MSFF

MSFF

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Anniversary Film: ThreeSixFive

ThreeSixFive by Ken Lawrence
Milwaukee
Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Friday September 7th 9pm
Drama 
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Maxine “Max” Collier goes out for her routine morning and normally peaceful jog. Not too long into her jog she gets into somewhat of a verbal altercation with a man and a woman who looks to be harassing another younger woman. Just as the man threatens Max an really good friend from Max's childhood comes to her rescue Jackson “Jack” Ripley as a good friend should, but later on Jackson reveals his true colors.

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Director's Bio:

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ken Lawrence grew up with a deep interest in film. At just 10 years old, he begged his single mother for a kid’s version of the Super 8 Camera for Christmas, and although it took everything she had, she supported her son’s dreams. Ken began filming his own shows with friends; turning every day into a drama, every funny moment into a comedy series. Years later, Ken joined the Plastering/Cement Masons Union to support his family but never forgot about his dreams. The failed economy brought Ken back to film. He is currently studying Motion Picture & Television at The Academy of Art University, has joined several local film groups, and works on a variety of local commercials and events throughout Wisconsin. Ken is also currently working on two web series’ and continues to write and turn his life into future films.






























Monday, June 25, 2018

Anniversary Film: Missed Connections

Missed Connections by Susan Kerns & Kara Mulrooney
Milwaukee
Running Time: 14 Minutes
Screening Time: Saturday September 8th 9pm Juried
Comedy/Romance
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Missed connections become connections made in this romantic comedy based on personal ads. Featuring Busby Berkeley-inspired dancers and a fanciful score from the tomorrows of yesterday, 'Missed Connections' transports viewers to a space where dreams of love come alive!

In the spaceship-shaped 1960s-era supper club 'The Gobbler,' outdoor superstore employee Sandals musters the nerve to ask lovely long-time customer Farmer to dance. Golden Fox reunites with Plant Manager, and this time, it's animal. Appletini, the irrepressible and oft inebriated red-head, captures the hearts and desires of not one, but two police officers. And a car accident turns into a love connection for opposites Car Crash and Hottie on a Bike.

IMDb



Directors' Bio:

Kara Mulrooney is an independent filmmaker, commercial producer and production designer from Milwaukee, WI. Mulrooney's "One Block Away" screened in the 2014 Cannes Film Festival's Short Film Corner, her short “An Evening at Angelo’s,” won the Cream City Cinema Jury Prize at its premiere, and her most recent film "jazzy@32 (a true story)" won the Golden Badger Award at its premiere.


In 2010 Mulrooney co-founded Gal Friday Films, a film producing partnership aimed at increasing the number of women in above-line positions, with filmmaker and Columbia Professor Susan Kerns. Mulrooney and Kerns also co-founded the FILM FURIES, a “gang of gals who make films or work behind camera in the film industry.”

Mulrooney’s documentary work centers on American cultures, trends, and characters, and she recently directed a pair of short films for 371 Productions and the John Michael Kohler Art Center. She is currently in post-production on the short documentary “American Salute” about an intensely patriotic original grade school musical. Mulrooney also played a lead role in the independent paranormal feature "The Field," coming Spring 2019. 


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Filmmaker Susan Kerns is an Assistant Professor of Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College Chicago, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Chicago Feminist Film Festival, and Co-Founder with Kara Mulrooney of Film Furies, a Milwaukee-based group that supports female, trans, and gender non-conforming filmmakers, as an extension of Gal Friday Films. She produced the documentary Manlife, which won the Audience Award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and wrote the screenplay for Little Red, which won Best Feature awards at the Berlin Independent, Canada International, Great Lakes, and Driftless film festivals. She also has produced or directed numerous award-winning short films, including Missed Connections. Formerly, she was Education Director at the Milwaukee Film Festival, and she has been on the jury of the Chicago International Film Festival, Diversity in Cannes, Cine Golden Eagle Awards, and the Nashville Film Festival, among others. She is also a published author, and her articles can be found in Nip/Tuck: Television that Gets Under Your Skin, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Comunicazioni Sociali, and Routledge’s forthcoming Handbook of Contemporary Feminism. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

2018 Films: Girl Eating Banana: Audition

Girl Eating Banana: Audition by Natasha Babenko
New York (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 6 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, September 8th 6:45pm Juried
Dark Comedy
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While a young woman is auditioning for the role “girl eating banana” the unexpected discovery within the banana pushes her psychological boundaries to the limits.

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Trailer


Director's Bio:

Natasha Babenko is a filmmaker based in NYC. After obtaining Master’s in French and English Interpretation and International PR, she chose to pursue her passion for filmmaking. Her first works successfully competed in the festivals around the world. She believes that human vulnerability can create a deep intimate connection among people especially when it is audaciously and intensively explored through the medium of film. She is currently in pre-production of her thesis film at New York University Tisch School of the Arts where for the last 3 years she was pursuing MFA in Film and Television. 
She likes sad films and dreams that are more real than reality.




Director's Statement:

This work is a metaphor for the absurdity and pain people experience on day to day basis from the people in power whose abuse unfortunately too often knows no limits.












Friday, June 22, 2018

Anniversary Film: Hero in Limbo

Hero in Limbo by Van Campbell
Milwaukee
Running Time: 9 minutes
Screening Time: Friday September 7th 9pm
African American/ Experimental/ Drama 
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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.

Director's Bio:




Van Campbell II, winner of "Best Wisconsin Film" at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival in 2013 for Mason Jelly Jar, and in 2015 for Hero in Limbo.




















Monday, June 18, 2018

2018 Films: Every Ghost Has An Orchestra

Every Ghost Has An Orchestra by Shayna Connelly
Chicago (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Satueday, September 8th 9pm Juried
Documentary 

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Truth hides in the margins and the artist’s role is to point to it. The question of what happens after we die is a universal question explored by paranormal researcher and experimental composer Michael Esposito. He straddles the line between spiritual and material and asks the audience to reflect on our purpose, legacy and what our actions say about who we are.

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Director's Bio:






Shayna Connelly’s work explores hauntings, liminality and the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Her films have screened at Sunderland Shorts, Toronto Short Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary, San Francisco Doc, CIMMfest, Chicago Feminist, Stranger Without a Face, Big Muddy, Columbus International, Breckenridge, Charlotte International, Crossroads, Chicago Underground, Sydney Underground, San Diego Underground, Oak Cliff, Brooklyn Film Festival, Bushwick Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens International among others. Newcity Magazine named her one of Chicago's 50 Screen Gems of 2016. 






Director's Statement:
In 2013 my husband Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks) recorded vocals for experimental composer Michael Esposito. In talking to me about Michael’s work, Chris used the terms ‘paranormal researcher’ and ‘composer’ interchangeably, which piqued my interest.
Ghosts and ghost stories fascinated me as a kid. And this ghost-lover grew up to be a music collector – the obsessions linked by mystery and a sense of awe of something greater than myself. It wasn’t until I started talking to Michael that this connection became apparent. What makes him stand apart from other paranormal researchers is that he goes beyond trying to gather proof of an afterlife and integrates his EVP findings into art. Research into physics, principles of recording and communication theory is also crucial to his process but his creative work communicates a fundamental truth about life and creativity that is difficult to express through words.
In terms of process I identify with Michael's struggle between the ethereal and concrete. At the time I was interviewing him I was haunted by the death of two close friends, the impact of which I was exploring in other films ('Gardening At Night' and 'Yours Is Not the Taj Mahal'). My work has always existed along the boundaries of experimental, fiction and documentary. To me truth exists at the margins, where edges blur and converge and where ambiguity reigns. Truth is elusive. Truth and belief are also often mixed together but as the Dadaists showed, collisions arising from ‘accidental context’ cause the truth to emerge. This is the idea underscoring 'Every Ghost Has An Orchestra'.

Filmography as Writer/Director: 
Bananas Girl, ca. 7 minutes, Experimental Documentary, 2018 (WIP)
Artist Statement, 6 minutes, Experimental Documentary, 2018 (WIP)
Fucked Up Point Blank, ca. 3 minutes, Found Footage Experimental Film, 2018 (WIP)
Quiver, 13:41 minutes, Narrative, 2018
Take Care of Me, 3:50 minutes, Documentary, 2017
Seven Lies, Seven Days, Seven Lovers, 3 minutes, Music Video, 2017
Every Ghost Has an Orchestra, 7 minutes, Documentary, 2017
Yours Is Not the Taj Mahal, 4 minutes, Experimental Documentary, 2017
Gardening at Night, 12:24 minutes, Narrative, 2016

Mistreated and Wild, 5 minutes, Music Video, 2016
signals: where do we go from here?, 5 minutes, Experimental, 2015
Blunt Force Trauma, 7 minutes, Experimental Documentary, 2014
Wait for Amateur, 2:21 minutes, Music Video, 2011


Additional Filmography
2nd Unit Director/Producer, Industrial Accident: The WaxTrax! Records Story, 100 minutes, feature documentary, 2018
Producer, Ten More, Narrative Short, 11 minutes
Producer, Stage Three, Comedy Short, 28 minutes

















2018 Films: Cross My Heart

Cross My Heart by Alex Langosch
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Friday September 7th 6:45 JURIED
Drama/Action/Thriller.

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Filmed almost entirely without showing faces, Cross My Heart follows the story of a girl looking to save her mother, who is in need of a heart transplant. With time running out, and everyone seemingly against her, she must take matters into her own hands to find the heart.

Press

Director's Bio:















Alex Langosch is a Junior at Marquette University studying Digital Media. His first short film, Cross My Heart, went on to win Marquette's annual student film festival. Alex also works at his school's television station as an Assistant Production Director.


Director's Statement:

I love taking on challenges when making a film. Cross My Heart probably offered the biggest challenge yet. With the decision to not show faces until the very end, it was hard to convey emotion through body language. A lot of hard work was put into the project, and I couldn't have done it without my amazing crew. I believe we have made something special, and I hope you enjoy the film as much as I enjoyed making it.















Sunday, June 17, 2018

Anniversary Film: 3 daYs

3 daYs by Chris Marks and Gilly Petrovic
Wauwatosa, WI

Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday September 8th 4:30pm

Drama/Comedy
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Debauchery and happenstance conspire to manifest an accidental hero trapped in a history doomed to repeat itself.

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Director's Bio:

Like many directors and filmmakers, my passion for film started at an early age when my dad let me play around with his Kodak Super 8 Movie Camera back in the late 70s and early 80s. In the summer I would buy a couple cartridges of color reversal super 8 film and get neighborhood kids together to make movies. I had a light meter, photo floods and light bar, and a reel to reel viewer to cut the film. I experimented with in camera effects and stop motion animation. When the films were done I would set up a "movie theater" in my parents basement and project the films.

In High School my extracurricular focus was in theater/stage crew, where the main disciplines for me were lighting and sound. During that time I was able to work with professional theater technical directors. I learned to appreciate the importance of how lighting is used to create a mood and help tell the story.

As an adult, I decided to pursue a degree in Film. In 1996, while in school at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM), I began to network with the professional film community in Milwaukee and Chicago. I started working on commercials as a PA while I was still in school. Soon after I connected with a gaffer and began work as a grip and electrician. My passion for lighting from the theater and my love of film came together and I realized there was an opportunity to make a living in G & E. By the time I graduated with my BFA in Film from UWM in 1998, I was working regularly as a freelance grip and electrician.

Upon graduation, I found myself buried in student loan debt and the need to work outweighed my passion and the financial means to make films. I was content earning a living in an industry that I enjoyed and I worked my way up to gaffer. Life started to happen; wife, house, kids, ect. Before I knew it 20 years had gone by since I had made a film. Fast forward to the present and my good friend of over a quarter of a century, Gilly Petrovic, pitches me a great idea for a film that had to be made. Armed with my past knowledge of filmmaking, 20 years of developing professional relationships in the industry and the greater accessibility of digital/HD equipment ‘3 daYs’ became a reality. With a shoestring budget of $5000 I called in all my favors to secure a professional crew working with professional gear to get my first film in 20 years completed. I do not plan on letting another two decades pass before another project. 



Screenings:

Wisconsin Film Festival
Madison, WI
United States
April 15, 2016
Madison Premiere


Milwaukee Short Film Festival
Milwaukee, WI
Sept 9th, 2016
Winner: Best Cinematography









2018 Films: Maggot Brain or The Reincarnation of Willie Hud

Maggot Brain or The Reincarnation of Willie Hud by James J Roufus
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 8 minutes
Screening Time: Friday September 7th 6:45pm JURIED
Drama/Psychological Thriller 
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Deep in the heart of Texas, a man betrays his brother for a key. But when his brother comes back to seek revenge in the after life, it sends them both on the same path for eternity, seeking what the key unlocks. Is death the end? Or is it just a revival of your very being?


Director's Bio:



The founder and master mind of ¡Dios Mios! Production LLC. Has been creating and brainstorming stories since he was filming with his friends at a young age of 13. His love of film and the art behind telling a story is his motivation to help build and better this generation’s writers and directors. ¡Dios Mios! Production LLC first film, "It's Cold Up North", was premiered at the Milwaukee Film Festival in 2015.


















2018 Voices Heard: Last Resort

Last Resort by Klifford Barkus
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 15 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 7th 9pm
Drama/African American

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After a recent breakdown, Luke, a social outcast finds himself having a difficult time getting his life back on track.

While being misguided by isolation and taunted by previous events, Luke ultimately decides whether or not his road to recovery is worth the journey - and his time.

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Director's Bio:
Klifford Barkus, actor and film maker, was born in Philadelphia (raised in South Jersey). His short films vary from comedy to real life drama, all filmed in Wisconsin.

Kliff started out his performing career as a songwriter playing in various venues throughout the local Philly/Jersey independent circuit. After relocating to Wisconsin, he found his creative drive again and briefly returned to music, while also creating his own music videos. Kliff soon decided to create his own short films for acting exposure after getting shutdown and getting no responses from talent agencies. Along the way, he discovered a newfound love for film making during his first short film, Laundry Day, filmed late 2016 and has been busy ever since.

Kliff is returning to the Milwaukee Short Film Festival for the second year in a row with his first drama Last Resort, a short film that tells a story of a loner toying with the idea of suicide. Kliff is currently filming a short comedy that focuses on the misadventures of a Wisconsin newspaper carrier.


Director's Statement:
I chose this particular topic because it is an original and unpopular topic but deserves to come out into the light. My mission is to share my work, my story, my experience with everyone who wishes to help raise the awareness. I wish to help those who feel like they don't have a voice to find the strength to speak up. I want to help those who feel like they're not loved, not listened to, or feel like they don't belong with rest of the world. Hopefully, this film can help those effected to relate to this story and find the inspiration to look forward to another day.

Everyone deserves a chance to enjoy life. No one should ever feel that their only solution is to throw that all away!

Keep on inspiring,

Kliff

















2018 Films: The Pleasures of the Glove

The Pleasures of the Glove by Duane Michals
New York (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 6 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, September 8th 4:30pm
Drama/Psychological/Experimental
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Obsession turns dreams into nightmares as a fetish haunts a young man's desires.

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Director's Bio:
Duane Michals (b. 1932, McKeesport, PA) is a photographer widely known for his work with series, multiple exposures, and text.
Michals first made significant, creative strides in the field of photography during the 1960s. In an era heavily influenced by photojournalism, Michals manipulated the medium to communicate narratives. The sequences, for which he is widely known, appropriate cinema’s frame-by-frame format. Michals has also incorporated text as a key component in his works. Rather than serving a didactic or explanatory function, his handwritten text adds another dimension to the images’ meaning and gives voice to Michals’s singular musings, which are poetic, tragic, and humorous, often all at once.
Over the past five decades, Michals’s work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, hosted Michals’s first solo exhibition (1970). More recently, he has had one-person shows at the Odakyu Museum, Tokyo (1999), and at the International Center of Photography, New York (2005). In 2008, Michals celebrated his 50th anniversary as a photographer with a retrospective exhibition at the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece and the Scavi Scaligeri in Verona, Italy.
In recognition of his contributions to photography, Michals has been honored with a CAPS Grant (1975), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1976), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Art (1989), the Foto EspaƱa International Award (2001), and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Mass. (2005).
Michals's work belongs to numerous permanent collections in the U.S. and abroad, including the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Michals's archive is housed at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
Monographs of Michals's work include Homage to Cavafy (1978); Nature of Desire (1989); Duane Michals: Now Becoming Then (1990); Salute, Walt Whitman (1996); The Essential Duane Michals (1997); Questions Without Answers (2001); The House I Once Called Home (2003) and Foto Follies / How Photography Lost Its Virginity on the Way to the Bank (2006). Forthcoming publications include 50 (Admira Photography, June 2008); a collection of Michals’s writing (Delpire Editeur, Fall 2008); and his Japanese-inspired, color photographs (Steidl, Fall 2008).

Michals received a BA from the University of Denver in 1953 and worked as a graphic designer until his involvement with photography deepened in the late 1950s. He currently lives and works in New York City.


















Friday, June 15, 2018

2018 Films: Marie

Marie by Katie Theel
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Friday September 7th 6:45pm JURIED
Drama/Psychological Thriller

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.When her whole world begins to distort before her eyes, Marie must figure out what is to blame and who she can trust - including herself.


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Director's Bio:


Katie Theel is a young filmmaker originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but currently based in Los Angeles.


Katie loves stories that combine realistic themes with elements of fantasy. Her goal as an artist is to provoke audiences to think about familiar issues in new ways.






















2018 Films: Hoan Alone

Hoan Alone by Aaron Johnson
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 9 minutes
Screening Time: Friday September 7th 6:45pm JURIED
Documentary/Animation

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.Milwaukee’s Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is the crown over Summerfest and has become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. But it’s also a popular site for suicides. This animated documentary explores the issues of the bridge and suicide through three intimate interviews. Follow animator, Aaron Johnson, as he shares the stories of Dave, John, and Mary.


Director's Bio:


After graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 1998, Aaron has gone on to a 20 year career in animation. Outside of his daytime professional work, Aaron has remained active in his independent filmmaking pursuits. Johnson has been recognized nationally for his independent animation including awards for animated television commercials.

















Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2018 Voices Heard: An Inconvenient Finis

An Inconvenient Finis by J. Anthony Ramos
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 11 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 7th 9pm
Drama/Latino.
 
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Sitting alone on a bench along the shore, a contemplating Henry is soon joined by a younger, silent Stranger, whom he proceeds to speak to about new methods vs old and timing vs death.


Director's Bio:



J. Anthony Ramos (known to everyone as "Tony") was born and raised in Southeastern Wisconsin. He's been an actor, but now finds himself writing and directing. His favorite genre is Science Fiction, but would like to write, direct, and collaborate on films of all kinds and genres, for many years to come.







Director's Statement:
"An Inconvenient Finis" was born off an observation I made one afternoon with my mom and uncle, both of them in their late seventies now. Their lack of use and inability to manipulate newer technology and the sadness on their faces upon hearing news of yet another friend passing on, inspired this film, along with my love for Westerns. I hope you enjoy it.