Sophie Bolich

Milwaukee Film Festival Highlights Local Filmmakers

Cream City Cinema series includes more than 40 films; full-length, shorts and music videos.

By - Apr 3rd, 2023 06:11 pm
The Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave. Photo taken March 31, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

The Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave. Photo taken March 31, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

The Milwaukee Film Festival is set to return later this month, kicking off a 15-day marathon of more than 100 hand-picked films. Now in its 15th year, the festival unites cinephiles throughout the city in a celebration of community, creativity and a shared love of the silver screen.

In addition to the lineup of national and international selections, the festival’s locally-minded Cream City Cinema category will showcase more than 40 feature-length films, shorts, documentaries, music videos and more from Milwaukee area filmmakers.

“Milwaukee Film was founded with a commitment to Milwaukee’s filmmaking talent, and each year, our Cream City Cinema lineup pays back on that commitment with a lineup of films that rivals any city’s local program,” said Cara Ogburn, artistic director for Milwaukee Film.

The 2023 Cream City Cinema category includes eight feature-length films and 36 short films, including “Love & Irony,” a 2022 film directed by John A. Biesack. Described as “a love letter to the Cream City,” the black-and-white movie follows the story of an existential bike mechanic discovering the universal truths and transformative powers of love. The romantic comedy also features cameos from a number of Milwaukee businesses.

This year’s festival will see the return of the team behind “Lake Michigan Monster,” featured at the 2018 Milwaukee Film Festival. The new feature, “Hundreds of Beavers,” follows the efforts of a drunken applejack salesman as he attempts to battle a hoard of the giant rodents. The black-and-white, no-dialogue film was directed by Mike Cheslik.

“This year’s lineup includes films that made their premieres at such festivals at Sundance, Fantastic Fest and SXSW, filmmakers and projects that have been supported by our array of artist services and youth education programs, and brand-new-to-us filmmakers bursting onto the scene,” Ogburn said.

Eligible films will have the chance to compete for the Cream City Cinema Jury Award, which is decided by an external jury of industry members, and other awards. At least $12,500 in cash will be distributed between three films, Milwaukee Film said in a press release.

The Milwaukee Film Festival is presented by Associated Bank. Cream City Cinema  is presented by Susan and Robert Mikulay and sponsored by Urban Milwaukee and WUWM 89.7 FM.

A full list of Cream City Cinema titles is available to view online.

Tickets, packs, and passes for the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival are available for sale online.

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