No matter which movies you decided to see, the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival had a terrific year on the big screen – and, according to some newly announced numbers, it had an even better year off of it.
According to Milwaukee Film, 87,618 movie fans came out over the last two weeks to the festival's collection of films, panels, forums, education screenings, parties and more – a 12 percent increase on last year and an overall new attendance record for the event.
"In just 11 years, we’ve seen the Milwaukee Film Festival transform into the largest arts event in the city – and an event that people passionately support," said Cara Ogburn, festival director for Milwaukee Film, in a release. "We are thrilled with the numbers, but we’re just as thrilled with the level of authentic engagement our audience has throughout this festival. This is a true community event."
So why the impressive increase in attendance this year? Well, not having to compete for eyes with a deep Brewers playoff run certainly helped build off 2018's numbers, for one. The 2019 festival also featured more screens than in past years and a bigger footprint thanks to the additions of the Broadway Theatre Center in the Third Ward and the Rivoli Theatre in Cedarburg.
And then, perhaps most important of all, there were the 300-plus movies to choose from, with a diverse supply of topics, stories and storytellers with something for just about anyone. If there wasn't something you were interested in seeing among the Milwaukee Film Festival's lineup, you might just not be interested in things.
And thankfully, you can still watch many of those great movies. The Oriental Theatre, for instance, is screening several selections as a part of its Best of Fest programming – including daily showings of the Oscar hopeful "Parasite," the film festival's Audience Award winner "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am" on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the centerpiece pick "Chained for Life" beginning on Friday Oct. 8. Plus, many of the movies – including "Bleed Out," "The Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary," "Shadow" and more – are available to watch on streaming platforms or to rent on digital services.
It'll be the perfect way to tide you over until the Milwaukee Film Festival rolls around again next fall – and hopefully breaks this record yet again.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.