Director’s Cut Previews the Wisconsin Film Festival

April 4, 2013 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Written by Director’s Cut guest host Pete Schwaba, a film writer and director (and occasional stand-up comic) whose credits include “A Guy Thing” and “The Godfather of Green Bay.”

wff-logoOn our annual Director’s Cut Wisconsin Film Festival special (9 p.m. Friday, April 5) we preview this year’s line up of films that will be seen at the festival in Madison, April 11-18. We’ll take a look at some film clips, talk with Wisconsin Film Festival (WFF) director of programming Jim Healy and meet some really talented Wisconsin filmmakers.

Healy, an avid film buff, discusses the changes in venues at the festival this year as well as some of the featured films. I, for one, am blown away by how much the WFF has grown over the years. My film “The Godfather of Green Bay” was in the 2005 WFF and if the ’05 festival was standing next to this year’s, you wouldn’t even recognize it.

On the program, we welcome a variety of directors including Chris James Thompson of “The Jeffrey Dahmer Files.” “Dahmer” is the veteran filmmaker’s directorial debut and from the clip we featured,  his film looks haunting and very true to life – the actor playing Dahmer is spot on. It will be very interesting to see the response to this film from festival goers.

Jeffrey-Dahmer-Files
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files

Madison filmmaker, Marc Kornblatt also appears on the show and talks about his film “Street Pulse,” about the homeless in Madison. An insightful and touching work.

We also talk to Director’s Cut alum, Jim Carrier who directed “The Librarian and the Banjo” which tells the story of a music librarian who proved that the banjo came from Africa with the slaves. Blyth Renate Meier features her film “So I Could Fly Away,” a short about her father’s childhood on the farm in North Dakota. In the documentary, Blyth proves you don’t need a big budget to get some really nice cinematography. Another short playing at WFF 2013 is “Siszilla” by Madison resident and Director’s Cut veteran Eric J. Nelson. Eric tells us what it was like making a stop-action film and using his own kids – a brave man indeed is this Eric Nelson!

Little-Red
Little Red

By the way, this year’s WFF is not without comedy.  If you’re looking for laughs or can relate to a text-based relationship, check out “Long Distance.” We spoke with Madison comedians, and stars of the film, Stacy Kulow and Bryan Morris who each made their film acting debut in this quirky indie. This might be the perfect change of pace after seeing Mark Metcalf in the creepy “Little Red.”

There are so many intriguing and interesting selections this year that it’s a little overwhelming. If the films you want to see are sold out, there is a good bet you’ll still see some really outstanding works if you just take a chance and play Wisconsin Film Festival roulette. Good luck movie buffs and don’t forget to check out Director’s Cut: Wisconsin Film Festival this Friday for more info on the WFF and some really great film talk.

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