Driftless Film Festival
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November 2018

Rodents of Unusual Size

November 1, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CDT

Hard-headed Louisiana fisherman Thomas Gonzales doesn't know what will hit him next. After decades of hurricanes and oil spills he faces a new threat — hordes of monstrous 20-pound swamp rats. Known as nutria, these invasive South American rodents breed faster than the roving squads of hunters can control them. And with their orange teeth and voracious appetite they are eating up the coastal wetlands that protect Thomas and his town of Delacroix Island from hurricanes. But the people who…

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Loving Vincent

November 2, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm CDT
$10

On July 27, 1890, a gaunt figure stumbled down a drowsy high street at twilight in the small French country town of Auvers. The man was carrying nothing; his hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly. This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little-known artist; now the most famous artist in the world. His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot. Loving…

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Minding The Gap

November 2, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT
$10

First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary Minding the Gap is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. In his quest to understand why he and his friends ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend,…

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FUTURE LANGUAGE: The Dimensions of VON LMO

November 2, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CDT
$10

FUTURE LANGUAGE: The Dimensions of VON LMO is a distorted portrait of an artist that explores storytelling, ego, delusion, conviction and memory. VON LMO is a musician/artist and self-proclaimed alien-hybrid who was a part of the late 70s New York No Wave music scene. Between trips to his home planet of Strazar and multi-dimensional travel, VON has also spent some very real time in prison and on the streets of Earth. Challenged with translating his Future Language for audiences across…

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The Blood Is At The Doorstep

November 2, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm CDT

After Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by police in Milwaukee, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice, and reform as the investigation unfolds. Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre's death, this intimate verite documentary follows his family as they channel their grief into community organizing in an attempt to reset the narrative. Offering a painfully realistic glimpse inside a movement born…

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Dawson City: Frozen Time

November 3, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm CDT
$10

This meditation on cinema’s past from Decasia director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre history of a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1900s. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was settled in 1896 and became the center of the Canadian Gold Rush that brought 100,000 prospectors to the area. It was also the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned.…

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Short Film Program

November 3, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT
$10

Program includes ten-minute Q&A session with filmmakers at conclusion. Filmmakers in attendance are noted with an asterisk:   Mother Christmas by JS Ondara Directed by: Brendan T. Jones * Music video, 4 min Smile Baby Directed by: Lauren Barker Short fiction, 7 min Recycle Directed by: Spencer Ortega Short comedy, 11 min Pure Gold by WorldwideDG Directed by: David Busse * Music video, 3 min John Caution Directed by: Jon Elliott * Short comedy, 22 min Countryside Drive Directed by:…

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Hello Girls

November 3, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CDT
$10

In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators to help win the Great War. They swore Army oaths, wore uniforms, held rank, and were subject to military justice. By war’s end, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by General John J. Pershing for their service. When they returned home, the U.S. government told them they were never soldiers. For 60 years, they fought their own government for recognition. In…

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Decoding the Driftless

November 3, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm CDT

In the middle of North America exists a beautiful and mysterious land, left untouched for millions of years by massive continental glaciers of the last Ice Age. This is the Driftless — a rugged landscape home to tremendous biodiversity, fascinating geology, and features unique in the world. Take a breathtaking flight over ancient, scenic bluffs, dive into cold-water trout streams, rappel down precipitous and rugged rock faces, venture deep into ancient caves, explore mysterious underground rivers, and enjoy the magnificence of…

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Riverwest Film and Video

November 4, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm CST
$10

This documentary is about Riverwest Film & Video, a store in Milwaukee that rents DVDs and sells film equipment. It also hosts a neighborhood radio station open to anyone who wants to produce a program. The documentary examines the regulars of the store and the radio programmers and their relationships with the place. It is also an investigation of a space in which the public and the private merge.

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Short Film Program

November 4, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CST
$10

Program includes ten-minute Q&A session with filmmakers at conclusion. Filmmakers in attendance are noted with an asterisk:   Singularity Stories, Vol. 1 Directed by: Asa Derks * Fiction, 11 min American Chestnut Story Directed by: Buzz Holland * Documentary, 31 min The Root of Happiness Directed by: Andy Truschinski * Fiction, 25 min

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Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind

November 4, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CST

A documentary portrait of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band from Raleigh, North Carolina, and their mentor, fiddler Joe Thompson (1919-2012). Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind captures how three African-American musicians from the hip-hop generation embraced a 19th-century genre and took it to new heights, winning a Grammy in 2010. The story of the band’s meteoric rise, from busking on the street to playing major festivals, is punctuated and informed by the history of the banjo’s origins in…

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October 2019

Betty White: A Life in Television

October 31, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm CDT

Filmed over the course of 10 years by the team behind the acclaimed Pioneers of Television series, Betty White: First Lady of Television is a warm look at the life and career of the beloved television and film legend who celebrates 80 years in show business this year — officially the longest career in the history of TV. Lauded for her roles as the bawdy Sue Ann on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” the innocent Rose on “The Golden Girls”…

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November 2019

Amazing Grace: Aretha Franklin

November 1, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT

Recorded in 1972 live at Rev James Cleveland’s church in Watts, California in front of a lively audience/congregation, Amazing Grace would become the highest selling album of Franklin’s career and the most popular gospel album of all time. However, the film was never released publicly. Sydney Pollack was a feature-film director. When recording, sound is usually post-synched on the back-lot. After the remarkable two days of recording, the editors threw up their hands. There were no clappers, no marks to…

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Hail Satan?

November 1, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CDT

When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social…

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Lake Michigan Monster

November 1, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm CDT

The eccentric Captain Seafield hires a crew of specialists to help him plot revenge against the creature that killed his father. After several failed attempts, Seafield is forced to take matters into his own drunken hands. What began as a simple case of man verses beast soon turns into a rabbit hole of mysterious unknowns and Lovecraftian hijinks. Lake Michigan Monster — banned in four lakes!

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Eating Up Easter

November 2, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm CDT

The iconic statues and sensationalized "mysteries" of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) have drawn the interest of the world for centuries, attracting curious visitors to its shores. Today, this tiny, barren island is experiencing an economic boon as tourism skyrockets. Yet the indigenous culture and the island’s fragile environment are suffering. Directed by native Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, Eating Up Easter explores the dilemma his people are facing. Crafted as a story passed down to his newborn son, Sergio intertwines…

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Short Film Program

November 2, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT

Film Titles TBA

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Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

November 2, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CDT

An artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the legendary storyteller and Nobel prize-winner. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio, to ʼ70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room — Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature. Inspired…

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The Field

November 2, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm CDT

To save their marriage, Ben and Lydia (Tim Higgins, Kara Mulrooney) risk it all and buy a farmstead in Manitowoc, Wisconsin (Making a Murderer.) Lydia is determined to transform the rotting house into a dream home and finally start a family, but Ben’s photographs reveal they’re not alone… Mysterious figures begin appearing in Ben’s photos and Lydia unearths grotesque artifacts in their house. An odd woman called Edith (Veronica Cartwright) is found to be living in a chicken coop on…

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The Infiltrators

November 3, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm CST

Without warning, Claudio Rojas is detained by ICE officials outside his Florida home. He is transferred to the Broward Transitional Center, a detention facility used as a holding space for imminent deportations. Terrified of never seeing him again, Claudio’s family contacts the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), a group of activist Dreamers known for stopping deportations. Believing that no one is free as long as one is in detention, NIYA enlists Marco Saavedra to self-deport with the hopes of gaining…

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Played Out

November 3, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CST

Booda is a rapper struggling to live the hip hop lifestyle and promote his new tracks while dealing with parental and spousal responsibilities; Leslie is a single mom trying to find the right way to tell her teenage son she's quit her job. James (who is in a rock band with Leslie) is trying to juggle eating cold pasta and getting high, with getting home in time to celebrate his kid sister's birthday. A day in the life of these…

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Echo In The Canyon

November 3, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm CST

Echo In The Canyon celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound. It was a moment (1965 to 1967) when bands came to LA to emulate The Beatles and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of musicians who would soon…

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