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MKE Film Fest

Milwaukee Film Festival announces expected festival guests

The 8th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival has announced a preliminary list of guests for this year’s festival. The current list of guests includes filmmakers, actors and documentary subjects, as well as industry members who will serve as jurors and panelists.

“One of the key things that sets the festival experience above all other movie-going experiences is the ability for the audience to have one-of-a-kind interactions with creators and subjects of the films they’re seeing,” said Jonathan Jackson, artistic and executive director of Milwaukee Film. “It’s part of our effort to make our festival experience more personal for the audience.”

Featured guests this year include Academy Award-winner John Ridley, who recently joined the Milwaukee Film Board of Directors and will be delivering this year’s keynote address; Emmy Award-winner Sam Pollard, who directed the Black Lens film Two Trains Runnin’; The Blind Side actor Quinton Aaron, who stars in the Spotlight Presentations film Halfway; as well as Silicon Valley and Freaks and Geeks actor Martin Starr and Arrested Development’s Mae Whitman, who both star in the United States of Cinema film Operator.

Several documentary subjects who are attending are noteworthy additions to the festival lineup, including Almost Sunrise subjects Anthony Anderson, Katinka Hooyer and Tom Voss; Check It subjects Ron Moten and Travon Warren; From Mass to the Mountain subject Father Wally “Padre Pablo” Kasuboski; HAPPY: A Small Film With A Big Smile subject Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman; Motley’s Law subject Kimberley Motley; and Presenting Princess Shaw subject Samantha Montgomery.

In addition to Sam Pollard, the Black Lens Program is strongly represented with guests from every feature film scheduled to attend. Featured guests include director Matthew A. Cherry (9 Rides), director Delila Vallot (Can You Dig This), actor Charles Brice (How to Tell You’re a Douchebag), director Steven Caple Jr. (The Land), designer Ciara Whaley (The Land), executive producer Raymond C. Lambert (Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise), director Lanre Olabisi (Somewhere in the Middle), and actor Charles Miller (Somewhere in the Middle).

Several acclaimed short-form filmmakers will also be guests of the festival, including Alex Myung (Arrival: A Short Film by Alex Myung), Derek Dow II (The Big Chop), Sterling Milan (Black Movie Night), Amy Storkel (The Dean Scream), Julian Lasseur (Last Call Lenny), Brian Petsos (Lightningface), Shingo Usami (RICEBALLS), and Carlos Javier Ortiz (We All We Got).

Panels and Filmmaker Services events will feature appearances from WNOV 860 radio host Michelle Bryant, Groundwork Milwaukee Program Director Antoine Carter, Walnut Way Executive Director LaShawndra Vernon, WUWM’s Mitch Teich, sports journalist and author Jessie Garcia, Seed&Spark’s Julie Keck and many more guests.

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