Milwaukee Film rolls out first round of announcements for 2009 Festival

By - Jun 10th, 2009 10:40 am

Here they are: the first five film announcements for the first-ever, breathlessly-anticipated 2009 Milwaukee Film Festival. Who knows what we can tell from five films out of what’s likely to be more than 100, but this diverse and cosmopolitan selection of screenings: a supermarket comedy from Uruguay,  a clandestine documentary about the 2007 uprising in Burma and an exciting frame-by-frame restoration of Akiro Kurosawa’s Rashomon.

Read on for the press release, stills and clips. We’re going to enjoy this. We hope you will too. -TCD

MILWAUKEE – June 9, 2009 – Milwaukee Film, the new and independent organization dedicated to presenting Milwaukee’s premier film festival, has only just begun the process of screening countless hours of films to choose the 100+ best that will screen at this fall’s Milwaukee Film Festival. Several selections have already been made, however, and Milwaukee Film today is giving would-be festival-goers the chance to take a sneak peek at the lineup for the 2009 festival, taking place September 24 – October 4.

Highlights include a three time award-winner from this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Gigante; a premiere of a newly restored 35mm print of Rashomon; an Oscar-nominated film that won the audience favorite award at Milwaukee Film’s Monday Night at the Movies series earlier this year, Revanche; a celebratory and topical music-filled documentary co-produced by a former Milwaukeean, Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love; and the most acclaimed documentary film of the year, which was shot clandestinely in Burma in 2007, Burma VJ.

“This early slice of the programming for the film festival is indicative of the powerhouse film line-up we are building for our inaugural film festival,” said Jonathan Jackson, Artistic Director for Milwaukee Film. “Each of these films has won jury and audience awards at festivals around the world, and it’s time that Milwaukee audiences have the chance to experience them.”

More about the early programming selections:

Gigante (Uruguay, 2009) is a charming comedy that follows a shy supermarket security guard who develops a healthy obsession with a cleaning woman at his store. The film won three awards at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, including Best First Film and the Competition Runner-Up Award. The Milwaukee Film Festival screening will be one of the first for the film in North America.

Rashomon (Japan, 1950) is a new frame-by-frame restoration of the Akira Kurosawa landmark film that brims with action while incisively examining the nature of truth.”A character study, an anthropological inquiry, a tour de force of alfresco black-and-white cinematography, and an action movie with two volcanic performances… The nature and meaning of what happens is fodder for endless, passionate argument, but THE TRUTH ABOUT RASHOMON – THAT IT’S ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES EVER – IS BEYOND DISPUTE.”- A.O. Scott,The New York Times


Revanche (Austria, 2008) first screened in Milwaukee earlier this year as one of six films in the “Monday Night at the Movies with Milwaukee Film” series at Marcus North Shore Cinema and won the ‘audience favorite,’ earning it a place at this year’s festival. This 2009 Foreign Language Oscar nominee and winner at more than 15 international film festivals is the masterfully suspenseful story of two couples intertwined in a Hitchcock-ian tale of revenge, faith, and redemption.

Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love (Senegal, 2008) is a music-infused cinematic journey that combines images of Senegal’s most sacred Muslim rituals with global concert footage centering on Grammy-winning artist Youssou Ndour’s controversial album, “Egypt.” The film was co-produced by former Milwaukeean, Sarah Price, director of Summercamp! and producer of American Movie and The Yes Men.


Burma VJ (Denmark, 2008) offers a rare inside look at the 2007 uprising of the people of Burma against their dictatorship. While 100,000 people protest a repressive regime that has held the country hostage for 40 years, foreign news crews are banned and the Internet is shut down. The Democratic Voice of Burma, a collective of 30 underground video journalists (VJs), record these dramatic events on handheld video cameras and smuggle the footage out of the country, broadcasting it to the world via satellite, putting them at risk for torture and life imprisonment.

The films chosen for the 2009 Milwaukee Film Festival will screen at the Landmark Theatres Oriental Theatre and the Marcus Theatres® North Shore Cinema. In addition to showing some of the best films from all over the world, Milwaukee Film will also present 11 action-packed days filled with cinematic parties, panels and special events.

Ticket packages and passes for the film festival are on sale now, and movie lovers can secure the absolute lowest pricing on these packages and passes through July 1, when prices will go up. Six-packs are $48 (a $6 savings), 12-packs are $90 (a $12 savings), Festival Passes are $200 (a $100 savings), and Platinum Passes are $500 (a $100 savings). Film buffs are invited to visit for pricing details and all the added benefits of purchasing a package or a pass.

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