The 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival drew a total of 32,624 attendees, Milwaukee Film announced Thursday. MFF2024 ran April 11-15 at the Oriental Theatre, Downer Theatre, Avalon Theater, and Times Cinema. It included 379 public screenings, and three private screenings (including two “Super Secret Members-Only Screenings.”)

“This year’s festival was a joyous celebration of independent and international cinema,” said Cara Ogburn, Milwaukee Film’s artistic director, in a statement. “From a packed Downer cinema on a sunny day to watch Frederick Wiseman’s latest to the return of our 500 person dance party for Stop Making Sense, the festival felt like a true celebration of cinema and community.”

We’d add that In A Violent Nature—part of the fest’s Milwaukee Record-sponsored “Cinema Hooligante” program—absolutely RULED.

Attendance was up from 29,718 in 2023, and way up from 18,734 in 2022 (when the festival was at least partially virtual). Still, attendance remains way down from pre-pandemic times; in 2019, the festival drew 87,618 attendees.

But whatever! MFF2024 was great, and we’re already looking forward to MFF2025! And speaking of the latter, it’s been set for April 24 – May 8, 2025. Save the date!

Oh, and Milwaukee Film has a new, permanent President and CEO, too: Anne Reed. Reed took on the roles in an interim capacity after longtime President and CEO Jonathan Jackson departed in January 2024. At the time, Reed stepped in for Jackson “while a national search for a new President & CEO” began.

“After careful discussion and deliberation, the executive committee offered the job of Milwaukee Film President and CEO to Anne Reed, effective immediately,” said Susan Mikulay, Milwaukee Film Board Chair, in a statement. “I can’t tell you how excited we are with Anne’s enthusiasm, leadership, and stellar expertise in jumping into this position as she has done and navigating a path for us through these past months. The executive committee is confident that Anne is the best individual to help take our organization to the next level.”

Looking for more Milwaukee Film Festival numbers—and info on another festival? Here’s all the info you need, courtesy of Milwaukee Film:


• 301 Films: 132 feature films, including 62 documentary features and 70 fiction features, and 169 short films. Over 55% of feature films were directed by women or nonbinary filmmakers.

• $113,893 was raised through the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival Reel Impact Campaign, with $10,000 of those funds being generously matched by Joan Lubar, and an additional $10,000 of those funds being generously matched by Donna and Donald Baumgartner/Kelly and Jeff Fitzsimmons. Thank you for the community support!


• 379 Public Screenings (and 3 Private Screenings, including our Super Secret Members-Only Screenings!)

• 32,624 Total Attendance

• 4 Venues – The Oriental Theatre, Downer Theatre, Avalon Theater, and Times Cinema

• 90 Filmmaker & Industry Guests + countless local filmmakers


Not letting the festival spirit die down this September, Milwaukee Film is excited to launch a brand new film festival, dedicated solely to starting conversations utilizing the power of documentary. Dialogues Documentary Festival will take place September 26 – 29, 2024.

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