Monday, September 30, 2013

2013 Films: Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic Avenue by Laure de Clermont
France (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 12 Minutes
Screening Time: Juried Films 7pm.  Oct 26th
Tickets $10.00
Buy Tickets Here:

How a seventeen year-old determined girl in a wheelchair encounters love through a young antisocial male prostitute.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

2013 Films: White Carpet

White Carpet by Jordan Fein
New York (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 14 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 3:15pm
Tickets $10.00

Play housewife with Mindy as she is indoctrinated into a world of kitchenware, jewelry parties and deceit.

2013 Films: While It Lasts

While It Lasts by Marc Kornblatt
Madison, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 11  Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  3:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

At 81, Jamie Ross, a retired art professor lives in a falling down studio crammed with his own work and thousands of objects he has collected over the decades. His current passion is rescuing intriguingly shaped tree limbs from his wood pile and turning them into finely polished shapes adorned with some of his favorite words, such as 'seemlessness.' One rain-soaked afternoon, as water drips from the ceiling, he shares his thoughts on the meaning of art and his own mortality.

 Director Statement
The moment I walked into Jamie Ross's art studio, in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, I thought it would make a great setting for a film. I was thinking narrative, perhaps a murder mystery, or some kind of Gothic tale. The deteriorating, barny space, crammed with original art and artifacts from around the world, the piled-up garbage and dust-covered surfaces would have cost a great deal of money to create, and here it was totally camera-ready. To add to the allure of the project, Jamie seemed game.

My plans changed once I got to know this quirky man who, at 81, was a working artist, and a hoarder. Genuine and cordial from the start, Jamie had the gift of gab and a sense of humor that won me over. I decided to forgo fiction and instead create a lasting record of Jamie's artwork and workplace, letting him talk about his life philosophy and himself as he pleased.

The inclement weather on the day we shot the film, the studio's gritty ambiance and Jamie's narration inspired me to compose a score that pays homage to Erik Satie's Gymnopedies. In my short pieces, I have tried to capture what the viewer sees and hears on screen, coming away, hopefully, with a sense of Jamie's spirit and world, as well as a colorful work of art.

Production Notes
"When It Rains..."
The day I brought my cameraman and audio technician to interview Jamie Ross, a cold, miserable December rain soaked the three of us within the first five minutes of filming our opening exterior shot. We remained soggy and chilled for the remainder of the day. That bone-numbing rain, however, turned out to be a great blessing, as the images we captured of water pummeling the roof and cascading into the studio, added poignancy to the story.

The rain not only inspired the opening notes of the piano piece I composed to start the film, it adds a rich texture to the film's ambient sound throughout the documentary. Indeed, I would have invariably created a different story, composed a different score, if the day had been brisk and sunny. I don't believe that version would have been as strong.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

2013 Films: Love You Still

Love You Still by Michael Viers
Running Time: 10 Minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Oct 25th 6:30pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

John, an aging fisherman, struggles with memories of his young love, Alice. He longs for her return and lives in regret. One day, a bottle washes ashore that includes a note, which begs the question: did John lose the love of his life, or did he lose his mind?

The film production:

Love You Still is the last Collaborative Cinema film--a screenwriting and filmmaking program for high school and college students previously run by Susan Kerns and started by Mark Metcalf. Each year, one high school student's script was chosen to be made into a film. College students then applied to direct. In 2013, Franklin High School student Katie Theel wrote the script, and UWM student Michael Viers directed the film. High school and college students also worked on set alongside professional filmmakers to learn about crew roles, professional camera and lighting equipment, and general set etiquette. Love You Still was the eighth and final film made in the Collaborative Cinema program.

This film is being screened as part of the Pace-setter presentation for honoree Susan Kerns.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Films: Junggesellin (Bachelorette)

Junggesellin (Bachelorette) by Anna Linke
Germany (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 15 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  1:15pm

Tickets $10.00 But Tickets Here:

The bachelorette Stefanie is a young woman who, at 26 years old, has not yet managed to live in an environment in which she can truly be herself. At home in the back country, everybody tries to find a man for the last bachelorette in the village, who is not thrilled about this at all.

2013 Films: Into the Tangerine Parlor

Into the Tangerine Parlor by Vito Valenti
Muskego, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 3 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 5:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

A man on the verge of despair spontaneously resorts to introspection and finds a way to transcendence and liberation.

2013 Films: Le Hérisson de Verre ( The Glass Hedgehog)

Le Hérisson de Verre ( The Glass Hedgehog) by Jean-Sébastien Bernard
France (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 10  Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  1:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:


Summer 1955. The sun shines brightly on a bucolic landscape sprinkled with poppies. Persephone, a young beautiful and mysterious woman lays in this sparkling field of blood-red. The sunbeams caress her smiling face. A moment of happiness that nothing seems to be disturbing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Films: Super-Fun Sunshine Gun

Super-Fun Sunshine Gun by Craig Knitt
Marion, WI, (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 2 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 3:15pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

An unhappy reader rests in a park until a helpful stranger enters and tries to cheer him up.

2013 Films: Gunpoint

Gunpoint by Darby Kern
Marion, WI,  (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 5 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 3:15pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Chad and Amy owe Floyd money and he is bad news. Even though they are in quite a jam they have plans to straighten out their lives even if it involves guns.

2013 Films: To Hell, With Love

To Hell, With Love by Gavin Michael Booth
Canada  (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 16 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 1:15pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Dr. Desai is desperate to prove the existence of an afterlife. Unfortunately for one feisty prostitute, Cheri, his obsession will become her nightmare in a battle for survival.

Director Statement
To Hell, With Love was born out of the frustration (and boredom!) of waiting between feature film projects. I had a highly controversial film set to shoot in early 2013 but due to controversy in the world news headlines over the Christmas holidays the film was cancelled. I was left reeling and with much time on my hands. Instead of feel pity for myself and my production team we rallied together to create a short film to flex our creative muscles.

The result is this short film. It's also been an inspiration to create more short form videos and films between features and music video projects.

Production Notes
"When The Snow Hits The Fan"
The production of To Hell With Love was conducted in a single over night shoot but was delayed for several hours due to cast members Sarah Booth and Shawn Baichoo being stuck in a separate vehicle on the other side of a snowstorm. The crew had a chance to bond and talk film (geek out!) while waiting for their arrival. The shoot began late, ended even later the next morning but still everyone came through to complete the 16 pages of script in the single night!

2013 Films: Lean on Me

Lean on Me by Gavin Butler
Ireland (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 2 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  1:15pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Dan is suicidal and turns to his best friend for assistance - but how far does a best friend go to help?

2013 Films: Melon Head

Melon Head  by Andy Fortenbacher
New York (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 14 Minutes
Screening Time: Juried Films 7pm, Oct 26th
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

The only way to a woman's heart is to scare the HELL out of her!

2013 Films: Bishtar Az Do Saat (More Than Two Hours)

Bishtar Az Do Saat (More than Two Hours) by Ali Asgari
Iran (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 15 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 1:15pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

It’s 3 AM, a boy and a girl are wandering in the city.they are looking for a hospital to cure the girl, but it is much harder than they thought.

2013 Films: Coffee or Tea?

Coffee or Tea? by Lucien Jung
Greendale, WI (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 6 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 5:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Zany party girl Britney sets up her sexually confused ex-boyfriend Matt on his first gay date with kooky club kid Richie. Awkward first impressions lead to outright hostility. But Britney is a girl who always gets her way and what she wants is for these boys to give love a chance. 

Director Statement 
Coffee or Tea is a fun and breezy short in the spirit of Hollywood romantic comedies from the ‘50s and ‘60s. While the film can be viewed as “camp,” we are absolutely sincere in our positive message of self-acceptance. We define our lead characters not as members of a marginalized community but as two young men engaged in the universal pursuits of figuring out who they are and how to love and be loved.

The film’s sensibility was informed by the outsider experiences of myself and co-writers Thomas Sennholz and Daniel J. Harmon. While we’d have loved for our lives to have played out like a John Hughes’ film or a Technicolor dream of beach parties, school dances, and relatively uncomplicated bouts of puppy love, that’s not how things turned out.

Coffee or Tea is my cheerfully absurdest take on queer love and the Sandra Dee and Doris Day films I continue to enjoy. My hope is that audiences will smile with recognition and come to understand that to get what you want you have to know who you are. Then maybe, for the next generation of outsiders, their journey of self-discovery really will end with a lovely soft-focus kiss.

Learn More

2013 Films: It Was Wonderful

It Was Wonderful by Timothy DeWitt
Racine, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 2 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 25th 6:30pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

A man remembers the life and love he once had.

2013 Films: Rojo (Red)

Rojo  (Red) by Miguel Najera
Mexico (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 3 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 1:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Young Maria will have a last chance to say goodbye to her lover.

2013 Films: A Hard Life

A Hard Life by Rubin Whitmore II
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 9 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  5:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

A Hard Life is short musical comedy is about three women who are brought in for questioning in the death of a man.  The man has died from an overdose of sexual performance enhancement drugs. After further questioning from the investigator along with insight from the toxicologist all the women are discovered to be complicit.  But the ultimate demise of the man involves more than just these three women and their desire to receive satisfaction.

A Hard Life was ambitiously written and shot along with original music created in the time span of two days and only has had minimal sound design added in the time following.  Directed by Rubin Whitmore II, music by David Kaye, choreography by Christopher Gilbert. Starring Michelle White, Kendall Yorkey, Grace Liebenstem and Kurtis Witzlsteiner. (2013) TRT 9:11

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Films: Hide and Go Seek

Hide and Go Seek by Eli Hayes
Whitefish Bay, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 7 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  5:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Once someone is lost, the only thing left to do is find them.

Two sisters drive up to their cabin in northern Wisconsin, where they discover a mysterious tree while playing a game of hide and go seek. Suddenly, they become separated; in order to win the game, they must reunify.

2013 Films: Once An Afternoon

Once An Afternoon by Nelson Oliveras
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 11 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  3:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Ryan (Daniel Hass) and his mentor Bill (Matthew Nichols),are on a mission to visit the home of a family who has been looking after a young girl named 'Ellie' (Allison Chicorel). Ellie is considered to be the missing 'gift', taken long ago from a powerful man.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Films: 蜜月套房 (Honeymoon Suite)

蜜月套房 (Honeymoon Suite) by Zao Wang
China (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 14 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  1:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

A hotel in Beijing, China, forgets to feed its monstrous and angry guest from America. But one brave Chinese woman from the staff stands out to tame the beast.... But little does she know that the American guest is not what he appears to be at all.

15th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival Line up

The Milwaukee Independent Film Society was founded in 1996 by Dan Wilson. Its mission and goals were to provide a grass roots community where local filmmakers can share their ideas, projects, and collaborate on local efforts.

MIFS is a non-profit organization who leadership has changes, but missions remains the same.

The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is our signature event, since its inception in 1994 we've steadily built our reputation and one of the best regional festivals in America. We were signaled out by Moviemaker Magazine as "Best Local Festival" with a strong slate of award winning International films, and the best in local filmmaking.

Each year we do our best to get industry professionals from Los Angeles and the Milwaukee area to jury the films. Previous judges were Mark Metcalf (Animal House, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Zack Ward (A Christmas Story, Transformers), Uwe Boll (Postal, House of the Dead) Timothy J. Lonsdale (Speed, Species) and David Streit (Jurassic Park III, River's Edge) .

The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is proud to also say that the home of the festival is a Milwaukee landmark, The Milwaukee Art Museum's Lubar Auditorium situated in the world famous Calatrava. Located on Milwaukee's lakefront area.

Friday October 25th, Opening Night.

6:30 pm Lubar Auditorium, MAM

A World of Difference by Gerald Guthrie
Hurricane Bonnie by Linda Cieslik
Life by Lasse Lorenzen
It Was Wonderful by Timothy DeWitt
Spaghetti für Zwei by Matthias Rosenberger
Girls Season 38 by Gail Lerner
Snowglobe by Tony Porter
Rock Doc: Die Kreuzen by Bill Schulz & Gary Porter
Love You Still  by Michael Viers

We'll also honor this year's recipients of the Pace-setter award, Dan Wilson & Susan Kerns.


Oct 25th MIFS Feature Film Screening

9:15pm Lubar Auditorium, MAM 
The Wayward Sun by Jozef K. Richards


Saturday October 26th

12 pm Lubar Auditorium, MAM
The Librarian and The Banjo by Jim Carrier

1: 30 pm World View

To Dream Away by Si En Tan
Bishtar Az Do Saat by Ali Asgari
Le Herisson De Verre by Jean-Sebastien Bernard
Rojo by Miguel Najera
Junggesellin by Anna Linke
To Hell, With Love by Gavin Michael Booth
Lean on Me by Gavin Butler
蜜月套房 (Honeymoon Suite) by Zao Wang

3:15 Show

Foreclosure by Vassi Slavova
Unknown Caller by Matthew Huebsch
Once An Afternoon by Tony Oliveras
Donna Ray by Omar McClinton
White Carpet by Jordan Fein
Gun Point by Darby Kern
While it Lasts by Marc Kornblatt
Why Fly- A Hot Air Affair by Roger Bindl
Super Fun Sunshine Gun by Craig A Knitt

5:15 pm Show

A Hard Life by Rubin Whitmore II
Lumininosity by F-Stop Won
Coffee or Tea by Lucien Jung
Temenos by Adriane Little
People Aren't All Bad by Matthew Hashiguchi
Tlaoc by Sabrina Doyle
Into the Tangerine Parlor by Vito Valenti
Catalyst by Matt Troge
Hide and Go Seek by Eli Hayes
Six Letter Word by Lisanne Sartor

7pm Juried

Olivia by Ryan Bloomquist
Night in A Hotel by Daniel Kontur
Le Train Bleu by Stephanie Assimacopoulo
Parfois by Jaclyn Tyler Poeschl
Atlantic Avenue by Laure de Clermont
Melon Head by Andy Fortenbacher
Mitt Forra Liv by Sebastian Linblad
Mason Jelly Jar by Van Campbell III
The Cucaranchula by Kate Balsey
From The Darkness Theatre by Michael Viers
Time 2 Split by Fabrice Bracq

9:15 Show TBA

The website will be updated this week and online ticket will be ready by October 5th.

2013 Films: Rock Doc: Die Kreuzen

Rock Doc: Die Kreuzen by Bill Schulz & Gary Porter
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 9 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 25th 6:30pm

Tickets $10.00  Buy Tickets Here:


The reunited band Die Kreuzen is the subject of a special Tap Milwaukee Rock Doc project which chronicles the rise, fall and rebirth of the band.

Director Statement
In an attempt to connect with our readers' interest in local music, we chose to focus on a popular band local band that reached national attention in the late eightees. Die Kreuzen was regrouping after 20 years to perform a series of special concerts after being inducted into the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Hall of Fame. They broke up just before making it big and they wanted to reconnect with fans and introduce themselves to a new generation.

2013 Films: Girls Season 38

Girls Season 38 by Gail Lerner
Los Angeles (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 8 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 25th 6:30pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:


Same girls, same problems... forty years later. This satirical valentine to Lena Dunham's groundbreaking HBO series stars original SNL cast member Laraine Newman, as well as Wendi Malick, Mindy Sterling, Sally Kemp, Martin Starr, and Sarah Wright. Written, Directed, and Produced by Gail Lerner.

2013 Films: Snowglobe

Snowglobe by Tony Porter
Fond du Lac, WI,  (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 6 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 25th 6:30pm
Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

A colorblind handyman born inside a melting snow globe tires to escape after finding schematics for a prototype rocket.

Production Notes

This project had a number of personal challenges. I chose to shoot on very slow film early on in order to help create a stark contrast in the colorfulness of memory versus the start black and white of the characters present. I spent countless hours over the last 8 months digitally transferring rolls of film frame by frame in order to get the highest quality possible for my budget. The underwater shots were particularly cumbersome as I had to put a bolex in an underwater housing with no viewfinder or any camera controls and blindly shoot with a wide lens, hoping for the best. For the flying effects I hung my actor from the ceiling with a harness and balanced him with a pulley system of weights and blew a leaf blower into his face. I layered the background with white sheets and lit them separately in order to help key out the background. Overall I'm glad I set myself up with so many technical challenges because I learned tons through the process of troubleshooting each problem as it arose

2013 Films: A World of Difference

A World of Difference by Gerald Guthrie
Urbana, IL (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 8 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 25th 6:30pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

'A World of Difference' is a digital animation that moves us along a bumpy path through Space and Time to discover Truth, Perfection and Meaning.

Director Statement
Most often, the inspiration for my work begins with a real world object. I have always been attracted to microscopes; not only for their visual appeal, but also for the way they reveal a mysterious world. Since a microscope enables us to increase the perceptual scale of objects, it seemed appropriately ironic to increase the physical size of the microscope itself. This device might then be able to reveal our hidden world at both a microscopic and macroscopic level.

This microscope needed to be located in an older style classroom, so I wandered through the University of Illinois campus looking for a likely example. It is contrary to the reputation of a great university to be outdated, but the challenging search finally ended on the top floor of the English building. A re-creation of this small, old-fashioned classroom now became the environment for a standard scale microscope. Since the classroom still had slate blackboards, it fit with another goal to use a chalk drawing to set up a pretext for the animation.

I found a pseudoscientific sketch on an obscure “time travel” website which worked quite well for this purpose. Only later, after the premise was defined was it apparent that the sketch was even more accurate than hoped, depicting a passage between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way galaxy – coincidentally, essentially much what happens in the animation.
Another interior space that was appropriated from the University of Illinois campus is that of the Armory Building. Entering this huge building reminds me of a recurring dream I have of large interior spaces. Invoking some artistic liberties, this space became the site of the oversize microscope.

After five months of preparatory object making and animation, I began a fellowship with eDream Institute at the University of Illinois. This group, led by Donna Cox, is dedicated to bringing the arts and sciences together in any number of creative collaborations. Besides helpful advice and critique, they provided a network rendering solution that facilitated the production of a high definition animation after hours and hours of computer rendering. I would not have been able to accomplish the work without this important resource.

Working with the general theme of micro/macro, the final sequence, to be viewed through the lens of the large microscope, offered an opportunity to combine and contrast cosmic scale with microscopic scale. I came across some beautiful video clips online of microscopic animal life created by videographer, Craig Smith. I finally decided on a small pond worm because the water debris surrounding the animal blended well with the stars in the galactic environment. The amazing M81(Andromeda) galaxy animation was produced by Robert Patterson and Stuart Levy of the eDream group specifically for this sequence.

Though I created and mixed many of the foley noises or sound effects, my long time friend, John Chase, composed and performed the wonderful music that dramatically ties the work together. I feel his music adds the, not mutually exclusive, aspects of warmth and tension.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 Films: Mitt Förra Liv

Mitt Förra Liv by Sebastian Lindblad
Sweden (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 3 Minutes
Screening Time: Juried 7pm, Oct 26th

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

What you don't know wont hurt you?

Monday, September 16, 2013

2013 Films: Tlaloc

Tlaloc by Sabrina Doyle
Los Angeles (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 3  Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 5:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Los Angeles, the hottest day of the year. A Mexican migrant worker struggles to operate a heavy jackhammer. He wipes his brow with his bandana, and watches enviously as restaurant patrons sup champagne in nearby shade. Stoical, he continues working, but the heat and dust just get more and more oppressive. Relief comes in the form of a prayer. A prayer to Tlaloc, the Aztec rain deity. The weather breaks, and rainwater pours down from the heavens. The restaurant patrons rush indoors, while the worker carries on working, cooled and joyful. Tlaloc smiles, pleased at his work.

TLALOC contains a subtle social theme, but mostly it's a story about one man and the moment of grace he is granted - set to an uplifting original score that recalls the tribal beats of ancient Aztec civilizations.

Director Statement
TLALOC was inspired by my Father's first job - as a jackhammer operator - when he came to the UK from Ireland in the 1970s. It was also informed by my own observations when I moved to LA from the UK. I've always watched builders and manual workers with interest because they remind me of my Dad, a builder for most of his life. Arriving in LA, I was blown away by the heat, hotter than I'd ever known. I couldn't believe anyone could work under that midday Sun, and yet all around me were Mexican migrant workers laboring in sweltering conditions. I admired their resilience and tenacity, but I also wished the weather would cool down just a little to make their day more bearable. From that, came the idea of a prayer to an ancient rain god. A prayer which, in this short, is answered by a refreshing downpour.

TLALOC is an American Film Institute cinematography project, designed to tell a story through entirely visual means. With that in mind, cinematographer Stephen Paar and I chose two film stocks: Kodak 5207 and Fuji Vivid 160. Our opening image uses a gold filter, supplemented with lots of dust, to set up the dry, hot look we were going for. Once the rain god, Tlaloc, responds to the worker's prayer, we switch to Fuji Vivid 160 tungsten-balanced film stock for a cooler look. We tried to create a stifling feeling for the first half of the film: by short-siding the worker, placing him in awkward frames, and over-cranking the image. In the second half of the film, we liberate the camera with a euphoric hand-held move circling around the worker. The Tlaloc sequences were shot using a strobe light to simulate thunder.

I hope people walk away from TLALOC feeling joyful and liberated. Life provides us with answers to our problems, and sometimes happiness comes from unexpected sources: in this case, a simple rain shower.

Production Notes

"Imagining Tlaloc"

With Production Designer Vicky Chan, we researched images of the Aztec rain deity, Tlaloc. We found out he had bulging eyes and long, protruding fangs. From this, we realized our rain god had to be more awe-inspiring than benevolent. Capable of destruction as well as creation. Feared as well as revered. We decided to show Tlaloc in both human and statue form. Our actor, Chuy Garcia, has all the loftiness and nobility necessary for the human embodiment of Tlaloc. Vicky was wonderfully inventive when it came to creating the Tlaloc statue. She fashioned him out of papier-mâché, then painted him blue and gold. Make up artist Kelsie Gygie colored Chuy's face with a paste she made herself: out of a clay face mask and crushed blue eye shadow. A major inspiration for the visual style of Tlaloc was the Smashing Pumpkins' first music video, Siva, which uses tribal images very effectively - both painted human faces and primitive-looking statues.

"Casting The Worker"

David Saucedo, who plays The Worker in TLALOC, came to the audition entirely in character. We didn't even realise he was American because when he introduced himself to us he spoke in broken English. Holding auditions for an MOS project is challenging. You don't have dialogue for people to read, so you have to rely on physical action and space work to judge performance. The moment we knew we had to hire David was when he spat on the ground (this spitting action actually made its way into the final film). Later, he told us that he'd been determined to push himself during auditions: not relying on the obvious, but finding specific and unexpected behaviors that would be revealing of character. David's commitment to his character extended into production. Before shooting, he observed Mexican migrant workers attentively, noticing many carried bandanas inside their hard hats to wipe off sweat from their faces. This detail, once again, made it into the final movie. David is a shining example of how an actor can augment a director's vision.

2013 Films: From the Darkness Theatre

From the Darkness Theatre by Michael Viers
Running Time: 11  Minutes
Screening Time: Juried Films 7pm. Oct 26th 2013

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

The private life of a local television Horror Host named Uncle Seymour Cadavers - a life filled with dingy theaters, old movies, and sinful actions. A nod to the infamous, yet never completed, Maniac 2. Written and Directed by Michael Viers, the film had been a passion piece for two years. The film stars Michael Denk and Thad Dulde.




2013 Films: People Aren't All Bad

People Aren't All Bad by Matthew Hashiguchi
Cleveland, OH (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 4  Minutes
Screening Time:  Oct 26th 5:15pm.

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

Born in San Francisco in 1924, Yutaka Kobayashi endured many obstacles in life. As a young boy he was labeled stupid by his teacher for refusing to learn Japanese. Later, after his high school graduation and at the start of World War II, his attempts to enlist in the US Army were refused because of his Japanese heritage. Then, in 1942 he was sent to the Topaz Japanese American Internment Camp. Surprisingly, it was during this dark period in his life that he experienced compassion and kindness from where he least expected it, a gun tower guard from within the Topaz Japanese American Internment Camp.

Yutaka now lives in Newton, Masschusetts, with his wife.


2013 Films: Temenos

Temenos by Adriane Little
Kalamazoo, MI  (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 3  Minutes
Screening Time:  Oct 26th 5:15pm.

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

By origin, the word temenos is used to mark sacred space that encourages or creates shelter for disclosure and discovery. This act of revealing can be towards another or inward and beyond a physical sense of place. Playing off the idea of death as 'six feet under', Temenos creates a space six feet up. Within a spatial awareness of temenos, exists kairos or the unstructured time of personal insight and growth. Combined, temenos and kairos create place and time for ritual, meditation, mourning, psychic disruption and renewal.

2013 Films: To Dream Away

To Dream Away by Si En Tan
Singapore (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 5  Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th 1:15pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

An ordinary office worker grows disillusioned with his tedious life. The ocean offers a metaphysical release that tempts him

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Films: Life

Life by Lasse Lorenzen
Denmark (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 2  Minutes
Screening Time:  Opening Night 6:30pm, Oct 25th.

Tickets $10.00  Buy Tickets Here:

In a remote place in the not so distant past a family sits down for dinner. In this bleak Scandinavian tableau the children will learn the true meaning of life. Even though the harsh father looms over the silent room, the children's primitive thirst for color and fun punctures the prudent atmosphere.

Director Statement
Even in the bleakest and darkest of times life will find a way to add color and cheer.

LIFE is in short, a short film about the meaning of life.

The story had been flying around in my mind for quite a while. I always had the urge to show how I experience life in its essence. I remember being a kid and seeing all these extremely serious adult humanbeings who never seemed to have any FUN - and vowing to never end up like that. Now, being an adult myself I do feel that life is very serious and at its core not very fun at all. But the kid in me still pops up and tries to force me to puncture that bubble of adulthood. And often at the most inopportune moments in life.

As a result whenever life becomes to serious or organized I feel the urge to do or say something completely out-of-context, just to see what happens. More often than not this simply results in me being put in my place. I wanted to put this into cinematic context and with LIFE we have done just that. By striving to create an atmosphere as bleak and serious as possible, simply to burst this bubble by something completely out of context - like a Bergman film suddenly being invaded by Monty Python.

2013 Films: Luminosity

Luminosity by F- Stop WON
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 10 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th  5:15pm.
Tickets $10.00 But Tickets Here:

A solitary, slightly enchanted artist spends his time creating whatever comes to mind in his workshop in the woods. Although his creations bring him great satisfaction, he makes no attempt to present them to the world, he is content to simply surround himself with the objects of his making.
He's unaware that because of his innate compassion for humanity, as his creations come to fruition, his ideas go out into the collective consciousness and provide inspiration to the unsuspecting.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Films: The Librarian and The Banjo

The Librarian and The Banjo by Jim Carrier
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 56 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th Noon.
Tickets $10.00  Buy Tickets Here:

The true story of music librarian Dena Epstein who spent 25 years documenting the musical contributions of Africans slaves to the New World. Her classic work shattered stereotypes and prejudices, legitimized the study of America’s biracial musical roots, proved that the banjo was a slave invention, and sparked a revival of black string band music. The film zooms from tranquil libraries to lively stages where banjos twang 300 years after slaves brought the instrument here. The film features Grammy-winning performers Bela Fleck, Eric Weissberg, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Information about the film's Subject :
Dena Julia Polacheck Epstein was born November 30, 1916 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin film tells the story of Dena Epstein, a music librarian, now 96 years old, whose trailblazing scholarship was the first to take on the old myths about the banjo and prove its African-American origins and West African roots. Her work shattered myths about the roots of American music, and has been described as “monumental.” The film features interviews with Dena (as everyone calls her), academics, banjo historians and musicians including the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka and Eric Weissberg. The soundtrack, from dozens of banjo players, includes music on gourd akontings, minstrel instruments and bluegrass banjos. Among featured artists are Stephen Wade, Sule Greg Wilson and Pura Fe. Among music historians interviewed in the film are: Bill Ferris (former NEH chairman), Bob Winans, Tony Thomas, Greg Adams, Laurent Dubois, Bobby Fulcher and Daniel Jatta.