The 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival wrapped last Thursday. Though it marked a return to in-cinema screenings after fully virtual outings in 2020 and 2021, it was very much a hybrid festival. Out of the 285 total films, 72 features and all 150 shorts were made available in-person and virtually, accounting for 78% of all festival content.

So how many film minutes were viewed during the two-week fest? Who took home those sweet Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Awards? And when will MFF2023 take place? (Answer to the last one: April 20 – May 4.) For all that and more, read the press release below:

Milwaukee Film Announces Attendance, Audience Awards, and 2023 Festival Dates
2022 Milwaukee Film Festival was first-ever hybrid festival

MILWAUKEE, WI – Tuesday, May 10, 2022 – Milwaukee Film celebrated the conclusion of its successful 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival (MFF), presented by Associated Bank, with the announcement of its “By the Numbers” report, its 2022 Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Award Winners, and the upcoming dates of the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival.

This year’s MFF has no parallel, as it marked Milwaukee Film’s first-ever hybrid festival featuring both live in-cinema screenings and events as well as a virtual platform for at-home viewing and events. With the hybrid model, the 2022 festival saw the much-anticipated return of MFF audiences to cinemas for the first time since October 2019’s Milwaukee Film Festival. Two fully virtual festivals were held in October 2020 and May 2021.

“After 903 days since our last MFF, it was joyously cathartic to see crowded screenings throughout the festival,” said Milwaukee Film’s Artistic Director, Cara Ogburn, “considering that in January we nearly canceled the in-person component of our 2022 MFF at the height of Omicron, this year signaled the essential vitality of our ability to convene our community through cinema.”


● Overall

○ 99,131 attendees

○ 285 Films – 135 feature films and 150 short films representing 43 countries

○ $202,785 raised for Milwaukee Film for the organization, after Lacey Sadoff extended her Double-Up campaign from $75,000 to $100,000

● In-Cinema

○ 275 In-Cinema Screenings

○ 23 In-Person Events

○ 3 Venues – The Oriental Theatre, Avalon Theater, and Times Cinema

○ 64 Filmmaker & Industry Guests + countless local filmmakers

○ 18,734 Attendees

● At-Home

○ 72 Feature Films and all 18 Shorts Programs available virtually (78% of all festival content)

○ 79,375 film views. Festival industry standard is to multiply total views (44,097) by a factor (1.8 here) to simulate true viewership as films are viewed by more than one person on average

○ 965,585 total film minutes viewed


In-cinema attendees and virtual viewers voted to determine the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Awards. This year’s winning feature and short films were:

● Best Feature – NAVALNY (dir. Daniel Roher), an urgent and real-time political thriller about Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny; the film showed as Milwaukee Film’s Centerpiece screening with a prerecorded q&a with the director.

● Best Short – THE WARRIOR PRINCESS (dir. Vianca Fuster), local filmmaker Vianca Fuster’s debut short documentary about Milwaukee’s own Violet “The Warrior Princess” Lopez, a five-time amateur national boxing champion who believes that boxing shouldn’t just be a “boys sport.”


The 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival will take place from April 20 – May 4, 2023.

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