Jon Anne Willow

Milwaukee Short Film Festival lights up the Lubar this weekend

By - Oct 28th, 2010 04:00 am

Amanda Shaloub stars in Tate Bunker’s “The Life & Times of Frederick Caesar”

Milwaukee News Buzz yesterday asked the question: Is Milwaukee becoming a film town?

Becoming? No. “Has become” is more accurate, and “has been for awhile” hits the nail on the head. UWM is a long-time incubator of cinematic talent here, through its film department, its JCM program and the programming of hundreds of incredible independent and international films yearly. Milwaukee first hosted its own major festival in 2002, after years of sending thousands of local movie lovers packing off to Madison and Chicago for their annual international events.

The short-lived Film Wisconsin filmmaking incentives were mostly incubated and headquartered right in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, while our cafes and (formerly) smoky bars have long been filled with nascent filmmakers who compete and exhibit in the 48-Hour Film Festival, the 24-Hour Film Festival, the LGBT Film Festival, The Milwaukee Underground Film Festival and Firestarter Films’ quarterly open screenings.

MKE filmmaker Carlo Besasi’s award-winning “The Violinist” screens Friday evening at the MSFF

For those who just like to watch, there’s also a new French film festival currently underway at Stritch, plus nearby Beloit’s International Film Festival, the venerable Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, Appleton’s Wildwood Film Festival and… you get it. People love to make films here, and they love to watch films here. I think that makes Milwaukee a film town from way back, even before the endorsement of Visit Milwaukee or Milwaukee Magazine’s daily news feed. Some might even call it a film region, if names are being tossed around.

In an autumn already bursting with cinematic opportunities, one of the oldest festivals of its kind in the country and the city’s second longest-running annual festival (next to the 23-year old LGBT Film Fest) takes place this weekend.

The 12th annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival opens Friday at the Lubar Auditorium in the Milwaukee Art Museum. MSFF will screen over 30 films in two days, all at MAM. Named “Best Local Festival” by industry big shots Moviemaker Magazine in 2006, the festival blends local, national and international entries, with a juried competition, a family program and more.

Friday evening’s Milwaukee Made program includes the premiere of a local feature, this year Port of Call by Glen Popple and Adrian Lilly and the presentation of MSFF’s Pacesetter Award, given this year to Dave Luhrssen for his long-time commitment to local filmmaking. Head over to the Ale House for the after-party, which will really get rolling around 11:30 or so.

Friday, October 29

5 p.m.
Crossing The Lake by Jerry LaBay
The Violinist by Carlo Besasie
I Am A Fat Cat by Alex Brook Lynn and
The Line by Joe Petrilla

7 p.m.
Blue Lines by Donald Arthur Ford
Mozambique by Alcides Soares
Gold Digger by Karen Lindholm-Rynkiewicz
Indefinite by Jason Williams & Christopher Kuiper
Pesticide by Eric Gerber

Excerpt from The Amateur Monster Movie by Kyle Richards

Port of Call by Glen Popple and Adrian Lilly

Saturday, October 30

1 p.m.
Korporate Media by David R. Overbeck

3 p.m.
Family Time, with $5 admission for adult and no charge for kids. Halloween costumes encouraged!

The Con Job by Craig Knitt
The Death of Toys by Lisa Gold
This Way Up by Kevin Grimon
Cesar’s World by Mark Sanders and
Mashed by Adam Fisher

Former “Sopranos” cast members Andy Davoli and Al Sapienza star in “Spare”

5 p.m.

Awaiting Her by James Joint (Honduras)
Brooke by Evan Atwood (WI)
Spare by Tomer Almagor (L.A.)
Freeborn by Carlo Treviso (IL)
On the Trail of a Black Sheep by Geneviere Davis (MKE)
In Pieces by Julie Wolterstorff (MKE)
Beziehungsphasen by Brenda Hilbig (Germany)
Crow’s Feet by Megan Palinkas (Australia)
Plane. Red. Love. by Jesse Borkowski (ME)
The Bully co-written and produced by Matthew Konkel and directed by Derek Kimball (MKE).

7 p.m. (Juried films)
Lights by Giulio Ricciarelli (Germany)
Honey-Colored Boy by Fran Kaplan (MKE)
Til My Voice Is Gone by Sam Griffith (L.A.)
After Dinner by Jason Mayland (L.A.)
In That Moment by Shripriya Mahesh (N.Y.)
Rodents by Kyle Richards (MKE)
Leka Med Dockor by Hans Montelius (Sweden)
The Life & Times of Frederick Caesar by Tate Bunker (MKE)
Super Cool Bowling Awesome Trick Shots by Jack Packard (MKE)
Butterflies Do Not Drink Coffee by Jossy Mayor (Luxembourg/Belgium)
Pesticide by Eric Gerber

After the festival, the Milwaukee Independent Film Society will hold the world premiere of the locally-produced feature film, Petty Cash. Written and directed by the festival’s organizer, Ross Bigly, Petty Cash stars Bai Ling (Crank 2, The Crow, ABC TV’s Lost), Cyn Dulay, Robert WC Kennedy, Edy Cullen, Nathaniel Ross and Joshua Parkes. An after-party will follow at MOCT, with the stars of Petty Cash, including Bai Ling, in attendance.

Tickets, plus more detailed information on the festival and its films right here.

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