Milwaukee Film Festival, Oct. 17-31


The 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival runs Oct. 17-Oct. 31 and features over 300 films, dozens of parties, panels, and events. For the most up-to-date information, visit

Cream City Cinema

Show some hometown pride and local support at the annual showcase of the best new work from Milwaukee-area filmmakers. Juries will award $12,500 in cash to three local filmmakers!

Black Licorice

USA | 2019 | Director: Frankie Latina

A fashion photographer is thrown into a world of danger when a roll of film produces images no one was meant to see in this high-society crime film, reminiscent of a 1970s exploitation thriller.



USA | 1997 | Director: Mark Borchardt

No good deed goes unpunished for Milwaukee native Mark Borchardt, who wrote, directed, and starred as Mike, a writer with severe drug and alcohol problems. This local cult classic will be projected in a 35mm print from the director’s own collection, followed by an extended Q&A.


The Field

USA | 2019 | Director: Tate Bunker

A city couple buys a farm in rural Wisconsin, but Green Acres this is not, as someone (or something) appears to be lurking in the shadows of their new home. What is their small town covering up? And can they—and their marriage—survive it?


Give Me Liberty

USA | 2019 | Director: Kirill Mikhanovsky

Medical transport driver Vic is running further and further behind schedule, as he shuttles his Russian grandfather and émigré friends to a funeral, navigates closed roads, and also befriends one of his clients.


Markie in Milwaukee

USA | 2019 | Director: Matt Kliegman

Markie is a middle-aged trans woman living in Milwaukee and struggling to find acceptance in her family, her church, and herself. As she fights to hold onto those she loves, she begins to consider de-transitioning to be accepted back into her community.


Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile (Zanboorak dar Gaame Minor)

USA | 2017 | Director: Maryam Sepehri

Hamid Naficy is a film scholar at Northwestern University who is also in exile from his home country of Iran. With the experiences of living in Iran pre- and post-Iranian revolution, Naficy offers a unique perspective on his experiences living in multiple cultures.


My First and Last Film

USA | 2019 | Director: Tracey Thomas

When filmmaker Tracey Thomas turned 60 she began interviewing dozens of other 60-year-olds, discussing themes of life, death and more. But when her romantic and filmmaking partner, Dennis, passes away suddenly, Thomas’s work took on a much deeper meaning as she grappled with grief while continuing her project.

On Hands

USA | 2019 | Director: Laj P. Waghray

As technology overtakes more and more of society it’s easy to forget that one of the most powerful tools people have are their hands. Contemplative and observational, On Hands follows the work of a variety of makers who use their hands to create.



USA | 2019 | Director: Joel Van Haren

In 2014, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond was attacked and robbed of the one-of-a-kind Lipinski Stradivarius violin—worth an estimated $5 million—that was on loan to him. The FBI and Milwaukee’s finest raced against the clock, because they knew if the instrument was moved it was likely gone forever.


Red, White & Wasted

USA | 2019 | Director: Matthew Burns

The Redneck Yacht Club is Florida’s premiere social group for mudding and is also a center of Confederate flags, alcohol, racism, and scantily clad twerking. This provocative doc, edited in Milwaukee, follows one of these mudding-obsessed Floridians as he navigates the world he loves, and ultimately learns about himself in the process.


The Milwaukee Show

The cream of the local crop (one of the hottest tickets of the festival each year) comes together for a finely curated evening that puts the spotlight on our wildly creative filmmaking scene. See details >>


The Milwaukee Show: After Dark

Years spent basting local filmmaking brains in the filth that is our Best Damn F*#@ing Midnight Program Ever. Sh*t. shorts program has yielded this - a relentless journey into the frightening and funny, wacky, WTF weirdness cooked up by local filmmakers. Don't bring your kids. Don't bring any kids.


The Milwaukee Music Video Show

Right at the intersection of music and film comes this special program highlighting the wildly creative videos created in support of a diverse group of local artists.


The Milwaukee Youth Show

The next generation of filmmakers showcase their work in this program, featuring short films made by 18-and-under filmmakers.