If you need an occasional reminder that Milwaukee Film is more than just the Milwaukee Film Festival (and cats), here you go: From September 14-18, Milwaukee Film will host the second annual Cultures & Communities Festival at the historic Oriental Theatre. More than 20 films will screen in-person at the equity- and inclusivity-minded fest (others will be available online), including headliner The Rebellious Life Of Mrs. Rosa Parks.

“Once the Tribeca Film Festival announced they were premiering the Rosa Parks documentary in June, my top priority was to book that film for our festival,” said Milwaukee Film’s Chief Innovation Officer, Geraud Blanks, in a press release. “It was a big get for us, as we’ll be one of only a few festivals to screen the film before its release later this year.”

Oh, but there’s more! The fest will also include a 35th anniversary 4K screening of the 1987 Prince concert film Sign o’ The Times, which absolutely rules. Seriously, is there anything better than “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”?

“This festival is grounded in principles of equity and inclusion,” said Blanks. “From the programming and pricing of the film passes to the location of events—many of them free—we worked hard this year to make the experience more accessible than ever.”

All-access hybrid passes to the 2022 Cultures & Communities Festival—which include in-person and virtual screenings—are available NOW for $75 for Milwaukee Film members and $100 for non-members. When the full program is announced on August 16, passes will go up in price to $100 for members and $125 for non-members. Individual tickets will go on sale then, too. (No individual tickets will be sold for virtual screenings.)

Speaking of the program, here’s the first batch of announced films, with descriptions courtesy of Milwaukee Film:

Beyond Ed Buck
(dir. Jayce Baron, Hailie Sahar | USA | 2022)
Starting from the tragic murders caused by white Democratic political donor Ed Buck, this film expands that lens to consider structural racism and transphobia within supposedly progressive queer communities.

Daughter Of A Lost Bird
(dir. Brooke Swaney | USA | 2020)
DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD follows Kendra, an adult Native adoptee, as she reconnects with her birth family, discovers her Lummi heritage, and confronts issues of her own identity.

Fly So Far
(dir. Celina Haydee Escher | Sweden/El Salvador | 2021)
A grave warning of how far state control of women’s bodies can go, FLY SO FAR follows Teodora Vásquez, who was sentenced to thirty years in a Salvadorean prison after she suffered a stillbirth.

Hayden & Her Family
(dir. May May Tchao | USA | 2020)
HAYDEN & HER FAMILY follows the nuanced and intimate adoption journey of an American family raising seven biological children plus five special needs Asian orphans.

Liquor Store Dreams
(dir. So Yun Um | USA | 2022)
LIQUOR STORE DREAMS is an intimate portrait of two Korean American children of liquor store owners who set out to bridge generational divides with their immigrant parents in Los Angeles.

New Jersey Drive
(dir. Nick Gomez | USA | 1995)
From executive producer Spike Lee comes a thriller about a crew of car thieves who find their lives at risk when a police lieutenant becomes determined to take them down.

Marvelous And The Black Hole
(dir. Kate Tsang | USA | 2021)
MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE follows Sammy as she befriends a surly magician (Rhea Perlman) who helps her navigate her inner demons and dysfunctional family with sleight of hand magic.

Sell/Buy/Date
(dir. Sarah Jones | USA \ 2022)
Comedian Sarah Jones reflects on her controversial one-woman show as she embarks on a journey to better understand sex work and her own personal relationship to it.

Sign o’ The Times
(dir. Prince | USA | 1987)
This 35th anniversary 4K restoration captures a musical genius in his prime. Prince’s performance of a lifetime is sure to get you out of your seat and dancing in the aisles.

The Exchange. In White America. Kaukauna & King 50 Years Later
(dir. Joanne Williams | USA | 2022)
Milwaukee’s Rufus King High School and Kaukauna High School participated in a 1966 exchange program culminating in a production of IN WHITE AMERICA. Now, over fifty years later, the original participants come together with a new generation.

The Rebellious Life Of Mrs. Rosa Parks
(dir. Johanna Hamilton, Yoruba Richen | USA | 2022)
The unexpected story of Parks and her life beyond the historic bus boycott, The Rebellious Life, reveals the intent behind her activism, her radical politics, and her courage.

Wandering: A Rohingya Tale
(dir. Olivier Higgins, Mélanie Carrier | Canada | 2020)
In 2017, 700,000 people of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled Myanmar, escaping genocide. This immersive and poetic film brings us to the biggest refugee camp in the world, where Rohingya stayed before moving on to cities like Milwaukee.

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About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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