Marquette Wire

Milwaukee Film Festival celebrates local artists

Photo by Photo via YouTube video screenshot

Photo by Photo via YouTube video screenshot

Paige Lloyd

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The doors will open tonight for the first screening of the Milwaukee Film Festival, where the city’s community is brought together under one roof to enjoy the artistry found within film. The festival runs until Oct. 8.

Jonathan Jackson, the artistic and executive director of the Milwaukee Film Festival, shared his excitement on this year’s festival, the 304 films featured in it and the new additions students should be sure to check out.

“We prioritize locally made work and we do our best to help people decide what to see,” Jackson said. “It is important for people to understand that there truly is a movie for anyone and everyone. If it’s a comedy, documentary, drama, foreign or sports; there is a little of everything.”

New additions to the festival, such as a portion for Cream City Cinema will bring in over 60 films made by local filmmakers. The festival will also feature a portion called the “Milwaukee Music Video Show,” which will be exclusive to videos made by Milwaukee filmmakers. The screenings in this portion will celebrate the talent of the local music scene and the filmmakers in Milwaukee.

An artist who will have the chance to be a part of this category is local Milwaukeean Sam Ahmed, best known as WebsterX. His video “Doomsday (feat. Siren)”  already has over 60,000 views on YouTube after being posted eight months ago. It will be screened in the Oriental Theatre at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 30.

WebsterX explained what this festival means for him and for his music.

“I wanted to take it to the next level,” WebsterX said. “My friends told me to and shortly after that I was confirmed to be in the festival. I didn’t fully understand what was going on yet. I know what a film festival is, but I didn’t know the degree of importance that this event would have in Milwaukee.”

This screening is just one step for WebsterX and his journey as an artist in Milwaukee.

“I always like it when people have never heard of me,” WebsterX said. “This is the best to me because when people hear me for the first time, they don’t know who I am, but they are instantly hooked. I like the idea of just showing people my music once or twice and then running with it. When my video plays in the Oriental with almost 5,000 people there, if even 1,000 people start geeking out that would be awesome. My goal is to blow people’s minds.”

WebsterX is just one of many other artists who have the opportunity to be a part of this festival and all that it has to offer. With films from over 50 countries and over 100 guests appearing at the festival, students are sure to find something to watch and enjoy.

Jackson recommended students check out the “Cinema Hooligante” part of the festival with late-night screenings where “all the gory, trippy, raunchy, scary, sometimes offensive, always fun films from the best corners of cinema subculture” will be playing, according to mkefilm.org.

The website also has a section titled “Quick Picks” that will help film-goers pick what film they should see. As Jackson explained, if a viewer doesn’t have time to look through the 304 films listed, this will help shorten search time. The categories range anywhere from people who like to laugh, for inspiration, for nature lovers and even “Film for Weirdos.”

With a little of everything for every person in attendance, students, Milwaukeeans and all other visitors can find something to watch.

“The Milwaukee Film Festival strives to be a ‘best of’ festival,” Jackson said. “We are a festival that tries to put on the best 15 days of cinema that you’ll find anywhere in the world. These are award-winning films, doing great on the film circuit across the world and are critically acclaimed.”

 

Locations

  1. Landmark Oriental Theatre-2230 N. Farwell Ave.
  2. Landmark Downer Theatre- 2589 N. Downer Ave.
  3. Avalon Theatre- 2473 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
  4. Times Cinema- 5906 W Vilet St.
  5. Fox-Bay Cinema Grill- 334 E. Silver Spring Dr.
  6. Kenilworth Square- 1915 E. Kenilworth Place

$12.00 tickets for films and $1.00 discount for students with ID

 

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