In the past few years, Milwaukee Short Film Festival organizers have received an increasing number of submissions from women, people of color, and local filmmakers. And the festival, now in its 19th year, has been evolving to reflect that. Like last year, the event will showcase both diversity and women in filmmaking.
The festival’s five separate programs will each showcase eight to ten short films.
Festival founder and co-director Ross Bigley stopped by the studio with filmmakers Moriah Bame and Vonnie Quest to discuss this year’s lineup. Bigley explains that this year’s composition of films is a bit different than in years past.
"We generally get about 80% international films and the rest is local fare," he says. "In the past few years we get more and more local films coming back to us. We're getting a lot more female directors as well, so we want to incorporate that within our diversity programming."
Bigley says that Bame's and Quest's shorts exemplify this type of diversity and quality of filmmaking.
Bame says that her film, Flambé, "is about a promiscuous chef. His wife is looking back on the good times of their marriage, and she's tired of the perfection that comes with food. So she ends up leaving him for a cheeseburger."
Quest says of his short Inside Out, "it's a documentary film about a boxer on Milwaukee's North Side...I followed this boxer around for five-six months and we made a film."
"During our weekend, you're going to see many different styles of storytelling too," Bigley explains. "Like Vonnie's film, we have another documentary [We All Bleed Red]. This one's about the Sikh Temple shooting... then we have some really well-done international films. We have a French film, called The Bouquet, really funny too...there's lots of different films that you'll enjoy that whole weekend."
"You get to see different perspectives," he continues. "You get to see someone's voice. These people are storytellers, and we go to films because we like to see stories being told."
The Milwaukee Short Film Festival is presented this Friday and Saturday, September 8-9, at the Fox Bay Cinema.