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The 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival kicks-off in just over a month, and we’re excited to reveal even more of the stellar programming headed your way soon! Yesterday, our friends at Milwaukee Record, OnMilwaukee, and Shepherd Express announced the titles that will be shown in our Cinema Hooligante, Sportsball!, and Documentary series, respectively. Below is just a sampling of the films you can expect to enjoy before we announce the full lineup later this month.


Cinema Hooligante


This year’s Cinema Hooligante is sure to satisfy anyone looking for the delightfully bizarre, the dementedly wicked, and the unapologetically gruesome in their film experiences. Our first wave of MFF2019 announcements already highlighted some of the films you’ll see in this series like Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, The Birds, Coven, and Showgirls, but there’s still plenty more where that came from. Perhaps no Cinema Hooligante would be complete without at least one film from the extensive library of Takashi Miike and this year’s festival welcomes his latest, First Love, to the series. The film centers on a young boxer with a brain tumor who meets a drug-addicted call girl who fall in love and have to survive a night in Tokyo that includes run-ins with corrupt cops, yakuza, and a female assassin.

Next up is director Peter Strickland’s (The Duke of Burgundy, Berberian Sound Studio) latest horror-comedy, In Fabric. The film follows a lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) who finds a stunning red dress at a London department store, however, in true horror fashion, the dress holds an evil curse that threatens everyone who crosses its path. Editor’s note: as someone who wore zip-off cargo pants when they were younger, let’s just say I feel the horror of cursed clothing on a deeply personal level.

Rounding off Cinema Hooligante is Shadow, the latest from legendary Chinese filmmaker, Zhang Yimou. Milwaukee Record described the film as an “ancient Chinese Batman movie,” and if that doesn’t get you excited, we don’t know what will. Perhaps working with former Batman Christian Bale on The Flowers of War inspired this approach, but we’re very excited to experience this at the Festival with everyone regardless.


Click here to read the full Cinema Hooligante lineup courtesy of Milwaukee Record.


Documentary Series


The documentary lineup at this year’s Festival showcases a diverse collection of human stories exploring a wide array of topics. One that’s piqued this editor’s interest is Carmine Street Guitars which documents five days in the life of Greenwich Village custom guitar store owner Rick Kelly. The film shows Kelly’s dedication to his craft and his interactions (and jam sessions) with loyal customers like Jim Jarmusch, and the guitarists for acts like Wilco, Patti Smith, and Bob Dylan.


Fans of unsolved mysteries will surely be captivated by the story explored in Cold Case Hammarskjöld, directed by MFF alum Mads Brügger. Focused on a 1961 plane crash that caused the death of United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, the film examines government secrets and wild conspiracy theories in an attempt to solve this decades-old mystery.


Also leading the pack of documentaries is The Raft, a film documenting a 1973 experiment that the press infamously dubbed as “the sex raft.” The experiment involved eleven strangers who drifted across the Atlantic Ocean on a raft for three months with the goal of learning about group behavioral dynamics. The film blends both archival footage from the raft as well as present-day footage featuring the surviving members of the experiment.


Click here to read the full Documentary lineup courtesy of Shepherd Express.




The annual Sportsball! series offers much more than films that simply highlight ball-based sports. Case in point: this year’s The Good, The Bad, The Hungry. The film documents a years-long rivalry between two competitors on perhaps the grandest stage of all: Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.


One of the best things documentaries can do is inform audiences on the experiences and perspectives of people that aren’t often explored. People all over the world know about famous golfers like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, but what about the always present and helpful caddies? Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk turns the camera to these unsung heroes of the sport and explores the crucial role they plan in golfers’ lives on and off the green.


In a similar vein, A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem shines a light on longstanding problems NFL cheerleader’s face. Despite being one of the biggest and most profitable sports organizations in the world, NFL cheerleaders often go unpaid for their work. The film tells their stories and documents their courtroom battle for fair wages and gender equality in a male-dominated organization.


Click here to read the full Sportsball! lineup courtesy of OnMilwaukee.

Tickets for all Festival screenings and events, including these titles and over 300 more, go on sale to the general public on Thursday, Oct. 3. Milwaukee Film Members can purchase tickets early with discounted pricing, starting on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Visit to become a member today!

Full Festival passes, as well as voucher packages that can be exchanged for tickets to non-premium screenings, are currently available at


Posted by: Milwaukee Film