By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 18, 2009 at 10:10 AM

After dipping its toe into the local scene with a number of smaller-scale events, Milwaukee Film has announced the Milwaukee Film Festival, which takes place Sept. 24-Oct. 4.

"We're incredibly excited to be able to announce the Film Festival dates today," said Jonathan Jackson, Milwaukee Film artistic director, in a statement.

"We're confident that the new festival will be the best Milwaukee has seen and that it will be a Milwaukee institution for many years to come."

More than 100 films will screen at a number of local venues, including the Oriental and Marcus' North Shore Cinema. In addition to local films, the festival will present national and international works, many of which wouldn't otherwise be seen here.

Jackson attended the Berlin International Film Festival -- known as the Berlinale -- to stay up to date on the international scene and blogged about the trip last month on 

"Thousands of Milwaukeeans filled the seats at the film festival in years past, and this year our goal is to bring those guests back and to attract a diverse new audience," said Diane Bacha, who was named executive director of Milwaukee Film in October.

"The response we've gotten since forming the organization last year has been overwhelmingly positive, and we can't wait to present Milwaukee with this world-class festival come September. It's truly a privilege to be able to essentially bring the whole world to Milwaukee through film."

Since Milwaukee Film launched last summer, it has hosted a local short film competition and festival and screenings of films with local ties like "Handmade Nation" and "American Movie," which celebrated its 10th anniversary with an event in December.

The early deadline for film submissions is April 6. Entry fees start at $10, but the fees are waived for Milwaukee filmmakers. The festival will offer cash and production prizes to winners.

Tickets for individual screenings will cost $10, and there will be discounts for early purchases and for ticket packages, which go on sale in April.


Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.