Milwaukee Film
Press Release

Milwaukee Film Doubles Cash Support for Brico Forward Fund Winners

Global filmmakers and local champions recognized at annual Filmmaker Awards Brunch

By - Oct 28th, 2019 12:34 pm

MILWAUKEE – Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 – In the fifth year of its Brico Forward Fund, Milwaukee Film set a new benchmark for its support of local film projects by announcing that the total cash awarded to winning projects has doubled.

The nonprofit unveiled both the award increase and the 2019 winners on Sunday during its Filmmaker Awards Brunch, an annual event that takes place during the Milwaukee Film Festival. For 2019, seven local film projects were awarded a total of $100,000 in cash, in addition to more than $80,000 in sponsor-donated production resources.

Winners of this year’s Festival juried awards were also announced at Sunday’s event. The previously revealed winners of the Abele Catalyst Award, Alec Fraser, and of the new Mohamed Amin Courage in Filmmaking Award, “For Sama,” were recognized, as well.

“We are thrilled with the films, projects, and individuals honored this year,” said Cara Ogburn, Festival director for Milwaukee Film. “Together they tell the story of the incredible momentum that the filmmaking industry is gaining overall, as well as here in Milwaukee.

“Milwaukee Film is humbled by the investments that organizations like the Brico Fund and individuals like Alec Fraser continue to make to move film forward in Milwaukee,” she added.

This year’s Brico Forward Fund recipients include two previously awarded projects, “The New Extinction” and “Ringolevio.”

Festival awards were led by “The Hottest August,” winner of the Herzfeld Competition Award. Locally made “Garden City Beautiful” was recognized with the Cream City Cinema Jury Award.

Since the inception of the Brico Forward Fund in 2015, more than $650,000 in cash and donated production services have been awarded to 40 jury-selected projects. An external, independent jury of film industry professionals reviews applications for projects by residents of the M7 counties (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, Walworth, or Washington).

Lead underwriting for the cash portion of the Brico Forward Fund is provided by the Brico Fund, with production support from Big Chair Studios, The Electric Sun Corporation, Independent Studios, Misty Mountain Audio, North American Camera, Over Easy, and entertainment attorney Dan Kattman of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.

The Milwaukee Film Festival is presented by Associated Bank.

Winners recognized during Sunday’s event include:

Brico Forward Fund

  • “The New Extinction” (dir. Kyle Arpke) – $30,000 cash, $10,000 from Independent Studios, and $10,000 from Over Easy, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.
  • “Milwaukee Ocean” (dir. Andrew Swant) – $15,000 cash, $10,000 from Independent Studios, $10,000 Over Easy, $5,000 from North American Camera, and $5,000 from The Electric Sun Corporation, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.
  • “Mexican Ghost Stories” (dir. Daniela Cortes) – $15,000 cash, $5,000 from North American Camera, and $5,000 from Electric Sun, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.
  • “They Want Me Gone” (dir. Drew Britton) – $15,000 cash, $5,000 from North American Camera, and $5,000 from The Electric Sun Corporation, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.
  • “The Warrior Princess” (dir. Vianca Fuster) – $10,000 cash, $5,000 from North American Camera, and $5,000 from The Electric Sun Corporation, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.
  • “Ringolevio” (dir. Kristin Peterson) – $10,000 cash, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.
  • “King Girlz” (dir. Courtney LeFlore) – $5,000 cash; four days at Big Chair Studios, and $2,500 from Misty Mountain Audio, plus legal services from Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, s.c.

Abele Catalyst Award – Alec Fraser, past board chair for Milwaukee Film

Herzfeld Competition Award ($10,000 cash) – “The Hottest August” (dir. Brett Story)

Black Lens Jury Awards

  • Best feature ($4,000 cash): “The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion (dirs. Lisa Cortés, Farah X)

o   Honorable mention: “Always in Season” (dir. Jacqueline Olive)

  • Best short ($2,000 cash): “Evelyn X Evelyn” (dir. Eric Pumphrey)

o   Honorable mention: “Cap” (dir. Marshall Tyler)

Cream City Cinema Jury Award ($5,000 cash) – “Garden City Beautiful” (dir. Ben Balcom)

  • Honorable mention: “First Night” (dir. Nicklas Hendrickson)

Cream City Cinema College Filmmaker Award ($2,500 cash) – “Ms. Hart’s School for Young Women” (dir. Ella Freigang)

Documentary Festival Favorites Award ($5,000 cash) – “For Sama” (dirs. Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts)

Kids Choice Short Film Award ($1,000 cash) – “Tree #3” (dir. Omer Ben-Shachar)

  • Honorable mentions: Animation – “Du Iz Tak?” (dir. Galen Fott), funniest – “Hors Piste” (dirs. Léo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille Jalabert, Oscar Malet) and “Slurp” (dir. Florent Hill), music/sound – “Workout” (dir. Joe Wood)

Milwaukee Music Video Award ($5,000 cash) – Saebra & Carlyle, “Rabbit Hole” (dir. Brian Klewin)

Mohamed Amin Courage in Filmmaking Award ($2,500 cash) – “For Sama” (dirs. Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts)

Shorter Is Better Award ($1,000 cash) – “After You Left” (dir. April Maxey)

  • Honorable mentions: Performance – “Nefta Football Club” (dir. Yves Piat), documentary – “The Clinic” (dir. Elivia Shaw), animated documentary – “Obon” (dirs. Andre Hörmann, Anna Samo)

Winners of the Festival’s audience-led awards, the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Awards and the Women in Film Audience Award, sponsored by Live Wire Productions, will be named after the conclusion of this year’s Festival.

Detailed information on all the awards is available in the 2019 Festival program book and online at

About Milwaukee Film 

Milwaukee Film is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to entertaining, educating, and engaging our community through cinematic experiences, with a vision to make Milwaukee a center for film culture. Milwaukee Film operates the magnificent Oriental Theatre, a historic cinema palace committed to high-quality and accessible film and education programming. The 11th annual Milwaukee Film Festival will take place Oct. 17-31, 2019. For more information or to become a member, visit

Facebook: | Twitter: @mkefilm | Instagram: @mkefilm

About the Milwaukee Film Board of Directors

Milwaukee Film’s independent board is made up of the following members: Chris Abele (Past Board Chair); John P. Bania; Donna Baumgartner; Elizabeth Brenner; Héctor Colón; Karen Ellenbecker; Jeff Fitzsimmons; Alexander P. Fraser (Immediate Past Board Chair); Carmen Haberman; Susan Haise; Katie Heil; Patti Keating Kahn (Board Chair); Tracey L. Klein (Past Board Chair); Michael G. Klein; Michael J. Koss Jr.; Alexander Lasry; Steve Laughlin (Past Board Chair); Emilia Layden; Michael R. Lovell; Joan Lubar; Marianne Lubar; Steve Mech; Mark Mone; Susan Mikulay; Kenneth W. Muth; Bob Pothier; John Ridley; Joseph A. Rock; Ramona Rogers-Windsor; Lacey Sadoff; Dave Stamm; Julia Taylor; John Utz; Kimberly Walker; Emeritus members: Tom Barrett; Jacqueline Strayer

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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