scheduled to attend! In the midst of preparing for a celebration of charges being dropped against her youngest daughter, family matriarch Barbara suffers a violent tumble that leaves her hospitalized and comatose. So what originally was a coming together under the auspices of celebration instead becomes a tense vigil for the five relatives who connect at the family cabin: sisters Margaret and Trish (Mickey O'Hagan and Jennifer Lafleur), nephews Phillip and Ian (Stephen Plunkett and Logan Lark), and Ian's girlfriend Jody (Leonora Pitts). Not knowing how long they'll be forced to spend in each other's company as they await news, we watch as the screws are slowly and expertly turned on this so-called family, bringing the tension to both unbearable and wholly believable levels in this expertly crafted, locally made chamber piece filled from top to bottom with astonishing performances.


Pet Names

(USA | 2018 | Director: Carol Brandt)


Program Category: American Independents

Pet Names | Official Trailer from Carol Brandt on Vimeo.


Director scheduled to attend! Multi-MFF alum and local filmmaker extraordinaire Carol Brandt returns with her latest, shot entirely in and around Wisconsin, an appealingly off-center road move that has drawn comparison to Kelly Reichardt. Taking a brief sojourn from tending to her terminally ill mother, grad school dropout Leigh plans for a weekend in the woods, with her high school ex-boyfriend (and his adorable pug) tagging along for the ride. Filmed with the faded warmth of old Polaroids, their introspective getaway causes them to relitigate the past while looking toward their potential futures.


The First Patient

(USA | 2018 | Director: Chip Duncan)

Program Category: Spotlight Presentations


World premiere! Director scheduled to attend! Local filmmaker Chip Duncan takes us behind the scenes as first-year medical students are introduced to the first patient they'll ever work on: human cadavers to be dissected during the medical rite of passage that is gross anatomy. Granted unprecedented access to this previously exclusive world, we follow the students, faculty, and body donors on a dramatic and emotional journey into the human body—receiving a true education into their chosen profession as well as a crash course in what it means to be human.


New Beginnings

(USA | 2018 | Director: Aseel Tabaza)

Program Category: Teen Screen

Pre-feature to Personal Statement



Posted by: Tom Fuchs