By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 10, 2022 at 1:01 PM

Next month is going to be every film-lover's dream. No, not because of you, "Morbius," sit down – but because the Milwaukee Film Festival will hit screens once again, with the return of in-person screenings, the return of a beloved neighborhood theater, the big-screen return of an iconic '80s horror movie and much more. 

Running April 21 through May 5, the festival revealed a first glimpse at its upcoming lineup of excellent movies this week, headlined by a 40th anniversary, 35mm screening of John Carpenter's iconic ice-cold horror classic "The Thing" – complete with a live episode of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee's Cinebuds podcast starring Kristopher Pollard and Justin Barney.

Other notable early selections include a special screening of Spike Lee's "American Utopia," capturing David Byrne's remarkable musical stage show; the rock doc festival darling "Charli XCX: Alone Together"; the John Boyega-led veteran drama "892"; the Filipino disaster movie "Whether the Weather is Fine"; the South African thriller "Good Madam"; the TIFF award winner "Costa Brava, Lebanon"; and the inspiring music documentary "For the Left Hand" about a one-handed piano viruoso. (Plus, for an extra little bonus, you may find one of the upcoming destinations on the "Memoria" website particularly interesting ... )

And that's just a small tease of the more than 200 movies coming to the two-week cinema extravaganza beginning next month. 

So where are you going to be able to see all of these movies? Just about everywhere.

For the first time since 2019, the Milwaukee Film Festival will return to hosting in-person screenings, uniting movie lovers both casual and crazed in front of the big screen once again. The festival's in-person presentations will take place across all three screens at the Oriental Theater as well as the Avalon in Bay View and the Times Cinema – the first time the Washington Heights neighborhood theater will be back in action since the start of the pandemic. However, for those who don't feel comfortable back in theaters – or just enjoy the freedom of watching at one's own time and pace – the 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival will also offer several of its selections on its virtual platform, accessible on laptops and at-home streaming devices. 

“We heard loud and clear that people appreciated the ease of the virtual offerings in 2020 and 2021, especially amidst many unknowns,” said Milwaukee Film artistic director Cara Ogburn, in a release. "This year’s hybrid festival offers options for an all-virtual experience – using our virtual-only pass – as well as in-cinema screenings of every program. My recommendation? Mix and match, using the all-access pass available for members or by bundling a virtual pass with some six-packs of in-cinema single tickets."

Festival passes and ticket packages are available now – at a discount, through March 11 – at Milwaukee Film's website, along with additional information on the festival's newly announced selections and 2022 plans. 

And for more information on the Milwaukee Film Festival – including the full slate of 2022 selections, screenings, events and more – stay tuned to OnMilwaukee.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

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.