Milwaukee Art Museum to Sponsor 2017 Art & Artists Series at This Year’s Milwaukee Film Festival

Posted on August 31st, 2017


Announcing the 2017 Art & Artists Series at This Year’s Milwaukee Film Festival

Milwaukee, Wis. – September 1, 2017 – The Milwaukee Art Museum is pleased to announce the lineup of films for the Art & Artists program as part of the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival running September 28 – October 12. The program will feature six films from around the world.

“Milwaukee has an amazing arts culture, from the incredible theater scene to our world-class Milwaukee Art Museum, to our array of visual artists, writers, dancers and on and on. It’s one of the reasons I made Milwaukee my new home 15 years ago,” commented Kristopher Pollard, Milwaukee Film membership manager and the programmer for the Art & Artists series. “For Milwaukee Film’s Art and Artist program we want to make sure we provide films about a variety of mediums, perspectives, and stories from and about artists all over the world. I’m very excited to bring these six great films to Milwaukee for artists and art lovers, or simply those who appreciate powerful stories and incredible creativity.”

This is the third year that the Milwaukee Art Museum has sponsored the Art & Artists series of the festival. This year, the Museum has joined the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Tap Milwaukee to promote and showcase this collection of films—documentary, biopics, and fictional narratives—highlighting a variety of art forms in addition to the art of film making. The complete Milwaukee Film Festival Program books can be picked up at the Milwaukee Art Museum Admissions desk beginning September 2.

“As a representative of the Museum, I can say we are incredibly honored to yet again sponsor this important series. The permanent collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum includes a number of works by both Paula Modersohn-Becker and Elizabeth Murray, with Elizabeth Murray’s painting Night Reach currently on view. So it’s particularly thrilling to get so much additional depth for these artists’ stories to Milwaukeeans,” said Amanda C. Peterson, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Milwaukee Art Museum. “And as a film lover and a Milwaukee Film member, I can’t wait to see this collection of thoughtfully curated movies about the arts and the creative process.”

2017 Milwaukee Film Festival Art & Artists Lineup

(USA / 2017 / Director: Andrew Rossi )
Okwui Okpokwasili’s stunning one-woman theater show, Bronx Gothic, is a piece of performance art that must be seen to be believed. Fusing song, dance, drama and comedy all in the service of telling the autobiographical tale of two young Black girls in 1980s New York, the effect achieved is nothing short of mesmeric. Filmed with breathtaking immediacy and intimacy, (much of the performance filmed as part of Milwaukee’s former Alverno Presents program), while also delving deep behind-the-scenes into the creative process, Bronx Gothic is art of the highest caliber.

(UK / 2016 / Director: Benjamin Wigley)
Once upon a time in Ghana, Paa Joe’s business—bespoke “fantasy coffins,” meticulously crafted simulacra of mythic beasts—was booming, but that time appears long past. His son Jacob seeks to return the family business to its former glory, a plan that begins with an artist residency in the U.K. where they will craft their biggest and boldest coffin yet: a majestic lion. Paa Joe & The Lion is the heartwarming fish-out-of-water story about a father and son embracing life through art that celebrates death.

(Germany / 2016 / Director: Christian Schwochow)
The versatile Carla Juri (so great in past MFF selections *Wetlands* and *Morris from America*) portrays Paula Becker, a provincial German woman who bucked societal trends in the early 1900s to pursue a career in art, embracing her wild emotions while crafting works that would later come to be recognized as exemplars of the Expressionist movement. An empowering period piece espousing feminist ideals in an era that was inhospitable to outspoken women, Paula is a long-overdue tribute to an artist well ahead of her time.

(New Zealand / 2016 / Director: Alison Maclean)
Adapted from Booker Prize-winning author Eleanor Catton’s novel, The Rehearsal takes us behind the scenes deep into the process of a college theater class as first-year student Stanley struggles to get himself in the good graces of his pathologically driven teacher. Eventually he happens upon the perfect source material for their end-of-year performance, but performing it could cost him a blossoming romance as well as his standing in the theater department in this engrossing drama that provides genuine insight into the art of performance.

(USA / 2017 / Director: Sam Wainwright Douglas)
Native American art collective Postcommodity have a bold notion: 28 inflatable spheres evenly distributed across a two-mile-long stretch of the U.S./Mexico border, laying bare the fiction that separates while celebrating the indigenous cultures that inhabited this land long before arbitrary lines were drawn between us. With the help of artists on both sides of the border, Postcommodity struggle to enact their vision and provide a necessary dose of positivity to counterbalance the negativity surrounding immigration and border relations currently plaguing our airwaves.

(Italy, USA / 2016 / Director: Kristi Zea)
Elizabeth Murray was a true vanguard in the art world: a single mother who refused to sacrifice family for her thriving career, a creator whose colorful, playful paintings detonated the space between high and low art, becoming a pop art luminary and one of the few female artists given a career retrospective at the MoMA. Murray never stopped creating, even as she battled cancer and as the verite footage, interviews with art world luminaries and journal entries narrated by Meryl Streep all attest to, we’re richer for it.

About the Milwaukee Art Museum
Home to a rich collection of more than 30,000 works of art, the Milwaukee Art Museum is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Its campus includes the Santiago Calatrava–designed Quadracci Pavilion, annually showcasing three feature exhibitions, and the Eero Saarinen–designed Milwaukee County War Memorial Center and David Kahler‒designed addition. The Museum recently reopened its Collection Galleries, debuting nearly 2,500 world-class works of art within dramatically transformed galleries and a new lakefront addition. This reimagined space also allows for the presentation of additional changing exhibitions. For more information, please visit: mam.org.

About the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival
The 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by Associated Bank, will take place September 28 – October 12 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill, Times Cinema, and Avalon Theater. Discounted Festival Passes and ticket 6-Packs are now on sale at mkefilm.org/tickets.


Media Contacts:

Milwaukee Art Museum
Cindy Moran, 414-224-3282

Milwaukee Film
Emily Foster, 414-755-1965 ext. 216