The 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival runs Thursday, September 24 through Thursday, October 8. Check out our list of 13 reasons to get excited for the fest here. If you’re looking for daily recommendations and/or when and where to stalk us, look no further.

Filmmaker Mixer (5-6:30 p.m. – Cafe Centraal)

Partied too hard at Kenilworth last night? No need to stop now. Start off Day 2 right with some hair of the dog that bit you, and make some professional connections in the process. As part of Milwaukee Film’s new beefed-up Filmmaker Services programming, they are hosting an event to help connect all the directors, producers, and writers with the actors, art directors, and best boy/girls they need for their next production. Perhaps you’re in your senior year of filmmaking school and looking for experience? Maybe you’re a director with several features under your belt but just moved to Milwaukee. Everybody’s welcome, and your money’s no good. Free drinks on Milwaukee Film!

Recommended if you like: exchanging business cards; making your dreams come true; frites with sriracha mayo.

The Russian Woodpecker (5:30 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)

Every professional film nerd we know is picking this film as the one to not miss, and we listen closely to our film nerd Yodas. Fedor Alexandrovich is a performance artist, a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kiev, and a childhood survivor of the Chernobyl disaster, which—as you can imagine—has colored his world a different shade of pale. Part biography, part current events documentation, and part conspiracy theory investigation, this remarkable feature debut by South Milwaukee Native Chad Gracia won the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this past January. Both Gracia and Alexandrovich are scheduled to appear at tonight’s and Sunday’s screenings, so be sure you catch one or the other.

Recommended if you like: Citizenfour; Cold War history; the No-Nukes Movement.

Mala Mala (6:30 p.m. – Avalon Theater)

Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, everyone loves trans these days, right? Yes! This documentary takes a look at Puerto Rico’s young trans and drag communities as they manage their transitions and organize for equal rights in the conservative island nation. One of the women profiled is RuPaul’s Drag Race alum April Carríon, who is not only participating in a Q&A after the show, but is also performing later tonight at D.I.X. in Walker’s Point! We can’t think of a better way to end the second day of the festival.

Recommended if you like: Transparent; Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar; Hamburger Mary’s.

About The Author

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Blyth Meier is a photographer and filmmaker based in Milwaukee. She received her MA in Photography and MFA in Film from UWM and served as the first Marketing Director for Milwaukee Film from 2010-2014. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for Shotgun Cinema in New Orleans and is the founder and co-host of The Tiny Film Invasion, a weekly radio show about film on WMSE 91.7FM.