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.

2019 Wisconsin's Own Films: Grandpa's Getaways

Grandpa's Getaways by Kristin Holodak
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 13 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 6th 6:45pm

A story of love and memory. Will has always been the hero of his own stories in spite of the fact that no one believes him. How much of it is true? And how much does it really matter?

Director's Bio:

Kristin Holodak has been drawn to image making ever since she was a child and begged her dad to let her hold the family camera while on vacation and then snuck a picture after being explicitly told not to touch any of the buttons. After completing an MFA in film production, she is now an assistant professor in digital media at Marquette University, helping the next generation find their voices as filmmakers.

Director's Statement:

I first started writing this story after driving down a two lane, no passing highway where the speed limit is 50, most people do 70, and someone two cars ahead of me was doing 25. When I finally got a chance to pass I saw a 1970s wood panel station wagon with a plastic taxi sign stuck to the top being driven by a really old guy hunched behind the wheel with an equally aged gal in the passenger seat. And I thought, Grandpa in his getaway taxi, where are they coming from and where are they going? So I gave them a story and here it is.

2019 Drama Films: Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru by Lauren Simpson
Los Angeles, CA (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 11 minutes
Screening Time: Sat, Sept 7th 6:45pm

Andi is super into Ben – they’re two months into a new relationship and connecting on every possible level. One night, on their way back to his apartment to hang, Ben abruptly turns into a fast food drive-thru, where he takes the opportunity to get something important off his chest. Caught off guard, Andi has to make a difficult decision.


Director's Bio:

Lauren is a Los Angeles based producer and writer whose credits span music video, commercial, narrative and virtual reality formats.

In 2016 she partnered with Google's then principal filmmaker for VR, Jessica Brillhart, and produced BEETHOVEN'S FIFTH, a VR collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and NASA JPL that won Best Music VR Experience at Raindance Film Festival 2017 and screened at the SXSW Conference 2018.

In late 2017, Lauren joined Amazon Studios, where she currently produces bonus content experiences for Prime Original series and movies. In Early 2018, she produced the short film SWEET MERCY for director and Nicholl Fellowship winner Michele Atkins, which was an Official Selection at SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2018 and won Best International Short film at Overcome Film Festival 2018.

DRIVE-THRU is Lauren's directorial debut.

Director's Statement:

When I read the screenplay for DRIVE-THRU I was struck by the authenticity of the story. My friend Haley has always self-identified as confident, direct and assertive but, in writing this short film, she decided to mine a part of herself that only comes to the fore in romantic relationships.

DRIVE-THRU explores Haley’s real-life tendency to take the path of least resistance and “play it cool” in moments when she’s been undervalued by her partner. Recognizing the universality of this particular narrative gave her the confidence to write a very personal film, and her collaboration with Taylor Miller yielded a piece that tells a poignant, uncomfortable truth.

The story is essentially one scene, unfolding in a confined space, but its three acts, relatable protagonist and compelling antagonist were obvious to me on the page. I had a crystal clear image of the tone and visual style that would bring the script to life. This is why, after years of supporting filmmakers as a producer, I felt compelled to take the reins and step into the director role for the first time.

DRIVE-THRU asks a specific question: 'When vulnerability is seen as a weakness, can you muster the courage to be honest about your pain?' While the set-up almost conjures romantic comedy conventions, the film’s ending forces the viewer to confront a disappointing reality that I think will be hauntingly familiar to audiences everywhere.

2019 Voices Heard Films: Broken Box

Broken Box by Ricardo Tenorio
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 4 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 6th 9pm

A surreal struggle that a boy has with his box.


Director's Bio:

From the beginning, Ricardo's love for film has been a huge part of his life. Self-teaching himself filmmaking skills from a very early age, he has evolved through the years and now has his own film crew and production company "AnimationOverloadStudios". Even with award-winning films under his belt Ricardo always seeks to expand his dream by growing in the industry.

2019 Voices Heard Films: Talia

Talia by Danny Villanueva Jr.
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 8 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 6th 9pm

A troubled young woman attempts to emotionally respond to devastating news.





Director's Bio:

Danny Villanueva Jr. is a Mexican-American film writer/director born on April 6, 1989, in Chicago, IL. He studied Digital Filmmaking/Video Production at the Art Institute of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. In 2012, he launched a horror-themed web channel, How Bizarre, which featured segments such as short films, mini-documentaries on destinations with eerie or haunted history, and bite-sized horror themed cartoons. Danny is currently in production on his first feature-length film, a supernatural drama/horror anthology which is expected for a 2019 release under How Bizarre Pictures.

Director's Statement:

Talia is me experimenting with a meditative style of cinema that isn't often seen in American film. This short is a character observation about a troubled young woman attempting to emotionally respond to devastating news. I wanted to tell a story in the most simplified way without forcing the audience to feel certain emotions, but rather present the film in a manner that lets them decide how to feel on their own. Let's be a fly on the wall and just observe Talia for 7 minutes.

2019 Voices Heard Films: The Lion and The Gecko

The Lion and The Gecko by Chloe Collins
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 6th 9pm

A boy's strong bond and dedication to his brotherly duties create an emotional gap from his father. Through this complicated family dynamic, they work to overcome their shortcomings while still hanging onto what's been lost.




Director's Bio:

I'm a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I studied film, photography, and advertising throughout my schooling, which I finished in 3.5 years. I share this to show that I am a determined, driven soul who will do whatever it takes to conquer a goal.

I have always loved storytelling through imagery and movement. I have a dance background as well and hope to one day be able to combine the two mediums of film and dance.

Director's Statement:

The Lion and The Gecko was inspired by a new friendship that I formed during a personal hardship in life. The animals represent the individual characteristics we possess within our friendship as well as the youthful spirit that lives throughout us. The story itself was based on true-life events that a former boss experienced, and it has inspired me since. Originally, this film was supposed to be a psychological thriller, however, I felt there were too many important elements that were getting lost. As perusal, we faced many challenges and setbacks in the process of making this film, yet it led to great learning opportunities and lessons for the future. I lucked out with my team and I am so grateful to have worked with every member and person involved.