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Milwaukee Film Fest offers guest speakers, conversation series

Silence is urged during the shows, but talk is encouraged afterward at the fifth annual Milwaukee Film Festival, which features several panel discussions, a lecture and the Milwaukee debut of the Sundance Institute ShortsLab.

The Sundance workshop – free to UWM students, $100 for the general public – explores the world of short filmmaking and how directors transition from shorts to features.

ShortsLab Milwaukee participants include filmmakers David Lowery, Ry Russo-Young and Calvin Lee Reeder and Sundance Film Festival short film programmer Mike Plante.

The program takes place on Oct. 5 at the UWM student union.

Panels presented by the Milwaukee Film Festival take place at Colectivo Coffee, 2211 N. Prospect Ave., and include:

• Representing Race on Sept. 28, with a discussion on “concerns and questions that arise when representing race issues onscreen in contemporary film.” UWM professor Donte McFadden moderates the panel that includes journalist Eugene Kane, producer Nathaniel Kohn and directors T.J. McKay Martin and Grace Lee.

• MKE At Risk: Transgender Youth Awareness on Sept. 29, with a screening of “Valentine Road” at the Oriental Theatre and then a conversation about transgender youth awareness and advocacy in Milwaukee moderated by Mitch Teich of WUWM’s Lake Effect and featuring Michael Munson and Loree Cook-Daniels of FORGE, Tina Owen of Alliance School and Syd Robinson of the ACLU of Wisconsin.

• Work-In-Progress Forum on Oct. 6, with a sneak peek at several in-progress projects by Wisconsin filmmakers. Director Jeff Reichert is moderating a panel that includes Pat Buckley, Manny Marquez, Jeff Gendelman, Cris Siqueira, Chris James Thompson, Rubin Whitmore II and Xavier Ruffin.

• Filmmaker, Meet Entrepreneur on Oct. 6, with Milwaukee filmmakers Susan Kerns, Brad Lichtenstein and Kurt Raether interviewing Milwaukee entrepreneurs Kelly Fitzsimmons, Andy Nunemaker and Michael Drescher on applying business practices and the entrepreneurial spirit to filmmaking.

The festival also presents Sara Hall of the University of Illinois-Chicago lecturing on trends in German cinema on Sept. 29.

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