Jeramey Jannene

Get Ready For The Cultures & Communities Festival

From principal Ava Coleman to Charlie Sykes, there is event or film for every taste.

By - Sep 14th, 2023 05:00 pm
Oriental Theatre during the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival. Photo by Valerie Hill.

Oriental Theatre during the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival. Photo by Valerie Hill.

Milwaukee Film is nearly ready to welcome guests to its Cultures & Communities Festival.

The fifth-annual festival runs from Oct. 5 to Oct. 12 and will offer a mix of movies, entertainment and education. A free preview party is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave.

“Our Preview Night Party is one of my favorite events to host throughout the year,” said Geraud Blanks, the organization’s chief innovation officer and the driving force behind the new festival, in a statement. “I’m like a kid in a candy store watching the audience’s reaction to the program book, film trailers, and all the new merchandise.”

Those that miss the preview event still have the full festival to look forward to.

Thirteen films are scheduled during the festival and more than 35 events are planned. Feature films include Negro League-focused The League, intersex exploration Every Body, Black astronaut documentary The Space Race, family drama Fancy Dance, prison culinary program documentary Coldwater Kitchen, California cannabis documentary Lady Buds, drama Fremont and Gen-Z-coming-of-age Hummingbirds.

The cultural festival is a fall bookend to the older spring film festival. Progamming is focused on national and local headliners, mind, body and soul events, perspective-broadening cultural conversations, family-friendly events and joy-focused entertainment.

DJ Spinderella, one-third of the hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa, will play the opening night party, Oct. 5, at The Cooperage. Comedian and actress Janelle James will bring her “Newly Famous” comedy tour to the Pabst Theater on Oct. 8. James plays scene-stealing principal Ava Coleman on the ABC mockumentary sitcom Abbott Elementary.

A pop-up cinema event Oct. 6 at Epikos Church, 3737 N. Sherman Blvd., will feature a series of short films and conversation centered on violence prevention.

Sneaker and streetwear summit Culture By Design takes place Oct. 7 at the Baird Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Comedian Aida Rodriguez will perform Oct. 10 at Milwaukee Improv in Brookfield as part of the Latina comedian’s “Don’t @ Me Tour.”

And in proof that there’s something for everyone, Charlie Sykes will discuss The State of Modern Conservatism at Marquette University‘s Weasles Auditorium, 1506 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Oct. 12.

The presenting sponsor for the fall festival is the Milwaukee Brewers.

More details are available on the festival website.

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