MSFF

MSFF

Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 Films: Two Minutes on High

Two Minutes on High by Amber Rose McNeill
Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 3 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
LGBTQ+/Feminist Cinema/Social Commentary

Get tickets here


"Two Minutes on High” challenges the deeply ingrained concepts of normative sexuality and traditional gender roles via a metaphoric exploration of the four phases of the sexual response cycle: desire, arousal, climax and resolution.

Desire and arousal take a more commercialized approach, commenting on the heteronormative sexual programming that is heavily reinforced by the consumption of mainstream cinema and online pornography; the two predominant mediums via which we frequently observe sex.

Climax and resolution explore the impact that power dynamics and gender roles have on the expression of sexuality and sexual practices within western culture. The introduction of sounds and images that bend and break these norms encourage the viewer to reconsider the effects that social conditioning and media consumption play in our perceptions and behavior surrounding sexuality and gender.





Director's Bio

Amber Rose McNeill is an Australian filmmaker based in Wisconsin whose work centers around gender roles, sexuality, abnormal psychology and violence. Her films frequently examine social attitudes towards these themes within media and culture through the use of satire, absurdism and experimental techniques. By utilizing found and existing footage Amber Rose is able to create transformative pieces of art that require the viewer to examine their existing beliefs and social behaviors, particularly as they pertain to the consumption of media and social norms.



Director Statement

I wanted to create a film that exposes the narrow view of sex that is cultivated by the categorization of sexual desires in the online digital world but then sprawled out to explore the nuances that exist within real life sexual behaviors. Through structuring the film around the four phases of the sexual response cycle: desire, arousal, climax, and resolution, I was able to break through the heteronormative sexual programming that we all consume in the form of pornography and cinema to take a more explorative look at the ways in which power dynamics and gender roles influence our expressions of sexuality and sexual practices. The film ultimately asks the viewer to reconsider the impact that this toxic and skewed sexual programming has on our attitudes and behaviors towards sex in both conceptual and practical applications.








2021 Films: Earful

Earful by T.C. De Witt
Milwaukee , WI (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
Screening Time: TBA
Comedy




A woman, with the help of her two friends, is ready to tell off her boss.

[REDACTED] combined their Milwaukee and LA talents to film Earful in January 2020, only months before COVID shut the world down. It was produced at the famous Cole's French Dip, in Los Angeles, which has been featured in dozens of Hollywood films and shows, including Forrest Gump and Mad Men. The concept for Earful was inspired by a friend of TC.'s who worked in a rather hostile environment. After a night of encouragement, she finally (almost) stood up for herself. Upon telling the tale, T.C. was given a blessing to make the situation into a short film. [REDACTED] believes in empowering those who feel beaten down by the world, and we hope this humor look at a serious issue amuses and uplifts those who can relate.


Director's Bio:





T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. While beginning his career on the stage as a playwright and stand-up, he eventually moved into screenwriting and film & television production and has been thriving for nearly a decade. His films have screened at numerous festivals around the world garnering many accolades both in the States and internationally. In May 2017, "Screen:Righter" a film he wrote and directed, screened at Festival de Cannes, France. He regularly offers his skills to several YouTube partners, Production studios in Los Angeles and the Midwest, and released his first feature "The Princess Knight" last year and is releasing his second feature "Sunset" next year.








Sunday, May 23, 2021

2021 Voices Heard Judge: Champ Robinson

Champ Robinson






Born in Milwaukee, WI, Brandon Robinson, widely known as Champ is a Los Angela’s based creative, who works as a Director, DP, and Editor. Champ is committed to creating platforms for bold voices and innovative practices through ethical filmmaking. Champ has proven to be well versed in various camera techniques, lighting, sound recording, and post production which is demonstrated in his first feature film, “The Workout Room”, staring Joe Torry and Tammy Townsend. With another feature film in the works, Champ is once again looking for new ways to diversify his interests with the launch of REDGRADE.TV
.







2021 Voices Heard Judge: Danny Villanueva Jr

Danny Villanueva Jr

Danny Villanueva Jr. is a Mexican-American screenwriter/director born on April 6, 1989, in Chicago, IL. He studied Digital Filmmaking/Video Production at the Art Institute of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. In 2012, he launched a horror-themed web channel, How Bizarre, which featured short films, mini documentaries and bite-sized cartoons. In 2017, the channel evolved into an independent film production company, How Bizarre Pictures. Villanueva's feature-length directorial debut, I Dream of a Psychopomp, is expected for a release in fall of 2021.

2021 Voices Heard Judge: Kimberly Kimistry

Kimberly Kimistry

Milwaukee born and raised, Kimberly Kimistry, has been involved in arts in multiple capacities. From film to fashion, Kimberly seeks to empower others to utilize creativity as a gateway to freedom. After teaching for 10 years, She founded The Kimistry Lab, which is a nonprofit that helps bring resources and experiences to help others explore their gifts. 

If you would like to connect with her or learn more, visit KimistrybyKimberly.com

2021 Festival Judge: Dan Schley

Dan Schley

Dan Schley is a long time resident of Milwaukee's Washington Heights. He has been a passionate supporter of the Milwaukee Arts Community, focusing on the theatre. He has been a evaluator for the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Young Playwright Festival and has been sharing online reviews of local and national productions over the past ten years. He is thrilled to be participating in the Milwaukee Short Film Festival, taking those review skills into a new media. Finally, he would like you to now he will never answer if someone asks, what’s your favorite play. Or movie. Or book. Or whiskey. 

2021 Festival Judge: Michael Viers

Michael Viers

Michael Viers is an independent filmmaker, podcaster, and editor from Milwaukee, WI. He is also a graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee's prestigious film program with a BFA. He likes to brag that he used to edit videos for Troma Entertainment and is texting buddies with Lloyd Kaufman, but no one really cares. Check out his Instagram every month for a selection of four hand-picked film recommendations.

You can listen to his podcast THE SHAME LIST PICTURE SHOW on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, LibSyn and Google Play

2021 Festival Judge: Krystal Hardy

Krystal Hardy




Krystal Hardy is a Milwaukee native, freelance writer and film enthusiast. After graduating from Marquette University, she continued to write and work in marketing. As a native Milwaukeean, Krystal focused on telling the powerful, inspiring stories of our BIPOC communities in hopes of bridging gaps. In 2018 she created KDH_Creative LLC, a digital marketing solutions company to help small businesses and non-profits with writing, marketing and public relations needs. Her hobbies include playing in makeup, gardening, blogging, endlessly scrolling on Pinterest and Tik Tok or taking romantic strolls through our public libraries. Krystal most recently began a position with the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club as Manager of Multicultural Marketing.

For more visit www.kdhcreative.net
or follow Krystal on social media.

Twitter and Instagram: KDH_Creative








2021 Films: Lessons With Martha

Lessons With Martha by Matthew C. Johnson
Los Angeles (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 13 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Drama

Get tickets here


A young man visits his grandmother at her home and discovers she is suffering from dementia and will soon be moved to a nursing home. She cannot recall recent events, but they share memories of piano lessons she gave him as a child. Her struggle to remember confronts his complacency. Based on the director's life, the film explores the toll both dementia and modern life take on relationships.




Director's Bio:

Matthew C. Johnson - Matt is a director specializing in scripted comedy, so "Lessons with Martha" has been a new adventure in dramatic storytelling. He directed the feature film "Beerfest: Thirst for Victory" for CW Seed, Blue Ribbon Content, Gerber Pictures and Kids at Play - the first feature to debut on CW's streaming service. Matt has extensive experience creating digital content for outlets including ABC, Hearst Publications, Vice, Abso Lutely Productions, Yahoo!, Facebook Watch, Eko and CollegeHumor. He directed the interview series "Meet My Mom" for Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine. Prior to that he directed the sketch series "The Gaggle" for ABC Digital, Maker Studios and Ryan Seacrest Productions. Other highlights include YouTube versions of "Family Feud" and "Password" for FremantleMedia, game show format "Tattoo Roulette" for Maker Studios, and the Yahoo! "Sketchies" comedy series. Along with Kimmy Gatewood, he produces content through Nerd Ranch Productions. He was the showrunner for the YouTube Channel BuzzrGames, which recreated classic game show formats featuring prominent YouTube influencers, and won the 2015 Cynopsis Model D Award for Best Original Channel.

Director's Statement:

The last time that I saw my grandmother inspired this film: she was unable to remember events from the prior five years, and her conversation would reset after five minutes. She had been a huge part of my childhood, which made it a heartbreaking experience – I felt like I was saying goodbye to someone who had already left, and was suddenly filled with questions for her and regret that I had left home to pursue my career. Years later, as a parent, I’ve had time to reflect on that experience, and understand her perspective on our relationship better – as someone trying to nurture a young child. I’m surprised how little we understand about dementia and cognitive decline, considering how prevalent it is. Moreover, it’s a topic we don’t discuss or deal with very often in society, either on film or in how we structure our lives. This film is an expression of the love I felt for an inspiring member of my family, a celebration of our time together, and a quiet tale of the regret that marks the passage of time and life.







 

2021 Voices Heard Films: The Beckoning

The Beckoning by DeMar Walker
Milwaukee, WI 

Running Time: 4 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Dance

Get tickets here



“The Beckoning” is a dance short film that addresses the historical & political violence of displacement/dispossession inflicted on the Black body in hopes of signifying the inherent virtue of Black life within American society. The film features original poetry by Destinny Fletcher, as well as, original music by Kellen “KLASSIK” Abston.

Ko-Thi Dance Company


Director's Bio:

DeMar Walker is the Artistic Director of Ko-Thi Dance Company. He has performed & choreographed in the following productions: Words from the Sole, The Sweet Grass Project, IMANI: A Tribute to West Africa, VIBRATIONS: Rhythmic Motion, UJIMA & the recent production of JUBA-LEE which premiered in August 2019 celebrating the company’s 50th Anniversary. He is primarily trained in West African, & Afro-Caribbean techniques. He has also received dance training in hip hop/social, jazz, ballet, & contemporary techniques. Since 2014, DeMar has been an Associate Lecturer of African Diasporic dance at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee - Peck School of the Arts/Department of Dance . DeMar has performed with Wildspace Dance Company and Fist & Heel Performance Group. He has traveled to the countries of Guinea & Senegal to train, research, & perform in international workshops with Youssouf Koumbassa, Patrick Acgony, & Alesandra Seutin, Thomas Talawa Presto at Ecole Des Sables. He is a contributor to the publication entitled “Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest”. Recently, he directed & released his first dance short film The Beckoning.














Saturday, May 22, 2021

2021 Films: Sadaf

Sadaf by Anne Jammet
Paris, France (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time:3 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
Dance/ Women/Sports

Get tickets here



"A WINNER IS A DREAMER WHO NEVER GIVES UP ". A dancing story about an Iranian girl who loves boxing.





Director's Bio:

She teaches cinema in private schools, master Level since 2013. She became Director 1 year ago after having been script supervisor and first assistant director during 19 years, on national TV, movies, shorts, adverts, video music... more than one hundreds projects since 2000. With the film SADAF, she finds herself as a director and have lots of messages to share.















Thursday, May 20, 2021

2021 Voices Heard Films: Mutism

Mutism by John Carlo Rosillo
Arbor Vitae, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 4 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Drama



Can Apollo speak? An opportunity to make friends arise after receiving his first invite to a party.


Director's Bio:

Born in the Philippines, John Carlo Rosillo moved to America as a child and immediately fell in love with film. Having trouble adjusting to his new life, he quickly found the medium a way for him to connect with the people, culture, and language around him.

Inspired by the action of movies like Star Wars and drama films like the Graduate, Carlo set out to tell stories of his own.

He began making his films and enrolled in the TV Production Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He combined his passion with real-world applications to take his skills to the next level.

John Carlo takes inspiration from his real-life and aims to tell stories that speak not only to him but those who watch them as well.







2021 Voices Heard Films: Planetary Parasites

Planetary Parasites by Aral Nen Jr.
Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 6 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Experimental/ Drama/ Thriller

Get tickets here


An experimental look into climate change, making the deadly comparison between human beings and life-sucking parasites.


Director's Bio

Aral Nen Jr. was born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin to an Irish mother and a Papua New Guinean immigrant father.











Director Statement

As a filmmaker and a storyteller, I aim to change the way people view the world around them. Whether the goal is to entertain or inform my first priority is to always do my best. I find inspiration in everything that occupies the world around me, even the way a tiny dog's ears flap in the wind.






2021 Voices Heard Films: Pawn Turned King

Pawn Turned King by Ricardo Tenorio
Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Crime/ Drama



A beaten kid has had enough but in order to defeat his neighborhood bully he must cross a terrible line. What will he do? What's his grand plan?


Director's Bio:

Ricardo Tenorio is a visionary award-winning filmmaker. His filmography includes the theatrical 2017 feature film, Ashface as well as many short films. His brand label, AnimationOverloadStudios, is not only limited to just film. Graphic design, Visual art, scriptwriting, and other skills let him tell his many stories in any art form. A Hispanic jack of all trades!













2021 Voices Heard Films: Ephemeral

Ephemeral by Anh Vo
New Berlin, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 3 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
LGBTQ/ Romance/ Drama/ Experimental/ Fantasy





Are all feelings ephemeral?



Director's Bio:

I am a cinematographer from Hanoi, Vietnam, with experience across various platforms, including Narrative Films, Commercials, and Documentary. I believe in the power of storytelling with a camera. Before I came to the United States, I was a full-time commercial videographer. Still, I want more, which makes me decide to pursue a new education at DePaul University with a cinematography concentration to prepare myself to understand and tell a better human story through visual storytelling.
















2021 Voices Heard Films: Blindspot

Blindspot by Marquise Mays
Milwaukee, WI
Running Time: 15 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Animation/ Documentary



A brief glimpse through the life of Granny Lue. A woman of faith, fearlessness and fierce energy. She never allowed her disability to determine her ability to live.



Director's Bio:

Hailing all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marquise Mays, MA is a filmmaker, writer, organizer, and educator.

Experienced in an array of media and arts practices—from cinematic storytelling to exhibition curation—Marquise brings imagination, technical expertise, and cultural awareness to the
projects you are developing, whether they be entertainment productions, journalistic undertakings, or media-rich events and civic engagements.

He received his M.A in Cinema & Media Studies from the University of Southern California in the School of Cinematic Arts. He completed his B.A in Journalism & Mass Communication alongside Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Director Statement

I am a versatile individual who is able move easily between critical discourse and media production. My work presents a range of access points for participation in dialogues, theoretical deliberations, and creative enterprises related to Blackness in contemporary media spaces.









2021 Voices Heard Films: Love & Water

Love & Water by Immanuel Baldwin
Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Mystery/ Noir/ Drama



A private investigator is forced to work a case that leads him down a dark and twisted path.


Director's Bio:

Writer, Director Immanuel Baldwin discovered his passion for film when he was younger after his mother introduced him to the "Walls of Jericho" animated film. Immanuel was always different. He began to express such a love for the arts. His mother would watch him reenact various scenes from movies they'd watch and then eventually he started writing and shooting his own shorts on whatever was available. His love of storytelling is attributed to growing up in a family that embraced chasing the dream and the life you want to live, coupled with creative inspiration from his grandfather, Levester Davis. He attended The Art Institute of Illinois - Chicago. During school, he was offered a summer job on a Netflix slated show (The Declassified) He continued to pursue the opportunity. He has held the roles of assistant director, line producer, and production manager on various projects. Now having taken the journey into directing he has grown to become highly praised, and a go-to resource for directing in the Midwest. He has directed ten short films and a slew of music videos, some of which have gone on to receive accolades from various festivals, here in the US and abroad. Immanuel believes inviting the world into his physical, emotional, sexual, and even spiritual experiences. "Immanuel Is very capable of creating a beautiful story with exceptional cinematography, inspired camera movements, touching performances, costumes that reveal characters and a set that contributes to the emotional desert that can exist between two people who live in pain, this filmmaker has a future." As said by the Short and SweetFilm Festival (Jan '18)


Director Statement

I make films to ask questions, to give the audience some form of non linear or pre-determined thought. If after you’ve watched my work and you have a fascination with the world and the characters in it I’ve done my job correctly.








2021 Voices Heard Films: The Cure

The Cure by Toom Chanda & Sakee Xiong
Appleton, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 14 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Action/ Drama

Get tickets here


Tang, a gifted man with a special bloodline that can cure many disease and can regenerate himself. His wife, a scientist founds out and kept it a secret in order to save her sick daughter from her previous marriage. A mobster who funded the projects notice and kidnaps her for the serum. Tang’s then goes in a rampage to save her.







Director's Bio:

Toom Chanda is a Laotian/Hmong actor, filmmaker, philanthropist, and Muay Lao Coach, operating three gyms prior to pursuing his acting career. He has appeared on Chicago Fire, commercials, and produced his own films, such as the Cure, streaming on Amazon Prime.

Inspired by growing up in an impoverished area in Laos, he founded ToomStuntTeam (TST) to assist those who are less fortunate and not in the position to follow their dreams. TST plans to provide needed resources to 3rd world countries (e.g., food, water). Toom is a genuinely kind human being.




Sakee Xiong is a Cinematographer and director with ten years experience.




2021 Films: Nonna

Nonna by Abby Cali
Arlington, MA (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 3 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
Animated/ Women




An animated stop motion short that explores the magic of grandmothers and the company to be found in the act of cooking.




Director's Bio:

Abby Cali is an illustrator and animator based in the Boston, MA area. She is a graduate of MICA's Illustration Practice MFA Program. Abby is dedicated to character-based art practices that celebrate the wonderful weirdness of our wacky world. She loves making drawings come to life with animation, sewing cute apparel and tiny sculptures, and lettering zany GIFs. When she’s not drawing or teaching Abby can be found playing cooperative board games, cooking up a storm, hanging out with her nearly toothless cat, or hiking very very slowly past interesting flora and fauna.



Director Statement

Nonna is a stop motion short film featuring a magical Sicilian grandmother. The titular character was born from a love of the artist’s family's southern Italian island heritage and an interest in imbuing that Mediterannean culture with her own twist of magic and oddities. Influenced heavily by the global pandemic, the artist also represents themes of solitude, and of cooking as a form of company in times of loneliness. The protagonist, Nonna, is created out of felted wool and has a fully articulated wire armature skeleton that allows her to come to life through animation. The puppet, set, and props are handmade and based off of concept sketches developed throughout this thesis process. As a stop motion film, each frame is one photograph that is staged and lit by the artist. The illusion of movement comes from moving the props and character in minute increments between each photograph, and then displaying the photographs quickly one after another in the final animation.









2021 Films: Golden Minutes

Golden Minutes by Saulius Baradinskas
Lithuania (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 10 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
Drama

Get tickets here


Driven to the edge by a huge debt and his impending divorce, a poetic accountant decides to kill himself but is rescued by a heart attack.



Director's Bio:

Saulius Baradinskas is a film director from Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2020 Saulius was selected as one of the Berlinale Talents in 70th Berlinale Film Festival. In 2019, Saulius premiered his debut short film "Golden Minutes".









Director's Statement

As a filmmaker I always wanted to capture that gray day in Lithuania where it seems that nothing is happening. Sometimes those days can be really depressive and sad, because life just goes on, but nothing really important happens in your life. But maybe it does?
If so, then how do you tell a that precise feeling?

This short film is my personal essay and view to society and environment I grew up. The society that pushed me be “normal” all the time and put my life into boxes.

The society where instead of giving love and compassion, I found alienation and dissension. The environment where instead of finding home, I found never ending race of building “the right home”. During production of this film I had atypical depression and suicidal thoughts which was the starting point on how I wanted to make this film look and feel. “Golden Minutes” short film is a film about one of those gray days, where it seems that nothing is happening, but the life is already happening by itself.







2021 Films: Monsters In The Dark

Monsters In The Dark by Apollonia Thomaier
Austin, Texas (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 6 minutes
Screening Time: TBA
Animation


Monsters In The Dark is a 3D/2D animated short film about a young boy haunted by his abused past fears the love of his new family and runs away into a dark forest where he meets a monster that will change his life forever. A thesis by MFA student Apollonia Thomaier.





Director's Bio

Apollonia Thomaier completed her MFA in directorship and storytelling at the Academy of Art University. Apollonia (or Apol for short) has reliced two other films. The first being the multi-award winning student short animated film Adija (Digipen Institute of Technology). She was the story artist on the Vantana, the Walt Disney Animation Studios 2017 internship short.

Apol's focus at the Academy of Art was to pursue the mastery of directing a team to create an animated film honoring those who have gone through abuse.










2021 Films: Avelina

Avelina by Reanna Madson
Eau Claire, WI (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 4 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
LGBTQ/ Women





A look at love at first sight.


Director's Bio:

I am a director, choreographer who is currently studying Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. I can run faster than 80% of snakes.







Director Statement

Avelina is something that I’ve wanted to make for years. It started with the idea of someone looking up at a new kid for the first time and hearts popping up around them as they developed a huge crush. That was it. Something short and sweet. Four years later after discovering Devised Theatre, it inspired me to incorporate my passion for dance into film. While brainstorming ideas, that idea I had four years ago popped up. Then the pieces came all together.











2021 Films: Mittens

Mittens by Justin Johnson
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 7 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
Drama

Get tickets here




Mittens is the heartfelt journey of a pair of red mittens, created by grandmother and gifted to granddaughter.


Director's Bio:

After discovering his passion for movies, Justin decided to attend UW Oshkosh and major in Radio-TV-Film where his theories on filmmaking and storytelling were further developed. He believes it’s character, our understanding of them, our empathy for them, that elicits an emotion. And it's emotion that keeps us watching and makes it linger in our minds.

He has a passion for storytelling and the foundation of effective storytelling, character, whether it be a living, breathing person or a fictional creation. Delivering a story that entertains, moves, educates, or informs is incredibly rewarding. Justin loves studying, examining, and participating in that process.








Wednesday, May 19, 2021

2021 Films: Lamentation

Lamentation by Marissa J. Williams
Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 11 minutes
Screening Time: Friday, Sept 10 on Eventive!
Experimental/ Student/ Women

Get tickets here




A filmic exploration through the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Lamentation is a short film that uses dance and gesture, paired with sound and visual design, to illustrate the emotions portrayed in each stage.


Director's Bio:

Marissa J. Williams is an Afro-Latina filmmaker and producer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who focuses on documentary and non-linear forms of personal storytelling. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in December of 2019, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Film Department. During her time at UWM she explored techniques of production design, sound design, and the body to illustrate these visual components of storytelling. Marissa found interest in personal storytelling by using media as a way to work through her own past, and try to understand how emotions are processed and applied in art. Coming from a music background, she was introduced to filmmaking through sound design and how it can elevate a viewer's experience. Moving forward in her career, Marissa is focusing on producing projects that allow her the ability to creatively push real life stories.

Marissa was able to intern with Doc|UWM and 371 Productions, both based out of Milwaukee, during her time at UWM. Here she saw how these companies work in the style of documentary on a professional level, and the techniques used to tell people’s stories. She has also worked on a few narrative shorts and related projects that have come to the Milwaukee area.





2021 Films: Cool for Five Seconds

Cool for Five Seconds by Dani Wieder
Chicago IL (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 13 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Sept 11 on Eventive!
Drama/Women

Get tickets here



When Colleen reunites with her estranged sister, things don’t go exactly as she planned.





Director's Bio:

Dani is a director of theater and film based in Chicago. Her work has been produced by theaters across Chicago such as Jackalope Theatre, Prop Thtr, and Haven Chicago. She has directed, assistant directed, produced, consulted on, and designed over 30 productions in the last four years. Dani became curious about filmmaking when she directed the theatrical version of "Cool for Five Seconds", and had felt the piece would translate well to film.

Dani also works as a creative consultant and experience designer for performances and galleries. Recent collaborators include Hebru Brantley's Nevermore Park, Haven Chicago, Jackalope Theater, Stage x Screen, and more.

www.daniwieder.com


Director Statement

Five years ago I read a short play on New Play Exchange by Chicago playwright Calamity West about a meeting between estranged sisters. I was struck by the way the script portrayed the women with nuance and complexity - full of contradiction, like we all are. While the circumstances are simple, the script asks big questions: What does it mean to be sisters? And even more universally, how do we respond when the people we love grow and change in ways we might not understand? I was gripped by Calamity’s exploration of this relationship, and so teamed up with Mary and Katherine to bring it to life.

A sibling is so precious, and the chance to reconnect with them can seem like a fleeting dream as life speeds forward. This story shows that it is worth taking the time to stay at the table, and work through your differences.