Milwaukee Film Fest announces jury award winners

The seventh annual Milwaukee Film Festival has announced its 2015 Jury Award Winners, presenting honors in the Competition and Cream City Cinema programs, which include cash prizes of $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

This is the second Cream City Cinema program win for John Roberts, who also won the award in 2009.

Additional awards were made for a second year by the Shorter is Better and Kids’ Choice Juries.

For the first time, Milwaukee Film also presented awards for Documentary Festival Favorites and the Brico Forward Fund.

“The fact that we had 57 applicants for the inaugural year of the Brico Forward Fund really speaks to the prevalence of filmmaking and the need for financial support in Milwaukee,” said executive director Jonathan Jackson, in a news release. “We can’t thank our donors enough for their generosity in enabling Milwaukee Film to offer such substantial support to these local filmmakers.”

Brico Forward Fund top honors were awarded for continued production of a feature documentary based on local filmmaker Erik Ljung’s Mothers For Justice, a short film included in the 2015 Cream City Cinema’s Milwaukee Show II. "Mothers for Justice" follows Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot by a police officer in 2014 in Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park. In 2015, Maria Hamilton founded the organization Mothers for Justice dedicated to uniting mothers who have lost children in police related deaths and demanding further investigation and accountability from law enforcement.

The Brico Forward Fund, announced earlier this year, is an annual granting program with dedicated funding opportunities for local filmmakers, offering the funds and tools necessary to create and complete worthy filmmaking projects

The 2015 award pool included $50,000 in cash and $76,000 worth of sponsor-donated production resources (camera rentals, lighting rentals and post-production audio and visual services, etc). From this pool, the jury awarded recipients individualized packages to suit the project’s needs and merit.

The Allan H. Bud and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Awards for Feature and Short Films will be announced at the conclusion of the festival this month.


Abele Catalyst Award
Donna and Donald Baumgartner

Herzfeld Competition Award ($10,000 cash)
"No One's Child" (dir. Vuk Ršumović)

Cream City Cinema ($5,000 cash)
"Lemon" (dir. John Roberts)

Cream City Cinema Special Jury Prize
"The Sound Man" (dir. Chip Duncan)

Documentary Jury Award ($5,000 cash)
"The Look of Silence" (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)

Shorter Is Better Award ($1,000 cash)
"Giovanni and the Water Ballet" (dir. Astrid Bussink)

Shorter Is Better Special Jury Prizes
"We Can't Live Without Cosmos" (dir. Konstantin Bronzit)
"De Smet" (dirs. Thomas Baerten, Wim Geudens)

Kids Choice Short Film Award ($1,000 cash)
"A Place in the Middle" (dirs. Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson)

Kids Choice Special Jury Prizes

"Papa" (dir. Natalie Labarre)

"Johnny Express" (dir. James Woo)

Pitch Us Your Doc! Contest Winner (initially announced October 3)
"Wingman Dad" (Elizabeth Ridley)

Brico Forward Fund Winners
"Mothers for Justice" (working title) (Erik Ljung)
"The Night Country"

"When Claude Got Shot" (Brad Lichtenstein) 

"Never Home" (working title) (Pang Yang Her)
"Just Eat" (Laura Dyan Kezman)
"Lunar Man" (Kyle V. James)

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