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The Longest running Milwaukee film festival that supports Milwaukee filmmakers returns!

Due to the Covid pandemic which hit us during the submission process we are having a "Best Of" virtual event. All films submitted this year are on hold for next season. 

Thank you watching. We've taken down the programs, but we've supplied you with links to a few films that were featured.

2015 Festival Film

A Dubious Night

2015 Festival Film

I Thought I Told You To Shut Up!!

2018 Best Director

Hoan Alone

2015 Best Director/Honorary Mention

The Trap

2018 Best Actor

Lady M

The Quilting Queen by Mark Winter

An unexpected artist and their personal journey of self discovery and their race against time.


The Phantom Limb by Mark G.E.

The Phantom Limb was the very first film screened at the festival in 1994.

Phantom Limb the noir tale of a man who, after committing murder, cuts off his arm only to find himself finding it harder to tell what is real and what is imagined. Original soundtrack by John Kruth. 

Midwest Problems by Klifford Barkus

Nothing worse than being stuck in a snowstorm then being stuck in a snowstorm knowing that your pen pal is having the time of their life... in WARM Arizona!

@ME by Kristin Peterson

The short film follows a mid-20s woman on her walk home after a failed set at a comedy open mic. She uses social media (Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook) to reach out to those still awake and online, while basically ignoring her physical surroundings. She types jokes with the 140 characters Twitter allows as comments on people she sees in the wee hours of the night and consistently checks to see how many people “like” her observances. One follower engages her in a conversation that leads to a potential late-night rendezvous.

A Dubious Night by Nelson Tony Oliveras

At a local tavern, unhappy citizens share their hopes and dreams and later become aware they have never left their hometown. Which triggers debates and conspiracy theories.

Charlie and the Empty Factories by J. Anthony Ramos

Charlie never bought into that, The World is Ending crap, was never afraid of it, but then it did end, he survived, and it suuuuucks. 

Do You Love Me? by Michael Viers

A short film about a couple slowly drifting apart from one another, but who have trouble letting go as events turn violent. Michael Vier's previous film, From The Darkness Theatre won Audience Favorite, Best Director and Best Actor at our festival in 2013. 

You can watch trailer here.

Crash by Yinan Wang

One night, after Alex’s company is taken away by Young, the best friend, and co-owner, Alex dialed Young’s number and was told Young is having dinner with his wife. Alex is overwhelmed and driven crazy. He refused to sign the letter of assignment and decided to end up his life in a car accident. However, he didn’t get what he wanted.


I Thought I Told You To Shut Up!! by Charlie Tyrell

In the late seventies David Boswell created Reid Fleming, the World’s Toughest Milkman, a comic book anti-hero and counter culture icon. By the following decade, Warner Brothers was preparing a Hollywood feature film. Now, over 30 years later, the character is still mired in contractual limbo, or development hell. 

Narrated by Academy Award-Winner Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Stop Making Sense), I Thought I Told You To Shut Up!! combines stop motion animations with interviews from Boswell, his Hollywood friends, and fans as they discuss the enduring appeal of the World’s Toughest Milkman.

Hoan Alone by Aaron Johnson

Milwaukee’s Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is the crown over Summerfest and has become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. But it’s also a popular site for suicides. This animated documentary explores the issues of the bridge and suicide through three intimate interviews. Follow animator, Aaron Johnson, as he shares the stories of Dave, John, and Mary.


The Trap by Dick Grunert

A man invites his friend over one night to show off his latest invention: a trap for catching aliens.

Lady M by Tammy Riley Smith

Hell hath no fury like an older woman scorned
An ageing actress summons the spirit of Lady Macbeth in order to win the part in an upcoming production. The actress, Margot Collins, played Lady Macbeth to great acclaiming her youth. Now in her fifties, she is largely forgotten, struggling for auditions, let alone parts. But when a theatre company announces its intention to stage Macbeth, Margot is determined to land the eponymous role once more ...

Filmmaker Panels

A 30 min panel featuring Festival Directors from the

across the state to help you prepare your film for your festival run.  What's the perfect running time? What's an EPK? Why might your film get rejected, and more tips to assist you on your journey. 


Ross Bigley (Milwaukee Short Film Festival)

Stephen Milek (Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Festival)

Christopher Kai House (Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Festival)

Craig A. Knitt (Wildwood Film Festival)

Nelson Oliveras (Voices Heard)

Hugo Ljungbäck (Milwaukee Underground Film Festival &

                              Save the Archives Film Festival)


A 45 min panel featuring filmmakers who are involved in the film industry here in Wisconsin and outside of it. We'll discuss a variety of topics in regards to being a working filmmaker. Going from shorts to features. Working on a crew instead of your own work, and what is the state of the local film community here in Wisconsin.  


Chris Marks (3 daYs)

Casey T. Malone (Lesser Beasts)

Jozef K Richards (Batman & Jesus )


Moderated by Michael Viers (Shamelist Picture Show)

Filmmaker Panel

In partnership with WELA (Wisconsin Entertainment Lawyers Association), Robert Arthur took part in a panel last year with 

panelists Arthur, Bryan Kroes and Peter Strand.  We don't have video of it, but we do have the Interview Robert Arthur and Ross Bigley did for Lake Effect in promoting the panel and festival. 

A lot of information was given in this interview to help filmmakers navigate the business end of filmmaking


Approx 17 mins FREE                 

Link to Lake Effect Interview 


The Homecoming by Paulina Bugembe

Andy heads home to Milwaukee to plan a homecoming party for her estranged brother who is getting out of prison. As the day of his release arrives, she struggles to bring the family together to welcome him home and repair what was broken when he was sent away.


Screen: Righter by T.C. De Witt

On June 10th, Chad Halvorsen brought together a team of Firmament alum and some new friends for the 2016 Milwaukee 48 Hour film Project. What followed was a weekend of indie romance, Michael Bay hero shots, slow-mo running, and cre-a-tivity!
This is "Screen: Righter".

Black Lives Matter: A Short Experimental Film by Rosella Joseph

Six black women dancers interpret the struggles of racism and police brutality through there movements..

Ready to Go by Lynda Reiss

Lance Mitchell is taking his cat to be put down. As he and Missy make their weary way to the vet, Lance is keen to work over the thoughts he has on the subject. Cornering an old woman on the bus, Lance relates a story he's read about a man who, fearing knowledge of impending death, has planned to kill himself impulsively by stashing a handgun in his kitchen cupboard. But you shouldn't believe everything you read in the paper. Having successfully had Missy put to sleep, Lance returns home, makes a cup of tea. A handgun lays next to his ginger snaps.

LISTEN to Lynda Reiss' Interview on the Shame List Picture Show

Hero in Limbo by Van Campbell III

A man failing to connect to life, goes into a self induced trip to get a part of himself back, through emotion, metaphor, and triumph.

the good boy by A. L. Lee

A morality tale, "the good boy" is a film about a young boxer who accepts a challenge to fight a brute of a man only to discover his opponent has the mental capacity of a five year old. This is an unflinching look at what happens when you feel honor bound to doing something you know is morally wrong. "the good boy" is about the decisions we make and living with their consequences. 

Control by Alison Becker and Kimmy Gatewood

In this shockingly dark but utterly poignant comedy from Alison Becker and Kimmy Gatewood, a depressed woman contemplates ending her life, if she could just get everything in order first.

Gorilla by Tibo Pinsard

Hollywood, 1947. Henry Corso performs as a costumed gorilla on horror movies and adventure movies. For Jungle Jenna, he must terrorize the leading actress lost in a cardboard jungle scenery. But scaring the woman he desires is going to be particularly tricky for the gorilla man.

dark_net by Tom Marshall

Alan (Johnny Vegas) searches for answers in all the wrong places and this time he thinks he's found them...on the internet in the form of a highly trained deadly assassin. But he's about to learn the true price of entering the 'dark_net'.

Tom Marshall previously won Best Film in 2008 for bigboy_74, and he screened Happy Clapper at our 2011 festival. He recently directed episodes of Netflix' Space Force. 


2016 Best Wisconsin Film/ Best Director/Best Ensemble

Screen: Righter

2019 Voices Heard: Best Film/Best Director 

Black Lives Matter

2015 Best Wisconsin Film

Hero in Limbo

2018 Best Film/Best Actress

2016 Best Film/Audience Favorite


2015 Best Film/Best Actor


2021 Season

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Art by Whitney Salgado visit her website here:

Poster artist Whitney Salgado will sell art from her website. Please consider buying her art during the pandemic. 


Due to the Covid pandemic, many of our sponsors who've been with us for years have also struggled. Please visit their websites and support them any way that you can.

With out them we would not be here. Thank you. 

2020 Sponsors

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