Driftless Film Festival

Sirens

United States, Lebanon | 2022 | 01:19

Sirens

A feature documentary starring the Middle East’s first all-female metal band, Slave to Sirens. On the outskirts of Beirut, Lilas and Shery wrestle with friendship, sexuality and destruction in their pursuit of becoming thrash metal rock stars.

Confession Day

United Kingdom | 2022 | 0:19

Confession Day

Aled must bury his father, and help his mother find peace. An outsider in a tight mining community, Bethan reveals what really happened the night Llewelyn died. The will of a father, broken by the courage of a son.

Livestock On The Land

United States | 2022 | 01:17

Livestock On The Land

In broad-brush, Livestock on the Land is a story about regenerative grazing and its promise for the Iowa landscape. Up close, however, it’s a story about people – the farmers driven by love of family, land and livestock to seek more resilient solutions, and the community that emerges when livestock are on the land.

The film goes beyond the science to show how livestock are central threads connecting people, diversifying farms, protecting soil and water, and anchoring rural communities.

When livestock leave, so do the people. Livestock on the Land shows the reverse: how livestock can re-people our rural communities by giving farmers a chance to get started, grow businesses, provide for their families, work together and bring back the next generation to sustain the cycle.

Tango

United States | 2022 | 0:04

Tango

An elderly man expresses his love through coffee and dance.

Mama Bears

United States | 2022 | 1:31

Mama Bears

An intimate, thought-provoking exploration of the journeys taken by Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, two “mama bears” — whose profound love for their LGBTQ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community — and Tammi Terrell Morris, a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important.

Jesse James

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 0:20

Jesse James

Two lovers must confront the limits of their relationship and the consequences of loss in the time between a neighbor calling the police and the police arriving at the scene of a domestic dispute.

Trace The Line

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 1:35

Trace The Line

Part verité, part direct cinema, Trace The Line depicts the lives of two American artists during the tumultuous year of 2020. Asa, an African American poet, wrestles with the purpose of his life as a young Black man in a divided nation. Eva, a White painter, is confronted with her privilege in a society she no longer understands. Both artists struggle with the onset of the political upheaval, and social unrest — living in a state that has been ground zero for both.

Decolonizing Dinner

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 0:12

Decolonizing Dinner

Explores how reconnecting with traditional Indigenous foodways preserves heritage and identity, and counters the historical and contemporary erasure of Indigenous cultures. Featuring Cocinera Sujhey Beisser of Five Senses Palate, Chef Elena Terry of Wild Bearies, and Chef Anthony Gallarday of Tavo’s Signature Cuisine.

DFF Kids! Featuring Stage Presents

United States | 2022 | 0:35

DFF Kids! Featuring Stage Presents

Join us for a collection of short films tailored just for your young film enthusiast.

Stage Presents: The Gifts of a Shared Experience in Theater is an engaging, intimate film that uses time to reveal what was gained by a group of youngsters who performed together in children’s theater. Their presence on stage resulted in the presents they still keep with them a decade later.

Driftless Short Film Series

Driftless Short Film Series

The Driftless Short Film Series continues DFF’s tradition of highlighting groundbreaking short films during the festival. This year’s series features selections from filmmakers who work in and around the Driftless Area. Enjoy cutting edge filmmaking and spirited discussion.

This year’s short films include:

  • Legend Of The Forgotten Kitty Idol 7 minutes
  • [subtitled] 8 minutes
  • Guys Be Like 4 minutes
  • One Last Clue 5 minutes
  • The Robotanist 4 minutes
  • A Thanksgiving Carol Time 7 minutes
  • Amass 7 minutes
  • Painted Smiles 7 minutes
  • Parish 6 minutes
  • Recalling Wartime 7 minutes
  • The Disappearance of Savannah Grinnell 8 minutes
  • Till Death Do Us Pint 7 minutes
  • The Blackjack Hotel 26 minutes

Sharp Stick

United States | 2022 | 1:26

Sharp Stick

Sarah Jo is a naive 26-year-old living on the fringes of Hollywood with her mother and sister. She just longs to be seen. When she begins an affair with her older employer, she is thrust into an education on sexuality, loss and power.

Pandemia

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 0:08

Pandemia

In early 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic was beginning, a group of people in a waiting room come together to right a wrong.

Winner, Sam Sorenson (Madison) for best script and Julia Dailey (Mineral Point) best actor at the 2022 Milwaukee International Short Film Festival.

Hellscape

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 0:10

Hellscape

A mother searches for the spiritual truth about where her daughter’s soul ended up after her murder.

How (Not) To Build A School In Haiti

United States | 2022 | 1:30

How (Not) To Build A School In Haiti

Development, history, and colonialism collide when a seemingly simple aid project spirals out of control in Haiti. When a headstrong American clashes with Haitian leader, it forces a reckoning on privilege and power.

Not You

United States | 2020 | 0:11

Not You

A mother is one with her baby, but sometimes she needs to welcome an interloper to find a little space.

Spontaneous

United States | 2020 | 0:14

Spontaneous

You never know when someone is miscarrying; it could be happening right next to you.

Riotsville, U.S.A.

United States | 2022 | 1:31

Riotsville, U.S.A.

Welcome to Riotsville, a fictional town built by the US military. Using all archival footage, the film explores the militarization of the police and creates a counter-narrative to the nation’s reaction to the uprisings of the late ’60s.

Beware of the Leopard

United States | 2022 | 0:13

Beware of the Leopard

Follows a group of women at an LA party who discover there is a sexual predator in their midst protected by his celebrity status. As they each share their increasingly distressing interactions, we experience their emotional state in surreal interludes. Explores sexual power imbalance in the world of Hollywood and celebrity, told through a female lens. This women-led film champions female, POC, and LGBTQIA creators, giving voice to the all-too-common experiences of women in this space.

The American Dream And Other Fairy Tales

United States | 2022 | 1:25

The American Dream And Other Fairy Tales

In this feature-length, personal essay documentary, filmmaker and philanthropist Abigail Disney grapples with America’s profound inequality crisis. What Abigail learns-about racism, corporate power, and the American Dream, is eye-opening, unexpected, and inspiring in that it begins to imagine a path to a fairer future for everyone.

Opengate Shutdown

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 0:17

Opengate Shutdown

Paints a picture of a remote financial firm that sees only numbers on a spreadsheet, not productive assets or skilled employees. But working people in both Janesville and Los Angeles mobilized to fight back. As one employee says in the film, “If this stuff keeps going on, there won’t be a middle class anymore.”

Roots Of Fire

United States | 2022 | 1:25

Roots Of Fire

“If you’re not living your culture, you’re killing your culture.”

In ROOTS OF FIRE, a group of musicians honor the rich history and cultural legacy of Cajun music. The genre’s contemporary scene in Louisiana has found mainstream success with Grammy Award nominations and wins, but shuttering venues and aging fans leave some questioning the music’s longevity. Featuring electrifying performances, this vibrant documentary examines the intersection between music and preserving tradition for future generations.

People Of The Port

Wisconsin, United States | 2022 | 0:28

People Of The Port

Jones Island, a mile-long peninsula bordering on the Lake Michigan shoreline of Wisconsin’s largest city, is the home of Milwaukee’s sewerage treatment plant and the city’s port. People Of The Port: The Story of Milwaukee’s Jones Island tells the long and fascinating story of this narrow slice of land. Though there is no evidence remaining of its long and fascinating past, this unusual island has been the site of Native American settlement, fur traders, and shipbuilders. It also was home to the Kaszubs, a group of immigrants fishers who came from a similar region in northern Poland.

  • Host, Writer, Historian: John Gurda
  • Director, Editor: Claudia Looze (Driftless resident)
  • Videography, Sound Design: Anders Gurda
  • Animation: Anthony Wood (Driftless resident)