Milwaukee Film Festival

What makes you a psyco? To some, that question might seem offensive - but if you’re like Andi Xoch and Joan Zeta, it’s a question you answer with pride.

When writer Bruce Weber was a little boy, he wanted to be a lot of things. He thought about being a ballplayer, a mathematician or maybe a musician. And like many of us, he grew up to do something else entirely. Bruce Weber grew up to be an obituary writer.

Weber is one of the subjects of the documentary, Obit, which chronicles the work of The New York Times’ obituaries desk. He has since left his job at The Times, but had worked there for decades in a variety of positions.

Check It /

For many kids in America, being a teenager is tough. Add being a black teenager in today’s racially charged America, and circumstances get tougher. Then add being a black transgender or gay teenager living on your own in Washington D.C., and you have an even tougher situation, but one that makes the compelling subject of the documentary, Check It.

Dana Shihadah

The Milwaukee Show is an integral part of the Milwaukee Film Festival. It’s a program that includes short films made by local filmmakers, and it is very popular with festival audiences.

Halfway Film, LLC

It's hard being from the city and trying to figure out rural life. It's even harder when you've just gotten out of prison.

Noel Spirandelli

In an 8 month series, WUWM looked closely at the issues surrounding mass incarceration of African American men in Milwaukee. The problem affects the community at large, but probably nowhere more so than the people who live in one particular Milwaukee zip code.

Susan Bence

This year's Milwaukee Film Fest will feature the documentary Almost Sunrise, which chronicles the journey of two Milwaukee area natives as they struggle with deep emotional scars after tours of duty in Iraq.

Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson set off from the Milwaukee County War Memorial on October 30, 2013 to walk across the country.

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The Milwaukee Film Festival includes a whole series of films with Wisconsin themes or made by Wisconsinites. That includes a film called From Mass to the Mountain, which features the environmental work of a priest from Ripon, dubbed Padre Pablo by the people he helps in Panama.


Film festivals around the country are known for showing independently made productions, both in short films and features. One film in particular showing at the Milwaukee Film Festival has had the unique history of being both a short and now, a full length film.

Phuong Mai Nguyen

This year's Shorter is Better, the shorts-film-specific programming in the Milwaukee Film Festival, features a cast of unusual characters. It includes a little boy imagining his mother's new boyfriend is a crow, a used furniture salesman moonlighting as an administrator of euthanasia, and the true story of a holocaust survivor giving away the violin he had since WWII.

Dave Harrison / Flickr

Milwaukee documentarian Chip Duncan has profiled presidents, football coaches and humanitarian crises.  For his latest project, he returns to another subject he's visited in the past – the English author C.S. Lewis, known especially for his Chronicles of Narnia. 

Wisconsin Historical Society

Last year, Lake Effect introduced you to John Garofolo, the editor of a collection of photos by the late war photographer and Shorewood native, Dickey Chapelle. Chapelle was the first US female war correspondent killed in action. But before her death in the early days of the Vietnam War, Chapelle lived an extraordinary life, taking distinctive pictures that showed both the cost of war, and the personal side of it.

371 Productions

Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Dothan, Alabama. Butte, Montana. Laredo, Texas.

These aren't names synonymous with a large Jewish presence. In fact, many would be surprised that there actually is Jewish life in those places. 

Kirsten Johnson has spent a quarter of a century standing behind a camera. As a cinematographer she has traveled around the world, meeting people and hearing their stories, while creating images of their lives. Her new documentary, Cameraperson, puts those images into a different perspective.

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

For parts of four baseball seasons, John Axford made his way to the pitcher's mound from the bullpen, heavy metal music blasting from the speakers at Miller Park.  Axford was the Brewers' closer, the relief pitcher brought in at the end of games to try to preserve a victory.