2023 Wisconsin Film Festival Guide

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Wisconsin Film Festival







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Fest Staff

Professor Kelley Conway Director

Mike King | Artistic Director

Ben Reiser | Director of Operations & Wisconsin’s Own Programming

Jim Healy | Director of Programming, UW Cinematheque

Terry Kerr | Big Screens, Little Folks Programming, Educational Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator

John Bennett | Wisconsin’s Own Programmer, Print Traffic Coordinator

Xavier Nohara | Wisconsin’s Own Programmer

Ella Schienle | Wisconsin’s Own Programmer

Karin Kolb | Big Screens, Little Folks Senior Programmer

Kyra Hunting Big Screens, Little Folks Programmer

Kathleen Ricci Corporate, Campus and Community Partnerships and Grants

Christina King | Art Director

Karen Cross Durham | Marketing and PR

Jane Schroeder | Hospitality and Events Coordinator

Justin Dean | Technical Director

Michaela Holzhuter Digital Communications

Pratibha Singh | Financial Specialist


Mike King (MK)

Jim Healy (JH)

Ben Reiser (BR)

Terry Kerr (TK)

Kelley Conway (KC)

John Bennett (JB)

Cyndi Bryan (CB)

Ella Schienle (ES)

Kyra Hunting (KH)

Karin Kolb (KK)

Xavier Nohara (XN)

James Kenney (JK)

Olivia Babler (OB)


Julian Antos, Olivia Babler, Travis Bird, Mia Fiumefreddo, Becca Hall


Boyd Hillestad, Pete Sengstock, James Runde, Lynn Malone, Sophie Hougland, Clara Schanck


Ben Reiser, Matthew Sanborn, Andrew Rohn, Sarah Streich, Steve Tyska, Catherine Capellaro, Lea Tyska, Brian Daly & James Runde

About the Festival

First launched in 1999, the Wisconsin Film Festival curates, promotes, and exhibits programs that showcase the art and history of world cinema. A non-profit annual event supported by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Festival advances the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University by exposing the campus and the greater community to films and filmmakers from Wisconsin and beyond.

The Wisconsin Film Festival is firmly grounded in the belief that cinema is an essential art form that enriches human experience and enhances our knowledge of diverse cultures. As such, we seek to create a strong sense of community by creating a diverse program of films for viewers of all ages presented with state-of-the-art projection. The Wisconsin Film Festival is the Wisconsin Idea in action.

Upon witnessing the euphoric global reaction to his early knockout SUMMER WARS (WFF ’10), anime master Mamoru Hosoda observed that “of course, I want my film to be enjoyed in other countries, but I believe only good local movies can be good international movies.” Since 1999, the Wisconsin Film Festival has been celebrating 25 years of local movies—whether made by an iconic auteur from across the globe or your weird coworker who had a funny idea for a short. The virtues of specificity stretch across time, too—our retrospective selections can tell us as much about the moment we are currently in as when they were made. (For a taste of exactly how much the world has and hasn’t changed since our founding, don’t miss the very 1999 documentary TIME BOMB Y2K in this year’s fest.) The same great film might have played differently at our first festival as it would this year, and then again in 2048 at the 50th Wisconsin Film Festival—that’s part of the magic of art. One place that didn’t exist in 1999 was the Sundance Cinemas at Hilldale, and while the closing of these theaters ends a certain chapter of WFF, the story goes on. We were here before those theaters were built, and we’ll be here after. So as we enjoy one last week in these rooms that have hosted hundreds of festival screenings and dozens of Q&As, one takeaway is that we should appreciate the places that make Madison special while we have them. Reengage with our remaining local cultural institutions and gathering places—both non-profit and commercial—because they are what makes Madison a place worth living in. Because if we don’t start enjoying what Madison has to offer, the rest of the city will close around us. So instead of idly wondering when you last treated yourself to a museum, concert, play, or a night at the Cinematheque, make plans with friends to hit the town and enjoy the things you love in this world—or try something totally new to you. We’re lucky enough to live in a pretty amazing place, so let’s get out there and make the most of it. We’ll get you started: here are eight decadent days of movies to indulge in.

Opening Night Sponsors

The Wisconsin Film Festival is
WISCONSIN FILM FESTIVAL Room 2108, 821 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706 (608) 262-6578 / info@wifilmfest.org / wifilmfest.org / @wifilmfest
presented by the University of
Communication Arts.


Order Online

Set up your account at WIFILMFEST.EVENTIVE.ORG

If you’ve already purchased a Festival pass or Holiday 10pack, or purchased tickets or passes for our 2022 Festival, you already have an account.

Make sure you can sign in and have a working password.

All-Festival passholders can acquire tickets for individual screenings beginning noon central time on Friday, March 10. Passholders can acquire one ticket for any and all individual screenings, as long as screenings do not overlap. Instructions on how to use your pass will be posted at wifilmfest.eventive.org.

Tickets to individual screenings will be on sale to the general public beginning Saturday, March 11 at noon CST and available for purchase 24/7 through the end of the Festival. Holiday 10-packs can be redeemed at this time. Tickets ordered online will be sent directly to your email. Just show the QR code on your phone at the theater, or print your tickets at home.


In Person

Wisconsin Film Festival will have an in-person box office on opening day of ticket sales. There are no cost savings for in-person ticket purchases, and if possible, we recommend purchasing/acquiring tickets online.

Please note our in-person box office hours will be: Saturday, March 11, Noon-5PM *

Wisconsin Film Festival - Hilldale, located in the former AMC Madison 6 - Hilldale.

* Sign up for our Wisconsin Film Festival Newsreel at wifilmfest.org for information about other possible in-person box office dates.



During the Fest

Tickets will be available during the Festival at all Festival venues for same-day ticket purchases and Rush Tickets Free Day-Of screening tickets for UW Madison students–subject to availability.

Every current UW–Madison student with a valid WisCard is eligible for one free ticket to every screening at every Festival venue all Festival long—a chance to see any of our 150 films FOR FREE! Just arrive at a screening with your WisCard and if we have a seat available, it’s yours, free!

Learn more at wifilmfest.org


All Film Festival venues are accessible by bike, bus, and car. For details on transportation and accessibility, visit wifilmfest.org/venues

3 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG
PER TICKET SHANNON HALL Memorial Union 800 Langdon St. union.wisc.edu CHAZEN MUSEUM OF ART 750 University Ave. chazen.wisc.edu UW CINEMATHEQUE Room 4070, Vilas Hall 821 University Ave. cinema.wisc.edu THE MARQUEE 2nd Floor, Union South 1308 Dayton St. union.wisc.edu WISCONSIN FILM FESTIVAL HILLDALE 430 N. Midvale Blvd. wifilmfest.org CHECK WIFILMFEST.ORG FOR NEWS AND UPDATES. FESTIVAL SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Tickets TICKETS ON SALE MARCH 11/NOON
OPENING NIGHT! WIFILMFEST.EVENTIVE.ORG Luxembourg, Luxembourg RECEPTION $25 5 PM / SUNSET LOUNGE MEMORIAL UNION MOVIE $12 7 PM / SHANNON HALL MEMORIAL UNION April 13, 2023 1 W Dayton St | Madison, WI 53703 800 365 8293 | concoursehotel.com Proud Supporter of the Wisconsin Film Festival concoursehotel.com/wisconsin-film-fest MAKE A NIGHT OUT OF IT

4 X 8 = 16 12


Addicted to Life

SUN, APRIL 16 • 6:30 PM


Good Morning

Experimental • USA • 2023 • 7 MIN

Director: Bill Bedford

Bill Bedford returns to WFF with another mesmerizing exploration of colors, textures and sound, this one built around a letter written by Bedford’s great, great, great grandfather. (BR)

Addicted to Life

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 86 MIN

Director: Pola Rapaport Cast: Featuring Marieke Vervoort, Dr. Wim Distelmans

From the roar of the crowd at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio to a quiet neighborhood in a Belgian suburb, Addicted to Life takes us on an expansive, extremely intimate journey. The documentary follows Marieke Vervoort, a champion athlete suffering from reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The pain and

incurability of this degenerative condition prompted Marieke to opt for euthanasia–a legal option for end-oflife care in Belgium. Yet for Marieke, euthanasia represents power over her condition rather than submission to it. Throughout Addicted to Life, Marieke makes a lasting impact on those around her by simply living her life on her own terms, while battling the circumstances of her chronic illness. As viewers of this fly-on-thewall documentary we experience Marieke’s immense willpower in every aspect of her daily life from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Marieke’s story of personal success is a unique tale of tenacity and determination in the face of debilitating circumstances. As contradictory as it may seem, this riveting and frank film succeeds in making the case that life, in whatever shape it may take, is something to be celebrated, and not taken for granted.

Army of Darkness

SUN, APRIL 16 • 6:30 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Bob Murawski 35MM • Narrative • USA • 1992 • 81 MIN

Director: Sam Raimi Cast: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Bridget Fonda Bruce Campbell stars as the everyman hero, Ash, in the concluding chapter of the Evil Dead trilogy, Sam Raimi’s opus of chainsaws, chainmail and chopped body parts. Picking up right where Evil Dead 2 left off, Ash finds himself trapped in the 14th century after the Book of the Dead creates some shenanigans with the space-time continuum. In medieval times, Ash strikes a deal with a local warlord who will provide the means to return to the 20th century if Ash helps retrieve the magical book from a mysterious forest. Disaster strikes, however, when Ash’s faulty memory and his impatience with the primitive screwhead natives lead him to accidentally unleash the Deadite army, a ragtag band of skeletons and

zombies led by Ash’s undead double. Raimi began his trilogy in 1981 with The Evil Dead, an independent horror item shot on a shoestring budget with his pals from Michigan. Army of Darkness, released in 1993 by Universal Pictures, had a budget that was one hundred times greater than the original, a fact that only emboldened the anarchic spirit of Raimi and Campbell, who is positively zany in his dual role. A dizzying blend of slapstick action and gratuitous gore, filled with MAD magazine type gags and Ray Harryhausen style stopmotion effects, Army of Darkness is a truly groovy blast to the past. Academy Award winning editor Bob Murawski, who has been Sam Raimi’s regular collaborator for more than 30 years, will join us in-person to discuss his work on this horrorcomedy classic, which will screen on glorious 35mm film in honor of its 30th anniversary! (JH)

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Arrives 25 After the First Show 23 Amount Due 28 And on the Sixth Day 12 Assaman 28 Be Gay Tomorrow 10 The Blackjack Hotel 28 Bristles 23 Carol & Janet 28 Cat and Moth 23 Charlie and the Hunt 23 Chocolate Cake 25 Dangun 23 The Devil Will Run 29 Don’t Blow it Up 23 Eight Flags for 99 Cents 25 El Baile 23 Everything I Learned... 28 Expiration Dates 21 Father Tongue 23 Franzy’s Soup Kitchen 23 Friday Night Blind 21 Full Circle 21 Ghost’s Best Friend 10 The Girl Who Built a Rocket 23 The Glasses 10 Glee 10 Good Morning 5 The Grain of Belfast 10 Hermanita 10 Hush Hush Little Bear 23 Jasmine and Jambo 23 Jerry’s 25 John and Linda 10 Junkin’ 21 Kayak 23 lake time 10 The Last Milk 11 Looking Backward 10 Luce and the Rock 23 Margie Soudek’s Salt... 29 Margot’s Sister 12 Merit x Zoe 10 Mister E 25 Mondale Courting 21 Noise 25 Of Wood 10 Period Drama 28 Pete 23 Pim and Pom at the Museum 23 Pocket Lint 28 Prairie Girls 25 The Red Tide 10 The Saga of the First... 25 Saltwater 25 Silt 25 The Small Hours 10 Soundscape 23 Spectrum Spread 10 Strange Industries 10 The Sun is Long 12 Super Up 25 Surfacing... 10 Terrarium 10 The Trial 26 Unwritten History... 25 Variety Show... 25 Wâhkôhtowin... 23 We Make Great Pets 28 Wheel Kids 23 Wonderment 23

The Beasts

As Bestas

SUN, APRIL 16 • 6:45 PM


MON, APRIL 17 • 8 PM


Narrative • Spain, France • 2022 • Galician, Spanish, French with English subtitles • 137 MIN

Director: Rodrigo Sorogoyen Cast: Marina Foïs, Denis Ménochet, Luis Zahera

In a picturesque but run-down corner of Galicia, a wealthy French couple has moved into an old farmhouse and are trying to turn things around. But their evangelizing for organic agriculture and rejection of a wind farm payout puts them at odds with the locals, who start messing with these upper-class invaders in increasingly threatening ways. Their intense stand-off soon escalates to a point of no return. Recently seen in Peter von Kant (UW Cinematheque 2022) and Custody (WFF 2018), but forever indelible as the dairy farmer from the first scene of Inglourious Basterds, French actor Denis Ménochet is at his commanding best as well-intentioned but stubborn outsider at the center of this spectacularly tense rural thriller. Nominated for a whopping 17 Goya Awards (the Spanish Oscar equivalent), and winner of 9, including Best Film, Director, Actor, and Screenplay. “A terrific psychological thriller and a brooding, muscular piece of filmmaking which makes the most of both the Galician backdrop and the imposing physicality of Ménochet and, as his nemesis Xan, the remarkable Luis Zahera” (Screen Daily). Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, 2022 Tokyo Film Festival. (MK)

Presented with support from UWMadison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS)


Beyond Human Nature

SAT, APRIL 15 • 4 PM


Documentary • USA • 2023 • 108 MIN

Director: Michael Neelsen Cast: Mike Piaskowski, Randy Winkler, Cal Monfils, John Żakowski, Steve Kaplan

One early winter day in 1992, paper mill worker Tom Monfils went missing. Thirty-six hours later, he was found dead at the bottom of a pulp vat. A 40-pound weight was attached to a rope tied around his neck. Almost immediately, Tom’s death was considered a homicide. Since it had to have occurred inside the paper mill - a locked building with 24-hour security - a list of suspects was quickly generated. At the top of this list was a coworker Tom had recently butted heads with in a very public way. Everyone expected an arrest within days. It took more than two years. Beyond Human Nature unfolds thrillingly, like the great page-turning true crime story that it is, using first-person accounts and elegant, dramatic recreations. Nature marks only the second feature length documentary by director Michael Neelsen, who returns to the Wisconsin Film Festival 11 years after we premiered his triumphant Last Day At Lambeau (WFF ‘12). (BR)

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


Director: Pierre Földes Narrative • France, Luxembourg, Canada, Netherlands • 2022 • 105 MIN

This dazzling animation adapts several short stories by Haruki Murakami to create one spellbinding new work, brimming with all the mystery, wonder, and absurdity found in the iconic writer’s best fiction. Seamlessly combining an array of animation techniques, director Pierre Földes immerses us in a parallel-universe Japan where everyday people encounter wish-granting restaurateurs, find themselves entranced by a strange monologue in a love hotel, or are recruited to save Tokyo by a six-foot wisecracking psychic frog-man. “Living with you is like living with a chunk of air,” a woman levels with her husband, sending him on a psychedelic odyssey in search of their lost cat. Whether you are a Murakami devotee who recognizes the premise from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in the preceding or if you are unfamiliar with his unique literary universe, this beguiling shapeshifter makes for a magical night at the movies. “Elegantly surreal. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is an impressive achievement, a piece of storytelling which balances moments of flighty whimsy against deeper existential questions. Engrossing and persuasive, it is a world of mysteries which, humanoid frog notwithstanding, has its own offbeat logic and slippery appeal” (Screen International). (MK)

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

FRI, APRIL 14 • 8:15 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 11:15 AM


Documentary • Uganda, United Kingdom, USA •

2022 • Luganda with English subtitles • 113 MIN

Director: Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo

Blue Jean

FRI, APRIL 14 • 6:15 PM SAT, APRIL 15 • 1:15 PM HILLDALE, CINEMA 1 HILLDALE, CINEMA 1 Narrative • United Kingdom • 2022 • 97 MIN

Director: Georgia Oakley Cast: Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes, Lucy Halliday Newcastle, 1988. Jean is living a double life, but not because she wants to. By day, she teaches gym to teenagers at the local public school—at night, she hits up the local lesbian bar with her partner and their crew of friends. It’s unjust, but Jean’s primary concern is to keep her job in the face of newly passed Thatcherite legislation that prohibits teachers from even acknowledging that homosexuality exists. When a new student starts turning up in Jean’s after-hours social circle, her scrupulously separated identities threaten to collide. Rosy McEwan gives an astonishingly sensitive lead performance as a fundamentally decent person who, cornered by societal pressures, is all too capable of betraying others in the interest of saving her own skin in the short-term. Georgia Oakley’s impressive debut feature was nominated for 13 British Film Independent Awards, second only to Aftersun.

“A slam-dunk masterpiece” (Telegraph). “Superb. A remarkably accomplished picture on every level, not least the keenly felt and fiercely authentic performances. Blue Jean is a bold, deeply affecting drama” (Screen Daily). “Powerful and poignant… one of the year’s most moving films” (NME). (MK) Presented with support from UW-Madison Gender & Sexuality Campus Center

Born in the slums of Kampala, Bobi Wine, former member of Uganda’s parliament, activist, and a national superstar musician, has dedicated his life to fighting the ruthless current regime led by former military leader Yoweri Museveni. Museveni has been in power since 1986 and when he changed Uganda’s constitution to enable him to run for yet another five-year term, Bobi Wine announced that he was running in the country’s 2021 presidential elections. In this fight, the opposition candidate uses his music to denounce the dictatorial regime, but he must also directly confront the country’s police and military, which are not afraid to use violence and torture in a vain attempt to intimidate and silence him and his supporters. Thanks to generous access provided by Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie, what sets Bobi Wine: The People’s President apart from most journalistic documentaries is the remarkable and often frightening footage that was captured by filmmakers Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo, as they follow the day-to-day struggles of their subject during his historic and courageous campaign. Sharp and Bwayo began their project thinking it would be a portrait of a World Music celebrity with a conscience. They finished with the story of two loyal citizens who risk their own lives, and the lives of their children, to dislodge and liberate their nation and defend the oppressed and voiceless people of Uganda. The filmmakers put themselves at great risk too, and, in fact, Bwayo survived being shot in the face during filming and spent several nights in prison. Ultimately, the directors and their subject have delivered a movie that has all the trappings of a riveting political thriller, and it is all real. (JH) Presented with support from UW-Madison African Cultural Studies and UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center


Bunny Lake is Missing

WED, APRIL 19 • 7:45 PM


Narrative • United Kingdom • 1965 • 107 MIN

Director: Otto Preminger Cast: Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier, Keir Dullea, Noël Coward, The Zombies

Newly arrived in England, young American mother Ann Lake (Carol Lynley) claims that her daughter Bunny has been snatched from her school in London, but no one at the school, it seems, has ever seen or even heard of Bunny. Ann seeks help, first from her devoted brother (Keir Dullea of 2001: A Space Odyssey), and then from a kind, yet serious police inspector (a wonderfully low-key Laurence Olivier), who doggedly works to determine if Ann is just delusional or if Bunny Lake is truly missing. Filmed in black and white widescreen Panavision, this sinuous, paranoid thriller from producer/director Otto Preminger is adapted from a novel by Evelyn Piper. Made at a time when all sorts of international filmmakers were descending on “swinging” London, Preminger’s movie is closer in feeling to Polanski’s Repulsion than Antonioni’s Blowup, focusing more on a weird community of eccentrics and the disturbed interior lives of the main characters rather than on fashion and cultural trends. Even so, in one scene Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers The Zombies (whose story is told in Hung Up on a Dream at this year’s WFF) perform “Just Out of Reach” while appearing on a pub’s television set. “Preminger approaches the mystery of human irrationality and emotion through logic and detachment; the effect is stingingly poignant” (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader). A beautiful 4K restoration of Bunny Lake is Missing from Sony Pictures will be shown. (JH)

Cairo Conspiracy | Walad min al janna


Narrative • Sweden, France, Finland, Denmark • 2022 • Arabic with English subtitles • 125 MIN

Director: Tarik Saleh Cast: Tawfeek Barhom, Fares Fares, Mohammad Bakri

The elite worlds of higher education, religion and government collide in dramatic and suspenseful fashion in Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh’s Cairo Conspiracy. Adam comes from a family of modest means in a coastal Egyptian village. When he receives a letter of admission to Al-Azhar University—a prestigious institution of Islamic studies—he sees it as a great opportunity. Shortly after his matriculation, however, the university’s Grand Imam suddenly passes away, setting off a high-stakes power struggle to find his replacement. Cairo Conspiracy follows the shy and uncertain Adam as he becomes inexorably swept into the sinister power-play machinations to elect a new Grand Imam. Adam is recruited by Ibrahim, a government official, to spy on the university’s most secret inner workings. Adam soon finds himself caught in the crosshairs of dangerous intrigue as he bluffs his way into the university’s extremist circles while simultaneously navigating a menacing state bureaucracy. Winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival, Cairo Conspiracy is both thrilling and thoughtful; it’s as much a taut political thriller as it is an intelligent critique of the excesses of government and organized religion alike. (JB)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Middle Eastern Studies Program

The Cameraman

SAT, APRIL 15 • 1 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Ken Kwapis

Narrative • USA • 1928 • 69 MIN

Director: Edward Sedgwick Cast: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Edward Brophy Buster Keaton stars as a street corner tintype photographer whose ambitions grow after meeting the girl of his dreams (the fetching Marceline Day), a receptionist for MGM’s New York newsreel office. Transformed into a freelance movie news cameraman, Buster creates comedy gold trying to get to a warehouse fire, filming a Chinatown Tong War, wooing his girl at a public swimming pool, and pantomiming a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. The Cameraman, Keaton’s first film under his contract at MGM after leaving the world of

independent productions, is widely thought of as his last, fully realized masterpiece. It’s not just because he was called “the great stone face” that Keaton belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Cinematic Comedy. Always performing his own outlandish stunts, Keaton gave his heart, soul, and body to the art of moviemaking, and this silent comedy classic is perhaps Keaton’s most personal love letter to cinema, even more than the masterful Sherlock, Jr. Buster’s comedy partner for The Cameraman’s final sequences is a marvelously expressive monkey, played by the delightful Josephine, and it was Josephine’s performance, along with Keaton’s elaborate and brilliant staging of this film’s numerous memorable set pieces, that provided inspiration for director Ken Kwapis while he was making the orangutan comedy Dunston Checks In, also screening at this year’s WFF. Kwapis will be on hand to kick off this special screening of The Cameraman, featuring live piano accompaniment from maestro David Drazin. (JH) Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research


Chocolate and Butter Sculpture


Narrative • China • 2022 • Mandarin Chinese, Tibetan with English subtitles • 95 MIN

Director: Yingxin Chen Cast: Meng Gun, Zhao Ziya, Che Yongli, Huang

Junpeng, Gata Tashi, Tamdin Anggval, Tamdin Dorje

Recommended age: 10+

Travel across the Tibetan plateau with two runaway twelve year old boys! Sangdan leaves his family and small village to run toward his destiny as an artist and butter sculptor in a remote Tibetan monastery. Tang Yu, a city boy devoted to his phone and chocolate, runs away from his parents and their expectations. He has no particular destination, so when he meets Sangdan, he tags along on a journey that takes them through breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and into adventure, reflection and discovery. Shot in Sichuan and Quinghai provinces, the film introduces us to people and places we rarely see. The story came to director Yingxin Chen while traveling in Tibet and took twelve years to produce. In an interview, she confides, “Over the years, I have come to feel that this film is also my own story. It’s like my relationship with cinema, going from misunderstanding to understanding.” (TK)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Center for East Asian Studies

Chop & Steele

TUE, APRIL 18 • 6:15 PM TUE, APRIL 18 • 8:30 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Joe Pickett, Nick Prueher



• 2022 • 77 MIN • Director: Ben Steinbauer, Berndt Mader

This laugh-packed documentary takes us along for a few particularly bewildering years in the lives of two of Wisconsin’s true cinema heroes: Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, masterminds of the long-running Found Footage Festival. If you’re not already in the cult: these two have spent decades scouring thrift stores for forgotten VHS tapes—unearthing some of humanity’s oddest, most transcendently inexplicable recorded documents in the process—and presenting their latest findings on a never-ending tour (including a stop at WFF 2015). Now, after devoting years to celebrating the strangest stuff on tape, Joe and Nick decide to make some footage themselves. Enter Chop & Steele, a boneheaded strongman duo who these two schlubby wiseacres portray in-character on any morning news show naive enough to give them airtime. But what starts as a series of sidesplitting, all-in-good-fun pranks takes an unexpectedly serious turn when Nick and Joe get sued by one of the stations’ humorless parent companies. Surely anyone could see this was a goof, right? When these fake strongmen find themselves in a very real fight, they have to decide just how far they’re willing to push this prank. Pickett and Prueher will appear after the screenings to present a special mini Found Footage Fest. (MK)

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The Circle


FRI, APRIL 14 • 3:15 PM


35MM • Narrative • Iran • 2000 • Persian with English subtitles • 91 MIN

Director: Jafar Panahi Cast: Nargess Mamizadeh, Maryiam Parvin Almani, Mojgan Faramarzi, Elham Saboktakin

A baby girl is born, disappointing relatives who expected a boy. The status of women in Iranian culture is thus made crystal clear in this economical introduction to Jafar Panahi’s award-winning film from 2000. Using suspense, surprise, and documentary realism, The Circle offers an unforgettable glimpse of women’s experience in a repressive society. The film’s circular structure is echoed in the circular public spaces of a bustling Tehran in this tale of women on the move, who must negotiate everything from bus tickets to bodily autonomy. Watch for a standout performance from Nargess Mamizadeh, whose subtle expressions register curiosity and pleasure beneath her bruises. Iranian cinema has long been appreciated for its realism and its poetic qualities, but the work of Panahi stands out for its portraits of women. Celebrated globally for The White Balloon (1995), Offside (2006), and Taxi (2015), Panahi has been subjected to a filmmaking and travel ban since 2010, yet he perseveres. In the context of recent protests launched by the killing of Mahsa Amini, The Circle has never seemed more urgent. (KC)

Confessions of a Good Samaritan

SAT, APRIL 15 • 1 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 1:45 PM


Documentary • USA • 2023 • 105 MIN

Director: Penny Lane

The funniest, deepest, and most moving documentary you’re likely to see about a medical procedure, Confessions of a Good Samaritan traces director Penny Lane’s decision to donate one of her kidneys to a stranger in need. The idea of giving away something she doesn’t need to someone who needs it desperately may have seemed like a no-brainer at first, but throughout the years long process of becoming a “Good Samaritan” donor, Lane learns it’s a much trickier prospect than she thought. Having recently explored free speech in WFF 2019 crowd favorite Hail Satan? and the concept of “good” taste in Listening to Kenny G, Lane has a knack for finding entertaining, roundabout inroads to sincere philosophical inquiries. Now, she plumbs the nature of altruism by looking inward, and asking us to do the same. With forthright candor and plenty of good humor, Lane raises numerous worthwhile and eternal questions, such as: How much do we owe our neighbors? Do we need to receive credit for the good deeds that we do? And what, exactly, are you still hanging onto that extra kidney for? 2023 SXSW Film Festival.


The Connection


Scheduled to Attend: Manohla Dargis

35MM • Narrative • USA • 1961 • 110 MIN

Director: Shirley Clarke | Cast: Warren Finnerty, Jerome Raphael, Garry Goodrow

In a New York apartment, tensions rise as jazz musicians await a heroin delivery. This provocative first feature by independent film pioneer Shirley Clarke (1919-1997) challenges the boundary between documentary and fiction. The film won the critic’s prize at Cannes in 1961 but was shut down in New York after only two screenings due to its raw language. Clarke won the ensuing legal battle, and the film went on to become, as Criterion put it, “a groundbreaking depiction of drug addiction and one of the most vital and influential works of the American independent film movement.” In 2012, the film was restored by UCLA and re-released by Milestone Films. Clarke is celebrated for her experimental shorts and features, notably The Connection, Cool World (1964), and Portrait of Jason (1967), all of which focus on the lives and art of African Americans. This “rebellious genius,” as Dennis Doros of Milestone described her, “really wanted to break molds…And with The Connection, she broke just about every rule you could in film. She played with the idea of what’s reality, what’s fiction, what you think of people.” The Connection was selected by Manohla Dargis, co-chief film critic of The New York Times. Following the screening, Dargis will participate in a discussion with WFF Director Kelley Conway about women and film. (KC) Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Daughter of God

SAT, APRIL 15 • 5:30 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Gee Malik Linton

Narrative • USA • 2016 • 129 MIN

Director: Gee Malik Linton Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ana de Armas, Mira Sorvino, Christopher McDonald

Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas star in this fascinating and surreal bilingual drama about Isabel (de Armas), a beloved and deeply religious member of her Dominican community in New York’s Washington Heights. Isabel is having visions of angels at the same time jaded Detective Galban (Reeves) is investigating the murder of his crooked partner. Daughter of God is a disturbing, oblique exploration of faith, guilt, and repressed memory; the movie rewards patience by gradually pulling back the veil on how Isabel’s angelic visions, her efforts to protect a local abused child, and Galban’s struggle to understand his partner’s murder all relate. In 2016, producers retitled it Exposed and released the film with nearly forty minutes removed, gutting de Armas’ brave and delicate performance and ruinously abbreviating an astonishing extended-take close-up. With Reeves’ encouragement, writer and director Gee Malik Linton recut the film back to his vision in Paris with Oscar-nominated editor Hervé de Luze. This Wisconsin Film Festival screening marks the official theatrical premiere of Daughter of God, restoring de Armas’ multilayered accomplishment in the year of her Oscar nomination for Blonde. After the screening, a discussion with Gee Malik Linton will be hosted by City University of New York lecturer and film historian James Kenney, who has worked to bring attention to this unique director’s cut. (JK)


Dead Reckoning

THU, APRIL 20 • 3:15 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Rita Belda

Narrative • USA • 1947 • 100 MIN

Director: John Cromwell Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, William Prince, Wallace Ford Humphrey Bogart stars as Captain Rip Murdock, who, just after WWII, sets out on the trail of his paratrooper unit’s missing sergeant, Johnny Drake (William Prince). Heading south, Rip teams up with the languorous blonde Coral Chandler (Lizabeth Scott), who may have driven Johnny to murder in the past. An obsessive hero, a femme fatale, sleazy nightclub owners, mickey slipping, and murders piling upon murders: Dead Reckoning is a positively essential thriller from the heyday of Hollywood film noir. This was one of Bogart’s first movies for Columbia Pictures, made while he was still under contract with Warner Bros and two years before he began producing movies at Columbia under his Santana Productions banner. Leading lady Lizabeth Scott, whom Hollywood was promoting as “The Threat,” had the kind of looks and deep, sultry voice that got her frequently compared to Mrs. Bogart, Lauren Bacall. In Dead Reckoning, and later in other classic noirs, like Too Late for Tears, Dark City, and Pitfall, Scott carved out a nice piece of film history for herself as one of the best bad girls of film noir. A recent 4K restoration of Dead Reckoning will be presented with an introduction from Wisconsin’s own Rita Belda, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Vice President of asset management, film restoration, and digital mastering. (JH)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research


Dragon Princess

MON, APRIL 17 • 4 PM


Animated • France • 2021 • French with English subtitles • 70 MIN

Director: Jean-Jacques Denis, Anthony Roux

Cast: Lila Lacombe, Kaycie Chase, Jérémie Covillault, Colette Venhard

Recommended age: 8+ Dragons and sorcery, kings and princesses, treasure and greed. Classic fairytale elements abound in a tale of the friendship between two strong and very different girls. A Sorcerog (half sorceress and half frog) grants a powerful dragon his wish for children in exchange for his second most prized possession. Bristle, one of the new dragon children, is more like a human than her dragon family. When her father offers her to the Sorcerog, she runs away. Bristle finds herself taken in by the Princess who is struggling with the constraints of royal expectations. The two girls team up to thwart the King’s mission to slay Bristle’s father and take his gold. Jean-Jacques Denis and Anthony Roux create a beautiful fairytale-inspired lush landscape for the adventure. “Fans of animation studios like Studio Ghibli and Cartoon Saloon will definitely find themselves captivated by Princesse Dragon’s plot and animation style.”

(Christopher Cross, Tilt) (TK)

Dunston Checks In


Scheduled to Attend: Ken Kwapis 35MM • Narrative • Canada, USA • 1996 • 88 MIN

Director: Ken Kwapis Cast: Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Eric Lloyd, Paul Reubens, Rupert Everett

A marvelously talented orangutan named Sam plays the title character, an accomplice to an international jewel thief (Rupert Everett) who has checked in to rob the snobs at New York’s top luxury hotel. The hotel manager (Jason Alexander) is too busy trying to please the demanding, heartless owner (Faye Dunaway) to notice that his youngest son has befriended Dunston. When there are reported sightings among the hotel hoi polloi of a “gorilla,” a determined animal control expert (Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman) is called in and the stage is set for comic anarchy. A student of classic cinema, director Ken Kwapis manages to make Dunston in the tradition of comedy greats like the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, and Buster Keaton, where irrepressible and hilarious heroes always find a way, intentionally or unintentionally, of deflating the pompous pillars of society. Kwapis, a 40-year veteran of film and television, was one of the key artists involved in adapting The Office for American TV. Dunston Checks In, which moves at a brisk pace, has funny yet believable characters, and avoids the clichés of most family comedies, revealing the director’s natural talent for farce and slapstick. Joining us at the WFF in conjunction with the opening of the Ken Kwapis Collection at the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research, Ken Kwapis will answer questions following this screening about the joys and terrors of directing an orangutan in a leading role. (JH)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

political philosophies. On stage, she’s commanding and electric, but walking along a shale beach in a remote corner of Canada, Tagaq makes for a thoughtful, gentle, and charismatic presence… even as she jokingly threatens anyone who dares to track her down. “Mesmerizing. Tagaq is a disarmingly funny, unsurprisingly eloquent and playfully coy presence. Sensual and exhilarating” (The Globe and Mail).

Ever Deadly

SAT, APRIL 15 • 11:15 AM


TUE, APRIL 18 • 3:15 PM


Documentary • Canada • 2022 • 90 MIN

Director: Chelsea McMullan, Tanya Tagaq

The most singular voice in all of contemporary music surely belongs to the innovative Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, who stretches and contorts her vocal cords to encompass howls, growls, and everything in between. A sought-after

collaborator for forward-thinking luminaries like Björk and the Kronos Quartet, Tagaq takes center stage in this riveting self-portrait. Kicking off with an outdoor duet that is a frontrunner for the best opening sequence in this year’s WFF, Ever Deadly then treats us to an absolutely transfixing live performance by Tagaq and her band. Between mind-melting songs, the film weaves animations and archival footage to expand upon Tagaq’s personal and

“This fiercely charismatic Inuk singer’s throaty voice demands full attention, whether she’s whispering in her softest register or howling at the sky” (The New York Times). (MK)

9 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG

Wisconsin Film Festival Sneak Peeks at area libraries!



SAT, APRIL 15 • 5:30 PM


69 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

Join us for a beguiling batch of experimental shorts from some of Wisconsin’s most inventive and daring filmmakers. From the charming and haunting animation of Ghost’s Best Friend through the Golden Badger award-winning stop-cut magic that is Of Wood, these are 11 experiments you’ll be glad you participated in.

Ghost’s Best Friend

Animated • USA • 2022 • 2 MIN

Director: Michael Leffler

A dog and a ghost play a game of catch in this perfectly simple and bewitching animated short. (BR)

Surfacing: A Hedged Ephemera

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 5 MIN

Director: Meggen Heuss Cast: Johna Banals

Finding visual beauty in bugs as well as beaches, Surfacing: A Hedged Ephemera makes a heady collage out of images reflecting the intersection of nature and society. (JB)


Dance • USA • 2022 • 8 MIN

Director: Kate Corby Cast: Emily Miller Kate Corby (West, WFF ‘21) returns with another evocative screendance, this time exploring issues of isolation and confinement against a stark, minimalist backdrop. (BR)

Strange Industries

Animation • USA • 2022 • 5 MIN

Director: Peter Bajzek

A 3-D rendered fractal program that takes the viewer into a seemingly alien, abstract, futuristic world. (ES)

The Grain of Belfast

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 6 MIN

Director: Mark Street

Mark Street returns to WFF with this episodic journey across Belfast, chronicling a city reeling from sectarian violence, and doing it in a distinctly cinematic manner: through the lens of a high grain Super 8 camera. (XN)

Spectrum Spread

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 4 MIN

Director: Sarah Sowell

In echoes of the avant-garde work of Joseph Cornell or Guy Maddin, Spectrum Spread hazily blends glamorous images of actress Hedy Lamarr with those of marquee lights and nuclear mushroom clouds, creating a haunting evocation of postwar America. (JB)


Experimental • USA • 2022 • 9 MIN

Director: Tate Bunker

A hypnotizing and playful exploration of plants captured at night. (ES)

Looking Backward

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 10 MIN

Director: Ben Balcom

Ben Balcom (WFF ‘19-’21) is back, exploring the haunting legacy of an abandoned utopian college, telling the story through ominous lectures and black and white imagery in this enigmatic experimental short. (XN)

The Red Tide

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 8 MIN

Director: Sally Lawton

Filmmaker Sally Lawton explores the perplexing nature of relocating to an unfamiliar new city (which could easily be an unfamiliar new world) in this intimate, experimental short. (XN)

lake time

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 5 MIN

Director: Alex Jacobs Cast: Lake Monona

Through digital manipulation, lake time experiments with light and color distortions of the digital image of a glistening body of water. lake time finds visual beauty in the digitally altered and the analog alike. (JB)

Of Wood

Animation • USA • 2022 • 7 MIN

Director: Owen Klatte

By means of a spectacular wood carving, animator Owen Klatte chronicles the history of mankind and our relationship with paper in this fast-paced and profound short.



Families and Friends

SUN, APRIL 16 • 4 PM


80 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

Join us for six incisive, empathetic, and sometimes intense examinations by Wisconsin’s own filmmakers of the most important relationships in our lives: our families and friends. From a family enduring the painful ritual of Thanksgiving dinner to a powerful exploration of the possibilities and limitations of friendship during wartime, these are stories that hit home.

Be Gay Tomorrow

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 13 MIN

Director: Joshua M Kellerman Cast: Allie McCulloch, Joshua Rosenzweig, Kealani Petito, Stephany Hitchcock, Bret Bailey, Townsend Fallica

A family drama by turns warm and heated, Be Gay Tomorrow follows a mother as she tries to conceal her teenage son’s sexuality from her passive-aggressive parents during Thanksgiving dinner. (JB)


Narrative • USA • 2022 • 12 MIN

Director: Hisonni Mustafa Cast: Lizette Hunter, Jessy Bermudez, Mervin Alexander and Christina Thomas

An ex-convict, now working as a waitress, is forced to confront her past after her estranged sister makes a surprise visit. This intense short explores the depths and bonds of sisterhood. (XN)

The Small Hours

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 7 MIN

Director: Jared Meyer Cast: Ethan Haberfield, Daniel Krstyen

A father attempts to relate to his son during a pivotal experience performing an unpleasant chore in their yard. (ES)

The Glasses

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 17 MIN

Director: Sarah Smith & Frances Chewning Cast: John Pleshette, Rebecca Klingler, Frances Chewning, Duncan Birmingham, Allan McLeod Joseph is living with Parkinson’s disease. His family strives to be helpful while navigating the byzantine and bureaucratic world of health care providers and befuddled optometrists in this sweetly comic and touching short. (BR)

John and Linda

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 13 MIN

Director: Alec Huggins Cast: Max Carpenter and Kyla Jarrett Linda brings her lover Derrick back to her house for an intimate evening, only to discover her husband John is home waiting for them in this tense, surprising short from WFF alum, Alec Huggins Garland, (WFF ‘22) (BR)

Merit x Zoe

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 16 MIN

Director: Kyle Hausmann-Stokes Cast: Haskiri Velazquez, Morgan Dixon, Tucker Smallwood, Thom Tran

Jumping between past and present, Merit x Zoe depicts the emotional journey of two US army soldiers in Afghanistan and the therapy session that helps them deal with the traumas experienced in war. Putting their friendship to the test, this short explores the aftermath of service in the armed forces. (ES)

Join WFF staff as they appear in person to present an exciting sampling of what’s to come in this year’s Festival.

Hawthorne Public Library

Monday, March 13 • 6 pm

Goodman South Public Library

Thursday, March 16 • 6 pm

Monona Public Library:

Saturday, March 18 • 3 pm

Pinney Public Library

Monday, March 20 • 6 pm

Central Public Library

Tuesday, March 21 • 6pm

Middleton Public Library

Saturday, March 25 • 1 pm

Lakeview Public Library

Monday, April 3 • 6 pm

Alicia Ashman Public Library

Wednesday, April 5 • 3 pm

10 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG B

Following Sean

SUN, APRIL 16 • 1:30 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Ralph Arlyck

35MM • Documentary • USA • 2006 • 87 MIN

Director: Ralph Arlyck

As a student filmmaker in 1969, Ralph Arlyck made an awardwinning, non-fiction short movie that followed a four-year-old in San Francisco who smoked pot and gave his opinions on police brutality and hippie culture. The somewhat controversial Sean provoked a whole spectrum of opinions about what would happen to the title character: would he be a drug-addicted wreck?

A straight-laced accountant or lawyer? In the mid 1990s, after his own two sons had left home, Arlyck decided to revisit the subject of his early film, following Sean Farrell around for several years as he found a wife, had his own child, and started a new career. Supplemented by contemporary interviews with Sean’s aging mom and dad, his sister, and his loving, communist grandmother, the meditative, multi-layered, and deeply introspective Following Sean is also a revealing look into the life of director Arlyck, who incorporates decades of footage of his own family and experiences in his quest to find out at what point in life our futures are determined for us. “While the film is ostensibly a 49 Up style look at how Sean the child grew into the man, what it really is is a penetrating look at how Arlyck the young man grew into an old one” (Rob Thomas, The Cap Times). Ralph Arlyck will appear in person for a Q&A following this screening of an original 35mm release print of Following Sean. (JH)

Sponsored with support from UW-Madison Center for the Humanities

Geographies of Solitude

FRI, APRIL 14 • 1:15 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 11:30 AM


Documentary • Canada • 2022 • 103 MIN

Director: Jacquelyn Mills

Approximately 100 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Sable Island peeks out of the North Atlantic. This slim, crescent-shaped sandbar is home to thousands of seals, numerous shipwrecks, and over 500 wild horses. And for the past 40 years, naturalist Zoe Lucas has been its sole human inhabitant, devoting herself to cataloging its every aspect— originally in handwritten notebooks, now in behemoth Excel spreadsheets. Her invaluable data forms a generations-spanning biography of this nearly untouched island’s plant and animal life, and increasingly, the litter that washes ashore. Serenely philosophical as she tends to a kaleidoscopic array of plastic detritus, Lucas elucidates humanity’s impact upon the earth. The documentary’s reverence towards the natural world extends to its eco-friendly filmmaking techniques, as director Jacquelyn Mills combines materials collected on the island with 16mm film stock to create wonderfully impressionistic interludes that put the filmmaker in true collaboration with her setting. Winner of numerous festival prizes the world over, including three at Berlin and two at Hot Docs, Geographies of Solitude is a transporting immersion in one of our planet’s most remote corners. (MK)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

Good Guy With a Gun

SAT, APRIL 15 • 7:45 PM


Narrative • USA • 2022 • 108 MIN

In this coming-of-age drama, teenager Will Greenwood moves from Chicago to a small, rural town with his mom after the violent death of his father. Coming to terms with the situation, Will meets and begins a friendship with some of the other teens in town, who in turn introduce him to their extensive gun collections and their target practice pastime. When another town member starts to bully one of Will’s new friends, he has to determine how far to go to protect his friend, and whether or not that includes using his newfound skill with guns. Director-Screenwriter John Mossman (Into The Wake) tackles the pertinent issue of gun control and the idea of a “good guy with a gun” in a film that goes in some surprising directions while offering some thoughtful insights on both sides of the ongoing debate. Good Guy With a Gun is also filled with the power of family and love in helping to persevere through dark times. (ES)

OWN Greener Pastures


93 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

The Last Milk

Documentary • USA • 2023 • 11 MIN • Director: James Runde

Cast: Jim Wiederholt, Nancy Wiederholt

A Wisconsin dairy farmer retires after 38 years of milking cows in this plainspoken, personal documentary by James Runde (Golden Badger winner, Played Out, WFF ‘19). (BR)

Greener Pastures

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 82 MIN

Director: Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian Cast: Jeff Ditzenberger, Chris Petersen, Becky Higgins, Jay Simeral, Juliette Albrecht

“During the four years of making this film,” announces a title card in Greener Pastures, “over 20,000 farms closed their doors.” Greener Pastures, a documentary from Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian, explores the issue of the financial struggles of independent farmers—and their concomitant emotional stresses—with great reserves of empathy. The documentary shuttles us between four different Midwesterners who struggle financially and emotionally as they try to keep their farms afloat and stave off isolation and depression in the process. As Greener Pastures progresses, we get a deeper sense of each subject’s mission. One man gives motivational talks to draw attention to the mental health crisis facing many farmers; one farmer details her struggles with maintaining sobriety; another woman mounts a campaign for local political office to better aid farmers facing hard times. Despite the heaviness of its subject matter, clings tenaciously to an inspiring sense of hope, underscoring the dignity and meaning that its charismatic characters strive to realize. (JB)

WISCONSIN’S OWN Director: John Mossman Cast: Beck Nolan, Tiffany Bedwell, Jack Cain, Ian Barford, David Pasquesi, Joe Swanberg WISCONSIN’S

The Happiest Man in the World

Najsre niot čovek na svetot

SAT, APRIL 15 • 3:30 PM WED, APRIL 19 • 1:30 PM


Narrative • Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Denmark, Croatia, Slovenia • Bosnian with English subtitles • 2022 • 85 MIN

Director: Teona Strugar Mitevska Cast: Jelena Kordić Kuret, Adnan Omerović, Labina Mitevska

At an all-day Saturday speed dating event in present-day Sarajevo, Asja, a 40-year-old single woman looking to meet new people, is matched with Zoran, a 43-year-old banker. While some couples are matched at the start of the event, Zoran has pre-arranged to be paired with Asja. We soon learn that these two middle-aged people have encountered each other before in Sarajevo’s war-torn past and Zoran is not looking for love but forgiveness. Director and co-writer Teona Strugar Mitevska eschews the stripped-down, austere style that is so prevalent in Eastern European cinema, in favor of a lively, inventive approach that blends humor with sometimes shockingly serious dramatic revelations. Mitevska also makes the most of her limited locations, framing the action and using the camera in arresting ways within a series of hotel conference rooms named after cities in Switzerland. It is against this banal, neutral backdrop where the principal characters reveal their personal histories, vividly bringing to the present decades of complex and conflicted emotions. Co-writer Elma Tataragic based the movie’s scenario on an incident from her actual life, transforming decidedly personal material into an expertly staged, unified drama “about memory, wounds, healing and the possibility – or otherwise – of reconciliation and catharsis”

(Jonathan Romney, Screen International). (JH)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center

Hollywood 90028


How I Learned to Fly

SAT, APRIL 15 • 5:30 PM


104 MIN

Recommended age: 10+

Margot’s Sister

La Soeur de Margot

Narrative • Canada • 2021 • French with English subtitles • 17 MIN

Director: Christine Doyon Cast: Maïsanne Bourdeau, Sasha Bergeron, Tiffany Choinière

Just as Margot finally gets accepted by “the cool crowd” at school, her younger sister (who lives with an intellectual disability) starts attending as well. Complications ensue. (KK)

Presented with support from ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

How I Learned to Fly

Narrative • Serbia, Croatia • 2022 • Serbian, Croatian with English subtitles • 87 MIN

Director: Radivoje Andric Cast: Klara Hrvanovic, Olga Odanovic, Snjezana Sinovcic, Zarko Lausevic, Luka Bajto

Twelve-year-old Sofia (a charming Klara Hrvanovic) had her summer all planned including her first kiss. But when does anything ever go as planned? Instead of a camping trip in Serbia with friends and her secret crush, she ends up far away on an isolated Croatian Island, Hvar. Not only will she have to visit relatives she has never met, but she has to make the trip with her eccentric, overbearing grandmother, who snores. Sofia’s initial boredom soon vanishes with the help of her warmhearted Aunt Luce and her cute cousin. She discovers what a summer on an island can offer besides the sparkling sun and seawater: lots of ice cream, watermelons, and her family’s homemade donuts. Sounds perfect, were it not for a family trauma that surfaces when Luce needs to go to the hospital. Radivoje Andric’s entertaining film gently interweaves the Balkan Civil War and its effect on families into Sofia’s coming-of-age story. Based on a book by Jasminka PetrovicThe Witch Hunters, WFF 2019). European Children’s Film Association’s Best Film nominee, 2023. (KK)

Hollywood 90028

Narrative • USA • 1973 • 88 MIN

Director: Christina Hornisher Cast: Christopher Augustine, Jeannette Dilger, Dick Glass Mark (Christopher Augustine), a photographer and cameraman with a lot of technical know-how, is trying to work out a living as an independent in Hollywood, but he has only been able to make ends meet by shooting peep show loops. He is also a strangler of women, a serial killer who has gone undetected by the law. At one of his shoots, Mark meets Michelle (Jeanette Dilger), a sweet-natured model who has given up all illusions about making it in show business, and the two begin a doomed romance. Working with


Scheduled to Attend: Bob Murawski

On the Sixth Day

• 1966 • 5 MIN Director: Christina Hornisher


4 X 8 = 16

• 1966 • 3 MIN Director: Christina Hornisher


The Sun is Long

• 6 MIN Director: Christina Hornisher

• 1966


material that recalls Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, director Christina Hornisher delves into the pasts of these two marginalized Angelenos and we are given some idea of why they are where they are. Hornisher (1942-2003), who also wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym Craig Hansen, makes the most of the gentrifying Los Angeles locations, and uses a classic landmark to provide one of the most shocking and memorable endings in all of 1970s cinema. Hornisher attended UCLA film school where her classmates included Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek of The Doors, and her three striking 1966 student films are

How to Blow Up a Pipeline

THU, APRIL 20 • 8:15 PM


included in this program. Hollywood 90028 received limited release as an exploitation film after it was completed in 1973 and was later redistributed under the titles The Hollywood Hillside Strangler, Twisted Throats, and Insanity. Sadly, it was the talented Hornisher’s only feature, but this screening will provide viewers an opportunity to see the uncut version in a new 4K restoration from Grindhouse Pictures. Grindhouse co-founder Bob Murawski will be on hand to introduce and discuss the career of Christina Hornisher after the screening. (JH)

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 100 MIN

Director: Daniel Goldhaber Cast: Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane, Jayme Lawson, Marcus Scribner, Jake Weary, Irene Bedard, Olive Jane Lorraine Prepare to be blown out of your seat. How to Blow Up a Pipeline is that exceedingly rare breed: a big action thriller that delivers that genre’s pleasures on every conceivable level while also raising the stakes considerably with its razor-sharp political edge. Think of the kids in Jonathan Kaplan’s Over the Edge attempting to pull off an Ocean’s Eleven style heist and you can begin to acclimate yourself for this pulse-pounding, white-knuckle tale of a disparate group of punks and loners joining forces in a desperate attempt to halt impending environmental catastrophe in its tracks. A full-bore thriller as popcorn-friendly as Die Hard and as timely as today’s headlines, Pipeline is your Wisconsin Film Festival closing-night ticket to pure cinema bliss. A total blast. “…the ideas it smuggles into what is essentially a genre film represent a boldness that exceeds most any American production of the last decade.” (Collider). “What makes How to Blow Up a Pipeline great, is that it so deftly wins us to its cause... It’s absolutely electric filmmaking.” (Paste). (BR)

12 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG
VE THE DATE APRIL 13 -2 0, 2023

Brussels. Her first two short films played at Cannes, while this, her first feature, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival, where it won prizes for best director and best actors for the co-leads. Marín, a first-time actor, gives a subtle performance as a moody teenager in the throes of sexual discovery while her family struggles in the aftermath of a divorce. (KC)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS)

I Like Movies

THU, APRIL 20 • 6 PM


Hundreds of Beavers


Scheduled to Attend: Mike Cheslik, Ryland Brickson Cole Tews

Narrative • USA •2022 • 108 MIN | Director: Mike Cheslik Cast: Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Wes Tank

What is Hundreds of Beavers? Is it the tale of a drunken applejack salesman battling hundreds of beavers? Yes! Is it a winter western? Yes! Is it a glorious tribute to classic Looney Tunes shorts? Yes! Is it a legit homage to the earliest days of silent film comedies in beautiful black and white? Yes! Is it a spectacularly immature, bro-centric epic of outrageous proportions? Yes! Is it the somehow-even-more-insane, more over the top follow up to Ryland Tews and Mike Cheslik’s psychotic masterpiece, Lake Michigan Monster (WFF ‘19)? Yes! Is it a deliriously inventive, amazingly handcrafted work of visual art? Yes! Will it blow your mind and send you back out into the world with your head spinning and your eyes doing pinwheels? Yes! Is it the ultimate expression of a certain brand of Wisconsin’s Own comedy in its purest most undiluted form? Yes! Is it the kind of movie-lovers movie made to be seen on a big screen, with the soundtrack cranked, surrounded by your friends and neighbors, collectively staring in slack-jawed amazement? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! “Hundreds of Beavers exists at the crossroads of Looney Tunes, Benny Hill, Cannibal: The Musical, Blazing Saddles, and Adult Swim mindsets” (Slashfilm). (BR)

Hung Up on a Dream

WED, APRIL 19 • 5:30 PM


Documentary • USA • 2023 • 109 MIN

Director: Robert Schwartzman

Hung Up on a Dream is the first movie to tell the story of one of the greatest of all British Invasion bands, The Zombies. Filmed nearly sixty years after Rod Argent, the late Paul Atkinson, Hugh Grundy, Paul Arnold and dulcet-voiced singer Colin Blunstone met as teenagers, The Zombies tell their own story of navigating the tumultuous music industry over the decades and making one of the most influential albums of all time, Odessey and Oracle. After George Harrison gave it his personal endorsement, The Zombies’ single “She’s Not There” made them the first British band after The Beatles to reach #1 in the U.S. After years of

touring and some career missteps in the 60s, the band had already broken up when “Time of the Season” hit #1 and became a global success. However, the music endured, creating legions of new fans every decade. The band looks back on their often-weird journey, such as the time Blunstone changed his professional name and had a hit with a Zombies cover, or when an entirely fake group were presented as The Zombies and lip-synched “Time of the Season” on a national television show. Ultimately, this is the story of how talent and friendship brought The Zombies back together again and led them to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. The WFF is proud to present the Wisconsin Premiere of Hung Up on a Dream, alongside a restored version of Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing, in which The Zombies appear. (JH)

I Have Electric Dreams

Tengo Sueños Eléctricos

FRI, APRIL 14 • 1:30 PM


SAT, APRIL 15 • 6:15 PM


Narrative • Costa Rica, Belgium, France • 2022 • Spanish with English subtitles • 103 MIN

Director: Valentina Maurel Cast:

Daniela Marín Navarro, Reinaldo Amien

Gutiérrez, Vivian Rodríguez Barquero

A poignant coming-of-age film set in bohemian San José, Costa Rica, about a restless 16-year old girl struggling to maintain a relationship with her volatile father. The film’s extraordinary performances and its edgy style—close framings, handheld camera, a vivid use of color—make this one of the freshest debut features of the year. Director Valentina Morel was born in Costa Rica and studied film in Paris and

I Like it Here

SUN, APRIL 16 • 4 PM


MON, APRIL 17 • 12:30 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Ralph Arlyck

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 88 MIN

Director: Ralph Arlyck

Wise, funny, and wistful, I Like it Here is nothing less than an appreciation of life itself. As he visits and talks with his children, grandchildren, and lively friends old and new, filmmaker Ralph Arlyck approaches the subject of aging in both serious and humorous ways. Laughing and talking about the unstoppable, often irritating qualities of getting old, Arlyck and his interview subjects also find time to reflect on the reality of dying or being left alone. A running theme among the older interviewees is the lightness that has come after realizing that the rat race to be “successful” is no longer so crucial. A veteran documentarian with more than 50 years of filmmaking experience, Arlyck has a distinctly personal and uniquely essayistic style that meditates on the progression of time by contrasting older footage with new to poignant effect, as in his brilliant 2005 movie, Following Sean, which Arlyck is also presenting at this year’s WFF. Though it discusses the challenges of feeling your joints and thoughts stiffen, and the many obstacles that loom up in front of anyone who is on the last lap, I Like it Here is not about sadness or regret. Arlyck’s reckoning with the reality we all must eventually face is decidedly life-affirming. He likes it here! (JH)


Do you like movies? Well, 17-year-old Lawrence Kweller is pretty sure he likes them more than you do, and he likes the right kind of movies too.

Growing up in an Ontario suburb in 2003, Lawrence stubbornly refuses to think about any kind of post-high school life other than attending film school at NYU. Facing a hefty tuition fee, Lawrence gets his dream job at Sequels, the local video store (remember them?). Facing graduation and wracked with anxiety about his future, Lawrence begins alienating the most important people in his life, like his best friend Matt and his single mother. Meanwhile, Lawrence develops a complicated friendship with his older female manager, Alana. Driven, determined, and dogmatic in his tastes, Lawrence is, in some ways, a blend of Rushmore’s Max Fischer and Ghost World’s Enid, which is one way of saying that he is also sometimes more than a bit of a pretentious jerk.

Writer-director Chandler Levack, who draws inspiration from her own coming-of-age story, succeeds in showing us Lawrence’s insecurities and the reasons why he sometimes behaves so insensitively. Portrayed with honesty and nuance by Isaiah Lehtinen, Levack’s creation is one of the funniest and most idiosyncratic cinematic protagonists in recent memory. “A film that is small but not slight, sweet but not cloying, and the kind of thing that can make even a cynical critic like movies again” (Indiewire). (JH)

13 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG
Narrative • Canada
100 MIN
Director: Chandler Levack Cast: Isaiah Lehtinen, Krista Bridges, Romina D’Ugo, Percy Hynes White


TUE, APRIL 18 • 8:15 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Bob Murawski

Narrative • USA • 1974 • 87 MIN

Director: William Grefé Cast: William Shatner, Ruth Roman, Jennifer Bishop, Harold Sakata, James Dobson

William Shatner stars as Matt Stone, a deranged gigolo who preys on rich women, and is unable to control his murderous psychosexual urges.

When Matt makes the moves on young divorcée Ann (Jennifer Bishop), he finds he might not be prepared for the interference from Ann’s whip-smart daughter Tina (Kim Nicholas), and family friend Julia (Ruth Roman of Strangers on a Train). And when Matt’s old partnerin-crime Karate Pete (Harold Sakata, Goldfinger’s Odd Job) shows up looking for a piece of the action, things really start to go haywire! A prolific regional filmmaker based out of Florida, Impulse director William Grefé made a number of successful exploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Death Curse of Tartu (1966) and Sting of Death (1965), that were booked at drive-ins and grindhouses for years after their initial releases. Impulse, with its exciting camera work, local flavor, and terrific performances, especially from Shatner as the sociopathic main character, just might be the pinnacle of Grefé’s career. It has all of the punchy, violent power of the best films by Samuel Fuller and Robert Aldrich, and Grefé shares with those artists an understanding of a specific kind of sickness in the underbelly of America that is taking its toll on mainstream society. A brand new 4K restoration from Grindhouse Releasing, made from rare archival 35mm film elements, will be presented in person by Academy Award-winning editor and Grindhouse co-founder Bob Murawski. (JH)

Jack and the Beanstalk

SUN, APRIL 16 • 11AM


Scheduled to Attend: Jack Theakston

Narrative Feature • USA • 1952 • 77 MIN

Director: Jean Yarbrough Cast: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Buddy Baer

Legendary comedy duo Abbott & Costello made their first foray into the world of color (Cinecolor, that is) with this fractured fairytale from 1952. Drawing inspiration from The Wizard of Oz (including a sepiatoned framing story), Jack and the Beanstalk finds Lou Costello in dual roles, as both a mild-mannered babysitter in over his head, as well as the titular hero, who is also a mildmannered simpleton. Meanwhile, Bud Abbott plays Mr. Dinkle and Mr. Dinklepuss (both of whom are thorns in Costello’s sides). Along for the ride are boxer Buddy Baer as The Giant, and vaudeville star/singer Shaye Cogan as The Princess. This delightfully overstuffed, family-friendly curio is notable not only for its bold, bright color palette, but also for its charming, imaginative practical effects. And it’s got a forest full of talking animals (voiced by Mel Blanc!).

And it’s a musical (Lou Costello sings!). Jack is Abbott & Costello at their most whimsical. Presented here in a new 4K restoration supervised by our friends at the 3-D Film Archive, the film has never looked better. The feature will be preceded by a short talk on the budget-saving Cinecolor process from 3-D Film Archive’s Jack Theakston, who will also present a special 35mm reel of trailers for other features filmed in Cinecolor. (BR)


SUN, APRIL 16 • 5 PM


MON, APRIL 17 • 6 PM


Narrative • Pakistan • 2022 • Urdu with English subtitles • 127 MIN

Director: Saim Sadiq Cast: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan

Winner of the 2023 Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film, Joyland follows Haider and his wife Mumtaz as they deal with issues of both privacy and power in the crowded home they share with Haider’s large family in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city. Unable to find a moment alone, the couple is also subjected to the domineering traditional morality of Haider’s elderly father. Adding to their strain is Haider’s lengthy stretch of unemployment. When he does finally find work as a backup dancer in a cabaret, Haider initially cloaks his occupation in secrecy out of shame. Soon, however, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the alluring and charismatic Biba, a trans woman who works as the cabaret’s lead dancer. A drama of great subtlety and complexity, Joyland, the debut feature of Pakistani director Saim Sadiq, sweeps us up in the potent hopes and desires of Haider, Mumtaz and Biba as they attempt to find happiness, passion and a sense of family in the face of their society’s imposing moral codes. Capitalizing upon Joyland’s intense emotions, Sadiq conjures similarly intense visuals, bathing the film’s many densely packed long takes in deep green or orange light. “An aching consideration of gender and sexuality” (The Hollywood Reporter). 2022 Cannes, 2023 Sundance Film Festivals. (JB)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Gender & Sexuality Campus Center and UW-Madison Center for South Asia

Judy Blume Forever


Documentary • USA • 2023 • 97 MIN

Director: Davina Pardo, Leah Wolchok

With books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Blubber, Forever… and the “Fudge” series, Judy Blume has captivated generations of young readers for over 50 years. The books and their popularity also placed her at the center of controversy for their frankness about puberty and sex. Now, Blume tells her own coming-of-age story, one that took a New Jersey school girl to the top of The New York Times bestsellers list in the 1970s and 80s. Blume also discusses how she took on the censors and political scolds who are even today finding ways to ban her books. Fascinating and revealing, Judy Blume Forever leaps well beyond the usual celebrity documentary thanks to an extended series of interviews with Judy Blume herself, where the writer talks candidly about her successes and her mistakes. Blume also provided filmmakers Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok access to decades of correspondence between herself and her young readers. The sequences where Blume revisits their letters and we meet her now adult fans, who reflect on their youthful selves, provide this movie with its most memorable and emotional moments. 2023 Sundance Film Festival. (JH)

Presented with support from the UW-Madison Department of English and UW-Madison Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies



Narrative • Israel • 2022 • Hebrew with English subtitles • 100 MIN

Director: Moshe Rosenthal Cast: Lior Ashkenazi, Sasson Gabai, Rita Shukrun

A charming, mysterious new neighbor injects some welcome spice—and unwelcome trouble—into an Israeli couple’s marriage in this very funny, consistently surprising dramedy. Meir and Tova’s 46-year marriage has been on cruise control for ages when Itzik moves into the penthouse of their suburban apartment building. A dashing model agent from Miami, Itzik surprises these squares by treating them with unwarranted fascination and inviting them upstairs for his glamorous parties. Meir and Tova are only too eager to be seduced by Itzik’s attention and see themselves anew for the first time in years. But soon they are in competition, sneaking behind one another’s backs to score points with their new friend and become his favorite. What exactly is Itzik after with these two? Neither Meir or Tova seem to care, as long as they can bask in his joie de vivre, and perhaps catch some refracted youthfulness from it… until it’s too late. With a generous comic touch, Moshe Rosenthal gently and perceptively satirizes the vanity, gullibility, and dreams of reinvention that reside within all of us. Best Actor, Best Actress, 2022 Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscar equivalent). Audience Award, Jerusalem Film Festival. (MK)

Presented with support from the UW-Madison Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies

14 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG

Kokomo City

SAT, APRIL 15 • 8:30 PM


MON, APRIL 17 • 8:45 PM


Documentary • USA • 2023 • 73 MIN

Director: D. Smith

Four Black trans sex workers tell it like it is in D. Smith’s riotously funny, searingly candid documentary. In high-contrast black-and-white, Smith captures these lively women as they are—in the bathtub, in bed, getting ready to go out—for a series of rowdy and crass interviews that dispense with the BS in favor of sidesplitting dirt dishing, painful revelations, and finger-pointing rants. Smith shot, edited, directed, and scored the film herself, and her freewheeling filmmaking choices burst with individual personality and wit. The politically incorrect, real-talk antidote to the stream of cautious, sanitized trans stories that have recently dominated the media (and, truth be told, film festivals), Kokomo City is an overdue jolt to the independent film landscape. Winner of both the Innovator and Audience Award in the Next section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where the jury proclaimed it “the funniest movie that has ever played Sundance.” “Unforgettable. Frank, funny, and frequently shocking. This doc rocks” (Variety). “Hilarious, scary, tragic and sometimes flat-out jawdropping, Kokomo City is a gripping and accessible dissection of modern life” (Paste). (MK)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Gender & Sexuality Campus Center

The Lady

FRI, APRIL 14 • 11 AM


Narrative • USA • 1925 • 85 MIN

Director: Frank Borzage Cast: Norma Talmadge, Brandon Hurst, Wallace MacDonald

Norma Talmadge, one of the greatest leading performers of the silent era, gives one of her most moving performances as Polly Pearl, a music hall performer of little class distinction. After Polly marries the ne’er-dowell son of a British aristocrat, her husband is disinherited by his stern father. When her husband dies a short time later, he leaves Polly broke and with an infant son. When her former father-in-law tries to take custody of Polly’s baby, the young woman takes desperate measures to make sure the child is not raised in a cruel environment. Released in 1925, The Lady is one of two silent features that Norma Talmadge made with director Frank Borzage, perhaps Hollywood’s finest practitioner of romantic melodrama. Borzage closed out the silent years with masterpieces like Seventh Heaven and Street Angel and extended his career several decades after talkies were introduced with more great movies like Man’s Castle, The Mortal Storm, and History is Made at Night. After her first two talkies proved to be box-office disappointments, Talmadge gracefully bowed out of show-business forever in 1930. Amongst her surviving films, The Lady is a perfect showcase for her ability to bring an audience to tears, especially in Borzage’s heart-melting close-ups of Talmadge as the older Polly in the movie’s dramatic opening and closing sequences. Presented in a recent restoration from the Library of Congress and Cohen Media, this version restores several minutes that were deleted over the nearly 100 years since its original release, using still photographs and script files from the collection of Producer and Studio Head Joseph M. Schenck, Talmadge’s husband at the time of production. Featuring live piano accompaniment by David Drazin. (JH)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

The Last Picture Show

THU, APRIL 20 • 8:30 PM


Narrative • USA • 1971 • 119 MIN

Director: Peter Bogdanovich Cast: Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd, Jeff Bridges Peter Bogdanovich helped usher in the New Hollywood era with this breathtakingly assured coming-ofage drama. The film (adapted from Larry McMurtry’s semi-autobiographical novel) documents life and death in a declining small northern Texas town, circa 1951, where high school seniors Sonny and Duane have their longtime friendship put to the test as they battle for the affections of Jacy, the “richest and prettiest” girl in town. Last Picture Show’s black and white cinematography shimmers with life and the film is teeming with sharp, atmospheric details and even sharper dialogue. Showcasing a perfect mix of career-making and career-topping performances, Last Picture Show was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, winning Best Supporting Oscars for Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman. An essential American classic, Last Picture Show is worth seeing any time, any place, but on our last night at Hilldale before the wrecking ball, this is a no-brainer. Bring tissues. “...the most considered, craftsmanlike and elaborate tribute we have yet had to what the movies were and how they figured in our lives.” (Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times). (BR)

Leila’s Brothers

Baradaran-e Leila

FRI, APRIL 14 • 12:45 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 1:15 PM


Her whole life, Leila has been the strong backbone of her family, taking care of her aging parents and four floundering brothers. Now 40, unmarried, and the only one with a job, she’s stuck supporting them all, until a longshot business opportunity emerges that could be the family’s salvation. Leila and her brothers come up with a plan that just might get them out of poverty— but their father’s pride stands in the way. As enveloping as a classic novel in the nuance and depth of its characterizations, this superb family drama has earned justifiable critical comparisons to The Godfather and Dickens. “Grade: A. The true star of Leila’s Brothers is the rich screenplay brimming with humanity, depth, and humor that makes for a genuinely emotional portrait of an imperfect family” (The Playlist). “A film whose every frame and line of dialogue is calculated to perfection, and the kind of credibly intricate plotting—with new reveals parceled out like small gifts—that keeps you compelled (and then some) from the first frame till the last” (Little White Lies). FIPRESCI Prize, 2022 Cannes Film Festival. (MK)

Love Life

SAT, APRIL 15 • 3:15 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 4 PM


Narrative • Japan, France • 2022 • Korean, Japanese with English subtitles • 123 MIN

Director: Koji Fukada Cast: Fumino Kimura, Kento Nagayama, Atom Sunada

Taeko’s second chance at love is going well. Despite the disapproval of her stern in-laws, she, her six-year-old son, and new husband make a happy young family, ensconced in their cozy apartment in coastal Japan. But a sudden tragedy forces her to reconnect with her ex, a deaf, unpredictable Korean man who has been homeless since their breakup. Writer/director

Kōji Fukada (Hospitalite, WFF ‘12, A Girl Missing, WFF ‘20) has crafted a deeply humane, minor-key melodrama that is as wrenching, curious, and rewarding as life itself. “Terrific… an enormously poignant melodrama told at the volume of a broken whisper. A gentle and effervescent watch in spite of its tragic premise” (Indiewire). “It is a movie whose gentleness and sadness coexist with a strange sense of the absurd, preposterous and tasteless new twists that life can give you: a film to remind you, perhaps, of George Bernard Shaw’s dictum: ‘Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.’ It is a rich, varied meal of a film” (The Guardian). (MK)

Presented with support from UWMadison Center for East Asian Studies

15 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG
Narrative • Iran • 2022 • Persian with English subtitles • 165 MIN Director: Saeed Roustaee Cast: Tarane Alidousti, Saeed Poursamimi, Navid Mohammadzade


Thursday, April 13


Friday, April 14

Saturday, April 15

Zoo Lock Down 5:30 PM • 85 MIN Una Vita Di cile 7:30 PM • 120 MIN The Tough Ones 8:45 PM • 94 MIN Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman 8:15 PM • 105 MIN Wisconsin Film Festival FILM GUIDE AT A GLANCE 25TH ANNIVERSARY APRIL 13-20 HILLDALE

16 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG Shannon HallMemorial Union
5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Luxembourg, Luxembourg 7:00 PM • 106 MIN Opening Night Reception 5:00 PM - 6:45PM • SUNSET LOUNGE OPENING NIGHT UW Cinematheque Other People’s Children 6:00 PM • 104 MIN The Connection 5:30 PM • 110 MIN Yung Punx: A Punk Parable 3:30 PM • 80 MIN Geographies of Solitude 1:15 PM • 103 MIN Strangers in a Strange Land 8:45 PM • 65 MIN Will-o’-the-Wisp 1:30 PM • 67 MIN The Circle 3:15 PM • 91 MIN Chocolate and Butter Sculpture 4:00 PM • 95 MIN Polite Society 6:00 PM • 103 MIN Secret Screening 8:15 PM • 90 MIN Leila’s Brothers 12:45 PM • 165 MIN World War III 4:00 PM • 107 MIN I Have Electric Dreams 1:30 PM • 103 MIN The Tuba Thieves 3:45 PM • 92 MIN Valeria Is Getting Married 5:45 PM • 76 MIN Metronom 8:00 PM • 102 MIN Mother and Son 3:30 PM • 116 MIN Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman 6:00 PM • 105 MIN Bobi Wine: The People’s President 8:15 PM • 113 MIN The Lady 11:00 AM • 85 MIN Shannon HallMemorial Union The Marquee at Union South Chazen Museum of Art Hilldale Cinema 5 Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 6 Blue Jean 6:15 PM • 97 MIN Manticore 8:30 PM • 115 MIN
10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Next Door 8:30 PM • 93 MIN HILLDALE CAMPUS | UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON UW Cinematheque Judy Blume Forever 11:00 AM • 97 MIN Pianoforte 1:15 PM • 91 MIN Starring Jerry as Himself 11:00 AM • 70 MIN Rickshaw Girl 12:45 PM • 110 MIN The Cameraman 1:00 PM • 69 MIN Dunston Checks In 3:00 PM • 88 MIN Daughter of God 5:30 PM • 129 MIN Beyond Human Nature 4:00 PM • 108 MIN Wisconsin’s Own Gone Wild 9:00 PM • 84 MIN Ever Deadly 11:15 AM • 90 MIN Blue Jean 1:15 PM • 97 MIN The Happiest Man in the World 3:30 PM • 85 MIN Mami Wata 11:30 AM • 107 MIN Tommy Guns 1:45 PM • 120 MIN The Tuba Thieves 4:15 PM • 92 MIN The Sixth Child 11:00 AM • 92 MIN Confessions of a Good Samaritan 1:00 PM • 105 MIN Love Life 3:15 PM • 123 MIN Robot Monster 3-D 11:00 AM • 66 MIN Shannon HallMemorial Union The Marquee at Union South Chazen Museum of Art Hilldale Cinema 5 Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 6 How I Learned to Fly 5:30 PM • 104 MIN
10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM We Are Not Ghouls 3:30 PM • 93 MIN Real People/ Real Places 3:15 PM • 68 MIN Experiments 5:30 PM • 69 MIN Good Guy With a Gun 7:45 PM • 108 MIN Showing Up 6:45 PM • 108 MIN Without Her 8:00 PM • 111 MIN I Have Electric Dreams 6:15 PM • 103 MIN Kokomo City 8:30 PM • 73 MIN The Night of the 12th 5:45 PM • 115 MIN Masquerade 7:00 PM • 136 MIN CAMPUS | UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Total running time does NOT include 30 minute Q&A at most screenings that fi lm guests are scheduled to appear Own Films
Big Screens, Little
35mm Film

Sunday, April 16

17 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG UW Cinematheque Karaoke 11:00 AM • 100 MIN Cairo Conspiracy 1:30 PM • 125 MIN Greener Pastures 11:00 AM • 93 MIN Following Sean 1:30 PM • 87 MIN Will-o’-the-Wisp 2:00 PM • 67 MIN I Like It Here 4:00 PM • 88 MIN Tap Dancing Teens & ... 6:30 PM • 77 MIN Shorter and... 11:00 AM • 56 MIN Joyland 5:00 PM • 127 MIN Viking 11:00 AM • 104 MIN Leila’s Brothers 1:15 PM • 165 MIN Until Tomorrow 4:30 PM • 86 MIN Geographies of Solitude 11:30 AM • 103 MIN Metronom 2:00 PM • 102 MIN Tommy Guns 4:15 PM • 120 MIN Bobi Wine: The People’s President 11:15 AM • 113 MIN Confessions of a Good Samaritan 1:45 PM • 105 MIN Love Life 4:00 PM • 123 MIN Jack and the Beanstalk 11:00 AM • 105 MIN Shannon HallMemorial Union The Marquee at Union South Chazen Museum of Art Hilldale Cinema 5 Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 6
10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Hundreds of Beavers 4:15 PM • 108 MIN Wild Life 7:00 PM • 93 MIN Families and Friends 4:00 PM • 80 MIN Short and Sweet 12:45 PM • 81 MIN Manticore 2:30 PM • 115 MIN Addicted to Life 6:30 PM • 93 MIN Valeria Is Getting Married 7:00 PM • 76 MIN The Beasts 6:45 PM • 137 MIN Army of Darkness 6:30 PM • 81 MIN HILLDALE CAMPUS | UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON Hilldale Cinema 6 The Happiest Man in the World 1:30 PM • 85 MIN Time Bomb Y2K 3:30 PM • 80 MIN Una Vita Di cile 12:30 PM • 120 MIN Bunny Lake Is Missing 7:45 PM • 107 MIN Hung Up on a Dream 5:30 PM • 109 MIN Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 5 Wednesday,
19 10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Viking 6:00 PM • 104 MIN Sick of Myself 8:15 PM • 97 MIN Martin Roumagnac 3:00 PM • 108 MIN The Trial(s) 5:15 PM • 123 MIN Subject 8:00 PM • 90 MIN HILLDALE Hilldale Cinema 6 The Trial(s) 12:15 PM • 123 MIN The Last Picture Show 8:30 PM • 119 MIN Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 5 Thursday,
20 10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Real Genius 5:45 PM • 104 MIN My Sailor, My Love 1:15 PM • 103 MIN Dead Reckoning 3:15 PM • 100 MIN I Like Movies 6:00 PM • 100 MIN Hilldale Cinema 6 The Runner 2:00 PM • 91 MIN Until Tomorrow 4:00 PM • 86 MIN Mami Wata 3:00 PM • 107 MIN Martin Roumagnac 5:15 PM • 108 MIN Dragon Princess 4:00 PM • 70 MIN My Sailor, My Love 5:45 PM • 103 MIN The Beasts 8:00 PM • 137 MIN The Night of the 12th 1:15 PM • 115 MIN Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 5
10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Joyland 6:00 PM • 127 MIN Kokomo City 8:45 PM • 73 MIN I Like It Here 12:30 PM • 88 MIN HILLDALE Hollywood 90028 7:30 PM • 101 MIN Hilldale Cinema 6 World War III 1:15 PM • 107 MIN Without Her 3:30 PM • 111 MIN A World For Julius 5:15 PM • 104 MIN Chop & Steele 6:15 PM • 77 MIN Chop & Steele 8:30 PM • 77 MINV Mother and Son 12:30 PM • 116 MIN Hilldale Cinema 1 Hilldale Cinema 5 Tuesday, April 18 10 AM 11 AM NOON 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM Time Bomb Y2K 6:00 PM • 80 MIN The Runner 8:30 PM • 91 MIN Zoo Lock Down 1:00 PM • 85 MIN Ever Deadly 3:15 PM • 90 MIN HILLDALE Impulse 8:15 PM • 87 MIN The Sixth Child 3:00 PM • 92 MIN Sanctuary 6:15 PM • 96 MIN Starring Jerry as Himself 4:00 PM • 75 MIN How to Blow Up a Pipeline 8:15 PM • 103 MIN Subject 3:00 PM • 90 MIN HILLDALE
Monday, April 17

Statement from the Golden Badger Jury

After much

deliberation, we chose three shorts in the categories of animation, documentary, and narrative, which collectively speak to the creative joy harnessed by writers and filmmakers with Wisconsin roots. Of Wood enlivens the history of human ingenuity and invention while offering a warning about our materialism and addiction to consumption.

Friday Night Blind attests to the resilience of spirit in its profiles of three women among Milwaukee Beer Barrels Blind Bowling League. Carol & Janet’s sharply written and confidently acted absurdist comedy cherishes an enduring bond between the titular coworkers and best friends.

Golden WinnersBadger

Carol & Janet

Director: Andrea Rosen

Screening in “Wisconsin’s Own Gone Wild”

“Carol & Janet’s shared boyfriend leaves each of them with a piece of himself as a token of gratitude” is how writerdirector Andrea Rosen summarizes her delightful short film. Although a normal day at work takes a darkly comic turn, the real pleasure of Carol & Janet radiates from the characters’ eccentric and charismatic friendship. The two women joke, sing, gossip, tease the long-suffering delivery man, and brighten their mundane surroundings with their infectious joie de vivre. Despite the surprising-and macabre-discovery about each other, Carol & Janet celebrates the magic of female friendships. (Needless to say, it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors.)

Friday Night Blind

Directors: Scott Krahn and Robb Fischer

Screening in “Real People/Real Places”

Friday Night Blind is the real story of three of Milwaukee’s most charismatic citizens—Judy, Rhonda, and Sandy—who overcome adversity in their own insightful ways, rolling with the punches at every turn and in every frame. Co-directors

Scott Krahn and Robb Fischer strike a perfect balance in alternating between scenes in Rhonda, Judy, and Sandy’s homes (as they share routines, hobbies, and life stories) and razzing, good-natured banter at Burnham Bowl in West Allis as members of a blind bowling league. Their positivity is infectious; I left with a greater awareness of my friends and neighbors who live with disabilities, plus the desire to seek out similar organizations in my own hometown that may need support. —Abigail

Of Wood

Director: Owen Klatte

Screening in “ Experiments”

Owen Klatte’s “stop-cut” animated short is itself a celebration of human invention—whittled, chipped, and carved into the trunk of a tree that’s mounted on a bench in a woodshop. Evoking a collective nostalgia for the joy of childhood picture-book storytelling, Klatte at first spins the age-old proverb about the mighty oaks from which little acorns grow. But limitless imagination soon buckles under the material weight of excess, imprisoning and then burying a surrogate wooden figure under a misshapen avalanche of stuff. Of Wood masterfully uses depth of field to tell a critical tale of development and consumption. —Grant Phipps

The Jury:

Kate Balsley is a video artist and film professor at Georgia Gwinnett College, winner of the Golden Badger Award in 2011 for her video Anima Mundi, and in 2022 for Ad Meliora

Abigail Kruger is a filmmaker and University of Wisconsin-Madison alum who had a short film, Amber The Acrobat in the 2022 Wisconsin Film Festival.

Grant Phipps is Film Editor at Tone Madison, Mills Folly Microcinema programmer at Arts + Literature Laboratory, and a sound design enthusiast.


After Sunset, Dawn Arrives

This thoughtful, sensitive, and beautifully realized film by Andy Yi Li depicts a shy, middle-aged man’s sexual reawakening while he continues to mourn for his deceased wife.

—Kate Balsley

Greener Pastures

Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian’s feature documentary depicts the devastating effects of agribusiness on smaller, struggling Midwestern family farms, as it steadily reveals deeply concerning (and bravely focused) truths about mental health.

—Abigail Kruger

Merit x Zoe

This expertly-crafted short narrative, directed by Kyle HausmannStokes, does justice to the very real and traumatic issues that America’s service members continually face.

—Abigail Kruger

The Red Tide

A dual tribute to her mother and artist Nancy Holt, Sally Lawton’s lovingly edited, bustling dreamstate, experimental essay evokes a deeply observational sensitivity to the uncertain rhythms of our daily lives. —Grant Phipps

We Are Not Ghouls

Chris James Thompson’s vital political documentary re-examines the soul-crushing, global implications of human rights violations with unshakable core testimony from US Air Force JAG Defense Attorney Yvonne Bradley. —Grant Phipps

all listings are alphabetical

Luxembourg, Luxembourg


Narrative • Ukraine • 2022 • Ukrainian with English subtitles • 106 MIN

Director: Antonio Lukich Cast: Amil Nasirov, Ramil Nasirov, Lyudmyla Sachenko Twin brothers Vasya and Kolya live on opposite sides of the law in modern-day Ukraine: Vasya’s the struggling cop who can’t catch a break, Kolya’s the low-level drug dealer still living with their eccentric mom. Their lives are upended with the news that their gangster-ish dad (who hightailed it to parts unknown when they were kids and whom they haven’t seen or heard from since) is now on his deathbed in a Luxembourg hospital. Despite their mother’s protests, the brothers embark on a pilgrimage to reunite with their estranged father before it’s too late, but nothing is easy and there are no straight paths. Filled with droll, deadpan performances and wonderfully subtle sight gags, Luxembourg, Luxembourg is that rare comedy that is both unsparing and humane, proving the adage that the best comedies are cut through with a twinge of melancholy. This cinematic world full of memorable ne’er do wells and malcontents finds empathy and grace notes for all of them. Only the second feature by Ukrainian director Antonio Lukich, Luxembourg signals a young talent with a master’s eye for character and detail as well as a knack for propulsively energetic filmmaking. “Luxembourg, Luxembourg is a beautifully modulated, funny and compassionate product of an irreverence that is just as much part of the national character as its resilience in the face of adversity and as such, a gentle reminder — not of the fight but of what’s worth fighting for” (Variety).


Presented with support from UW-Madison Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA)

Mami Wata


MON, APRIL 17 • 3 PM


Narrative • Nigeria

• 2023

• West African

Pidgin with English subtitles • 107 MIN

Director: C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi Cast: Evelyne

Ily Juhen, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Emeka

Amakeze, Rita Edochie, Kelechi Udegbe

In an isolated village off the coast of West Africa, Mama Efe serves as the intermediary between her community and a goddess who resides in the ocean. But a series of troubling events cause the townsfolk to cast doubt on the legtimacy of Efe’s connection, and the benevo-

lence of the deity. Seven years in the making and stunningly etched in chiaroscuro black-and-white, Mami Wata is folklore for the modern age. “Obasi weaves naturalistic storytelling, surreal fantasy, and mythological symbolism into a singularly enthralling experience. The images in Mami Wata are so beautifully composed, framed, and lit that they could be printed and displayed in a museum or art gallery” (Screen Anarchy). “A mesmerizing African dreamscape. Mami Wata’s fairy tale of tested, lost, then rediscovered faith and the dangers of inflexibility comes in the most visually stunning package possible. A well-spun myth with gilded illustrations so lovely that each is worth framing… the atmosphere Obasi conjures is uniquely, empoweringly transportative—and one you’ll want to revisit over and over again” (Paste). Special Jury Prize for Cinematography, 2023 Sundance Film Festival. (MK)

18 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG



FRI, APRIL 14 • 8:30 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 2:30 PM


Narrative • Spain • 2022 • Spanish with English subtitles • 115 MIN

Director: Carlos Vermut Cast: Nacho Sánchez, Zoe Stein, Catalina Sopelana

Alone in his Madrid apartment with a VR headset strapped to his face, Julián is sculpting the air around him. A sought-after video game artist, he uses virtual reality to make digital models of otherworldly creatures which can only be viewed on a computer screen. One afternoon, he’s ripped from his creative reverie by a fire in a neighboring apartment. He manages to break down the door and saves the day, but is deeply unsettled by this shocking incident. He seeks solace in a new romance with Diana, an art history student, but Julián has learned something fundamentally transformative—and disturbing— about himself. Writer/director Carlos Vermut brilliantly uses the concepts of virtual reality to craft a fearless, unshakable inquiry into humanity’s darkest recesses, in which what is unseen is just as significant as what is onscreen. Manticore is perfectly restrained and composed on the surface—it’s the ideas that are shocking, and the seriousness with which they are treated. Here is a film to grapple with long after the screening. “A masterpiece” (El Mundo). “Most certainly Madrid’s answer to David Lynch. Will rank as the best of the film season… even if it disturbs or upsets some” (Cineuropa). (MK) Presented with support from UWMadison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS)

Martin Roumagnac

MON, APRIL 17 • 5:15 PM


WED, APRIL 19 • 3 PM


Narrative • France • 1946 • French with English subtitles • 108 MIN

Director: Georges Lacombe Cast: Jean Gabin, Marlene Dietrich, Marcel Herrand, Daniel Gélin

International cinema superstars and real-life lovers Marlene Dietrich and Jean Gabin radiate pure matinee charisma in their only big screen teaming, a sexy and marvelously entertaining film noir that has been restored and made available to American audiences for the first time in decades! Gabin plays the titular Martin, an unpretentious and proudly working-class building contractor, who falls for Dietrich’s ravishing shopgirl Blanche, quite unaware of her notorious romantic history. Among her current lovers (the original American title was The Room Upstairs) is a local politician who plans on marrying Blanche once his terminally ill wife dies. Ever the sensible lug, Martin doesn’t care, even though it seems that the opportunistic Blanche will choose wealth over love. This classic tale of a sphinxlike femme fatale and the obsessive men that buzz around her is made steamier by the off-screen romance between the two stars.

Gabin and Dietrich began their affair in Hollywood while in exile from Europe during WWII. Produced in France in 1946, Martin Roumagnac was the first film for both stars after the war, and though they broke up shortly after its completion, they each reportedly never got over the other. (JH)




Narrative • France • 2022 • French with English subtitles • 136 MIN

Director: Nicolas Bedos Cast: Pierre Niney, Marine Vacth, Isabelle Adjani

A marvel of twists, wit, and glamour, this decadent widescreen thriller is exactly the kind of grown-up spectacle one wishes Hollywood still made. Set in the French Riviera (”a sunny place for shady people,” per the film’s epigraph), Masquerade tracks a pair of sexy young con artists as they set out to seduce and destroy their wealthy elders—and perhaps each other. For a gigolo, Adrien’s got it made, lolling poolside at the lavish estate of faded diva Martha (Possession’s Isabelle Adjani in full Norma Desmond mode). His too-comfortable lifestyle gets upended when he falls headlong for Margot, a career femme fatale who sweeps him up in an elaborate caper to rip off both Martha and Simon, an old fool she has wrapped around her finger, and escape together with their combined fortunes. Needless to say, things get complicated. With its dazzlingly attractive cast and lively, high-gloss sheen, Masquerade combines the starry grandeur of Hollywood classics and the twisty fun of a paperback page-turner. “An elegant, lush looking mystery… the sardonic wit of Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity and Sunset Blvd. blends with the suspense in Hitchcock’s Riviera-set To Catch a Thief” (Screen Daily). “A Hollywood-like extravaganza that Hollywood would unlikely be able to make, Masquerade and its grand ensemble serves up a succulent spread” (Cineuropa). 2022 Cannes Film Festival. (MK)

Mother and Son

Un petit frère

FRI, APRIL 14 • 3:30 PM


TUE, APRIL 18 • 12:30 PM


Narrative • France • 2022 • French with English subtitles • 116 MIN

Director: Léonor Serraille Cast: Annabelle Lengronne, Stéphane Bak, Kenzo Sambin, Ahmed Sylla, Sidy Fofana, Laetitia Dosch


FRI, APRIL 14 • 8 PM SUN, APRIL 16 • 2 PM


Narrative • Romania • 2022 • Romanian with English subtitles • 102 MIN

Director: Alexandru Belc Cast: Mara Bugarin, Alina Brezunteanu, Mara Vicol Bucharest, 1972. 17-year-old Ana is plotting to hook up with her boyfriend Sorin one last time before his family emigrates. She sneaks out to a euphoric, clandestine house party where her fellow students revel in illegal Radio Free Europe broadcasts of recent American rock hits, and where she might steal a few moments alone with Sorin. As the party reaches a crescendo of dancing, laughing, and political chatter, the secret police arrive, and everything changes for these students forever. The staging and energy of Metronom’s epic party sequence is absolutely electric—only to be upended and equaled by the starkness of its aftermath. First-time actor Mara Burgarin is utterly captivating as the center of this politically-minded coming-of-age story. Writer/director Alexandru Belc got his start working on the sets of Romanian masterworks like 4 Weeks, 3 Months, and 2 Days and Police, Adjective (WFF 2010)—his work on Metronom inherits the formal precision of these forebears while simultaneously taking it in exciting new directions. Best Director, Un Certain Regard, 2022 Cannes Film Festival. (MK)

At the start of Léonor Serraille’s Mother and Son, we see Rose and her two young sons—Jean and Ernest—huddled together while gazing out of a train window. Having emigrated from the Ivory Coast, they speed toward Paris to make a new life for themselves. Spanning a sweeping twenty-year period, Mother and Son offers slice-of-life scenes that chart the joys and tribulations that the family experiences in France. At times, Rose’s best intentions go awry; her attempts to find a father figure for her sons lead her into less-than-ideal relationships, and her desire for her sons to succeed can prove to be stifling. For their part, the sons experience the growing pains that all adolescents feel; they navigate youthful romances and rebel against the adults in their lives. Yet Mother and Son is as much a treatise on the immigrant experience in France as it is a subtle family drama. Through all the shifting complexities of their relationships, the family is haunted by the memory of the two children Rose was obliged to leave behind in the Ivory Coast.

Recalling Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum in its relaxed rhythms and themes of immigration, Mother and Son boasts a superb lead performance from Annabelle Lengronne as Rose. Mother and Son is being screened as part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine. (JB)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Department of French and Italian, UW-Madison African Cultural Studies, and UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center

19 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG

My Sailor, My Love

MON, APRIL 17 • 5:45 PM


WED, APRIL 19 • 1:15 PM


Narrative • Ireland, Finland • 2022 •103 MIN

Director: Klaus Härö Cast: James Cosmo, Catherine Walker, Brid Brennan

In a coastal Irish town, a curmudgeonly retired sea captain named Howard (James Cosmo) stubbornly rejects all the attention paid to him by his daughter, Grace (Catherine Walker). Concerned for her father’s welfare, Grace hires local widow Annie (Brid Brennan) to be Howard’s housekeeper. At first, Howard treats Annie in the grouchy way he treats everyone, but when the two eventually embark on an unexpected romance, Grace stops holding in the resentment and hostility that she’s held against her dad for decades. Soon, Grace’s interference begins to take its toll on Howard and Annie’s new relationship, as well as her own marriage, leading the story towards multiple confrontations. For his English-language debut, Finnish director Klaus Härö has chosen this sensitive and touching drama, appropriately set in a stormy and rocky locale. Beautifully photographed and wonderfully performed (especially by Walker as the neurotic and troubled Grace), My Sailor, My Love is just as much about finding love in the twilight years as it is about family obligations and reckoning with the past. 2022 Toronto International Film Festival. (JH)

Next Door

FRI, APRIL 14 • 8:30 PM


Narrative • South Korea • 2022 • Korean

with English subtitles • 93 MIN

Director: Yeom Ji-ho Cast: Oh Dongmin, Choi Hee-jin, Lee Jung-hyun

Chan-woo has the problems you might expect any young student to have. He has trouble passing exams, his bank account is empty, he sometimes goes overboard on beer, and he puts up with noisy neighbors in his apartment building as he studies. After an all-night bender, however, Chan-woo finds himself facing a new problem that makes all others pale in comparison: he wakes up, bruised and confused, in his neighbor’s apartment. There, he discovers a body lying in a pool of blood on the floor. At this point, Next Door kicks into high gear. Can Chan-woo find clues to help him identify the body? Can he piece together his hazy memories of the previous night? Can he be sure that no one will enter the apartment and misunderstand his presence there? And can he solve his predicament in time to turn in an important application by its evening deadline? Taking place almost entirely in one apartment, Next Door is imaginatively packed with moment after moment of surprise and suspense. Director Yeom Ji-ho expertly blends the film’s thrills with a palpable sense of playfulness, lending a funhouse atmosphere to Next Door’s many devilish twists and turns. (JB)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Center for East Asian Studies

The Night of the 12th La Nuit du 12

SAT, APRIL 15 • 5:45 PM MON, APRIL 17 • 1:15 PM


Narrative • France, Belgium • 2022 • French with English subtitles • 115 MIN

Director: Dominik Moll Cast: Bastien Bouillon, Bouli Lanners, Anouk Grinberg, Julien Frison

The disturbing murder of a young woman in Grenoble sets off a years-long police investigation that turns into a personal obsession for recently promoted Police Captain Yohan (Bastien Bouillon). With few clues to learn the killer’s identity, Yohan, along with his troubled partner Marceau (Bouli Lanners), begins looking into the life of the victim, Clara. Certain that the perpetrator is one of Clara’s ex-lovers, Yohan and Marceau are quickly confronted with numerous ambiguous details, and ultimately, the two detectives have doubts about their own ability to handle the case. Director and co-writer Dominik Moll is a thriller specialist whose previous entertainments, such as With a Friend Like Harry (2000) and Lemming (2005), took a tongue-in-cheek, sometimes surreal approach to unfolding their suspenseful stories, injecting the movies with lots of uncharacteristic and off-beat flourishes. In The Night of the 12th, Moll and his frequent collaborator, co-scenarist Gilles Marchand, were inspired by an actual case, and they have found that ineffable, mysterious quality in the many nuanced details and unanswered questions of an intensely realistic police procedural. The resulting true-crime study of cops and suspects, filled with fascinating and unsettling observations of real human behavior, is nothing less than the European equivalent of David Fincher’s Zodiac. 2022 Cannes and Jerusalem Film Festivals. (JH)


Opening Night Reception

Opening Night Reception

THU, APRIL 13 • 5-7 PM


Join us for appetizers, drinks, toasts and general merriment as we kick off the 25th Wisconsin Film Festival in style! Meet us in the Sunset Lounge, Memorial Union at 5 pm, and make sure to also grab a ticket to our opening night selection, Luxembourg, Luxembourg, across the way in Shannon Hall starting at 7pm. Presented with support from Wisconsin Union Theater and Department of Communication Arts

Other People’s Children

Les Enfants des Autres


Narrative • France • 2022 • French with English subtitles • 104 MIN

Director: Rebecca Zlotowski Cast: Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem, Chiara Mastroianni

This luminous Parisian romance is a sophisticated, sexy, and soulful look at modern love. The always terrific Virginie Efira stars as Rachel, a schoolteacher who strikes up a new relationship with Ali. The hot thrill of infatuation segues into the subtler warmth of domesticity thanks to the presence of Leila, Ali’s adorable preschool-aged daughter. Having just entered her forties, Rachel knows all too well that her window to start a family is rapidly shrinking, and she welcomes the opportunity to play second mother to this moppet. What seems an ideal situation in the day-to-day becomes more complex as Rachel must reckon with the reality that, as much as she cares for Leila, the child already has a mom. As breezily charming as it is sincere and nuanced, writer/director Rebecca Zlotowski’s beautifully composed reflection on the pleasures and complications of combining families is quintessential French cinema at its finest. Among the film’s many surprises, large and small, is the presence of documentary icon Frederick Wiseman in a tender supporting role. “Superb. Wise, humane, bittersweet, and brilliantly observed” (Variety). 2023 Sundance Film Festival. (MK)

20 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG


SAT, APRIL 15 • 1:15 PM


Documentary • Poland • 2023 • Polish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Slovenian with English subtitles

91 MIN

Director: Jakub Piątek

Every five years, the world’s greatest young pianists face off in Warsaw at the International Chopin Piano Competition, one of classical music’s most storied and prestigious contests—and a natural hotbed of fascinating characters. This gripping and brilliant documentary introduces us to a memorable array of preternaturally talented twentysomethings from across Asia and Europe, as well as their equally memorable coaches, whose approaches range from sweet encouragement to Whiplash-style admonishment. Their fingers dexterously dancing across the keys at bewildering speed, these virtuosos demonstrate a dedication and sense of purpose that makes the brainiacs of WFF ‘21 fave Try Harder! look like a bunch of slackers—but offstage, they’re just as disarmingly charming. Full of indescribably impressive performances and so beautifully crafted as to put typical competition documentaries to shame, Pianoforte is a powerful celebration of the majesty of music, and the challenges and rewards of hard work. “With Pianoforte, director Jakub Piątek has composed a genuine piece of art, not unlike a piece of music. It has style. It has sensitivity. It has risks. But at its heart, this documentary is a poignant rumination on life. Intense and rewarding… will linger long after the credits disappear” (Film Threat). 2023 Sundance Film Festival. (MK)

Polite Society


Narrative • United Kingdom • 2023 • 103 MIN

Director: Nida Manzoor Cast: Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, Shobu Kapoor

A rip-roaring blast of action and comedy, this witty knockout was one of the sensations of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Spunky London teen Ria has exactly two dreams: to become the world’s greatest stuntwoman, and for her sister Lena to become an equally revered artist. So when Lena drops out of art school to get engaged to the ultra-wealthy, suspiciously perfect Salim, Ria views it as more than a betrayal—it’s a conspiracy. Ria sets out to sabotage the big wedding, and save her sister—whether Lena wants to be saved or not. But what if Ria’s instincts are right, and something sinister really is going on? Writer/director Nida Manzoor has whipped up a wildly entertaining romp that has already been hailed as “an infinitely quotable future classic. This hilariously deranged high school comedy has the makings of a generational touchstone” (Variety). “An action comedy that throws everything from Sixteen Candles and The Matrix to Ocean’s Twelve and Everything Everywhere All at Once into a blender and spins them up for totally original ends, Polite Society is a nutty joy from start to finish. Big laughs, zippy editing, and incredible fight sequences recommend the film, but it’s the profound emotion at its heart that makes it truly special” (Indiewire). (MK)


Real People/ Real Places

SAT, APRIL 15 • 3:15 PM


68 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

From urban homeowners with livestock in their backyards to cul-de-sac jazz festivals and from junkyard artists to foul-mouthed bowlers letting their freak flags fly, Wisconsin is a state full of characters, and here are a generous handful of them for you to meet, including the Golden Badger winning, Friday Night Blind

Full Circle

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 11 MIN

Director: Michelle Kelley Cast: Kristi Jo McCloskey, Luke Vannest Kristi, who has a chicken coop in her backyard, offers up her story, as well as the story of her chickens, in this charming and intimate portrait documentary. (BR)


Documentary • USA • 2022 • 17 MIN

Director: Andy Heck Cast: Mike Heck, Andy Heck, Kory Heck

Wisconsin filmmaker Andy Heck turns the camera on his father Mike Heck, his lifelong battle with alcoholism and depression, and how he found redemption by creating art with junk. (ES)

Mondale Courting

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 15 MIN

Director: Mary Moskoff Cast: Toni Jakovec

Real Genius

THU, APRIL 20 • 5:45 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Rita Belda

Narrative • USA • 1985 • 104 MIN

Director: Martha Coolidge Cast: Val Kilmer, Gabriel Jarret, Michelle Meyrink, William Atherton, Deborah Foreman, Jonathan Gries

Brought in as a whiz kid to work on a secret project at an elite American university, 16-year-old Mitch (Gabe Jarrett) initially clashes with his roommate and lab partner Chris (Val Kilmer), a party animal with a brilliant mind. But when Chris and Mitch learn that their scamming mentor, Professor and TV host Jerry Hathaway (William Atherton), has had them working on a weapon for the military, they enlist the aid of their fellow geniuses to exact revenge! After the 1984 success of Revenge of the Nerds, Hollywood put several science-fueled comedies with brainy

heroes into production, and, Real Genius, the wittiest and most clever of the bunch by far, came out during a two-week period in August 1985 that also saw the releases of Disney’s My Science Project and Universal’s Weird Science. Thanks to brisk, unsentimental direction from Martha Coolidge (Valley Girl) and memorable characters played by a top-notch cast, Real Genius has endured as far more than a piece of nostalgia from the era of Reagan’s “Star Wars” program. It is also literally one of the best popcorn movies ever made. “Real Genius contains many pleasures, but one of the best is its conviction that the American campus contains life as we know it” (Roger Ebert). This new 4K restoration of Real Genius will be presented by Rita Belda, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Vice President of asset management, film restoration, and digital mastering. (JH)

During the pandemic, the residents of Mondale Court were looking for creative ways to safely bond; Mondale Courting recounts how one woman stepped up to organize a successful series of neighborhood jazz concerts. Mondale Courting reveals as much about neighborly bonding in Madison as it reveals about Madison’s lively jazz scene. (JB)

Expiration Dates

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 11 MIN

Director: Wesley Morgan Cast: Norval Morgan, Barbara Morgan Norval Morgan has a uniquely morbid hobby: he collects obituaries. This intimate and humorous portrait doc also touches on some universal issues like mortality and the legacies we leave behind. (BR)

Friday Night Blind

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 14 MIN

Director: Scott Krahn and Robb Fischer Cast: Judy Henderson, Sandy Tisdale, Rhonda Lang, Kathy Brockman

Meet some delightfully eclectic members of the Milwaukee Beer Barrels Blind Bowling League. These three trash-talking, victory-dancing ladies roll strikes and gutter balls with unmatched style. (XN)

Presented with support from ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

21 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG

Rickshaw Girl

SAT, APRIL 15 • 12:45 PM



Recommended age: 12+

“I’ll never stop painting!” teenage Naima promises her father. Recognizing her passion and talent, he supports the family by pulling passengers through the streets of their small city in Bangladesh in his rickshaw, adorned by Naima’s art. But when he falls ill and can no longer pull the rickshaw, Naima runs away to the colorful, busy city of Dhaka, trying to earn enough money to pay for his expensive medication. Girls are not allowed to pull rickshaws, but a haircut and new clothes give Naima a path into the male-dominated profession and a chance to save her father. Based on the novel of the same name by Mitali Perkins, Rickshaw Girl is a story of resourcefulness, empowerment, family and dreams. Contains some swearing and physical altercations. (TK)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Wisconsin International Resource Consortium (WIRC)

Robot Monster 3-D

SAT, APRIL 15 • 11 AM


Scheduled to Attend: Bob Furmanek

Narrative • USA • 1953 • 66 MIN

Director: Phil Tucker Cast: George Nader, Claudia Barrett, Gregory Moffett, Selena Royle, George Barrows

It’s the end of the Hu-Man race as we know it! Alien visitor Ro-Man (regular gorilla impersonator George Barrows, wearing a hairy ape suit and a deep-sea diving helmet), wipes out most of the Earth’s population with his “awesome calcinator death ray.” There are six survivors who have taken a neutralizing serum: a scientist, a professor, the professor’s wife, and their three children. Ro-Man receives instructions from the leader of his planet, “The Great One” (also played by Barrows), on how to kill the survivors, but love gets in the way when Ro-Man falls for the professor’s comely eldest daughter. With echoes of King Kong, Ro-Man’s lustful desire makes him want to be Hu-Man too, and this will lead to his downfall. Made for a budget around $20,000, this cheapie camp classic just gets more ludicrous—and fun— with every sequence, and it is always a blast to see it with an audience.

Part of the first wave of 3-D releases in early 1953, Robot Monster’s excellent stereoscopic effects have been lovingly restored by 3-D Film Archive in honor of the movie’s 70th anniversary. This special sneak preview of the restoration will be followed by a Q&A with 3-D Film Archive’s Bob Furmanek, whose presentation of Creature from the Black Lagoon in 2019 was an all-time WFF highlight.

A special bonus: Comedian and impressionist Slick Slavin illustrates how popular screen stars will appear in new 3D technology in Stardust in Your Eyes, the original short that played with Robot Monster in 1953!


The Runner


MON, APRIL 17 • 2 PM


TUE, APRIL 18 • 8:30 PM


Narrative • Iran • 1984 • Persian with English subtitles • 91 MIN

Director: Amir Naderi Cast: Madjid Niroumand, Moussa Torkizadeh, Abbas Nazeri

In coastal Iran, young Amiro manages the best that he can. A young boy with no family or support system to speak of, Amiro ekes out a living on the fringes of Iranian society by doing odd jobs alongside other impoverished children: he collects bottles to be reused at vendor stands, peddles ice water from a pail, and shines shoes on the sunny patios of cafés. Following Amiro from vignette to vignette, The Runner (directed and co-written by Amir Naderi) depicts the peaks and valleys of his world. While on the job, Amiro suffers indignities at the hands of bullies and thieves. Yet he also manages to find touching solace in decorating his spare abode with burnt-out lightbulbs and magazine pictures, and he scores small triumphs in his attempts to overcome his illiteracy. This restoration of The Runner brings a new crispness to Naderi’s carefully composed images. Often, we see Amiro peering through chain-link fences or windows, underscoring his status as an outsider, and the film’s elegant camera movements and sun-dappled visuals help to imbue his struggles with a quiet nobility. A film as moving as it is mysterious, The Runner stands alongside de Sica’s Shoeshine and Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (just as it anticipates Kiarostami’s Where Is the Friend’s House) as one of the great films about children navigating an indifferent world with strength and grace. (JB)


THU, APRIL 20 • 6:15 PM



Director: Zachary Wigon Cast: Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley, Francisco Castaneda Margaret Qualley gives her most riveting performance yet squaring off against Christopher Abbott as a dominatrix and her wealthy client in this head-spinning psychosexual thrill ride. Heir to a hotel chain, Hal is prepared to finally put his secret appointments with Rebecca behind him—if she’ll let him. Having dedicated years of her life to literally whipping Hal into shape, Rebecca isn’t going to just let him kick her to the curb, especially right when he’s about to take over his father’s company. After all, she’s the one who transformed him from a richkid wimp into the alpha male he’s become, so it’s time to get her cut. At least, that’s how it begins. Though set in a single apartment over a single night, Sanctuary is loaded with twists and fakeouts, keeping you engagingly off-balanced while racing to keep up with its showily entertaining power struggle. “Ferocious… a terrifically nasty thriller. The film has the confidence and generosity to allow the audience to ask its own questions before it makes its first (of many) giddily upending reveals. In essence, screenwriter Micah Bloomberg has ushered the audience into his lair, placed us atop a pile of lush rugs, and now pulls them out from under us one after the other” (Variety). (MK)

Secret Screening

FRI, APRIL 14 • 8:15 PM


90 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

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We’ve been doing this for 25 years—trust us on this one. You won’t be disappointed.


22 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG
• USA • 2022 • 96 MIN
Narrative • Bangladesh • 2021 • English, Bengali with English subtitles • 110 MIN Amitabh Reza Chowdhury Cast: Novera Rahman, Champa, Siam Ahmed, Momena Chowdhury, Allen Shubhro


Short and Sweet

SUN, APRIL 16 • 12:45 PM


81 MIN | AGES 8 - 12

Life is full of bumps and unexpected turns. Celebrate resourcefulness in these stories of resilience and resolve from around the world!

Wâhkôhtowin | All My Relations

Animation • Canada • 2021 • English, Cree • 6 MIN

Director: Barry Balinshi Cast: Ekti Margaret Cardinal, Darlene Auger

Wâhkôhtowin is a Cree word that means kinship and is used to evoke the connections between generations and the natural world. Children gathered in a grandmother’s tipi learn about their connection to the universe and to their ancestors in this beautifully animated tale. (TK)


Animation • USA • 2022 • 8 MIN

Director: Crestwood 4th and 5th Graders

Cast: Crestwood 4th and 5th Graders

The story of Dangun, the mythological founder of the first kingdom of Korea, is adapted and animated by the 4th and 5th graders at Madison’s Crestwood Elementary School. (TK)

Cat and Moth

Animation • Canada/UK • 2021

No dialogue • 7 MIN

Director: India Barnardo

An epic struggle between a cat and a moth for the comfy spot leads them through animated worlds of wildly divergent styles and realities. (TK)


Animation • USA • 2022 • 6 MIN

Director: Jake Kaplan Cast: Denise

Barma, Pete Barma, Kemma Filby

Based on the true story of a little girl whose world makes sense when she goes by the name of Pete. When she wants to play Little League, Pete

Father Tongue Sfat Av

Narrative • Israel • 2021 • Hebrew, ASL • 19 MIN

Director: Ivgeny Gashinsky Cast: Miki Leon, Ariel Lindzen, Miko Reynlib, Anna Zharova Dror, who is hard of hearing, is forced by his father to leave his school for the deaf, use a cochlear implant, and communicate using speech. Their relationship begins to break down, forcing them both to confront what it means to be understood. (KH)

Presented with support from ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

El Baile

Narrative • Colombia • 2021 • Spanish • 15 MIN

Director: Pedro Pablo Vega Reyes Cast: Julián Visguez Hernández, Mariana Montero Corchvelo, Ela dél Castillo

finds that not everyone is willing to accept her as she is. However, allies and heroes are there to help her.

From Pixar veteran Bret Parker and writer Pete Barma, this touching and nostalgic animation explores identity, change and embracing people exactly as they are. (KH)


Animation • Netherlands • 2021

• No dialogue • 3 MIN

Director: Quentin Haberham Cast: Amina Wijntje, Larry Mauro, Pearl Brilmyer

What if paint brushes had minds of their own? Bristles tells the story of three such brushes and how they solve problems among friends. (CB)


Animation • USA • 2022 • 1 MIN

Director: Lindbergh’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders

Lindbergh Elementary’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders explore animation styles in this celebration of Angie Trudell’s Vasquez poem about the drama of the first snow. (TK)

Charlie and the Hunt

Narrative • USA • 2021 • English, ASL • 15 MIN

Director: Jenn Shaw Cast: Nifeoluwa Ramroop, Lauren Ridloff, Robert Artz

When Charlie’s mother frantically looks for a bracelet given to her by her late mother, Charlie neglects to mention that her treasure hunt had something to do with its disappearance. Thank goodness there is a map with the exact location of the bracelet. But it is in dangerous territory. Will Charlie, with the help of her dog Shirley, be able to face her fears and recover the family treasure? (KK)

Presented with support from ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

After the First Snow

Animation • USA • 2022 • 1 MIN

Director: Lindbergh’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders Lindbergh Elementary’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders explore animation styles in this celebration of Angie Trudell’s Vasquez poem about the drama of the first snow. (TK)

Hoping to impress a girl at an upcoming dance, a young boy goes on a mission to replace or repair the hole in his shoe. With his sister’s help, he makes it to the dance. But just as he is dancing, things start falling apart – literally. Is his dance a disaster or will he find that things don’t have to be perfect to have a happy ending? (KH)

Hush Hush Little Bear

Čuci Čuci

Animation • Latvia • 2022 • Latvian • 5 MIN

Director: Māra Liniņa

With their parents off to collect honey, two little bears decide that sleep is not on their minds. They’d rather play with a ball of yarn and get entangled. Luckily they have helpers to put everything back in place, before “Aijā žužu, lāča bērni”, a Latvian lullaby ends. (KK)

Wheel Kids

Animation • USA • 2022 • 1 MIN

Director: Lindbergh’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders

Madison’s Lindbergh Elementary’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders playfully animate a poem by Angie Trudell Vasquez, Poet Laureate for the city of Madison. All things wheeled fly through the neighborhood! (TK)

Pim and Pom at the

Museum: The Big City

Animation • Netherlands • 2022 • English • 5 MIN

Director: Gioia Smid Cast: Georgina Verbaan


SUN, APRIL 16 • 11 AM


56 MIN | Ages 4 - 8

Travel to new worlds inspired by art, food, adventure, and wonder in these animated shorts. Magical soups, living rocks, journeys into paintings, and down a wild river. A trip around the globe and into outer space.

Franzy’s Soup Kitchen

La Soupe de Franzy

Animation • France • 2022 • No dialogue • 8 MIN

Director: Ana Chubinidze

An alien cooking adventure, with lonely chef Franzy, her delicious soup, and a missing ingredient that can only be found one planet over. As the planet’s inhabitants have been starving, they discover that Franzy’s soup not only tastes good but has magical pink powers. (KK)

Curious cats Pim and Pom love to explore famous works of art alongside their owner, The Lady. Fascinated by Mondrian’s painting, Victory Boogie Woogie, they jump into the painting for a playful voyage through a busy city made of colors and shapes. (KH)


Animation • France • 2021 • No dialogue • 6 MIN

Director: Solène Bosseboeuf, Flore Decharnat, Tipah Klien

A leisurely kayaking trip with his baby turns out to be anything but relaxing for Dad. But it’s a lot of fun for us! (KK)

The Girl Who

Built a Rocket

Animation • UK • 2021 • English • 2 MIN

Director: Neeraja Raj Fara, a girl from Madagascar, hears of the discovery of water on Mars, and decides to build a rocket to bring water from Mars to her village where clean water is scarce. Featuring a specially composed soundtrack of David Bowie’s iconic “Life on Mars?” and a voiceover by Sir Trevor McDonald. (TK)

Don’t Blow it Up Odpust

Animation • Czech Republic • 2022 • No dialogue • 8 MIN

Director: Alžbeta Mačáková

Mišejková Cast: Žofie Hánoud, Júlinka Mačákoná, Miloš Kozelka

When friends get angry with one another, their resentment grows in unexpected ways! Can they work together to save their kitten stuck in a tree? (TK)

Jasmine and Jambo: Bang bang bang!

Animation • Spain • 2022 • English • 7 MIN

Director: Sílvia Cortés Cast: Caitlin McLoughlin, Alex Warner, Clara Cortés Jasmine’s had enough of cold winter and decides to take her protest to the sun with the help of percussion and rhythm. Her friend Jambo is skeptical, but can’t resist joining in to make some music. This colorful cartoon plays with shapes and sound to celebrate the power of music. (KH)



Animation • France • 2022 • French with English subtitles • 3 MIN

Director: Martin Clerget

When Bear is awakened in the middle of his hibernation by a snack-stealing rabbit, he discovers the beauty of a sparkling winter night and a lifelong friend to share it with. (KK)

Luce and the Rock

Luce und der Felsen

Animation • France • 2022 • No dialogue • 13 MIN

Director: Britt Raes

Luce’s orderly little village is disrupted by the sudden arrival of a giant living rock. Driven by frustration and anger, Luce tries to send the rock away and instead finds herself on a journey of adventure and discovery. (KH)

Best European Short Film for Children and Young Audiences at the 2023 Berlinale Film Festival

23 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG

Showing Up

SAT, APRIL 15 • 6:45 PM


Narrative • USA • 2022 • 108 MIN

Director: Kelly Reichardt Cast: Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, Maryann Plunkett, John Magaro, André Benjamin, James Le Gros, Judd Hirsch

There’s working artists, and there’s artists who have to work; Michelle Williams stars as one of the latter in the characteristically poignant and wise new film from independent cinema icon Kelly Reichardt. Lizzy is a sculptor struggling to finish her pieces in time for a looming gallery show—that is, if she can get around to it. Between her day job as an arts administrator, checking in on her unstable family members, and tending to a wounded pigeon (that one’s her cat’s fault), she barely has time to bug her terminally laid-back landlord about how she hasn’t been getting

any hot water. In their fourth collaboration, Reichardt and Williams have crafted a moving mediation on the purpose of creating art, while also affectionately teasing aspects of the corresponding bohemian lifestyle that are likely to strike a chord here in Madison. “A sublime character study overflowing with humor and heart. Thoughtful, affecting and often unexpectedly funny… Showing Up has a tone that recalls offbeat ‘70s comedies—almost like a very chill, more introspective Altman film” (The Hollywood Reporter).

“An absolute joy of a comedy about making art and living life. The film feels pulled from familiar reality for anyone who’s ever tried to make creative work—and it’s quiet, clever, and a whole lot of fun” (Vox). 2022 Cannes, New York Film Festivals.


Sick of Myself

Syk Pike


Narrative • Norway, Sweden • 2022 • Norwegian with English subtitles • 97 MIN

Director: Kristoffer Borgli Cast: Kristine Kujath Thorp, Eirik Sæther, Anders Danielsen Lie

Signe’s artist boyfriend is blowing up, which is great… for him. Signe herself is getting tired of being in his shadow, and wants the spotlight on her, where it belongs. She goes to alarming, self-destructive lengths to ensure that she is the center of attention, not only of her relationship, but the world at large. A gleefully shocking, pitch-black Scandinavian satire in the warped vein of Triangle of Sadness, Sick of Myself takes on personal vanity, victim culture, and social inclusivity with fearless comic precision. Featuring an ironically perfect cameo by The Worst Person in the World‘s Anders Danielsen Lie, here in a film that actually merits the title. “Horribly, shamefully, hilariously relatable. The sly pleasure of Sick of Myself is that Signe’s narcissism differs from the rest of ours more in degree than kind. Her impulses are as uproarious as they are repulsive not because they’re so hard to understand, but because on some level, we can understand them all too well. A vicious little treat to enjoy” (The Hollywood Reporter). “Tart and scabrously funny (both literally and figuratively)… a razor-sharp evisceration of those warped by a victim mentality. Both light and delightfully caustic” (The Playlist). 2022 Cannes, Fantastic Film Festivals. (MK)

Starring Jerry as Himself

SAT, APRIL 15 • 11 AM



Documentary • USA • 2023 • Mandarin with English subtitles • 75 MIN

Director: Law Chen

The Sixth Child

Le Sixième Enfant

SAT, APRIL 15 • 11 AM


TUE, APRIL 18 • 3 PM


Narrative • France • 2022 • French with English

subtitles • 92 MIN

Director: Léopold Legrand Cast: Sara Giraudeau, Benjamin Lavernhe, Judith Chemla, Damien Bonnard Franck is a scrap dealer and petty thief who lives with Mériem in the outskirts of Paris. They have five children, a sixth on the way, and serious money problems. Julien and Anna are lawyers and are having trouble conceiving a child. When Franck proposes giving away their sixth child to the other couple, Julien correctly identifies Franck’s plan as human trafficking, but Anna’s deep

desire to be a mother drives her to view the situation another way. And so, the two couples decide to move forward. Without judgment, The Sixth Child explores the many complicated reasons four people from different social and economic backgrounds stay committed to this illegal arrangement to varying degrees. The movie is also very precise and realistic in portraying the myriad ways in which the two couples keep their crime hidden from the eyes of the law, resulting in a solid domestic drama that builds like a heist movie. This is a solid first feature for director and co-screenwriter Léopold Legrand. The cast is also superb, especially Judith Chemla, who received a César Award nomination for her performance as Mériem. “Explore[s] in an intimate and fascinating way the questions of filiation, maternity, abandonment, adoption and the law, and enables the director to successfully enter the world of feature filmmaking” (Cineuropa). The Sixth Child is being screened as part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine (JH)

Jerry, a retired, divorced Taiwanese immigrant living in Orlando, receives an urgent call from the Chinese police. They inform him that he’s the prime suspect in an international money laundering investigation where over a million dollars was illegally moved through his Florida bank account. Certain that he’s being confused with another person, Jerry, in order to clear his name and avoid arrest and extradition to China, agrees to cooperate and be an undercover agent in the case. Over the next few weeks, Jerry’s once drab existence suddenly gets a jolt of James Bond as he takes surveillance photos of his bank, makes top secret transfers, and even wears a wire to spy on bank tellers. After months of keeping the investigation a secret, Jerry finally reveals everything to his ex-wife and three sons. His family decides to document his adventure and discover the truth about what really happened and how it changed Jerry’s life forever. For this story that seems too strange to be true, director Law Chen and producer Jon Hsu (Jerry’s son, who also appears as himself) have appropriately taken a storytelling approach that seamlessly and excitingly blends fictional and documentary techniques. Ultimately, the movie and its making serve as a catharsis for Jerry and his family as hidden truths and complex relationships are revealed. Winner, Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, 2023 Slamdance Film Festival. (JH)

24 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG


Strangers in a Strange Land

FRI, APRIL 14 • 8:45 PM


65 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

A sense of loneliness and isolation, of culture shock, things lost in translation, things left behind permeates this collection of nuanced, sharply observed short films. Join us for six stories that map out our differences but more importantly, our underlying similarities.

Unwritten History of Wisconsin

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 6 MIN

Director: Emma Chang Cast: Nouyee Thao

In Unwritten History of Wisconsin, a story of an immigrant experience is recounted in voice-over while the visual track strings together a series of poetic images filmed in Wisconsin.


Presented with support from UW-Madison Asian American Studies Program


Narrative • USA • 2022 • 6 MIN

Director: Sachin Bhargava Dharwadker

Cast: Sanjay Chandani, Deepti Gupta, Rishi Mahesh, Armaan Pun Medatia Sachin Dharwadker (Breathe In Breathe Out, WFF ‘17) returns with a nuanced portrayal of an Indian American family, one in which the mother’s firm authority is contrasted by the father’s unorthodox approach to discipline. (XN)

Prairie Girls

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 12 MIN

Director: Benett Holgerson Cast: Abby Holgerson, Claire Read, Tarathorn Boonngamanong, Arbit Rushiti, Henry Barford

This sci-fi comedy romp finds the two titular prairie girls swept away on a century-spanning adventure as they find themselves plucked from the past and landing in the present day, pursued by a mysterious, axwielding duo. (XN)


Narrative • USA • 2022 • 10 MIN

Director: Benett Holgerson Cast: Abby Holgerson, Claire Read, Tarathorn Boonngamanong, Arbit Rushiti, Henry Barford

On a trip to Mexico, a young botanist recalls a similar trip she took as a child with her beloved aunt. Silt is a lovingly photographed, wistful and haunting short. (BR)


Narrative • USA • 2022 • 7 MIN

Director: Julian Castronovo Cast: Nina Ma, Yuying Tang, Shu Zhang, Paul Sohm, Xuege Cai East Asian women audition for the role of a robotic humanoid servant who may or may not have dialogue in this sharply-observed, singular short from WFF Alum, Julian Castronovo (Hannah’s Video, WFF ‘21). (BR)

After Sunset, Dawn Arrives

Narrative • USA • 2022 • Mandarin, English •17 MIN

Director: Andy Yi Li Cast: Jesse Wang, Todd Lien, Austin Klopfenstein

After Sunset, Dawn Arrives tells the story of an elderly Chinese widower who finds newfound excitement while taking dance classes led by an alluring young male teacher. A stylistically lyrical film, After Sunset, Dawn Arrives poignantly touches on themes of loss and self-acceptance.


WED, APRIL 19 • 8 PM


THU, APRIL 20 • 3 PM


Documentary • USA • 2022 • 90 MIN

Director: Jennifer Tiexiera, Camilla Hall

Have you ever wondered whatever happened to the people who appeared in blockbuster documentaries like Hoop Dreams, Capturing the Friedmans, Wolfpack, The Square, and The Staircase? This absorbing film revisits the subjects of many recent documentaries, exploring the ethical challenges inherent in shining a spotlight on the unpaid, ordinary people who agree to tell their stories. Through interviews with those whose lives were changed—for good or for ill—by their appearance in documentary films, Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall tell a nuanced story about the impact of such exposure. Chock full of fascinating clips and interviews, the film allows us to revisit some of the most important documentaries of the last several decades and asks us to think about what a healthy and fair dynamic between documentary directors and the people who appear in their films would look like. (KC)

Tap Dancing Teens & Screaming Sandwichmen: Gems from Chicago Film Archives

SUN, APRIL 16 • 6:30 PM


77 MIN

An eclectic mix of humorous, surreal, and enlightening films, all united by their uniquely Midwestern sensibilities. All of the films in this program will be presented on 16mm or 35mm prints and have been photochemically preserved by Chicago Film Archives, a non-profit dedicated to saving and sharing the film heritage of the Midwest. (OB)

Variety Show at Peoria’s Palace Theater

35MM • Documentary • USA • 1934 • 11 MIN

Scenes of a lively Depression-era talent show in which Peoria, Illinois’ youth show off their skills in tap dancing, gymnastics, and Mae West impersonation. (OB)

The Saga of the First and Last

35MM • Narrative • USA • 1954 • 3 MIN

Director: Margaret Conneely

Cast: John Conneely

Midcentury amateur filmmaker Margaret Conneely enlists her son John for this colorful cautionary tale about the dangers of smoking. A wholesome morality play with an avant-garde touch. (OB)

Super Up


• Experimental


Director: Kenji Kanesaka


16MM • Documentary • USA • 1974 • 9 MIN

Director: Tom Palazzolo

Chicago’s (unofficial) filmmaker laureate Tom Palazzolo explores the masochism that keeps customers coming back to Jerry Meyers’ delicatessen in this screwball profile of a business owner known for berating his clientele. (OB)

Chocolate Cake

16MM • Experimental• USA • 1973 • 4 MIN

Director: JoAnn Elam

A caustic vignette on labor and sexism, Chocolate Cake was made in response to an evening during which male members of Chicago’s experimental film scene gathered at JoAnn Elam’s house and proceeded to ignore both her and the chocolate cake she made for the occasion. A spiritual predecessor to Jeanne Dielman, in 8mm. (OB)

Mister E

16MM • Narrative • USA • 1960 • 12 MIN

Director: Margaret Conneely Cast: Mary Ann Kuch, Stan Zeek, Joan Deman

A Midwestern housewife gets revenge on her neglectful husband with the help of a dashing mannequin in this darkly comedic amateur film by Margaret Conneely and her ciné-club cohort. (OB)

Eight Flags for 99 Cents

16MM • Documentary • USA • 1970 • 26 MIN

Director: Chuck Olin

Residents of Chicago’s blue-collar southwest side express conflicted feelings on the Vietnam War in this quietly subversive look at what the so-called “silent majority” really thought. (OB)

• 1966

• 12 MIN

A teenaged boy is overwhelmed by the neon signs and flashy billboards of a hypersaturated Chicago in this dreamlike short by Japanese filmmaker Kenji Kanesaka. (OB)

25 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG

Time Bomb Y2K

TUE, APRIL 18 • 6 PM


WED, APRIL 19 • 3:30 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Brian Becker, Marley McDonald

Documentary • USA • 2023 • 80 MIN

Director: Brian Becker, Marley McDonald

It was 1999, and the world as we knew it was about to end. A widespread computer glitch meant the transition from ‘99 to ‘00 would register as 1900 rather than 2000 in all the world’s electronic systems, meaning… nobody really knew what. Would the electricity abruptly shut off at midnight? Would nuclear reactors melt down, would planes fall from the sky? Or would it be no big deal at all? Travel back to one of the computer age’s closest calls with this highly entertaining documentary roller coaster, sourced entirely from vintage 1990s footage. Computer engineer Peter de Jager emerges as Y2K’s Paul Revere, whose earnest early warnings were initially viewed with skepticism before being capitalized on by grifters looking to turn a buck on the burgeoning paranoia—a market de Jager himself wasn’t shy about getting in on. A nonstop parade of fascinating artifacts encompassing everything from celebrity pontificating to survivalist how-to videos—all decked out in charmingly retro graphics and fashion—Time Bomb Y2K demonstrates how mass hysteria takes hold in a way that still feels a little too resonant for comfort. Hindsight is 20/20, but this retelling is so immersive and expertly constructed that it’ll have you convinced all over again that this whole Y2K thing might actually happen. (MK)

Tommy Guns

Nação Valente

SAT, APRIL 15 • 1:45 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 4:15 PM


Narrative • Portugal, France, Angola • 2022 • Portuguese with English subtitles • 120 MIN

Director: Carlos Conceição Cast: João Arrais, Anabela Moreira, Miguel Amorim Angola, 1974. Near a rural missionary church, a teenaged tribal girl and an occupying Portuguese soldier have a heated encounter that turns deadly. Elsewhere, deep in the forest, a small squadron of studly young soldiers train under the bizarre guidance of a gruff colonel. Writer/director Carlos Conceição’s striking and unusual film has some major tricks up its sleeve as it boldly morphs away from its art cinema roots into something far more sinister and surprising. As structurally daring as it is formally precise, Tommy Guns is never less than totally absorbing, and has justly earned critical comparisons to the work of Claire Denis (Beau Travail). “Stunning. This uncompromising film, with its startling command of tone and its consistently arresting imagery, is both a brutal investigation of colonialism and a parable of despair of war itself” (Sight & Sound). “Blazingly confident… embraces genre cinema’s more exciting aspects with gleeful exuberance. A richly layered text which interweaves the plausible, the purely symbolic and the unambiguously supernatural” (Screen Daily). Best European Film, 2022 Locarno Film Festival.


Presented with support from UW-Madison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS) and Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The Tough Ones

Roma a mano armata

SAT, APRIL 15 • 8:45 PM


Scheduled to Attend: Bob Murawski

Narrative • Italy • 1976 • 94 MIN

Director: Umberto Lenzi Cast: Maurizio Merli, Tomas Milian, Arthur Kennedy, Ivan Rassimov

After the smash international success of Hollywood action productions like The French Connection and Dirty Harry, a massive wave of violent European entertainments in the spirit of those American hits naturally followed. Italy produced dozens of movies in the cops-andcriminals subgenre that came to be known as poliziotteschi, the best of which, like The Tough Ones, were dubbed into English and released into the U.S. exploitation film circuit. The episodic and sordid story revolves around a mad-as-hell Roman cop (Maurizio Merli), who faces an everyday cesspool of robbery, rape, and murder, and sets his sights on nailing a sadistic, machine gun-toting psycho (Tomas Milian). The enthusiastically over-the-top direction is the work of the talented and prolific Umberto Lenzi, whose most effective poliziotteschi (Almost Human, Syndicate Sadists) are usually heightened by an unhinged performance from Cuban American leading man Milian. The Tough Ones, sometimes known as Roma a mano armata or Rome Armed to the Teeth, has never looked better than in this Grindhouse Releasing 4K restoration of the American release version. A rescuer of all kinds of wonderful gems from the oft-disreputable corners of cinema history, Grindhouse co-founder Bob Murawski will be on hand to introduce this screening. (JH)

The Trial(s)

WED, APRIL 19 • 5:15 PM


THU, APRIL 20 • 12:15 PM


The Trial

Narrative • USA • 2023 • 4 MIN

Director: Ryan Perez Cast: Pat Healy, Fred Melamed Joseph K. stands before the judgment of the law and demands to know: “What is my crime?”

The Trial

Narrative • France, Italy, West Germany • 1962 • 119 MIN

Director: Orson Welles Cast: Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Orson Welles, Elsa Martinelli, Akim Tamirof Orson Welles’s brilliant and ornately detailed vision of the absurdity of modern justice is more inspired by the spirit of Kafka’s novel than it is a faithful adaptation. Anthony Perkins stars as Josef K., a man accused of an unspecified crime who must prove his innocence to an indifferent, labyrinthine bureaucracy. Along his journey, Josef faces intervening and unhelpful family members, an aborted tryst with his landlady (Jeanne Moreau), and, eventually, a meeting with the esteemed advocate Hastler (Welles). Cinematographer Edmond Richard, who later shot Welles’s Chimes at Midnight and several late masterpieces by Luis Buñuel, conjures up one noirish, and nightmarish black and white image after another, placing The Trial on the same baroque visual plain as previous Welles efforts like Othello and Touch of Evil In the years following the 1962 release of The Trial, Welles frequently maintained that the production of the movie in Europe was made possible by certain shifts in film culture that followed the success of the French nouvelle vague directors and allowed for relatively big-budget experiments. Often interpreted as the great director’s take on his own experiences working within the rigid Hollywood studio system, The Trial is a dazzling, daring movie. Welles himself spoke of it as “the best film I ever made” and the filmmaker’s complete, unedited vision will be screened in a newly restored 4K DCP from Studiocanal and the Cinematheque Française. (JH)

The Tuba Thieves

FRI, APRIL 14 • 3:45 PM


SAT, APRIL 15 • 4:15 PM


Experimental • USA • 2023 • American Sign

Language with English open captions • 92 MIN

Director: Alison O’Daniel

The role of sound and music in cinema is provocatively restructured in Deaf artist Alison O’Daniel’s captivating “listening project.” Across Los Angeles, a Deaf drummer, her father, and boyfriend move through the ambient sounds of the cityscape, intercut with a series of time-skipping musical performances, including a recreation of John Cage’s 4’33”, a punk show at San Francisco’s legendary Deaf Club, and a set by contemporary saxophonist Patrick Shiroshi. O’Daniel’s most radical reinvention of cinema language is in the film’s richly evocative open captions, which demonstrate the untapped artistic potential in an onscreen element too often sold short as a tool for literal recitation rather than interpretation. The Tuba Thieves’s endless revelations in how we interpret sound in cinema extend beyond the screen: for this screening, viewers will be offered balloons to hold during the film. As O’Daniel explains, the latex membrane of the balloon is another form of access—a second speaker—for the audience to feel the soundtrack. Sound waves travel through the air into the surface of the balloon, enabling the audience to access a huge range of vibrations, from the tiny sensitive sounds to deeper sub-bass frequencies. “Mesmerizing and thought-provoking. If you’re like me, you’ll want to watch it over again as soon as it ends” (Alissa Wilkinson, Vox). 2023 Sundance Film Festival. (MK)

26 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG

Until Tomorrow

Ta Farda

SUN, APRIL 16 • 4:30 PM


MON, APRIL 17 • 4 PM


Narrative • Iran, France • 2022 • Persian with English subtitles • 86 MIN

Director: Ali Asgari Cast: Sadaf Asgari, Ghazal Shojaei, Babak Karimi

A young, single mother living in Tehran, Fereshteh learns that her parents are coming to visit her at her small flat. Desperate to hide her illegitimate child from her mom and dad, Fereshteh, accompanied by her loyal friend Atefeh, begins an all-night odyssey to find a safe, temporary shelter for the baby. Until Tomorrow’s writer and director, Ali Asgari, like the Italian and Iranian neo-realist filmmakers that precede him, builds an entire feature’s worth of suspense and incident around the simplest, yet most urgent of premises. Fereshteh’s journey uncovers a deeply repressive society ruled by surveillance and suspicion, where even people who want to aid the young woman are putting themselves at serious risk, or they are willing to help…for a price. Asgari, who wants us to understand how Iranian youngsters are breaking away from patriarchal traditions, peppers his scenario with moments of absurdist humor, as well as moments of courage and elation for the youthful protagonists. “Until Tomorrow has a lot to say about the way younger generations in Iran right now are picking away, thread by thread, at the country’s suffocating web of legal and social censure” (ScreenDaily). A co-production of France, Until Tomorrow is being screened as part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine. (JH)

Sponsored with support from UW-Madison 4 Women and Well Being Initiative

Valeria Is Getting Married

Valeria Mithatenet

FRI, APRIL 14 • 5:45 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 7 PM


Narrative • Israel, Ukraine • 2022 • Hebrew, Russian, Ukrainian with English subtitles • 76 MIN

Directed by: Michal Vinik Cast: Dasha Tvoronovich, Lena

In an Israeli apartment, a young Ukrainian woman is about to meet her future husband for the very first time. Valeria got talked into this arrangement by her sister Christina, who got out of Ukraine through her marriage to a broker a few years back, and has been living in relative comfort in Israel ever since. When her prospective husband Eitan arrives, downpayment made and bridal gifts in hand, Valeria realizes she’s in way over her head. Refusing to accompany him home, she locks herself in the bathroom, leaving the three bewildered people stuck outside the door to figure out a solution—or at least a way to lure her out. Unfolding over the course of a single day, this riveting chamber drama features four fully-realized characters who each feel cheated in their own way. Briskly paced with pointed dialogue and superb performances all around, Valeria Is Getting Married is a taut and knowing depiction of the hard choices that face women in search of a better life. (MK)


SUN, APRIL 16 • 11 AM


WED, APRIL 19 • 6 PM


Narrative • Canada • 2022 • French with English subtitles • 104 MIN

Directed by: Stéphane Lafleur

Cast: Steve Laplante, Larissa Corriveau, Fabiola N. Aladin, Denis Houle, Hamza Haq David is going to Mars… kind of. A real crew of five astronauts are actually already on their way there, but nonstop bickering among them leads mission control to devise a far-out plan: recruit five everyday Earthbound surrogates whose personalities closely match each astronaut, and reenact the crew’s tense dynamics on a fake spaceship in the desert. That way, the thinking goes, the fake team can work out solutions to the real team’s interpersonal problems. Somehow, this foolproof plan goes awry when the fake crew develops just as many issues on the ground, all while struggling to remain in character. Full of droll laughs and beautifully assembled on every level, director Stéphane Lafleur (Tu dors Nicole, WFF 2015, Uncertain Grounds, WFF 2012) has crafted a wonderfully poignant comedy about the search for celestial meaning, both in the stars and within ourselves. “Viking is a stunner. Lafleur’s a born cut-up, wry and raucous. He’s humane, too, toward his characters as well as us, because it’s so rare that modern comedies are as well made as Viking. Instead of merely funny, Viking is absolutely gorgeous. Grade: A” (The Playlist). “Takes a clever concept and builds something achingly funny and also surprisingly touching. Eventually, the juxtaposition between David’s dreams and his actual circumstance stops being funny and starts to take on a poignancy that’s intensely moving” (Screen Daily). (MK)

Una vita difficile A Difficult Life

FRI, APRIL 14 • 7:30 PM


WED, APRIL 19 • 12:30 PM


Narrative • Italy • 1961 • Italian with English subtitles • 120 MIN

Director: Dino Risi Cast: Alberto Sordi, Lea Massari, Franco Fabrizi, Silvana Mangano, Vittorio Gassman, Alessandro Blasetti

Northern Italy, 1944. Partisan Silvio (Alberto Sordi), on the run from the Germans, is sheltered, romanced, and fed salami by Elena (Lea Massari of Antonioni’s L’avventura and Louis Malle’s Murmur of the Heart). After the war, journalist Silvio brings Elena to Rome, beginning their on-again, off-again love story that carries the couple through Italian post-war austerity, a switch from monarchy to republic, and ultimately, Italy’s economic boom. The one constant

in the couple’s relationship is how Silvio’s dedication to liberal, anti-fascist causes keeps getting in the way of his making a living to support Elena and their son. In one memorable sequence set at Rome’s famed Cinecittà movie studios, Silvio tries to sell a screenplay by pestering movie stars Vittorio Gassman and Silvana Mangano. Directed by Dino Risi, whose classic Il sorpasso closed out our 2014 Wisconsin Film Festival, Una vita difficile covers 17 years of Italian history as seen through the eyes of a less-than-perfect protagonist. The great Sordi, whose work with Fellini (The White Sheik, I Vitelloni), de Sica (Il Boom), and others made him a major Italian movie star, is the perfect, hilarious embodiment of the semi-intellectual everyman. Never released in the U.S. until now, this 4K restoration reveals a major work of 1960s commedia all’italiana. Don’t miss your chance to catch it on a big screen with an audience, the way it was meant to be seen. “An exuberant bad time, a pity party that has no business being so much fun” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times). (JH)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Department of French and Italian



Scheduled to Attend: Chris James Thompson, Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley, Pam Bradley; Introduction by Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin

Documentary • USA • 2022 • 93 MIN

Directed by: Chris James Thompson

We Are Not Ghouls, the compelling new documentary by Chris James Thompson, wants you to think about questions of justice. When Yvonne Bradley—a public defender and Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force—volunteered to defend Binyam Mohamed, she was initially apprehensive. Mohamed was being held on charges of terrorism in Guantanamo Bay in the years following the 9/11 terror attacks and the declaration of war on terror in Afghanistan. But as Bradley learned more about her client and the circumstances that led to his detention—as well as the U.S. government’s shifting justification for holding and trying him—she grew more concerned that the U.S. justice system was not living up to its ideals. We Are Not Ghouls traces Lt. Col. Bradley’s attempts to provide her client with the defense he was constitutionally entitled to in the face of a powerful government that hoped to net convictions quickly after a devastating, historic attack. In her calm, careful, winning manner, Lt. Col. Bradley starkly lays out a paradox at the heart of the U.S. legal system: America provides the tools and rights for justice to work fairly and impartially, even if, in practice, the system can sometimes fall short of those noble ideals. (JB)

27 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG

Wild Life

SUN, APRIL 16 • 7 PM


Documentary • USA • 2023 • 93 MIN

Directed by: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin

After capturing the thrills and dangers of nature in documentaries like The Rescue, Meru (WFF 2015), and the Oscar-winning Free Solo, filmmaking duo Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi have partnered with National Geographic once more to take us back to the great outdoors with Wild Life. Doug and Kris Tompkins, Wild Life’s central subjects, belonged to the lofty world of sports entrepreneurship: Doug founded The North Face and Kris served as CEO of Patagonia. Their whirlwind romance took them to Chile, where their mutual passion for environmental conservation blossomed. With big dreams of creating sustainable national parks, the couple purchased and tended vast swaths of land in Chile and Argentina. Upon gifting the land to the Chilean government, the Tompkins broke records by making the largest donation of private land for public conservation in human history. But the road to this dream was not always easy. Wild Life traces the administrative and personal hurdles that the Tompkins needed to clear before their visions could become reality. Interspersed between compelling interviews are the breathtaking vistas of the mountains, rivers, and plains that make up the natural wonder of the national parks. Examining the intersection of philanthropy, conservation, government, and enterprise—with a poignant love story mixed in—Wild Life is a testament to the great things that are possible when an environmental conscience crashes up against an unbridled sense of adventure. 2023 SXSW Film Festival. (JB)

Will-o’-the-Wisp Fogo-Fátuo

FRI, APRIL 14 • 1:30 PM


SUN, APRIL 16 • 2 PM


Narrative • Portugal • 2022 • Portuguese with English subtitles • 67 MIN

Directed by: João Pedro Rodrigues Cast: Mauro Costa, André Cabral, Joel

This delightfully offbeat musical fantasia winkingly begins in the year 2069, as King Alfredo of Portugal reminisces on his youthful dalliances as a firefighter in training. Shirking his royal responsibilities, the wideeyed prince enlists in an absurdly homoerotic firehouse, where he meets and falls for the hunky Afonso. From training to hazing, every aspect of life among the beefcake firemen is charged with desire, leading to some outré sex scenes that are as comic as they are explicit. This cheekily naughty lark critiques colonialism while keeping a song in its heart, a spring in its step, and a tent in its pants. “A joyful romp… arguably the most fun anyone could have had for 67 minutes in a cinema during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Will light a lot of fires” (The Hollywood Reporter). “Taking the queer emergency service of Titane to a lighter, sweeter, more playful and more pornographic place, João Pedro Rodrigues’ delicious one-off Will-o’-the-Wisp lives up to the flighty, elusive promise of its title, teasing its viewers in more ways than one: with a titillating parade of bare male bodies in balletic motion, and with hints of thematic import beyond that leading erotic spectacle” (Variety). (MK)

Presented with support from UWMadison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS) and UW-Madison Gender & Sexuality Campus Center

WISCONSIN’S OWN Wisconsin’s Own Gone Wild


84 MIN

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend

Looking for a night of edgy, explicit, bold, sometimes baffling, sometimes spectacular Wisconsin’s Own shorts? This is the place. From the bloodstained Period Drama, to the touching, teddy-bear infused Amount Due, and from the Muppet noir stylings of The Blackjack Hotel to the barking mad We Make Great Pets, from the stirringly rhythmic stylings of Assaman to the whacked-out workplace antics of Golden Badger winning Carol & Janet, we are guaranteeing you a memorable time at the Marquee.

Period Drama

Animated • USA • 2022 • 2 MIN

Director: Anushka Nair, Lauryn

Anthony Cast: Joanne Lichtenstein, Bekka Goldstein, Olivia Coucci

A young girl in a medieval world faces a terrifying and sinister foe in this delightfully funny animated short. (XN)

Everything I Learned When My House Burned Down

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 9 MIN

Director: Joe Pickett Cast: Jacy Catlin

Finding humor in the tragedy that burned his house down, comedian/ star Jacy Catlin and director Joe Pickett tour the remains of Catlin’s house, chiming in with absurd and dark humor while explaining the importance of finding happiness in seemingly bleak times. (ES)

Amount Due

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 6 MIN

Director: Hernán Ballard, Matthew Jarosinski, Jordan DiBenedetto Cast: Hernán Ballard, Matthew Jarosinski, Jordan DiBenedetto

A terminally ill woman, unable to pay for potentially life-saving healthcare, travels to Madison, WI, to spend her final days with her son in this evocative, stylistically bold short. (BR)

The Blackjack Hotel

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 26 MIN

Director: Michael Chang Gummelt Cast: Perfecto Cuervo, Liz Leonard, Michael Chang Gummelt

A black and white film noir crimecomedy featuring a down-on-hisluck private investigator entangled in a dangerous web of deception. Oh, and it’s told entirely with puppets. (XN)

Without Her Bi Roya

SAT, APRIL 15 • 8 PM

Pocket Lint

Experimental • USA • 2022 • 3 MIN

Director: Ethan VanDenHeuvel Cast: Willy Kaftan, Bridger Flory

In this experimental narrative short, a man asks to borrow a lighter from another man. (ES)

We Make Great Pets

Narrative • USA • 2022 • 15 MIN

Director: Ryan Churchill Cast: Ryan Churchill, Jackie Preciado, Brandy McKay, Carl McDowell, Heather Brooker

Ryan Churchill (The 60 Yard Line, WFF ‘17) returns with this tale of a homeless veteran struggling with PTSD who gets wrapped up with a biotech firm where his genes are altered, turning him into a half-man and half-dog “pet”. (ES)


Experimental • USA • 2022 • 14 MIN

Director: Katrina Brook Flores

Cast: Mamadou Lamine “Tukkiman” Diao, Sojourner Zenobia, Awa Diop, Brittany Harlin

A work of visually daring Afrofuturism, Assaman uses images of ebullient dance to make connections between urban America and rural Senegal. Photographed in rich color and boasting a hypnotic soundtrack, Assaman manages to be simultaneously joyful and experimental. (JB)

Carol & Janet

Narrative • USA• 2022 • 9 MIN

Director: Andrea Rosen Cast: Giselle Gant, Tara Copeland, Eugene Cordero

Two coworkers (who are also best friends) goof off and flirt with a delivery man to pass the time at their warehouse day job. As hilarious as it is surreal, Carol & Janet features playful surprises that test the main characters’ friendship with humorous flair. (JB)


TUE, APRIL 18 • 3:30 PM


Narrative • Iran • 2022 • Persian with English subtitles • 111 MIN

Directed by: Arian Vazirdaftari Cast: Tannaz Tabatabaei, Saber Abar, Shadi Karamroudi

Just before Roya is set to walk away from her life in Iran and follow her husband to Denmark, she meets a young woman who seems lost, rarely speaks, and doesn’t remember anything from her own past. Roya takes her in, providing her with a home and introducing her to her husband, family, and friends. Meanwhile, Roya is faced with the possibility of betraying a professional colleague and friend, an act that will speed up the process of her emigration to Europe. This all keeps Roya distractedly unaware that her new house guest, whose name is revealed to be Ziba, has begun to replace her and take over her life, all with the assistance of Roya’s husband, Babak. A skillful, paranoid thriller set against the backdrop of an overpoweringly patriarchal society, Without Her follows in the footsteps of classic deceptive spouse stories like Gaslight and Rosemary’s Baby. But writer/director Arian Vazirdaftari has artfully blended this sub-genre with another: the female identity swap movie, and there are more than a few moments when Without Her recalls Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Robert Altman’s 3 Women, and Barbet Schroeder’s Single White Female. 2022 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. (JH)

28 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 WIFILMFEST.ORG

A World for Julius

Un mundo para Julius

TUE, APRIL 18 • 5:15 PM


Scheduled to Attend:

Rossana Diaz Costa

Narrative • Peru, Argentina, Spain • 2021 •

Spanish with English subtitles • 104 MIN

Directed by: Rossana Díaz-Costa Cast: Augusto

Linares, Pamela Saco, Mayella Lloclla

At first glance, Julius seems to live in paradise. A young boy, Julius is ensconced in his family’s ornate mansion in Lima, Peru. Entertained by shelves of toys and constantly doted on by the family’s small fleet of domestic servants, Julius has all the ingredients of a happy and peaceful boyhood. But as the years accumulate, anxieties and tragedies infiltrate the cavernous playrooms and dining rooms of Julius’s world. A World for Julius, the sophomore feature from Peruvian director Rossana Diaz Costa, traces how tragedies big and small slowly chip away at the idyllic splendor of Julius’s fledgling life. In an echo of Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander, Julius’s father passes away, and his mother remarries a cold, bullying man. The film’s most pointed social commentary illustrates how the family’s servants, most of whom come from impoverished indigenous families, experience casual and cruel racism, often at the hands of Julius’s stepfather and two older brothers. Yet through it all, Julius bears these difficulties with quiet strength, using them to fine-tune a sense of morality so lacking in many of his family members. A World for Julius presents its most dramatic moments in the way a young child like Julius might experience them: heard in hushed tones through doors and around corners and seen through the restricted pinpoints of keyholes. Such moments lend an element of suspense to an atmosphere pervaded by the joys and sorrows of growing up. (JB)

Presented with support from UWMadison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS)

World War III

Jang-e jahāni-e sevvom

FRI, APRIL 14 • 4 PM


TUE, APRIL 18 • 1:15 PM


Narrative • Iran • 2022 • Persian with English subtitles • 107 MIN

Directed by: Houman Seyyedi Cast: Mohsen Tanabande, Neda Jebraeili, Mahsa Hejazi

The brilliant Mohsen Tanabandeh stars as Shakib, a homeless day laborer. Still traumatized by the loss of his family in an earthquake, Shakib finds some solace in his relationship with a deaf and mute prostitute named Ladan. When Shakib finds work building sets for a movie that takes place in a Nazi concentration camp, a series of circumstances lead to Shakib being cast in a crucial role and given a home to stay in during production. When Ladan learns about Shakib’s good fortune, she arrives on set looking for help in escaping her violent pimp and, in a decision that puts his newfound status in jeopardy, Shakib agrees to hide her from his employers. Director and co-screenwriter Houman

Seyedi is a veteran actor in Iranian film, television, and theater. He also has an undeniable talent for visual storytelling and this weirdly memorable variation on Day for Night draws the viewer in from its opening scenes. Suspenseful and acidly satirical, World War III reflects on the transformative power of moviemaking, and the corrupting nature of power in all forms. Winner, Best Film & Best Actor, Venice Horizons Award, 2022 Venice Film Festival. “With the urgency of a good thriller and the clarity of a fable, World War III is the grueling but compelling tale of how one of life’s victims learns to imitate his oppressors” (Screen International). (JH)

Presented with support from UW-Madison Middle Eastern Studies Program


Yung Punx: A Punk Parable



The Devil Will Run

Narrative • USA • 2021 • 10 MIN

Director: Noah Glenn Cast: Bryce Thompson, Princeton James, Posie Steinmetz, Caleb Thompson Seven year old Shah has discovered a hole in his backyard. Could it be where the Devil enters this world? His big brother bullies him, and Shah is afraid to share his dread with best friend Nellia. He has to face this fear on his own! (TK)

Yung Punx: A Punk Parable

Documentary • USA • 2021 • English • 70 MIN

Directed by: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger Cast: Nathan Dalbec, Matthew Hiltz, Dylan Huther, Lincoln Zinzola, Eric Morse

Rocking out with your band in a suburban garage is a right of passage for many kids. But for one group of young musicians, that childhood fun became the stuff of punk rock dreams. Yung Punx peeks behind the scenes of the life of the band Color Killer, a punk rock act whose viral hits and nascent talents took them all the way to (slightly left of) stage center on the Warped Tour where they were the youngest band to ever perform. The kids write songs, play late-night gigs, and tackle radio interviews. But they also struggle to balance childhood with the responsibilities of artistic success. The young musicians’ parents have ambitions and concerns as well. Because Color Killer’s earliest success came on social media, the film also reflects how the current age creates both opportunities and pressure for children to begin their careers and create their brands. Funny and boisterous, the kids of Color Killer set the tone for this fast-paced, irresistible documentary. Like many other music docs, Yung Punx reminds us that musical success and celebrity can be bittersweet, but the joy of childhood and the love of punk rock can overcome all. (KH)

Zoo Lock Down



Margie Soudek’s Salt and Pepper Shakers

Documentary • United States • 2023 • 12 MIN

Director: Meredith Moore

Filmmaker and visual effects

instructor Meredith Moore connects with her aging grandmother, Margie, in a documentary short on collecting and obsessiveness as a way to enhance our realities. 2023 Sundance Film Festival. (JH)

Zoo Lock Down

Documentary • Austria • 2022 • German with English subtitles • 73 MIN

Directed by: Andreas Horvath

What was the pandemic lockdown like for zoo animals? At Austria’s Salzburg Zoo, the absence of visitors and their excitement contribute to an alienating, almost science-fiction atmosphere where the artificial animal habitats seem even more artificial and the effort to impregnate a rhino takes everything natural out of the process. In other ways, the animals are more relaxed and display behavior that regular zoo observers might not see. Even the human staff act differently: one zookeeper nonchalantly wades into an aquarium full of piranha – at feeding time! Director Andreas Horvath does the actual filming of the closed zoo in an observational style, withholding preconceptions. But it is in the post-production stage of the filmmaking process that Horvath becomes playful with the material, layering on a sound design and music score that is at times whimsical and at other times menacing. Horvath’s imaginative editing reveals different and unusual layers to this seemingly straightforward material, finding something conspiratorially sinister in a pack of lemurs set free from their usual confines, to cite one example. It is this method of storytelling that transforms Zoo Lock Down from a journalistic documentary into a blissfully fun cinematic experience. (JH)

29 APRIL 13 -20, 2023 | WIFILMFEST.ORG













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