Milwaukee Film Festival

Halfway Film, LLC

Stepping out of one's comfort zone is an ingredient for growth, a concept apparent in the film Halfway.

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.

stock image

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.

AWOL / facebook.com

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. 

Poster for "Raiders!" A documentary of the self proclaimed "Greatest Fan Film Ever Made"
The Raiders Guys Facebook

  *From October 17th, 2015

Closing out the Milwaukee Film Festival is a documentary about an adaptation of a film. The movie at the heart of it all is the 1981 classic - Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a film that so impressed a couple of Mississippi kids back in the ‘80s that they set out to remake the movie, shot for shot.  However, they ended up one scene short.

Uncle John Movie via Facebook

The Milwaukee Film Festival continues at various theaters across the city this week, and if you are looking for a thriller with a Midwest sensibility, Uncle John will keep you on your toes throughout.

Some of you may remember actor John Ashton for his character roles in the Beverly Hills Cop or Midnight Run films, but in this independent film Ashton becomes the focus of attention as a quiet Wisconsin carpenter…and murderer.

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."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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.

yooperadoc.com

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. 

Pages