Friday, July 31, 2015

VOICES HEARD 2015: Modern Romance volume one

Modern Romance Volume One by Sergio Espino
Milwaukee (World Premiere)
Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Friiday, Sept 11th 8:30pm Voices Heard & Sat Sept 12th Juried 8pm

Comedy/ Romance

Dave and Crystal have just finished their first date. Years of romantic failures have stunted both of them as they try to come face to face with their feelings for each other. It's all going well until Dave's roommate shows up and the night get uncomfortable and awkward. Can they work through their issues and find true love?

Director's Bio:
Born and raised on Milwaukee’s south side. Sergio satisfied his hunger for knowledge by devouring comic books and watching George Carlin stand up on his family’s stolen cable. He’s directed music videos for numerous Milwaukee music artists. He’s also directed and produced the comedy web series Instant Show Repair, and was the executive producer/ creator of the short film Tough Cookie (2014).

2015 Films: Quack

Quack by John Van Slyke
Milwaukee (World Premiere)
Running Time: 4 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 11th 6:30pm OPENING NIGHT


"Social etiquette can be challenging"

The follow-up (NOT a sequel) to the award-winning "No Touchie, Touchie," "Quack" sees Robert and John wading through the murky waters of social decorum when "The Guy" refuses to vacate a chair. 

Director's Bio:

John Van Slyke has written and directed more than 10 short movies for the Milwaukee-based video collective, Third Choice. He is also the writer of more than 50 plays and has taught "Making Movies" and "Acting for the Camera" at the First Stage Children's Theater Academy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015 Films: Hero in Limbo

Hero in Limbo by Van Campbell
Milwaukee (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 9 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 8:00pm Juried

African American/ Experimental/ Drama

A man failing to connect to life, goes into a self induced trip to get a part of himself back, through emotion, metaphor, and triumph.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

2015 Films: The Map of Maps

The Map of Maps by Sangsun Choi
Milwaukee (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 13 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 11th 6:30


There was an astonishing discovery in Milwaukee several years ago. An incredibly rare version of Korean map called Daedong Yeojido was discovered in the library at UWM. The map is a national treasure in Korea and nobody knows why this map has been placed at UWM before the moment that American Geographical Society Library makes public. 

There is a Korean language school near Greenfield in Milwaukee. Korean Baptist Church of Milwaukee has managed this program for the Korean children who are born in United States. Some of children have never been to South Korea and haven't seen Korean traditional map either. Even parents and grand parents have just heard the fame of the Korean map in Milwaukee. It will be totally new experience for them who keep a Korean identity to meet the map in person. This documentary will shed light on their joys and sorrows as migrants as well as genuine thought regarding their ethnicity.

2015 Films: Charlotte

Charlotte by Angel Kristi Williams 
Los Angeles (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 11 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 4pm

Drama/ LGBT

Alex, excited to have befriended the popular girl at school, will do anything to stay in her good graces. When her new friend wants to play house, Alex innocently plays along and develops feelings she doesn't understand.




Director's Bio:

Originally from Baltimore Maryland, Angel received her BA in Visual Art (Photography & Film) from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After graduation she worked in television for Discovery Communications before being awarded the Lumiere Scholarship to attend Columbia College Chicago as an MFA candidate in Cinema Directing. Her short film The Christmas Tree has screened at numerous festivals both domestically and internationally and garnered the attention of Participant Media, a production company committed to social responsibility through film. Her most recent project Charlotte, won the Jury Award for Best Short Film - Pink Peach category at its Atlanta Film Festival premiere. Williams is a former Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow, winner of the Sony Pictures Diversity Fellowship and recently named one of ten Black directors to watch by Paste Magazine.

Atlanta Film Festival Atlanta, GA
March 28, 2015
North American Premiere
Jury Prize, Best Short Film (Pink Peach)

Sarasota Film Festival Sarasota, Florida
April 11, 2015
Florida Premiere
Short Narrative Competition Jury Prize

Thursday, July 23, 2015

2015 Films: Rocket Science

Rocket Science by Dirk van Sloten
Milwaukee (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 5 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 11th. 6:30pm

Comedy/ Sci Fi 

The last evacuation ships are about to launch and leave a dying earth for good. But our hero, Marcus Staley, is delayed, and thus he needs to find a way to hold the launch.



Rocket Science is a Science Fiction Comedy short written by Erik Kjonaas. The last evacuation ships are about to launch and leave a dying earth for good. But our hero, Marcus Staley, is delayed, and thus he needs to find a way to hold the launch. Produced, edited, and directed by Dirk van Sloten, Rocket Science played at the Cannes Short Corner Film Festival in May of 2015.

Director Statement:
Rocket Science is a comedy that functions as a light social commentary of the inhumane way we’re forced to communicate with rather unintelligent artificial intelligence. Despite the fact it’s done as a science fiction piece, it was designed so that everyone who’s ever gotten angry at an automated telephone system to obtain technical support can identify with it.

2015 Films: The Comedian

The Comedian by Clay Weiner
Los Angeles (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 2pm

Comedy/ Drama

A dramatically absurd stand-up comedy performance that destroys convention through overindulgence. Starring Johnny Pemberton.

Johnny Pemberton is a comedian and actor who lives in Los Angeles.

In 2013 he performed at the "Just For Laughs" festival in Montreal and Chicago. He also performed at SXSW in Austin Texas, the Sled Island Festival in Calgary Alberta, and a 14 show tour with Matt Braunger sponsored by Funny or Die and Old Milwaukee.

During some of the aformentioned events he could be seen and/or heard on the following TV programs: Adventure Time as "Braco", Family Tools on ABC as "Mason", Bob's Burgers on FOX as "Dr. Eigerman", Perception on TBS, The New Girl on FOX. He also filmed a not insignificant amount for season 2 of "Kroll Show" on Comedy Central.

In 2012 Johnny could be seen in the following films, available on DVD and Blu-Ray: "21 Jump Street", "The Watch", "This is 40", "Aim High" and Armando Ianucci's Oscar nominated film "In The Loop".

In 2011 Johnny filmed some of the films mentioned above and performed as part of the "Just For Laughs" Comedy festival in Montreal as a "new face". His above-average performance is described here.

In years previous he worked very hard as host for the MTV series "Megadrive", which is now adored by 14-year-old boys in conflict regions throughout the world.

In no particular order available to the memory of this narrator, Johnny did stuff on the following credible entities: Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Adult Swim, The Sundance Channel, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Lopez Tonight.

Johnny attended Florida State University. He was born and raised in Rochester Minnesota

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2015 Films: Little Gary's Mole

Little Gary's Mole by Wil Loper and Dustin Hardy
Running Time: 8 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 8pm JURIED


Salesperson Jared J. Juniper must raise enough money for his 17 ill children. The only thing standing in his way are uncooperative customers and rival salespersons. Best Film Winner Milwaukee 48 Hour Project 2015

Directors' Bio
Wil Loper and Dustin Hardy have made over 40 movies together for 9 years. Their idiosyncratic style is marked by surreal situations and outrageous characters in comedic story-lines.

Directors' Statement
: The genre we pulled was 'Inspirational Film', so our aim was to skewer the cheesy, overly sentimental made-for-TV movies one often sees on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels.

2015 Films: The Survivor

The Survivor by Ahmed Mokari
Iran (World Premiere)
Running Time: 2 minutes
Screening Time: 
Friday, Sept 11th. 6:30pm

The man lives in such a conflict oriented world. He created his own world in spite of hopelessness and naught.

2015 Films: Space Cadets

Space Cadets by Colin Perkins
Milwaukee (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 15 minutes
Screening Time: 
Friday, Sept 11th. 6:30pm
Comedy/ Sci-Fi

A man pursues his childhood dreams of reaching the final frontier by assembling a team of unqualified cadets to start a space crew.



Friday, July 10, 2015

2015 Films: The Trap

The Trap by Dick Grunert
Los Angeles (World Premiere)
Running Time: 6 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 8pm JURIED

Comedy/ Horror/ Sci-Fi

A man invites his friend over one night to show off his latest invention: a trap for catching aliens.


Director Bio:

Dick Grunert was born on April 7, 1974 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is known for his work on Adventure Time (2010), The Boondocks (2005) and House Call (2014). Dick's previous film, House Call won "Best Director" at our festival last year.

2015 Films: Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken by Greg Kuper and Jarrod Crooks
Madison (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 3 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 6PM


A player learns the hard way that you don't dip your chocolate into another man's peanut butter. Entered into the 2014 Project Greenlight competition.


More on the film:
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks is really good at looking dumb. Really dumb. Make no mistake, that’s a compliment and one that holds up in “Jerk Chicken.” With co-writer/director Greg Kuper, Crooks puts a macho, womanizing persona on blast in a manner that’s as scathing as “Bitch Slapped” and even more stylish.

As he slips in line, Crooks’ bro-dude switches on the charm (really, is it ever off?) and immediately begins hitting on Marie Sirena while fielding calls from the significant others of various women he’s slept with. Surely the supreme version of multi-tasking in his character’s mind, this public juggling act seems like familiar territory. Even so, Kuper and Crooks bring swift retribution, complete in both muscled boyfriend (Joe Rowlette) and schlubby father (Dale Mitchell) formats. It isn’t enough that Crooks already fears for his life. “Jerk Chicken” flips him out of the frying pan and into whatever’s keeping that dad’s hair up.

The above piece is from

Directors: Greg Kuper/Jarrod Crooks
Kuper and Crooks have done numerous projects together since 2010.  Crooks started making films when he was 12 and is influenced by Jackie Chan and Elvis. Kuper began to actively write in 1994, and began to focus primarily on independent filmmaking in 2007. 

Kuper and Crooks began working together while producing "Casting Call," a television series being aired on ADEYS TV. Since then, the two have co-produced several projects together, and plan on continuing their successful partnership by working on future projects together.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 Films: Hi, Neighbor!

Hi, Neighbor! by T.C. De Witt & Kris Schulz
Milwaukee (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 8 minutes
Screening Time: 
Friday, Sept 11th. 6:30pm
Comedy / Horror

Successful suburbanite Erin is slowly realizing that not every neighbor is super-dee-dooper.


Production Notes:

Firmament Films, along with Backflip Films, teamed up once again to craft an entire film in a weekend for the 2014 48 Hour Film Project’s 4 Points Challenge, The 4 Points, like the 48 Hour Project assigns each competing team a genre, prop, line of dialogue, and character. Everything is created within the weekend time period, from the story to the music to the final product. Nothing is created in advance.

The required elements:
Genre: Doppleganger
Prop: a Balloon
Line of Dialogue: “I heard you the first time.”
Character: Martin Burley, ATM Technician

2015 Films: Winterlude

Winterlude by Gregory Bishop
Milwaukee (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 6pm

Surrealist / Narrative / Horror / Fantasy

An abstract, surrealist narrative: a young woman retreats into her subconscious sanctuary to escape the impending fate of a worldwide cataclysm. Drifting between a dark limbo and tranquil forests, she discovers that her real world fears are seeping into her sanctuary, manifesting themselves in frightening ways.


More on the film

Wisconsin Film Festival, Headwaters Film Festival, Azores Fringe Festival, Beloit International Film Festival, Milwaukee Short Film Festival and Hamilton Film Festival. It was also available for viewing in the 2015 Cannes Short Film Corner.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 Films: Here's Jane

Here's Jane by JoLane Lentz & Bobby Hewitt
Los Angeles (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 13 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 8pm JURIED


Here's Jane, a free spirit in her mid thirties, working in the mall as a salesgirl at Forever 21. Tightly gripping onto her youth while lying to her 22 year old boyfriend about her age. She shares a one room dumpy apartment in a shady neighborhood of East Los Angeles with her uptight and controlling best friend Heather. Who's also in her mid thirties, working at Hooters while in in her 9th year of Community College.

Once again they're about to be evicted when Jane comes up with scheming plan on how to become instant millionaires. Just when they think their problems are over, a fiasco ensues involving two crooked cops, an enterprising drug dealer and their creepy landlord, 'Hitler'. As usual leaving Heather tangled in a huge misunderstanding on the wrong end of another one of Jane's crazy hair brain ideas. 
A hilarious cast of colorful characters taking you on an over
the top comedic thrill ride.






Director Statement:

Film-making is my passion and I enjoyed the entire process of creating Here’s Jane. From conception of the idea, to writing the script and casting the roles, to the actual process of filming. I grew up watching “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson in my Grandparents living room and knew from a very young age that I wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry making people laugh. I began my career as an Actress playing a number of different roles, but always held a divine interest for comedy. I quickly realized that comedic roles for women were not easy to come by, so I decided to write something for myself and In 2014 I created Here’s Jane. I always knew that I would end up Directing one day, because of my creative eye and my experience as a Producer, so when I finished writing Here’s Jane, I knew that I was the best person to Direct it. Being my first Directorial project, as well as playing the lead character, I knew I would need another set of eyes while I was on the opposite side of the camera. I asked my good friend, Bobby Hewitt, to help Co-Direct. Bobby and I have been friends for many years and have worked on a few projects together, making me confident that he would be the perfect fit to help carry out my creative vision. With his years of experience as a Director of Photography, Here’s Jane turned out better than I had envisioned.

Director Bio:

JoLane Lentz is an American Actress, Host and Producer. She is the creator, writer, producer, director and lead actress of the original short comedic film Here's Jane.

Lentz began her career as an actress in film, working in a number of films from independent to big budget studio productions. She's had the pleasure of working alongside such notable academy award winning actors as; Halle Berry, Robert Downey and TIm Roth. In television, she's guest starred on several episodic TV series including "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and a recurring role on a daytime drama. She's also been in a number of web series productions including being a series regular on the hit FUNNY OR DIE series, "Hopeless Virgins In Love" and Guest starring on "Here And Now" with Judd Nelson. JoLane is also a seasoned Host and Producer has worked in both radio and the internet. She was the daily Co-Host of Playboy Radio's "The Morning Show" hosting over 200 funny news segments as well as Producing and Co-Hosting Sharp Radio's "The Ben Pratt Show, both on Sirius Satellite Radio. In addition she's also Hosted/Prodcued numerous lifestyle and entertainment web series including, "Green Health Live", 'The Dog Show", "Pub & Grub" and "For The Health Of it".

Here's Jane is Lentz's directorial debut and is working on developing it into a multi-episodic series.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 Pace-setter Honoree: Jared Stepp

Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Jared is pleased to call Milwaukee home again. He has participated in the Milwaukee 48 Hour Film Project in 2008, 2009, and 2010 as a producer and director with his team Ideogram Films. In 2010 Ideogram Films took home 9 awards including Best Film in the Milwaukee 48 Hour Film Project. Jared has also participated in the same capacity in the 48 Hour Film Projects of Austin in 2010 and Chicago in 2012.

After moving back to Milwaukee from Austin, TX in 2013 Jared accepted the position as the Milwaukee Producer of the 48 Hour Film Project. Since then the project has experience a resurgence with 2014 being the project's most successful outing having a record breaking number of film entries and screening attendees. Prior to his 48 Hour Film Project successes, Jared had two of his short films make their world premiere at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival: "Go Fish" in 2011, and "Nostalgia" in 2012.

For more information on Jared please navigate to:


NEW PROGRAM! Voices Heard! Local Multicultural Filmmaker Showcase

(Milwaukee) The Milwaukee Independent Film Society (MIFS) is proud to announce a new component to our signature event, The Milwaukee Short Film Festival (MSFF).

Voices Heard! A Local Multicultural Filmmaker Showcase is a program that MSFF will co-ordinate with local filmmaker and educator, Rubin Whitmore II. Rubin will also serve as curator for Voices Heard! This program is an effort to bring awareness to our great community of local multicutural filmmakers.

“This will be the first program of its kind in Milwaukee. The focus is solely on local minority filmmakers and it gives those filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work before an audience.” Says Ross Bigley, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Short Film Festival. 

“This is what our film festival is about, to shine a light on emerging artists and local filmmakers” Celebrate their work with us on Opening Night of the Milwaukee Short Film Festival,  Friday September 11th, as these filmmakers exercise their freedom of expression and artistic voices.

For questions email us at:

Rubin Whitmore II, curator:

Rubin was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a self-acknowledged public school kid. As an award winning filmmaker with over one hundred film projects, ranging from feature length documentaries to short format music videos. He grew up straddling the urban/suburban diversity of Milwaukee’s deep northwest side, which by the age of 13 inspired him to create a bunch of video shorts in various genres from suspense to westerns and sci-fi. Rubin believes in artistic freedom and shuns imposed censorship yet believes that media holds significant influence over the minds of many and hopes to encourage people to pursue their aspirations in media while molding media more responsibly. Active in the community he regularly works with at risk youth and the future mediamakers of tomorrow. While Rubin actively makes media, he is also is a media instructor and is completing his Masters of Fine Art in Digital Cinema at National University in California. If you ask him what he really does for a living he often says, raising his daughter, Nile.

2015 Films: The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors by Anthony Wood & Claudia Looze
Highland, WI (MKE Premiere)
Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 12th 6pm


Devil-may-care gadabout W.B. Pennywinkle tries his hand at camping. A real "fish out of water" tale made for the Madison 2014 48 Hour Film Festival.

Anthony Wood won "Best Wisconsin Film" with Patrick Holland for the short film, Baden Krunk at our 2011 Festival.


Directors: Anthony Wood & Claudia Looze

Starting their creative collaboration over 25 years ago, Mr. Wood and Ms. Looze have just about got it down.