Jeramey Jannene

Check Out These Milwaukee-Made Films At The Film Festival

Cream City Cinema series has everything from documentaries to music videos.

By - Apr 14th, 2024 09:21 am
The Oriental Theatre marquee for the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Oriental Theatre marquee for the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Milwaukee Film Festival is not only a vehicle to bring top-level films from around the world to Milwaukee, but a stage for Cream City filmmakers to showcase their work and capabilities to a much larger audience.

The Cream City Cinema program is built around a mix of feature films and shorts collections. Whether it’s the annual showcase of music videos or a new comedy caper starring Wes Tank, the 2024 program promises to have something for everyone.

The 2024 festival runs through April 25. But don’t wait, many of the films have limited screening dates.

Our guide includes all feature programs and films included in the Cream City Cinema series. Descriptions are provided by Milwaukee Film.

The Milwaukee Show I (Shorts)

Each year The Milwaukee Show is one of the hottest tickets of the festival–a rare chance to see work from our local best and brightest in the gloriously opulent setting of our beloved Oriental Theatre‘s Abele Cinema. This collection of stunning shorts allows you to watch locally, yet think globally.

More information

  • April 14 – 7 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

The Milwaukee Show II (Shorts)

The shorts program is so nice, we have to do it twice! The Milwaukee Show II brings you even more fantastic films courtesy of our thriving local artistic community. There’s simply too much quality to be contained by a single screening, so settle in for another collection of shorts with a diversity of styles and perspectives.

More information

  • April 15 – 6 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

String Theory: The Richard Davis Method (Documentary)

String Theory: The Richard Davis Method is a heartfelt and inspiring documentary that delves into the life and legacy of one of the greatest bass players in history. While Richard Davis is most known for gracing the stages with icons like Miles Davis, Van Morrison, and Eric Dolphy, his transition from a celebrated performer to a revered professor at the University of Wisconsin in the 1970s forms the crux of this story, highlighting his dedication to nurturing young talent.

More information

  • April 15 – 2:30 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets
  • April 20 – 6 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

I’m Your Host (Documentary)

Vampires, witches, werewolves, and ghoulies– Kenosha has the highest population of horror hosts per capita, who produce their own homemade TV shows showing cult-followed horror films. Using a televisual aesthetic that matches the community vibes of the subject matter, I’m Your Host explores their relationship as a community, their triumphs, and a tragic loss that bonds them together.

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Wherever You Are, There You Go (Comedy, Drama)

Baby, a 29-year-old recovering alcoholic with a penchant for vocal fry, embarks on a cross-country tour to make amends with all the people in her life that she has wronged. However, Baby quickly finds that retracing her missteps while in the midst of a relapse isn’t the inspirational journey she had planned. Will she be able to keep up appearances or teeter off the edge and hit her deepest bottom yet?

More information

  • April 16 – 6 p.m. – Avalon Theater – Tickets
  • April 20 – 7:15 p.m. – Downer Theatre – Tickets
  • April 21 – 8:30 p.m. – Downer Theatre – Tickets

The Milwaukee Picture Show: Visual Arts Near and Far (Shorts)

Celebrate the visual arts in and outside of our city with this four-pack of short films made by Milwaukee filmmakers to showcase the artistic process and art’s impact near and far. From street art to the galleries of the Milwaukee Art Museum, these four films celebrate the depth and breadth of creative expression.

More information

  • April 18 – 6:30 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

The Milwaukee Youth Show (Shorts)

Milwaukee kids are definitely alright. With works spanning from documentary to animation, exploring topics like anxiety, purpose, loneliness, and trans joy, the future filmmakers of our city are ready to share their voices and show us how important they’ll be as the next wave of Milwaukee’s artistic leaders.

More information

  • April 20 – 11 a.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

Tracing The Divide (Documentary)

Two life-long friends leave their comfortable Milwaukee lives to embark on an adventure of a lifetime as they cycle the rigorous Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to Mexico. Over 24 days, through wind, mud, and monsoons, the Divide tests their limits physically and mentally, yet the Divide is also a gift that allows them to look inward and rediscover themselves with new purpose.

More information

  • April 20 – 12:15 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets
  • April 22 – 3:15 p.m. – Avalon Theater  – Tickets
  • April 24 – 2:30 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

Decoupling (Documentary)

A “Chinese” father reflects on the changing relationship of China and US during his trip to Beijing to retrieve his 3-year-old “American” daughter who has been stranded because of the recent “decoupling” of the two countries. Born in China and living in the American Midwest, filmmaker Yinan Wang attempts to unpack his own experience of how a transnational migrant family deals with the distress caused by identity, nationalism, and geopolitics.

More information

  • April 20 – 3 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets
  • April 21 – 6:45 p.m. – Times Cinema – Tickets

Light Needs (Documentary)

Light Needs is an experimental documentary about houseplants who cohabitate with people and the surprisingly intimate and complex relationships that can develop between them. Yet, this film is not just a document of houseplants, but rather a consideration of the benefits and losses accrued through the social contracts between plant and animal. Light Needs looks to shine a light on the responsibility for care towards other living beings, by directly attending to the relationships humans have with nonhumans.

More information

  • April 21 – 4:45 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets
  • April 23 – 8:30 p.m. – Times Cinema – Tickets
  • April 25 – 4 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

The Milwaukee Music Video Show (Shorts)

Back for 2024, our showcase of locally-made music videos runs the gamut of musical genres while also showcasing the exquisite diversity allowed within the music video format, a series of short, sonic bursts of creative excitement. Artists include Rose of the West, Fuzzysurf, and XPosed 4Heads.

More information

  • April 21 – 6:30 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets

Corridor (Comedy)

An inept security guard (Wes Tank) thinks he’s in a crime thriller after eavesdropping on a corporate murder scheme. He navigates an unlikely assortment of night owls in a series of mishaps and misunderstandings to unravel the mystery. This screwball caper will have you laughing on the edge of your seat all while playing I spy with the countless local Milwaukee landmarks featured on screen.

More information

  • April 21 – 7:45 p.m. – Oriental Theatre – Tickets
  • April 22 – 6 p.m. – Avalon Theatre – Tickets

Out of the Picture (Documentary)

Out of the Picture takes us inside the lives of some of the most relevant writers on art today, thinkers who are making sense of a period of unprecedented change to art, media, and society. Director Mary Louise Schumacher led a national survey of more than 300 arts writers across the country, unearthing revelations that are poised to prompt a national conversation about the nature of art, modern life, and how meaning gets made in the 21st century.

More information

  • April 24 – 3:30 p.m. – Avalon Theater – Tickets

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