Just when you thought it was safe to write about the upcoming 6th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival without mentioning yet another fest highlight, along comes Cream City Cinema. Today, Milwaukee Film revealed the lineup for it’s all-local program, which will include four feature-length films, one feature-length documentary, and three shorts programs. Two of those shorts programs will be the always-popular “Milwaukee Show,” which is being expanded into two parts for 2014. If you’ve ever found yourself cursing the talents of Milwaukee filmmakers when you discover “The Milwaukee Show” has sold out in 30 seconds, this is your year.
Bobby Ciraldo and Andrew Swant’s green-screen-tastic, Screech-starring take on Shakespeare, Hamlet A.D.D., will highlight the homegrown films this year, along with shorts from Kurt Raether, Kara Mulrooney, WC Tank, Nathaniel Heuer, and many more. Spencer Chumbley’s powerful The Death of Corey Stingley will also be featured, as will Chris James Thompson’s MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous.
“Cream City Cinema is the heart of our film festival and a celebration of Milwaukee filmmaker talent—it’s inspiring to see the program grow.” says Artistic and Executive Director Jonathan Jackson in a press release. “We received such a wide array of high quality film submissions this year that we had to expand The Milwaukee Show–our much-loved local filmmaker shorts showcase–into two parts. It’s one of the few outlets for local filmmakers to present their work on the big screen, making it incredibly vital to our filmmaking community. Anyone who’s attended The Milwaukee Show can sense the infectious energy present throughout.”
As in past years, a Filmmaker-in-Residence prize will be awarded to one deserving Milwaukee filmmaker. The juried prize includes a yearlong residency with Milwaukee Film, a mentorship program, $5,000 cash, and a production services package valued at more than $20,000.
The 6th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 through October 9, and is going to be bonkers. Check out the full Cream City Cinema lineup below, with descriptions courtesy of Milwaukee Film.
(USA / 2014 / Directors: Bobby Ciraldo, Andrew Swant)
From the twisted minds of the men who brought you What What (In the Butt) and William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet comes this bizarre and comical reimagining of Shakespeare’s work the way it was meant to be seen—chock-full of time travel and featuring Screech from “Saved by the Bell.” Hop-scotching from the 1800s through the 1950s and ‘70s (rest assured there will be disco dancing) before making its way into the distant future, Hamlet A.D.D. remakes Shakespeare for an era of viral videos and memes—a boldly irreverent take on the source material over 10 years in the making.
The Milwaukee Show I
The first of two installments celebrating our abundance of hometown talent, The Milwaukee Show I brings a diversity of styles and voices to the big screen, a veritable wealth of filmmaking riches. The stories in this program include extraterrestrials searching for one another in the Milwaukee area and a sobering examination of the untimely death of Corey Stingley.
The Death of Corey Stingley | Spencer Chumbley
An Evening at Angelo’s | Kara Mulrooney
Glider | Junehyuck Jeon
The Harpist | Erica Thompson
The Kenny Dennis | WC Tank
Little America | Kurt Raether
New Planet | James Tindell
Settlers | Nathaniel Heuer
The Milwaukee Show II
This second installment of the perennial favorite, The Milwaukee Show II shorts program brings us even more local filmmakers showcasing their immense talent on the festival’s biggest stage, with work spanning several genres and modes of storytelling. The films here range from a live-action narrative short of a young girl that brings happiness and color into the world through balloons to a wacky musical about an amnesiac trapped in a derelict bar adrift in time and space.
Balloons | Sitora Takanaev
Geoffrey Broughe Handles Confrontation Poorly | Jon Phillips
MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous | Chris James Thompson
One Week Vacation | Brendan T. Jones
Smoky Places | Michael DiMilo
This is Jackie. | Anna Sampers
‘Tis the Season | Kirsten Stuck
To Hold In the Heart | Pang Yang Her
The Waystation in the Stars | Brandon L Morrissey
The Milwaukee Youth Show
When you take a look at the remarkable work being created by our area youth (ages 18 and under), you’ll know without a doubt that the kids are all right. Spanning a range of styles, this showcase for the next generation of local filmmakers is a great way to get acquainted with the names you’ll be seeing at future editions of MFF.
200,000 | Gavin White, Tyler Matthews, Jeremy LeCleir, Scott Meade
Assist Bhopal | Megan Sai Dogra
The Autumn Vignette | Serbata Tarrer
Counting the Dead | Alexandra Van Den Heuvel
Dreaming | Felicia McGowan
Get Real People | Griffin Anderson, Mitch Dykstra, Tanner Dykstra, Ronnie Al-Ramahi
Iero | Gabriella Avila, Alexia Jaso
If You Weren’t Here | LaVarnway Boys & Girls Club workshop participants
La Decisiones de Tu Vida | Alondra Mercado, Ana Ornelas
Let the Children Live | Clarke Street Boys & Girls Club workshop participants
Media and Mental Illness | Eden Raduege, Mikayla Bell
Protect Yourself | Youth from Townsend CLC Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
Wake Up and Pay Attention | Youth from the Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
The Other One
(USA / 2014 / Director: Josef Steiff)
Schoolteacher Amber, who survived a school shooting, returns to her rural childhood home to tend to her mother, whose dementia is becoming increasingly unmanageable. As her mother’s mental state deteriorates, family secrets are spilled that throw everything Amber thought she knew about her childhood into question. Family conflict brews as the women deal with the traumatic events of the past that have shaped them in the present. A supernaturally tinged drama about how the past can quite literally come back to haunt us, The Other One asks whether or not some emotional scars can ever heal and if redemption is possible when one struggles to forgive herself.
Preceded by Years | Director: Rose Curley
(USA / 2014 / Director: Eric Gerber)
A family extermination business run by two brothers and their father falls upon economic and ethical hardships in this challenging drama from UWM graduate Eric Gerber. With a cast and crew largely exported from Milwaukee to film in Los Angeles (including co-star Nick Sommer from MFF 2013’s Billy Club), Gerber delves into this unusual portrait of the American dream, as both brothers struggle with issues of identity and very different forms of addiction. Their pest control business hangs in the balance, in danger of being muscled out of the market by bigger corporate entities.
Preceded by Give It Up for the Girl | Director: Carol Brandt
(USA / 2014 / Director: Manny Marquez)
Oklahoma garbageman Victor Marquez has held a lifelong dream of creating gruesome makeup effects for Hollywood movies, but life got in the way and Victor deferred his dream to start a family with the love of his life. Twenty-five years later, husband and wife pool their life savings to purchase acreage where Victor will put together a haunted house that showcases his ghoulish talents, a risky business venture in rural Oklahoma where such celebrations of the macabre raise the ire of locals who perpetuate racial stereotypes. A documentary from Victor’s nephew Manny (MFF 2012 Work-in-Progress alum), Psychopath is a portrait of a self-made entrepreneur following the American dream despite long odds.
Preceded by Carnival of the Animals | Director: Sitora Takanaev
Serial Daters Anonymous
(USA / 2014 / Director: Christopher Carson Emmons)
Filmed entirely in Milwaukee, this rom-com features jilted fashion columnist Claire cutting a wide swath through the local dating scene on the heels of being informed by her fiancé of his philandering tendencies at the altar. She blogs about each first date while refusing to go on a second. But this angel of dating vengeance meets her match in Kyle (Milwaukee-born Sam Page, a.k.a. Joan’s hot husband from “Mad Men”), a former flame who threatens to derail her plans for revenge on the entire male populace by introducing feelings back into the equation. A dating comedy with local flavor, Serial Daters Anonymous is a witty tonic for the brokenhearted.
Preceded by Anchovies | Director: Annabelle Attanasio