Monday, September 9, 2019

2019 Festival Winners!

This has been another extraordinary year, thank you filmmakers, you make us a better film festival. 

I want to thank those that helped make this past weekend a success, first to the Fox Bay Cinema Grill for giving us home, and we'll be there next September as well. The Voices Heard committee, LaRheatra Re-Ree ColeVan Campbell, and Nelson Tony Oliveras, Voices Heard is changing into more of a cultural event and expanding in ways we didn't imagine 5 years ago. And I also want to thank A-tone Bishop for partnering with Voices Heard and bringing in poets, Kerric Stephens and Adwoa Asentu. We have an idea of a more collaborative project next year that we'll announce soon. 

Also Stacy Scherer Callies who has done our program for 9 years, she does a fantastic job putting everything together and handling last minute changes as well, plus I want to tank Whitney Salgado our poster artist for the past three years, and next year. This year we experimented with her selling her art work in the lobby and she made enough sales to make it possible that we'll do it again next year. 

We need to thank our volunteers, Stephanie Sager, Jeff HolubJulia Teeguarden and April Jordan, and Glen Popple for his hard work being the content manager. Our photographer, Kathryn Wash, our MC's Moe Pull and Anieya Jasline Walker, also Robert Arthur for spearheading the panel on Entertainment law and getting Peter Strand and Bryan Kroes to join in and making it an informative discussion. 

Thanks to our judges, Jozef K. RichardsSuzanne JurvaLance MillerTracey Bea ThomasA-tone BishopNatasha NafriniPaulina Bugembe and Temeceka CeCe Harris who did an impossible job scoring all the films, and to William Quirmbach who has been with the festival for 10 years. His help running the ticket sales makes this event go smoothly. Thank you all again, now to start next year's festival.

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 Festival Judge: Lance Miller

Unlike many at Plum Media, Lance comes from an independent film background as opposed to a journalistic one. This has given him a unique perspective on how to find the emotion in a client’s story. Prior to his success at Plum, his proudest accomplishment was writing a national spot for Northwestern Mutual in support of the NCAA.

Above all, he enjoys making humorous videos for clients as comedy can easily solve so many of the challenges clients face.

Lance loves the movies. He really loves them. Trust us, he’s a walking IMDB. Go ahead… test him. When not providing clients with what he calls “video excellence,” Lance also enjoys mid-century design, sci-fi memorabilia and crafting screenplays.

Friday, July 26, 2019

2019 Festival Judge: A-tone Bishop

Antonio “A-tone Bishop” Perkins started out as a Gospel/R&B singer/song writer & spoken word artists from Milwaukee WI; having performed at Milwaukee's largest African American Culture celebration, African World Festival 5 years in a row, 2005-2009 on multiple stages

In 2005, Began organizing Milwaukee communities against violence and encouraging youth communities to vote. An expert in rallying families together, creating programs, events, and educational experiences, with well over 10 years of experience

He has worked as a community organizer, promotional model, brand ambassador, public speaker/figure, organization development director; skills that he shares with youth, residents, & aspiring professionals to ensure they too, can reach their goals in their lives.

Through his expertise in marketing, advertising, networking, event planning, & relationship building skills, A-tone has organized and co-hosted Milwaukee's most successful open mic, spoken word events during the 2016- 2019 years. 

Advanced Tickets for 21st Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Purchase Tickets:
To buy advance tickets we set up these Paypal options. We use paypal to avoid adding extra surcharges and fees that Event Brite employs. This keeps our tickets at $10

First: Use Firefox rather than Windows Internet Explorer. We find that Windows gets twitchy when using Paypal.

Second: Tickets will be tracked and held at the door. 

We will not mail tickets
It is will call.

When going to your preferred show specify at the door the name in which the tickets were purchased under, the show (Fri 6:45pm, Sat 4:30pm , etc), the number of tickets bought and please bring your confirmation email as well.

Third: Be sure that you pick the right block of films. Tickets will be sold singly, pairs, and sets of up to ten. If you need more than ten you will have to go back in and purchase more. There will be tickets sold at the door as well.

Fourth: There are no credit card purchases on site, cash only sales. Lack of wifi in the venue hinders that. ATM's are within walking distance to the venue.

Finally: Fox Bay Cinema has plenty of available parking near them and behind them. They also have food and drinks. Also, we suggest that our film selection is suitable for those 16 and up. Please keep that in mind.

 Sorry no refunds.

For the 9pm shows, please show up on time. 

The Kitchen closes 30 minutes after that show begins.

Fri. Session 1: (6:45pm) OPENING NIGHT EVENT!! Juried Part 1

Sac de Merde by Greg Chwerchak, A Short: Audition by T.C. De Witt, Era of Sierra by Mallory Winkler, Grandpa's Getaways by Kristin Holodak, Eat at Joe's by Benjamin A. Eisner, Hunks by Katie Kapuza, ONTEM (BEFORE TODAY) by Thiago Kistenmacker, Expend by Bismark Fernandes, Flip The Record by Marie Jamora and our Pace-setter awarded to Casey T. Malone

DOOR SALES ONLY BEGINNING AT 6PM on Sept 6th. Door Sales will stop for this show at 7pm. Cash only


The Lion and The Gecko by Chloe Collins, The Dream Machine by Sergio Torres, Red Thread by Yijun Pan & Anh Vo, ​Broken Box by Ricardo Tenorio, Talia by Danny Villanueva Jr., R3peat by Anthony J Montoya, Charlie and the Empty Factories by J. Anthony Ramos, Survivor's Guide of a Newspaper Carrier by Klifford Barkus, Love, Mom by Michael Villalobos, Black Lives Matter: A Short Experimental Film by Rosella Joseph

DOOR SALES ONLY BEGINNING AT 6PM. Door sales will stop for this show at 9:15pm. The Kitchen will close at 9:30. Cash only.

Sat. Session 3: (4:30pm) Tickets sales on Sept 7th begin at 4:30pm

911 by Alison Guessou & Justin Christopher Ayd, Reality Check by Noah Meister, Jimmie O'Brien's Masterclass by Paul Boese, Fundamentals of Art by Kyle Gustafson, Nemesis by Behzad Jafarimazhab Haghighi, Shattered by Suyoung Jang, ​Sentiments by Elliot Hatch, Flesh & Blood by Neil Brookshire, Midwestern by Rebecca Joelson, Waterflip by Nina Anin,Epiphany by Artie Terry, Duck Duck Goose by Shelley Thompson, Oh Baby! by Meghann Artes

DOOR SALES ONLY BEGINNING AT 6PM on Sept 6th. Door Sales will stop for this show at 4:45pm. Cash only.


Sat Session 4: (6:45pm) Juried Part 2

We Were Hardly More Than Children by Cecelia Condit, Pride Prom by Robyn Di Giacinto, Snapshots by Phoebe Barran, Lliana Bird, Mime Sublime by Julia Smith, Winter Cranes by Joseph V. Brown, Deer Lights by Brian Klewin, Drive-Thru by Lauren Simpson, The Artist by Craig A. Knitt, Aquarium byHannah Hamalian, Mascot by Leeha Kim

DOOR SALES ONLY BEGINNING AT 6PM on Sept 6th. Door Sales will stop for this show at 7pm. Cash only

DOOR SALES ONLY BEGINNING AT 6PM on Sept 6th. Door sales will stop for this show at 9:15pm. The Kitchen will close at 9:30. Cash only. 

Remember tickets will not be mailed, bring your email notification, and enjoy the show!

2019 Festival Judge: Suzanne Jurva

Suzanne created the research department at DreamWorks SKG and was a feature film development executive supervising many Academy Award nominated and winning films including: “Saving Private Ryan”, “Amistad”, “Minority Report”, “Gladiator”, “Prince of Egypt”, “Lincoln”, and others. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and narrative feature producer. Her credits include Pet Names” (SxSW 2018 premiere), “Yoopera!” (PBS), “The Fabulous Ice Age” (Netflix), and “Changing Keys: Billy McLaughlin & the Mysteries of Dystonia” (PBS). 

Her work has been seen on The Weather Channel, NBC, NBC News, PBS, MTV, FOX, BBC, Showtime, and at The Library of Congress. Until recently she served as the director of the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance, the membership advocacy group that represents Wisconsin film industry.

2019 Festival Judge: Tracey Thomas

Tracey Thomas is a filmmaker/director based in Milwaukee, WI. She has recently completed her first film, My First and Last Film. She began this project with her boyfriend 6 yrs. ago, when she turned 60. His illness and subsequent death put the film on hold for awhile. In the last 2 years she garnered her strength and courage, and with the help of a brand new crew, finished the she promised him she would. It is a documentary about reaching the milestone age of 60. She interviewed over a dozen women and men, gathering insight on what it feels like to be 60, reflecting on the past, making the film without her boyfriend, and contemplating what's next. Tracey has lived in Wisconsin her entire life. Volunteering is in her blood, having supported many local organizations and charities, including The WI Humane Society, Pets Helping People, Milwaukee Film, 91.7/WMSE, The Salvation Army and Medusa Monologues. She supports the local film, music and art scene, loves yoga retreats, and gives when she can to friends' film and artistic projects. 

Her circle of strong female friends has been key in her personal growth as she 'traverses the trials and tribulations of life. As her film hints at, what IS next for Tracey? Stay tuned....

Thursday, July 25, 2019

2019 Festival Judge: Natasha Nafrini

Wife, mother, ENFJ and cat lover, Natasha is an avid lover of Arts & Entertainment. In her spare time, she volunteers for two nonprofit organizations in the greater Milwaukee area where she flexes her Professional Communications skills. She is also a Creative Writer, Actress and Recording Artist who enjoys reading Paulo Coelho novels.

2019 Festival Judge: Temeceka Shantanette Harris

Temeceka Shantanette Harris was born January 16, 1975 to Linda Harris and Eddie Moore in Mound Bayou Mississippi. At a very young age she moved to Kenosha Wisconsin with her mother. Later in life she became a single mother to five beautiful children. At round the age of 20 she pursued her passion in acting. She has been in several plays, films, commercials, and TV shows. She had recently made her acting debut on NBC's Chicago PD and Showtime's  The CHI. She is currently working on two projects.. She hasn’t let anything or anyone stop her in pursuing her career in acting. She is grinding now more than ever. She wants to thank God for her God given gift!With him none of this would be possible.She would also like to thank her children and her family for their support and patience. When she is not in front of the camera,she enjoys spending time with her grand baby, going to church, writing and directing plays,and simply enjoying life

2019 Festival Judge: Paulina Bugembe

Paulina Bugembe is a writer, director, and working actress, who uses all aspects of her craft to share her own unique vision of the world through a lens and on screen. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she also calls Tokyo, Honolulu, and now Los Angeles "home".

She has written and directed nine short films with her most recent, The Homecoming, screening at noteworthy film festivals such as Austin Film Festival, Pan-African Film Festival, and Milwaukee Film Festival. The Homecoming also won awards including Best Student Film at the 2016 BronzeLens festival in Atlanta, Best Film - Voices Heard at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival, Georgia, and Best Foreign Film at the Chinese Universities Student Film and Television Festival in Hong Kong.

Paulina has appeared on television shows such as Scandal on ABC, The Good Place on NBC, and on the upcoming final season of Love on Netflix. She currently recurs as Detective Valerie Spencer on General Hospital on ABC.

In 2016, she graduated from Chapman University with an MFA in Film Directing and completed a two-year acting conservatory course at the Joanne Baron/DW Brown Studio in Santa Monica. She is currently attending the Identity School of Acting in Los Angeles while developing her first feature film.

Monday, July 22, 2019

2019 Festival Judge: Jozef K. Richards

Jozef K. Richards (born July 9, 1989) is an American film director, actor, screenwriter, and producer. He founded King's Tower Productions, which controls numerous other entertainment-based companies and primarily distributes media through Vimeo, Amazon, and YouTube.

Jozef K. Richards is the founder and owner of King's Tower Productions and the writer and director of the 2011 film, The Amateur Monster Movie; the 2013 film, The Wayward Sun; and the 2014 short film, "Un Jardín Adentro de La Violencia".

Since 2015, Richards has produced and starred in the satirical Amazon series, "Holy Shit", which takes aim at religious dogma, its lack of credibility, and pokes fun at the lesser-known absurdities of The Bible and similar religious texts, including many of those taken literally by some sects of the Christian faith. The show often features skits with atheists cholars and celebrity guests, which have included comedian Paul Provenza, theologian Robert M. Price, historian Richard Carrier, actress Heather Henderson, author David Fitzgerald, and American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Killah Priest.

In 2016, the teaser trailer for Richards' third feature film, Batman & Jesus, was unveiled and used as the lead-in video by members of the Wu-Tang Clan (GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, and DJ Mathematics) during their first ever performance at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. where they appeared as the headlining act for Reason Rally, one of the world's largest secular and religious skeptic gatherings. Richards' Batman & Jesus is an atheist-leaning documentary on the historicity of a Jesus of Nazareth that stars Provenza and features interviews with many who Richards worked with previously on "Holy Shit", including Price, Carrier, Fitzgerald, and Killah Priest, as well as activist and podcaster Aron Ra. The film premiered at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater on September 30, 2017 following Mythinformation Conference IV which featured a live debate on "The Future of Islam in the Age of Trump" between Asra Nomani and Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, who appears as an interviewee in Richards' film as well.

Beyond religious examination, Richards has also released several broader projects and series within the comedy genre, including the web-series "Friday Night Weekly" that ran for two seasons, traveling to Colombia, Egypt, and the UAE in that time. Richards starred as himself in "Friday Night Weekly" and was joined by co-hosts Matt Henry, a Milwaukee area comedian, and future WYMS Radio Milwaukee deejay Makenzie Boettcher. Satirist Reuben Glaser was featured as the special reporter, and Aaron Fronk, Vince DeGaetano, and Cooper Johnson of FND Films guest starred in one of the series' most viewed episodes, "FND for Vendetta". Richards also worked with fellow Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt of American Movie on his first film, The Amateur Monster Movie, which premiered at the Oriental Theatre on January 1, 2011 and was featured in the 2012 Wisconsin Film Festival with a double screening on 4/20 and 4/21.

Richards would later go on with Reuben Glaser, creator of 2012's "Little Face Mitt" meme, to create a widely covered segment at a political rally in Appleton, Wisconsin for then-candidate Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential Campaign where they managed to get into the press box alongside reporters from CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and others, despite the Trump campaign's rigid entrance requirements and Richards and Glaser's blatant lack of adequate credentials.

In 2018, Richards' fifth short film "Nicolas Cage Mother Mary" premiered at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival on September 8 where it won an Audience Favorite award. Richards was also featured on a filmmaker panel at the event discussing film in Wisconsin, hosted by Michael Viers of "The Shamelist Picture Show".

2019 Pace-setter Honoree: Casey T. Malone

Photo Credit Casey Yoshida.
Casey T. Malone has been knocking around the film and TV world for over 20 years as both an award-winning filmmaker and former teacher of the video arts. His work is often described as a genre unto itself combining various elements and influences as eclectic as the history of cinema overall. His career began working in post-production on a variety of shows for Discovery Channel and PBS before, teaching, and eventually moving on to produce video and animations for various corporate clients. 

His short films have shown all over the world, and his recent short-form documentary “Dead Man’s Carnival: A Conversation with Pinkerton Xyloma,” about the Milwaukee-based artist and ringleader of the performance troupe Dead Man’s Carnival, premiered to a sold-out crowd at the Cream City’s celebrated Myramar Theatre before later embarking on a yearlong festival run ending at the Coney Island Film Festival where Pinkerton himself was invited to perform alongside the film at the historic Coney Island Sideshow. 

In April of 2018 his debut feature film “Lesser Beasts” made its world premiere at the infamous Chattanooga Film Festival. Along with producing, directing, and writing the film he also edited, composed the film’s score, and acted as cinematographer eventually leading to Film Threat magazine nominating his camera work for “Best Indie Cinematography” in their annual “Award This!” competition made up of films they believed were overlooked by the Academy. 

Never one to be still he is currently working on his second feature, “The Ringing Bell” along with a myriad of other smaller projects.

The Pace-setter will awarded at Fox Bay Cinema on September 6th, during the closing moments of our Opening Night selection of films. The event begins at 6:45pm.

Friday, July 19, 2019

2019 Voices Heard Films: Love, Mom

Love, Mom by Michael Villalobos
Racine (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 6 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 6th 9pm

In this unconventional "slice of life" film a mother and son live apart together in a small concrete home. Nico is challenged to accept what is left of his dwindling relationship between him and his mother.



Director's Bio:

Born and raised in Racine, WI I am now a film student at DePaul University exploring what it means to be a director. "Love, Mom" is the second short film I have directed and the most important film I've made to date.