Last Friday we rounded up our 15 standout moments from the recently wrapped 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival. Today, Milwaukee Film revealed a few highlights of its own. 87,618 of them, to be exact.

Yes, that’s the number of folks that attended this year’s 15-day fest via films, forums, education screenings, or special events. The number represents a 12-percent increase over MFF2018’s attendance, which clocked in at 78,510. Previously, the 2017 festival drew 84,072 fans.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am took home the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Award for Best Feature, while Tree #3 won the Selig Audience Award for Best Short. Raise Hell: The Life And Times Of Molly Ivins won the $2,500 prize for the Women in Film Audience Award, presented by Live Wire Productions.

“In just 11 years, we’ve seen the Milwaukee Film Festival transform into the largest arts event in the city—and an event that people passionately support,” says Cara Ogburn, Festival director for Milwaukee Film, in a press release. “We are thrilled with the numbers, but we’re just as thrilled with the level of authentic engagement our audience has throughout this Festival. This is a true community event.”

Oh, see Parasite at the Oriental now. Here’s the full press release:

Film Fans Turn Out in Record Numbers for 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival
Audience award winners include documentaries on Toni Morrison, Molly Ivins

MILWAUKEE – Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 – Neither rain nor snow kept audiences from turning out in droves to support the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by Associated Bank. On Tuesday, Milwaukee Film announced a record attendance for the 15-day Festival, with 87,618 fans taking part in films, forums, education screenings, and special events. This marks a 12% increase in attendance over the 2018 Festival.

Attendance figures include 8,440 students who took part in education screenings at the Oriental Theatre.

Film audiences voted at every screening to determine the winners of three awards, and documentaries about iconic female subjects took home two of the honors. “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (dir. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) received the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Award for Best Feature, while “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins” (dir. Janice Engel) won honors and a $2,500 prize for the Women in Film Audience Award, presented by Live Wire Productions.

“Tree #3” (dir. Omer Ben-Shacher), which was featured in the “Kids Shorts: Size Medium” presentation, received the Selig Audience Award for Best Short.

“In just 11 years, we’ve seen the Milwaukee Film Festival transform into the largest arts event in the city – and an event that people passionately support,” said Cara Ogburn, Festival director for Milwaukee Film. “We are thrilled with the numbers, but we’re just as thrilled with the level of authentic engagement our audience has throughout this Festival. This is a true community event.”

As part of its Best of Fest series, Milwaukee Film will be showing “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” this Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 5-6, at the historic Oriental Theatre. Showtimes and tickets are available at mkefilm.org.

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