Driftless Film Festival

American Fable

When 11-year-old Gitty discovers that her beloved father is hiding a wealthy man in her family’s silo in order to save their struggling farm, she is forced to choose between saving the man’s life or protecting her family from the consequences of their actions.

Church of Felons

The captivating true story of addiction, loss, and redemption. 4 multi-offense felons attempt to dig out from rock bottom after a life of addiction and crime, which in heavy-handed Polk County Wisconsin is a long shot.

Divided We Fall

In the spring of 2011, Wisconsinites staged one of the largest sustained protests in US history, with tens of thousands of people from around Wisconsin converging in the capital to oppose newly elected governor Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill.” DIVIDED WE FALL explores the internal challenges of a rapidly developing and diverse social movement; where activists shared common goals, but often had conflicting ideas about how to get there.

Little Boxes

It’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations, while his urban intellectual parents Mack and Gina also strive to adjust to small-town living. Equipped for the many inherent challenges of New York, the tight-knit family are ill prepared for the drastically different set of obstacles that their new community presents, and soon find themselves struggling to understand themselves and each other in this new suburban context.

Little Men

Jake is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler with dreams of being an artist. He meets the affably brash Tony at his grandfather’s funeral, and the unlikely pair soon hit it off. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake’s father and Tony’s mother threatens to become contentious.


The mostly true story of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire with his goat-testicle impotence cure and a million-watt radio station.

Raising Bertie

In an intimate six-year portrait set in rural North Carolina, three African American boys grow into adulthood, exploring complex relationships between generational poverty, educational inequity, and race.

The Barkley Marathons

In its first 25 years only 10 people have finished The Barkley Marathons. Based on a historic prison escape, this cult like race tempts people from around the world to test their limits of physical and mental endurance in this documentary that contemplates the value of pain.

The Driftless Area

Pierre Hunter (Anton Yelchin), a bartender with unyielding optimism, returns to his tiny hometown after his parents’ death. When he falls for the enigmatic Stella (Zooey Deschanel), Pierre is unknowingly pulled into a cat-and-mouse game that involves a duffel bag full of cash, a haphazard yet determined criminal (John Hawkes), and a mystery that will determine all of their fates. With Alia Shawkat, Frank Langella, Aubrey Plaza, and Ciarán Hinds. Zachary Sluser’s film, based on the novel by Tom Drury, is a contemporary fable about the ways we struggle to control time and fate in a possibly predetermined universe.

The Seeker

Set to the music of Midwest indie rock sensation Cloud Cult, a daughter’s idyllic life is turned upside-down by immense tragedy. As she grows older, her cynicism and apathy towards her new reality is challenged by a reminder from the past that sets her on a pilgrimage that will define her.

The Smart Studios Story

Drawing on in-depth-interviews with musicians and producers, never-before-seen archival footage and a ripping-hot soundtrack, American Noise: The Smart Studios Story tells the story of the pivotal Midwest link to the global rise of Alternative Rock in the 1990’s and the unassuming Madison Wisconsin recording studio at its center. The post-70’s explosion of independent music in America has many traceable roots, each with a compelling story. This is one of the most significant stories has never been told until now.

Unbroken Glass

After losing his parents at the age of six, Kartemqin filmmaker Dinesh Sabu travels to India, Louisiana, California, and New Mexico, piecing together the story of his mother’s schizophrenia and how his family dealt with it in an age and culture where mental illness was often misunderstood, scorned and taboo.