Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Films: Do You Love Me?

Do You Love Me? by Michael Viers


Running Time: 12 minutes
Screening Time:TBA


A short film directed by Michael Viers about a couple slowly drifting apart from one another but who have trouble letting go as events turn violent. Michael's previous film, From The Darkness Theatre won Audience Favorite, Best Director and Best Actor at our festival in 2013. 




Director Biography
A man with an encyclopedic knowledge on horror film-making, Michael has directed short films and music videos, most notably FROM THE DARKNESS THEATRE and LOVE YOU STILL. Michael was a featured writer on the popular website Taste of Cinema providing insight into all manner of cinema topics.

2017 Films: Dead Man's Carnival: A Conversation With Pinkerton Xyloma

Dead Man's Carnival: A Conversation With Pinkerton Xyloma by Casey T. Malone
Running Time: 15 minutes
Screening Time: TBA 


Award-winning filmmaker, Casey T. Malone, turns his lens onto Milwaukee's performance collaborative and DIY punk rock circus, Dead Man's Carnival, to create a unique short documentary told through the philosophies and historical tales of Professor Pinkerton Xyloma, ringmaster of the carnival. The film stands as a testament and love letter to those artists who embody the DIY spirit to create something from nothing and a reminder that the world is not one thing.

Director Biography

Casey T. Malone has been knocking around the TV and film world for a number of years including working on shows for Discovery Channel and PBS. His work has also been seen by readers of Astronomy, Trains, and Discover Magazine. As an independent filmmaker he has several credits to his name including the award-winning "Modern Age Amour," "CLOK," "The Imprisonment of Henry Stoker," and "The Professor."

2017 Films: In America Red, White & Blood

In America Red, White & Blood by James Roufus
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time:TBA


In America there are as many guns as there are people... When the wrong people come in possession of those guns chaos ensues, and the saga continues. As our mental healthcare continues to be ignored and more guns are manufactured in America than ever, one has to wonder if we're just waiting for more bad news.

2017 Films: The Deer Queen

The Deer Queen by Brooke Thiele
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere) 
Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Juried, Sat Sept 9th 


We are in the deep Northwoods, where the powerful and fragile Deer Queen reigns. We see a small cabin, filled with trophies of the hunt. On the ground outside the cabin, there is a dead deer. A Hunter emerges from inside the deer. Her quarry is a seductive and dangerous Crane, whom she stalks (and pines for) because the Crane has the freedom to fly away.

Brooke Thiele is a 2016 Mary Nohl-award-winner. 

2017 Films: Rule of Threes

Rule of Threes by T.L. Quach
(Wisconsin Premiere) 
Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: TBA


Rule of Threes is a short film written and directed by T. L. Quach. It serves as a sample of feature length version of the story as it runs through the Film Festival Circuit. So far the film was given an Award of Merit for Women Filmmakers by the Accolade Global Film Competition.

In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of friends must decide who stays and who goes as a sacrifice after their resources are lost. The feature version delves more into the characters' psychologically thrilling, coming-of-age journey as they travel across country, challenging weather conditions and the threats of other survivors, in hopes of seeing their families back home.

T. L. Quach hopes to develop the film more in order for it to be produced after the Film Festival Circuit.


T. L. Quach


T. L. Quach has dedicated her life to entertain, inspire, and educate about the complexity of human behavior through filmmaking. She dives in writing and directing stories about normal people in extreme circumstances. As a child of Chinese-Vietnamese immigrants, Quach wants to provide a different lens in tribute to her family and also display a diverse perspective about humanity. Directing has always been her passion, and she is very excited to share her latest film, Rule of Threes, with the world.

Avalonne Hall

Working on Rule of Threes is Hall's first foray into producing film projects besides her own. There is something very liberating about producing someone else's vision. First you need to believe in the project and next you commit yourself to producing a great project. She has written and directed her own short film Shyness, which is currently in post-production. As she finishes off her own project, she wants to help others produce their films with passion and integrity.

Director Statement

As Walt Disney says, “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something, than educate people and hope they were entertained”, I strive to do the same but with psychological thrillers. I want to share my exploration of human behavior and challenge morale. Growing up as a child of refugees from Vietnam, I heard stories about a foreign world of desperation and poverty and how their environment had shaped their actions, perspectives of others, and decisions in their lives. For example, decisions like abandoning their home and jumping on an old dilapidated boat in hope to make it to a Hong Kong's refugee camp still seems crazy to me. With stories like these, it always kept me thinking about to what choices, to what limits, that normal people do under extreme circumstances. Whether it's positive or negative decisions, I want to put that complication onto film. Hence why I had written and directed narrative films about desperation, understanding of one another, and finding hope - including this one. 

While working in production, I remembered a prop sign on set where it states the "Rules of Threes" where: Humans cannot live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without shelter in extreme weather, 3 minutes without air, and 3 seconds without hope. I love the last line and had to write around it. The core value of survival is having the will to move on and I feel everyone needs to know that. 

I grown an interest in post

Friday, May 19, 2017

2017 Pace-setter Honorees

Stephen Milek and Christopher House

The Milwaukee Independent Film Society (MIFS) established the Pace-setter Award nine years ago to bestow upon persons that are dedicated to advancing filmmaking in Wisconsin. This year we honor the festival organizers of the Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Film Festival, Stephen Milek and Christopher House. Going into their third season they have provided a shot in the arm in the local film community, and far more importantly they uncovered and helped stop fraudulent festivals from scamming local filmmakers. 

Stephen Milek:

Steve is a lover of all movies from classic silent films to modern big budget action films. Growing up in New York watching films were a way to pass the time. While in pharmacy school in Boston his passion really grew and became more diverse. After moving to Milwaukee in 2001 he spent more time watching and learning about films. In 2010 he started his first blog where he watched every Oscar Best Picture winning film in chronological order. In 2012 he teamed up with Christopher House to start Milwaukee Movie Talk. It became a place for film fans not only from Milwaukee but around the world to discuss films while also highlighting films, filmmakers, and events from Milwaukee. After realizing there wasn’t a festival to cater to horror fans in Milwaukee Chris and Steve again teamed up to start the Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Film Festival in 2016. While not native to Milwaukee he has learned there is a lot going on in the Milwaukee film scene and wants to help it grow and become more known.
Christopher House:

A Milwaukee native, Chris is a film buff with an eclectic taste from horror to romantic comedy. From the big budget to indie films, he is a true cinephile. Chris co-founded the blog Milwaukee Movie Talk, one of the earliest film blogs in Milwaukee hoping to stir conversation in the film community. In 2015, Chris and partner Stephen Milek decided Milwaukee needed a genre film festival and the Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Film Festival was born. After a very successful 2 year run at the Underground Collaborative, the duo decided to move the fest to a new home and in 2018 will be at the Times Cinema in Milwaukee. When using online resources to solicit films, they found it was home to many scams and scam artists taking advantage of indie filmmakers who only want their films seen. They researched for over a year and a half the seedy side of the film fest industry and exposed some major scams, effectively shutting hem down in their tracks. Chris and Steve will continue to help educate film makers on this side of the film industry. The Twisted Dreams brand will continue to grow and, Chris hopes one day to see it and Milwaukee become a destination for fans and filmmakers alike.