Announcements and news


New local comedy series is hitting the web with new episodes every Friday night. "Friday Night Weekly"

posted Nov 20, 2013, 1:12 PM by MKE Short Film Fest

A wild new comedy series is hitting the web with new episodes every Friday night. "Friday Night Weekly" takes a news show format and methodically turns it on its head through staged goofs, gags, skits, and some decidedly dark humor. "FNW" is the latest from Milwaukee-based King's Tower Productions and filmmaker Jozef K. Richards (The Amateur Monster Movie, The Wayward Sun) and streams 24/7 on the "King's Tower Channel", accessible through YouTube.

"Friday Night Weekly" is hosted by Jozef K. Richards, Makenzie Boettcher, and Matt Henry and features regular appearances by FNW Special Reporter Reuben Glaser, Ryan Dewerth as "The P.A.", and a side cast of many memorable faces including comedian Matt Mast as Matt Henry's spiritual adviser and award-winning filmmaker Van Campbell III in an inspired role as bug expert "Samuel St. Hngus".

Viewers each week can look forward to Jozef Richards' futile attempts to produce to a credible, legitimate news show despite being surrounded by a cesspool of incompetency. Former missing-person Makenzie Boettcher and funnyman Matt Henry are Richards' co-hosts and main pillars of support on the show, though Mr. Henry in particular seems to have a fixation with making the show "crazier" and "funnier" much to the distress of his co-hosts, and Ryan the P.A. is usually there to assist Matt with his schemes rather than assist with, you know, production…

As for FNW's main special reporter, Reuben Glaser, well, he is just terrible and nearly ruins every episode with his shlocky, unplanned interviews, segments, and overall bullying of other crew members as well as small woodland critters. But he also wears glasses like Jozef so that makes him the second-smartest person on the show.

Exciting days are afoot for the FNW crew and anyone who watches, because something this BIG only comes around once a millennium. As the wise man once said, "We'll see you on Friday night." We sure will… we sure will…

2013 MKE Short Film Festival winners

posted Oct 28, 2013, 11:29 AM by MKE Short Film Fest   [ updated Oct 28, 2013, 11:30 AM ]

What a great year, so many fantastic films. We thank our filmmakers, our supporters and those who came out.

Here are this year's winners.
Time 2 Split
by Fabrice Bracq
Mason Jelly Jar
by Van Campbell III
2nd Place/Honorary Mention
Night in a Hotel
by Daniel Kontur
Best Director
Michael Viers
(From The Darkness Theatre)

Best Ensemble
Melon Head
Best Actor
Michael Denk
(From The Darkness Theatre)
Best Actress
Leopoldine Huyghues-Despointes
(Atlantic Ave.)
Artistic Acheivement
The Cucaranchula
by Kate Balsey

Audience Favorite
From The Darkness Theatre

Again, a great year. It was a difficult year for our judges with scores being so close.

See you next year.

2013 Pace-setter Honorees

posted Sep 16, 2013, 6:11 PM by MKE Short Film Fest   [ updated Sep 16, 2013, 6:13 PM ]

The Milwaukee Independent Film Society (MIFS) established the Pace-setter Award five years ago to bestow upon persons that are dedicated to advancing filmmaking in Wisconsin.
This being an anniversary year, The Milwaukee Independent Film Society has chosen to honor both Dan Wilson and Susan Kerns.
Dan Wilson


Dan Wilson co-founded The Milwaukee Independent Film Society as a way to help local filmmakers. Today he is also very active in the local filmmaking community lending a hand (or equipment) whenever called upon. 
Dan Wilson has lived in Milwaukee all his life, and has been making images as long as he can remember. Particularly interested in the interplay between motion and still, his work often explores the ways in which still and moving images inform a narrative flow.

Dan has owned and operated a production company, photo studio and rental house since 1986, and has contributed his talents to countless projects across the country. He has consistently been involved in community building among Milwaukee’s filmmakers.

His interests include kinetic sculpture involving light, sound and feedback loops, good espresso, the DIY aesthetic, and learning new things. He is currently raising funds for his next project.   
Susan Kerns

Susan was the driving force behind Collaborative Cinema, a program that brought together filmmaking professionals and high school students. 
Susan Kerns is an Assistant Professor of Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago, and she is producing the documentary Last of the Lawsonians. She wrote the screenplay for Little Red and has produced or directed numerous short films. Previously she was Education Director at the Milwaukee Film Festival, where she ran the Collaborative Cinema program, and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently finishing her dissertation, Propagating Monsters: Conjoined Twins and Popular Culture, a portion of which can be found in the anthology Nip/Tuck: Television that Gets Under Your Skin.
We'll also screen "Love You Still", this year's film from Collaborative Cinema.
Love You Still by Michael Viers 
Running time 11 mins.
Memories haunt John as he copes with loneliness and a sea that keeps calling to him.
Did he lose the love of his life, or did he lose his mind?


Film Making: The Art of Telling in Story, Image and Sound

posted Sep 10, 2013, 8:34 AM by MKE Short Film Fest

SB521A: Film Making: The Art of Telling in Story, Image and Sound
This course examines each component of film—"The Story", "The Images", and "The Sound." Instruction includes editing techniques and use of sound. Students work in small teams to create a two-minute film from a randomly assigned subject. Screening and critique of each film reinforces the students' understanding of film language.

Tuition: $205 ($180 before Sept. 28)
Instructor: Ross Bigley
Early Bird Registration ends Sept. 28

Any class cancelled due to weather or instructor illness will be rescheduled one to two weeks after the conclusion of the class.

"THE WAYWARD SUN" - World Premiere!

posted Jul 30, 2013, 9:16 AM by MKE Short Film Fest

"THE WAYWARD SUN" - World Premiere!


ROSEBUD THEATER, 6823 W. North Avenue
Show starts at 10:00pm, Doors open at 9:30
All Tickets $5 - Purchase Online or at the box office. (Select Aug 29th)

Rated: Unrated (drug use, adult themes)

A young woman named Wren finds herself lost in the desert after she and her two druggy friends flip their jeep in a remote part of Mexico. In their attempt to reach the nearest town by way of the desert, a symbolic journey unfolds as Wren begins to hallucinate, envisioning Death is stalking her in various forms: as a demon and an enchantress.

From two Stellar local talents: Jozef Kyle Richards, the writer and director of "The Amateur Monster Movie"; and featuring the visual effects wizardry of "Broken Orbit" director Patrik Beck.

Written, Directed, & Produced by Jozef Kyle Richards

Run Time: 91 minutes ( I hr. 31 minutes)
Stars: Emma Bernhoft, Jozef K. Richards, Emily Pohl, F. Justin Horton, and Bruce Spielbauer as "The Cactus"

For more info, visit the King's Tower Productions Website:

Help local filmmaker, Susan Kerns

posted Jul 29, 2013, 10:51 AM by MKE Short Film Fest

Susan wrote the screenplay for Little Red, which is currently winning awards on the festival circuit, and has produced numerous short films. She recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago in the Cinema + Science Department and previously was Education Director at the Milwaukee Film Festival. She is finishing her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, holds an MA from the University of Northern Iowa, and completed her undergraduate work at the University of Texas.
This film follows 93-year-old Merle Hayden, the last crusading devotee of aviation pioneer Alfred Lawson's movement, Lawsonomy.

Everyone who has driven I-94 between Chicago and Milwaukee has seen the “Study Natural Law” barn and wondered, “What is that place?” We decided to find out. Natural Law refers to the teachings of Alfred Lawson, inventor of the first U.S. passenger airliner. We know this because of Merle Hayden, Lawson’s last crusading follower.

Merle is the star of Last of the Lawsonomists. At age 93, he works tirelessly to educate the American people about Lawson’s Direct Credits book – an economic treatise that Merle feels will provide for all at the expense of none. Merle also acts as caretaker for Lawson’s legacy, overseeing a literal barn full of books, newsletters, photographs, and other information that has been written out of history. For 35 years, Merle has traveled to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to discuss the Lawson Airliner and reach new audiences. For the past decade, he has been doing this essentially alone.

Last of the Lawsonomists is a documentary about Merle—an attempt to preserve both his legacy and that of his mentor, Alfred Lawson, and to understand Merle’s persistence. We have been traveling with him for four years. During this time, we have gotten to know his friends and sweetheart, Betty Kasch; we also have witnessed his determination firsthand. Merle’s story is one of dedication, loss, and the American Dream. He has seen the United States make the same financial mistakes repeatedly over the past 90 years, and he believes Lawson’s writings hold the answers to solving many of these problems. Few are listening, however, and time is running out.

We hope to finish this film within the next year so that we can meet major film festival deadlines and invite Merle to the film’s premiere. This Kickstarter will cover certain hard costs associated with the post-production phase of a documentary, including things like hard drives, computer equipment, and office space. Additionally, our incentives feature Alfred Lawson’s books. We are purchasing these from Merle, so part of the Kickstarter funds will go directly to him. Finally, the fees associated with a Kickstarter campaign amount to about 10% of funds raised.

The Incentives

All of the Benefactor newspapers and Alfred Lawson books, sheet music, and program books are 100% authentic and straight from the source. We are purchasing these items from Merle's personal collection so that our Kickstarter campaign additionally helps him.

The Benefactors

Here are some images, headlines, and illustrations from Benefactor newspapers. Benefactors be chosen at random for our supporters.






Risks and challenges

The key challenge we face is telling Merle’s personal story, including its ups and downs, without breaching his trust. Since Merle is a private person, and since historically people have not necessarily been kind to Lawson’s story or to the Lawsonomists in general, we are cognizant of this challenge and treating it respectfully. It seems to be working out well.

Another challenge of making this film is balancing how much archival information to include. We have an overwhelming amount of historical information that we are trying to use, help preserve, and make available to the public. This includes not just photos, slides, VHS tapes, and audio recordings but also books, plays, sheet music, newsletters, correspondence, and FBI files. Several interns have helped digitize and archive this information, but it is a rabbit hole, to be sure, if we want to go down it. We are trying to help find homes (like historical societies) for some of the Lawsonomy ephemera, but we must consider how much we should help manage the future of Merle’s collection. We have considered creating a website or app to feature more of these documents, but we feel it is important to finish the film first.

Hit the Link to help:

Help out this local filmmaker!

posted Jul 1, 2013, 1:21 PM by MKE Short Film Fest

Patrick Holland with Anthony Wood won "Best Wisconsin Film" for Baden Krunk at the 13th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival. Please help their new project.
About The Film:
"The Strange Case Of My Sole" is a dark comedy. It follows the story of a happily married middle-aged man. He stumbles across a pair of boots and slowly becomes obsessed with them. When he wears these boots he feels youthful, impulsive and reckless. Is it the boots? Or is he having a middle-life crisis? Or is there something more profound going on?

The tone of the movie is a mix of comedy and oddness -- with a dash of ridicule thrown in for good measure. With all apologies to Mr. Allen and Mr. Lynch, imagine if Woody Allen and David Lynch made a short film.

We are truly excited about this film. Our goal is to make something unique, funny and ultimately entertaining. We think you are going to love it as much as we do.
About The Filmmakers:

Anthony Wood and Patrick Holland have been making short films together since 2008. Patrick has a background in directing and writing theater. Anthony has a background as a playwright as well as a director and editor of commercials/corporate videos. Together they have made five short films. Their films have been screened at film festivals around the the world. One of these films “Stools?” was featured on the Comedy Central/Atom Film Showdown. Their film “Baden Krunk” has been screened at nine film festivals. It has won awards at five.

They are passionate about making films that tell a unique story.

The Budget:

The film is written. We start shooting the film at the end of July. We hope to complete shooting by September. The film is being shot in Chicago and Madison, WI.

All of the actors and crew are professional. Most of them have extensive backgrounds in both theater and film. But they are all volunteering their time and talent to make this film happen.

We own most of the gear we need for the film (cameras, basic lenses, computer, etc.) But this is where you come in.

We need money to cover the following things:

  • $400 - Costumes & Props
  • $300 - Festivals
  • $900 - Rental Equipment (lights, lenses, steady cam, etc.)
  • $600 - Travel (Getting cast, crew & equipment to different locations)
  • $700 - Food (feeding cast & crew for the entire shoot)
  • $100 - IndieGoGo
  • TOTAL: $3000
The Cast:
Sarah Sokolovic - Actor
Sarah is a writer, musician, actress, and maker of art. Her most recent credits include two independent films: Every Secret Thing, and La Vida Inesparada. Other film credits include: Omphalos, Cold Comes the Night, and Bitches. Her television credits include The Good Wife and Unforgettable.
She is a veteran of the stage and appeared in many productions in the Midwest before moving to New York City in 2005. Her most recent credits in New York include The Shaggs: Philosophy of The World, Detroit (Playwrights Horizons mainstage) and Relatively Speaking (Broadway.) She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, and a recipient of the Jerome L Greene award.
She resides in Brooklyn, but still passionately refers to Milwaukee as home, where the people she loves most live.
Robert W. C. Kennedy - Actor
This handsome six-footer, a graduate of the Specialist In Acting Major in Theatre and Drama at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, is an international award-winning actor who has performed throughout Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, New York, Canada, and for the Lord Mayor of Dublin, in Ireland. He has appeared on stage with Bialystock & Bloom, Bunny Gumbo, Cornerstone, Milwaukee Irish Arts, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Next Act, Skylight and Windfall. He has appeared in numerous short films, and currently is completing principal photography on his fourth feature. He appears opposite international film star and national treasure Bai Ling in 2010’s “Petty Cash.”

In addition to acting, Kennedy is a senior communications specialist, copy writer and editor in the corporate arena, an ordained deacon, shark diver, equestrian, card-carrying member of the History Channel Club, land-owner in the Republic of Ireland, and bears the noble title of “baron” of the Principality of Sealand.


Angela Iannone - Actor

 A familiar face to Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago theatre patrons. Most recently she was seen as Lady MacBeth in MacBeth and Boyet in Love's Labor's Lost for Door Shakespeare Company. Ms. Iannone is an Associate Artist at Milwaukee Rep, where roles include Louise in "Always, Patsy Cline" and Marie Lombardi in the Regional premiere of "Lombardi." Other roles include Kate Hepburn in "Tea at Five", Diana Vreeland in "Full Gallop", Medea in "Medea" and Roxie in "Chicago".

Other theatres that Angela has worked at include the Oak Park, Georgia, Milwaukee and Utah Shakespeare Festivals, Madison and Kansas City Reps, InTandem Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, Royal George Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre and Next Act Theatre. Ms. Iannone's play "The Edwin Booth Company Presents" was given a staged reading at The Players in New York City, the home of Edwin Booth, and her short play "Tears, Or The Woman's Defense" was recently included in the Pink Banana One Act Festival. Ms. Iannone is a Joseph Jefferson Award winner and is a three time "Best Actress" winner from Shepherd Express in Milwaukee


Anthony Wood - Producer/Actor

Anthony Wood is a writer, director, actor and editor who has been working in the commercial/corporate world for nearly twenty years. But that’s just for mortgage and soup. His real love is producing hilarious and off-the-wall independent films.

Besides racking his brain to create hilarity, he also spends time living the life of the farm hermit in southwestern Wisconsin, raising crops, critters and honeybees. As an author he has written five feature screenplays, eight full length plays and over fifty short plays and comedy sketches.

You can see some of his film work here:

And his published writing here:


Patrick Holland - Producer/Writer/Director/Actor

Patrick is a writer, director and actor. He primarily works as a freelance theater director in Chicago and Wisconsin. He has directed over 20 professional theater productions.

Patrick has co-written and co-starred in five short films with Anthony Wood. One of these films, "Stools?", was featured on the Comedy Central/Atom Films Showdown. He directed the short film "Red Tie Blue Polka Dots." He co-directed with Anthony Wood the short film "Baden Krunk." It has been screened at nine festivals around the world winning awards at five.
Patrick has written dozens of short plays. His play "The Cowboy" is included in the anthology "The Best American Short Plays 2011-12". Patrick is also an Ensemble Member with the Factory Theater in Chicago. He has written and directed six unique video trailers for their plays.
Some of the theaters he's worked with include: Chicago - Factory Theater, Writers' Theater & Steppenwolf. Wisconsin - Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre, Bialystock & Bloom, First Stage Children’s Theater, Skylight Opera, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, American Players Theater, Madison Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Shakespeare Company,Wisconsin Public Radio, Theatre X, Bunny Gumbo, In Tandem, Children’s Theater of Madison, Trustus Theater (Columbia, SC) Wayside Theater (Middleton, VA)
View Patrick's video work at:

Help this local filmmaker

posted May 26, 2013, 10:35 AM by MKE Short Film Fest

Rediscovering Ginny

Short Summary

Although I'm the writer and director, this film is a largely collaborative effort between myself and a number of graduates and students at University of Wiscinsin, Milwaukee. Some of the people who will be a major part of completing this film are Mitchel Stamm, Eli Asinen, Bob Garvey, Matt Axberg and Joe Alane. An undeniable source of technical, and likely aesthetic influence would be an instructor under whom all of us have studied, Tate Bunker. In fact, a film that we collaborated on last year, entitled "Luminosity", was featured in the UWM film Fest.

In 2011 I began attending University of Wisconsin as an older adult returning student. I began making films based, in part, on my experiences growing up in Chicago.

This film, "Rediscovering Ginny" tells the story of a young Marco who has long adimired and wanted to get close to Ginny, a girl who he considers out of his league because he was always seen as a misfit and she comes from a more upscale background.

In their early 20's Marco goes to a drug house to score and with mixed emotions finds that Ginny is there also. His emotions and hers as well, run from surprise, shock, disappointment, embarassment and self-loathing to something close to actual hostility. Ginny is far more immersed in drugs than Marco but as he has held her in his mind to represent an image of goodness and redemption for himself he refuses to believe that she will continue to take the downward spiral that she has obvioously been on.

This film is not meant to be an 'after-school special' saying, "hey kids, don't do drugs". There is no glowing moment of resolution for either of them, just an exploration of some of the reasons they got to this point and the possibility that through focussing on the grander, more transcendent aspects of life that it's possible to find a better way to live.

This film is important to me because I've seen and been closely connected to a number of people who have succumbed to drugs, crime and other venues of despair. I hope to point out that a person can find a much more meaningful and gratifying way to live when one is mindful of the fact that each moment of life is an unspeakable, ineffable miracle.

It is my hope, and that of the entire cast and crew that "Rediscovering Ginny" will have a positive impact on numerous viewers.

What We Need

This is a low budget indy film, It will be entered into numerous film festivals and screened at whatever venues and organizations that may be appropriate.

Our goal is to raise $5000.00

This would cover:

  • Filming equipment and supplies
  • Location fees
  • Permits to film at public parks, beaches, schools, etc.
  • Transportation, reneed vehicles, fuel, etc.
  • Coffee, pizza, beverages, etc.
  • Wardrobe, make-up, props etc.
  • Entry fees
  • The occasional unexpected expense

What You Get

  • $1 - 5 A thankyou on our Facebook page
  • $10 - 24 A thank you post card & Facebook thank you.
  • $25 - 74 the above & a thank you in the credits.
  • $75 - 99 The above & a signed poster.
  • $100 & up The above plus named as an Executive Producer in the credits.

Please remember...

If you are unable to contribute but appreciate the intent of this film, mention it to your friends and acquanitences.

Thank You,

Vito Valenti


MARNmovies IV: Acting and Directing

posted May 26, 2013, 10:25 AM by MKE Short Film Fest

MARNmovies IV: Acting and Directing
Tuesday June 11th, 2013. 6PM Lubar Auditorium, MAM
Graham Killeen, director of both short films and theatrical productions, will present on the challenges and differences between making films and stage plays for actors and directors.

Graham is the director of the award-winning short film "Six Bullets" and a film critic for the Journal Sentinel.

We follow his presentation with screenings of local short films and demo reels. Bring yours on Blu-ray or DVD and share with our audience, then network with other filmmakers and actors.

$5 at the door, free for students.

More info

Proudly presented by MARN and Flipeleven Creative

MARNmovies III: Painting with Light

posted May 10, 2013, 6:55 AM by MKE Short Film Fest

Tuesday, May 14th 2013            6:00PM-9:00PM
Chris Marks, a gaffer with more than 15 years of experience on set, will talk about changes in the style, method, and technology of lighting for film and video. He has worked on countless shorts, commercials, and feature films in the lighting and electrical department.

We follow his presentation with screenings of local short films. Bring yours on Blu-ray or DVD and share with our audience!
$5 at the door, free for students.

Join us at the Milwaukee Art Museum to network with filmmakers, share ideas, and have a drink!

More info

Proudly presented by MARN and Flipeleven Creative

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