Milwaukee Film 2014 Festival|Record Number Of Special Guests Will Attend!

mkefilmfest sept

The Milwaukee Film Festival has announced a record number of guests visiting Milwaukee and attending the film festival. These guests include critically-acclaimed directors Debra Granik and Marshall Curry to attend with film subjects;  Director Gil Cates Jr and actors Sean Astin and Chris Mulkey attending Closing Night Film

On top of that the stats on the number of guests up – an increase of 37% from last year.  A total of 113 out-of-town guests are confirmed.

“The opportunity for audience members to interact with the creators and stars of the films is one of the most unique aspects of the film festival experience. It adds a deeper level of connection and engagement between our audience and films, and that has always been one of our goals,” shares Jonathan Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director at Milwaukee Film.

Attending the festival and adding significantly to audience interaction are the directors and subjects for two of the year’s most critically acclaimed documentaries–Debra Granik’s Stray Dog and Marshall Curry’s Point and Shoot*** (See Program Note at end of blog).  Both Oscar-nominated filmmakers are scheduled to attend screenings and participate in question and answer sessions with their respective film’s subjects, Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, of Stray Dog, and Matthew VanDyke, of Point and Shoot.

Both Opening and Closing Night films boast a record number of guests and filmmakers. The riveting documentary opening the festival, 1971, screens with director Johanna Hamilton and four film subjects in attendance, and will include an extended question and answer session following the film.

I have a special place in my heart for the Milwaukee-made Closing Night film, The Surface. It celebrates its world premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival, with cast, crew, and star of the film, Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings, Rudy, and The Goonies fame. Director Gil Cates, Jr.*** (special program note see info at bottom) writer, producer, and Milwaukee native, Jeff Gendelman, cinematographer and co-producer, Jimmy Sammarco, and actors Astin, Chris Mulkey (Captain Phillips, First Blood), and Megan Lorie will also be in attendance.

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Wesley Morris (presenting the festival’s State of the Cinema address), and comedy kingpins originally from Milwaukee, Jim Abraham and Jerry Zucker (Top Secret!), previously announced as part of Tributes, are all scheduled to attend select film screenings.

Wisconsin native Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense, Take Me to the River) is also among notable guests attending this year’s festival.

The extensive list of scheduled guests also includes at least one guest for each film in the festival’s new Black Lens program, including Robert Townsend, director, writer, and star of the 1987 classic comedy, Hollywood Shuffle, for a total of ten Black Lens guests.

For the first time since launching its Passport program, Milwaukee Film has secured a filmmaker for this program. Passport: Mexico director Rodrigo Reyes (Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border) is scheduled to attend the festival.


Sep. 25, 7PM | Oriental Theatre (Opening Night Film)
Sep. 27, 1:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Johanna Hamilton: Director Bonnie Raines: Film Subject John Raines: Film Subject Athan Theoharis: Film Subject Betty Medsger: Film Subject

25 to Life
Oct. 4, 7PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 7, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Leah Natasha Thomas: Producer Khaliah Neal: Producer William Brawner: ­Film Subject

Anchovies (Prefeature for Serial Daters Anonymous)
Oct. 3, 7PM | Times Cinema
Annabelle Attanasio: Director

Art and Craft
Oct. 6, 7:15PM | Downer Theatre Mark Becker: Director Mark Landis: Film Subject

Carnival of the Animals (Prefeature for Psychopath)
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Sitora Takanaev: Director

Cairo Drive
Oct. 4, 9:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Sherief Elkatsha: Director

The Case Against 8
Oct. 4, 6:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 5, 1:30PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Kris Perry: Film Subject Sandy Stier: Film Subject

The Chaperone (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Fraser Munden: Director

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys
Sep. 27, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Wesley Morris: Film Critic

Cootie Contagion (Kids Shorts: Size Large)
Sep. 27, 10:45AM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 28, 11:30AM | Fox Bay Cinema
Josh Smooha: Director

Sep. 28, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Sep. 30, 7:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Antwon Tanner: Actor

(Oct. 9, 5:30PM | Oriental Theatre) Jack Turner: Executive Producer Ryan Dembroski: Executive Producer Rob Schoonover: Producer Barry Poltermann: Story Supervisor Dan Didier: Post Supervisor, Editorial Assistant

All in the Family
Sam Macon: Director Jessamy Meyer: Editor

Matt Mixon: Director Matthew Prekop: Editor Ian Anderson: Editor

Come Sail Away
Jack Davidson: Director

Cooking with Kumar
Frankie Latina: Director

High Art
Chris Thompson: Director Matthew Prekop: Editor

Lo with the Fro
Jessica Farrell: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

Mondo Lucha
Sam Macon: Director Travis Auclair: Cinematographer Alex Youngen: Editor

The Right Ingredients
Matt Mixon: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

Rory: Milwaukee’s Most Famous Cab Driver
Frankie Latina: Director Vinnie Besasie: Cinematographer  Randy Russel: Unit Production Manager

To See What You Can Do
Jack Davidson: Director

Tour de Space
Blyth Meier: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

The Truck Driver
Matt Mixon: Director

Underwater Harvey
Steve Farr: Director Steve Roeder: Producer

Evolution of a Criminal
Sept. 30, 3PM | Oriental Theatre
Darius Clark Monroe: Director

The Forgotten Kingdom
Oct. 4, 7PM | Downer Theatre
Oct. 5, 1:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Andrew Mudge: Director

Freedom Summer
Sept. 26, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Cyndee Readdean: Producer

Funnel (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sept. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Andre Hyland: Director

Give It Up For the Girl (Prefeature for Pester)
Oct. 5, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Carol Brandt: Director John Roberts: Executive Producer Martin Kaszubowski: Producer

Gnarly in Pink (Kids Shorts: Size Medium)
Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.)
Oct. 4, 11:30AM | Times Cinema
Oct. 5, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Ben Mullinkosson: Director

Goose Trouble (Kids Shorts: Size Small)
Oct. 4, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 5, 11:30AM | Fox Bay Cinema
Monika Downer: Director

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists
Sep. 26, 4:30PM | Downer Theatre
Brian Ashby: Producer, Cinematographer, Editor Suellen Rocca: Artist, Film Subject Jim Falconer: Artist, Film Subject

Hamlet A.D.D.
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 7, 9:30PM | Times Cinema
Andrew Swant: Director, Actor Bobby Ciraldo: Director, Actor Evan Maruszewski: Animator Mark Borchardt: Actor  Eric Gerber: Actor Drew Rosas: Actor

Hollywood Shuffle
Oct. 3, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Robert Townsend: Director

An Honest Liar
Oct. 5, 4:15PM | Downer Theatre
Tyler Measom: Director James Randi: Film Subject Deyvi Pena: Film Subject

The Immaculate Reception (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.) Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre
Charlotte Glynn: Director

Kids For Cash
Sep. 26, 7PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Robert May: Director

Life Partners
Oct. 5, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Susanna Fogel: Director, Co-Writer Jordana Mollick: Producer

Man With a Movie Camera
Sept. 30, PM | Oriental Theatre
Alloy Orchestra

Meet The Patels
Sep. 28, 7:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 29, 5:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Vasant Patel: Film Subject Champa Patel: Film Subject

THE MILWAUKEE SHOW I (Sep. 29, 8PM | Oriental Theatre)

The Death of Corey Stingley
Spencer Chumbley: Director Erik Ljung: Producer Craig Stingley: Film Subject

An Evening at Angelo’s
Kara Mulrooney: Director Tate Bunker: Additional Camera Angelo Mortellaro: Film Subject Jerry Grillo: Singer Ginni Smith: Singer Bobby Baker: Singer Joe Kral: Piano John Hefter: Piano Danny Keegan: Singer Mario Crivello: Bartender

The Harpist
Erica Thompson: Director Bethany Michaels: Producer Ellie Wells: Writer

The Kenny Dennis
Wes Tank: Director

Little America
Kurt Raether: Director

New Planet
James Tindell: DirectorShaun Hosseini: Assistant Producer

Nathaniel Heuer: Director Timm Gable: Producer Erik Ljung: Cinematographer Sean Williamson: Assistant Director Diana Ehlers: Casting/Costume Heather Hass: Editor Joe Kirschling: Photography Eileen Blom: Actor Amelinda Burich: Actor Ahris Kim: Actor Margaret Muza: Actor Laura Theissen: Actor Michelle Warren: Actor Jen White: Actor Erin Wolf: Actor Shawn Stephany: Band Member Marielle Allschwang: Band member

THE MILWAUKEE SHOW II (Oct. 6, 7PM | Oriental Theatre)

Sitora Takanaev: Director

Geoffrey Broughe Handles Confrontation Poorly
Jon Phillips: Director Quinn Hester: Cinematographer Casey Harris: Costume Designer Peter Batchelder: Sound Engineer, Compose Matthew Balz: Art Director  Ricardo De Herrera: Actor Matt Nichols: Actor

MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous
Chris James Thompson: Director Andy Gorzalski: Producer Jack Turner: Producer Travis Auclair: Cinematographer  Michael T. Vollmann: Editor Barry Poltermann: Story Editor Jannell Gorzalski: Film Subject Stephen Marcus: Film Subject Ben Koller: Film Subject Hal Koller: Film Subject Judie Koller: Film Subject George Gonis: Film Subject Robert Byrd: Film Subject

One Week Vacation
Brendan T. Jones: Director Jenny Vanderheiden: Art Director Ryan Lowe: Actor Evan Koepnick: Actor Angie Campbell: Actor Kenny Somerville: Actor

Smoky Places
Michael DiMilo: Director Jeff Stehr: Music Director Tom Plutshack: Guitar Dave Bolyard: Percussion

This is Jackie.
Anna Sampers: Director

Tis the Season
Kirsten Stuck: Director

To Hold In The Heart
Pang Her: Director Jean Yang: Camera

The Waystation in the Stars
Brandon Morissey: Director, Producer, Writer Lyssa Kay: Producer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen: Cinematographer

THE MILWAUKEE YOUTH SHOW (Sep. 28, 10:30AM | Oriental Theatre)

Gavin White, Tyler Matthews, Jeremy LeCleir, Scott Meade: Directors

Assist Bhopal
Megan Sai Dogra: Director

The Autumn Vignette
Serbata Tarrer: Director

Counting the Dead
Alexandra Van Den Heuvel: Director

Get Real People
Griffin Anderson, Mitch Dykstra, Tanner Dykstra, Ronnie Al-Ramahi: Directors

Gabriella Avila, Alexia Jaso: Directors

If You Weren’t Here
LaVarnway Boys & Girls Club workshop participants: Directors

La Decisiones de Tu Vida Alondra Mercado, Ana Ornelas: Directors:

Let the Children Live
Clarke Street Boys & Girls Club workshop participants: Directors

Media and Mental Illness
Eden Raduege, Mikayla Bell: Directors

Protect Yourself
Youth from Townsend CLC Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: Directors

Wake Up and Pay Attention
Youth from the Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: Directors

My Prairie Home
Sep. 26, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Chelsea McMullan: Director

No One Is Listening Anymore! (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre  Oct. 1, 10:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Romi Trower: Director

The Other One
Oct. 1, 7PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 7, PM | Oriental Theatre
Joe Steiff: Director Grace McPhilips: Producer, Actor

The Overnighters
Oct. 4, 9:30PM | Downer Theatre
Jay Reinke: Film Subject Keegan Edwards: Film Subject

Person to Person (Shorts: Stories We Tell) Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Dustin Defa: Director

Sep. 28, 6:45PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 5, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Eric Gerber: Director, Writer, Producer Drew Rosas: Producer Andrew Swant: Actor, Consulting Producer

Point and Shoot
Oct. 7, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Marshall Curry: Director Matthew VanDyke: Producer, Film Subject

Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 28, 2PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Oct. 4, 4:15PM | Times Cinema
Manny Marquez: Director Victor Marquez: Film Subject Suezette Marquez: Film Subject

Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border
Sep. 27, 2:15PM Downer Theatre
Rodrigo Reyes: Director

Revenge of The Mekons
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Downer Theatre
Sep. 30, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Joe Angio: Director Sally Timms: Film Subject (Only Sep. 27th screening) Jon Langford: Film Subject (Only Sep. 27th screening)

The Starfish Throwers
Attendance date TBD
Pete Tedrow: Outreach & Festival Coordinator

Oct. 8, 7PM | Downer Theatre
Mary Jane Doherty: Director

Serial Daters Anonymous
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Oct. 1, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 3, 7PM | Times Cinema
Christopher Carson Emmons: Director Sam Kozel: Executive Producer

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Oct. 2, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 4, 1:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Mary Dore: Director Nancy Kennedy: Producer Mary Jean Collins: Film Subject Fran Beal: Film Subject

Stop Making Sense
Oct. 4, 10:30pm Oriental Theatre
Jerry Harrison: Film Subject

Stray Dog
Sep. 27, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 29, 4:15PM | Times Cinema
Debra Granik: Director Tory Stewart: Co-Producer/Editor Ron “Stray Dog” Hall: Film Subject Freddie Strickland: Film Subject Robin Smith: Film Subject

Street Fight
Oct. 7, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Marshall Curry: Director

Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.)
Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre
Joey Daoud: Director

Stumped (Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction)
Oct. 6, 4:45PM | Downer Theatre
Robin Berghaus: Director

The Surface (Closing Night Film)
Oct. 9, 8PM | Oriental Theatre
Gil Cates, Jr.: Director
Jeff Gendelman: Writer/Producer
Jimmy Sammarco: Cinematographer, Co-Producer
Sean Astin: Actor Chris Mulkey: Actor Megan Lorie: Actor

Take Me to the River
Attendance Dates TBD

Martin Shore: Director Jerry Harrison: Producer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell: Subject Frayser Boy: Film Subject William Bell: Film Subject

Taxidermists (Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction)
Oct. 2, 2PM | Times Cinema
Nicole Triche: Director Wendy Christensen: Film Subject

Things Never Said
Oct. 1, 7:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 2, 1PM | Oriental Theatre
Charles Murray: Director

This May Be the Last Time
Oct. 4, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Sterlin Harjo: Director

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Oct. 9, 7:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Don Perry: Co-Producer, Co-Writer

‘Til Infinity: Celebrating 20 Years of the Souls of Mischief Sep. 27, 9PM | Oriental Theatre
Shomari Smith: Director

Time Lapse
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Times Cinema
Bradley King: Director

Top Secret!
Oct. 1, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Jim Abrahams: Director Jerry Zucker: Director

The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga
Sep. 28, 7:30PM | Downer Theatre
Jessica Oreck: Director

Oct. 3, 4:45PM | Downer Theatre
Diana Whitten: Director

Watchers of the Sky
Sep. 29, 10:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Elizabeth Bohart: Executive Producer

Winter’s Bone
Sept 27, 11:30AM | Downer Theatre
Debra Granik: Director 

Years (Prefeature for The Other One)
Oct. 1, 7PM | Times Cinema
Rose Curley: Director Nora Burlo: Actor

Keynote: State of Cinema
Sep. 27, Noon | Colectivo Prospect

Wesley Morris: 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism; Film and Culture writer for

Working with Actors
Sep. 27, 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect
Debra Granik: Writer, Director (Winter’s Bone, Stray Dog)

Mex-ciné: Mexican Filmmaking, Production, and Consumption in the 21st Century Sep. 27, 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama: Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University

Memory & the Arts
Sep. 28, 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Mary Louise Schumacher: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nancy Armitage: Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin

Dr. Anne Basting: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Diane Knight: Alverno College

After 1971: Media, Freedom of Information, and the Public’s Right to Know Monday, Sep 29 | 12:15 PM | Eckstein Hall, Marquette University
Mike Gousha: Marquette University Law School
Daniel Bice: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Christa Westerberg: Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Ben Wizner: American Civil Liberties Union

Pitch Us Your Doc! Contest
Saturday, Oct 4 | 12PM | Colectivo Prospect
Kim Nguyen: War Witch (MFF 2013 Competition Award Winner) Michael Raisler: Cinereach, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Laurie Scheer: The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre (2014)

Film Financing Panel
Saturday, Oct 4 | 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect
Tyler Measom: An Honest Liar 
Jordana Mollick: Life Partners

MKE At Risk: Feeding Our Community
Saturday, Oct 4 | 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Mitch Teich: WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio 89.7FM
Sharon Adams:  Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
Larry Adams: Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
Nicole Angresano: United Way of Greater Milwaukee
Dr. Jennifer Jordan: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Young Kim: Fondy Food Center
Sherrie Tussler: Hunger Task Force


Herzfeld Competition Jury
David Fear, Rolling Stone
Theresa Scandiffio, Toronto International Film Festival
Mike Maggiore, Film Forum

Cream City Cinema Jury
Sam Adams, IndieWire
Justine Nagan, Kartemquin Films
Jim Brunzell III, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Shorter Is Better Jury
Dan Doody, Seattle International Film Festival
Jessica Farrell, Filmmaker Spencer Gillis, Filmmaker

Rated K: For Kids Jury
Octavia Grimes Piper Grimes Quinn Hammerlund Julian Singh Anna Weiss

I will see you there! Be sure to come up and say hello. Enjoy the festival and all these wonderful activities and guests.

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema. Passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival are currently available at discounted rates exclusively online at

Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting September 10 for Milwaukee Film Members and September 11 for the General Public.

*** Special Program Note: Debra Granik is guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Wednesday Sept 24, 2014 3pE 12pC NoonP. Join us for our live discussion, chat will be open too. Show will be archived and available 24/7 to listen if you are unable to listen live. For more info click the bolded link:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granick 

*** Special Program Note: Gil Cates Jr Director Producer is guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Thursday Sept 25, 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP. Join us for our live discussion, chat will be open too. Show will be archived and available 24/7 to listen if you are unable to listen live. For more info click the bolded link:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director producer Gil Cates Jr.

Festival begins September 25, the date of this discussion with Gil Cates Jr. Enjoy


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