film

For five years, two filmmakers followed several homeless men in Milwaukee - capturing the men's challenges, from mental illness to substance abuse, as well as their rare moments of triumph.

"The guys we talked to were the ones that would openly say 'I'm not proud of how I'm living, I'm not proud, you don't want to live like this, no one should have to live like this,'" director Faith Kohler says. "But they were the ones who felt that is was important to give their community a voice."

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Say the name Malala and instantly one thinks of a heroine known to millions, the schoolgirl from Pakistan's lush, once idyllic Swat Valley who dared speak out when the Taliban invaded her home and tried to prevent girls from going to school.

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In the last few years, two of the most contentious debates in Wisconsin have been over a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin and over the future of organized labor across the state. 

It’s a century-old story involving mining and labor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that is the focal point of a documentary by Milwaukee filmmaker Suzanne Jurva called Yoopera!  But there’s a twist – her film centers on an effort to produce an opera about this often-forgotten piece of history. 

DAN RYBICKY AND AARON WICKENDEN

When Chicago-based filmmakers Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky first encountered Peter Anton, they didn’t expect to spend the next eight years making a film about the elderly, outsider artist. But that’s what happened.

Screen Capture from the "Foodies" Documentary

For the next two weeks, the annual Milwaukee Film Festival will present more than 300 movies. Some, like Jaws, are one offs. Others, like Cream City Cinema, are united by a common theme.

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One of the many features of this year's Milwaukee Film Festival is the Cream City Cinema series, which features films by and/or about Milwaukeeans. 

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The 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival opens tomorrow evening at several locations around town. 303 total films will be shown between opening night and October 8.

There will be more than 100 special guests participating in panel discussions, talk back and the annual keynote address. Chicago Tribune film critic, and Kenosha and Racine native, Michael Phillips will be delivering the keynote address on the state of cinema today.

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We’re in that transitional period of time when schools are starting, the weather will soon start to get cooler, baseball will be supplanted by football, and summer blockbuster movies will be replaced in theaters by some of the films that will compete for Oscars come award season.

In fact, some of those films are already opening in an effort to be at the forefront of viewers' minds come Oscars season. Film contributor Dave Luhrssen notices a trend of strong female leads or storylines and "based on a true story" films for this upcoming season.

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Thanks to the efforts of contemporary veterans and medical experts, public awareness of combat related post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is far more prevalent than it once was. Being diagnosed with it no longer carries the stigma it once did either in or out of the military. However, it was a different story for veterans like Tim "Naneek" Keenan.

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Besides passion and drive, filmmakers need money to finish, and even start, projects.

Milwaukee Film recently announced its Brico Forward Fund. The idea behind the fund is to encourage local filmmakers to submit story treatments for new movies. As many as five treatments will then be chosen and awarded a significant financial jumpstart.

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When the singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, she became just the latest example of a musician on a seemingly promising trajectory to have their life cut short by drugs or alcohol.

Pixar Animation Studios

Disney - Pixar movies are enough of a big deal on their own. Years of work are put into a two hour animated blockbuster that leaves children and adults talking about the film decades later.

Getty Images, Kevin Winter

There was an internet sensation briefly this month when it was discovered by baseball researchers that Ferris Bueller’s day off occurred exactly 30 years ago. Meanwhile, another 1980's staple, The Breakfast Club, also turned 30.

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The movie industry has two especially busy times – there is the flurry of activity towards the end of the year, when holiday movies and potential award-winners come out, and then there is the highly anticipated summer movie season as well. Lake Effect film contributor Dave Luhrssen gives a preview of what's to come and his recommendations:

Many folks aren't inclined to choose horror as their favorite film genre, and fewer will actually admit it.

When we think of movies in the theaters now, the likes of romance, action and comedy come to the forefront. But the horror genre should not be pushed to the side. It is a billion dollar industry.

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