By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Apr 15, 2024 at 8:16 AM

This month marks a cinephile celebration, as the Milwaukee Film Festival officially revealed its lineup of movies coming to a big screen near you running now hrough April 25. And as always, it's an impressive and exciting slate, one that'll have you dancing like Kevin Bacon in "Footloose" or David Byrne in "Stop Making Sense" – and not just because those are both found on the schedule.

Indeed, the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival will host some significant cinematic returns, with the original "Footloose" kicking it once again on the big screen as well as the ultimate concert doc "Stop Making Sense" taking the stage once again after some time away from the fest. The Anvil Orchestra will also come back to Brew City for a special live score performance alongside the eye-popping silent film classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." And speaking of Hollywood's past, beloved figures like Gene Wilder and Lamb Chop will return to the spotlight as well with high-profile documentaries, the latter serving as the festival's opening night selection.

But the most outstanding return of all during the Milwaukee Film Festival? The Downer Theatre, which will awaken from its short hibernation and return to the festival fold for the first time since 2017, joining the Oriental Theatre, Avalon and Times Cinema in showing more than 300 films across two weeks of big screen bliss. 

While the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival welcomes a lot of familiar faces to its lineup, there's plenty of new and excitingly fresh selections to find too. That includes recent Oscar nominees like "Io Capitano" and the closing night pick "Robot Dreams," dramatic docs ranging in topic from the serious to the silly and surreal, cheer-worthy sports-centric selections, shriek-inducing slashers and horror films courtesy of Cinema Hooligante, engaging indies gathering buzz on the festival circuit ("Riddle of Fire," "Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World"), rock doc profiles of Cyndi Lauper and Joan Baez, and the latest masterworks from directors Frederick Wiseman, Hirokazu Kore-eda ("Shoplifters") and Ryusuke Hamaguchi ("Drive My Car").

And those are just a few of the outstanding cinematic options you can find find at this year's fest – because as always with the Milwaukee Film Festival, no matter your interests, big or small, you can find something worth seeking out. Really into humanist vampires seeking a consenting suicidal persons, for instance? Weird and oddly specific ... but conveniently enough, this year's lineup features the Hooligante pick "Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person." You'd rather watch houseplants grow? Welp, the film festival has you covered with "Light Needs," a documentary about houseplants and their obsessive human roommates. Indeed, if there's somehow nothing that excites you in the film festival lineup, it's you. Hi. You're the problem. It's you. 

For full descriptions of all the film selections, the entire festival program book and – most important of all – how to snag yourself passes and tickets to this year's cinema-palooza, head over to Milwaukee Film's website. But to help you start mapping out your 15 days of film excellence, surviving and subsisting on nothing but movies, popcorn, more movies, Dots and maybe a few more movies, here's the full day-by-day schedule for the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival happening right now. And we'll see you at the movies!

Day 5: Monday, April 15

Oriental Theatre - Main House

12:30 p.m. – "Bike Vessel"
3:15 p.m. – "All You Hear Is Noise"
6 p.m. – "The Milwaukee Show II"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

12 p.m. – "Thelma"
1 p.m. – "Ama Gloria"
2:30 p.m. – "String Theory: The Richard Davis Method"
4 p.m. – "Without Arrows"
5 p.m. – "Banel & Adama"
7 p.m. – "Richland"
7:30 p.m. – Almamula"

Downer Theater

12 p.m. – "In Ukraine"
1 p.m. – "Close Your Eyes"
2:30 p.m. – "If Only I Could Hibernate"
4:45 p.m. – "Story & Pictures By"
5:30 p.m. – "The Settlers"
7 p.m. – "The Beast"
8 p.m. – "Sira"

Avalon

1 p.m. – "Joan Baez: I Am a Noise"
4 p.m. – "A Ravaging Wind"
6:30 p.m. – "Bye Bye Tiberias"
9:15 p.m. – "Booger"

Times Cinema

1 p.m. – "An Army of Women"
3:15 p.m. – "The First Class"
6:15 p.m. – "Shorts: Grab Bag 2024"
9 p.m. – "I'm Your Host"

Day 6: Tuesday, April 16

Oriental Theatre - Main House

12:30 p.m. – "Remembering Gene Wilder"
3 p.m. – "Hajjan"
6 p.m. – "Ghostlight"
9:45 p.m. – "Sleep"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

12 p.m. – "Green Border"
1 p.m. – "Unsyncable"
3:30 p.m. – "Young. Wild. Free."
4 p.m. – "Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling"
6:30 p.m. – "Who Can See Forever"
9:15 p.m. – "Toll"

Downer Theater

1 p.m. – "All We Carry"
2:45 p.m. – "The Girls Are Alright"
3:45 p.m. – "20,000 Species of Bees"
5:15 p.m. – "Gasoline Rainbow"
6:45 p.m. – "Summer Qamp"
8 p.m. – "Monster"
9 p.m. – "Shorts: The Best Damn F*#@ing Midnight Program Ever. Shit."

Avalon

1 p.m. – "Diane Warren: Relentless"
3:30 p.m. – "The Settlers"
6 p.m. – "Wherever You Are, There You Go"
8:30 p.m. – "Concrete Utopia"

Times Cinema

2 p.m. – "Black Lens Shorts: Encounters"
5 p.m. – "Copa '71"
7:30 p.m. – "Bike Vessel"

Day 7: Wednesday, April 17

Oriental Theatre - Main House

1 p.m. – "Copa '71"
4 p.m. – Super Secret Members-Only Screening
7 p.m. – Super Secret Members-Only Screening
10 p.m. – "In a Violent Nature"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

12:30 p.m. – "Shorts: Grab Bag 2024"
2 p.m. – "The Taste of Things"
3:30 p.m. – "Toll"
6 p.m. – "Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World"
6:30 p.m. – "The Herricanes"
9 p.m. – "Lousy Carter"

Downer Theater

1 p.m. – "Summer Qamp"
1:45 p.m. – "Good One"
3:15 p.m. – "Ghostlight"
4:15 p.m. – "Cine Sin Fronteras Shorts"
6:30 p.m. – "Swamp Dogg Gets His Pool Painted"
7:15 p.m. – "Mountains"
9 p.m. – "Almamula"
10 p.m. – "Terrestrial Verses"

Avalon

1:30 p.m. – "The Tundra Within Me"
4:15 p.m. – "We Dare to Dream"
7 p.m. – "The First Class"
10 p.m. – "Shorts: The Best Damn F*#@ing Midnight Program Ever. Shit."

Times Cinema

1 p.m. – "Louder Than You Think"
3:30 p.m. – "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt"
6:30 p.m. – "How to Have Sex"

Day 8: Thursday, April 18

Oriental Theatre - Main House

5:30 p.m. – "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
8 p.m. – "Angels of Dirt"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

1:15 p.m. – "Green Border"
2:30 p.m. – "Prison in the Andes"
4:45 p.m. – "Garland Jeffreys: The King of In Between"
6:30 p.m. – "The Milwaukee Picture Show: Visual Arts Near and Far"
7 p.m. – "Thelma"
9 p.m. – "The Beast"

Downer Theater

1 p.m. – "20,000 Species of Bees"
1:45 p.m. – "Shorts: Out of This World"
4 p.m. – "Your Fat Friend"
4:45 p.m. – "Songs From the Hole"
6:30 p.m. – "Lady Like"
7:30 p.m. – "Story & Pictures By"
9:30 p.m. – "Concrete Utopia"
10:15 p.m. – "Endless Calls for Fame"

Avalon

1 p.m. – "Mamber Pierrette"
3:30 p.m. – "Another Body"
6 p.m. – "Cat City"
9 p.m. – "The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed"

Times Cinema

3:30 p.m. – "The Settlers"
6 p.m. – "Smoking Tigers"
8:45 p.m. – "The Sweet East"

Day 9: Friday, April 19

Oriental Theatre - Main House

12 p.m. – "Blaga's Lessons"
3 p.m. – "Every Little Thing"
6 p.m. – "The Queen of My Dreams"
9:15 p.m. – "100 Yards"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

12:30 p.m. – "Sujo"
1:30 p.m. – "Story & Pictures By"
3:30 p.m. – "La Chimera"
4:30 p.m. – "The World According to Allee Willis"
6:45 p.m. – "Io Capitano"
7:15 p.m. – "Breaking the News"
9:45 p.m. – "Booger"
10:15 p.m. – "Pretty Ugly: The Story of the Lunachicks"

Downer Theater

1 p.m. – "Desire Lines"
1:45 p.m. – "Shorts: Sports Shorts"
3:15 p.m. – "Inshallah A Boy"
4:30 p.m. – "The Taste of Things"
6 p.m. – "Teen Screen Shorts: Roots and Upbringings"
8 p.m. – "Sweet Dreams"
8:45 p.m. – "Handling the Undead"

Avalon

12:45 p.m. – "Black Lens Shorts: Encounters"
3:30 p.m. – "An Army of Women"
6 p.m. – "Lady Like"
9 p.m. – "Late Night with the Devil"

Times Cinema

1 p.m. – "Tokyo Cowboy"
4 p.m. – "We Dare to Dream"
6:45 p.m. – "Monster"
9:45 p.m. – "Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person"

Day 10: Saturday, April 20

Oriental Theatre - Main House

11 a.m. – "The Milwaukee Youth Show"
1:30 p.m. – "The First Class"
5 p.m. – "Teen Screen Shorts: Roots and Upbringings"
9 p.m. – "Stop Making Sense"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

10 a.m. – "Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds"
10:30 a.m. – "Mambar Pierrette"
12:15 p.m. – "Tracing the Divide"
1 p.m. – "Who Can See Forever"
3 p.m. – "Decoupling"
3:30 p.m. – "GenreQueer Shorts"
6 p.m. – "String Theory: The Richard Davis Method"
6:30 p.m. – "Hajjan"
8:30 p.m. – "Cine Sin Fronteras Shorts"
9:30 p.m. – "How to Have Sex"
11 p.m. – "In a Violent Nature"

Downer Theater

10:30 a.m. – "Kids Shorts: Size Large"
11:15 a.m. – "Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction"
12:45 p.m. – "An Army of Women"
1:30 p.m. – "Prison in the Andes"
3:15 p.m. – "Green Border"
4:15 p.m. – "Mountains"
6:30 p.m. – "Garland Jeffreys: The King of In Between"
7:15 p.m. – "Wherever You Are, There You Go"
9 p.m. – "Booger"
10 p.m. – "Young. Wild. Free."

Avalon

11 a.m. – "Ashima"
1:30 p.m. – "Kids Shorts: Size Medium"
3:30 p.m. – "Inshallah a Boy"
6:30 p.m. – "The Girls Are Alright"
9 p.m. – "Shorts: Let's Get Animated"

Times Cinema

11:30 a.m. – "Angels of Dirt"
2:15 p.m. – "Gasoline Rainbow"
5 p.m. – "Force of Nature: The Dry 2"
8 p.m. – "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt"
10:30 p.m. – "Sleep"

Day 11: Sunday, April 21

Oriental Theatre - Main House

10:30 a.m. – "Shorts: Stories We Tell"
1 p.m. – "Riddle of Fire"
3:45 p.m. – "Let the Canary Sing"
6:30 p.m. – "The Milwaukee Music Video Show"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

10 a.m. – "Rosa and the Stone Troll"
11 a.m. – "A Boston (R)Evolution"
12:15 p.m. – "Good One"
1:45 p.m. – "Songs From the Hole"
2:45 p.m. – "Banel & Adama"
4:45 p.m. – "Light Needs"
5:15 p.m. – "Diane Warren: Relentless"
7:15 p.m. – "Chasing Chasing Amy"
7:45 p.m. – "Corridor"

Downer Theater

10 a.m. – "Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds"
10:30 a.m. – "Kids Shorts: Size Small"
12:15 p.m. – "The Queen of My Dreams"
1 p.m. – "All I've Got & Then Some"
3:15 p.m. – "Cat City"
4 p.m. – "Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World"
5:45 p.m. – "Black Lens Shorts: Encounters"
7:45 p.m. – "Dig! XX"
8:30 p.m. – "Wherever You Are, There You Go"

Avalon

10 a.m. – "Confessions of a Good Samaritan"
12:45 p.m. – "Dounia & The Princess of Aleppo"
3 p.m. – "The Movie Teller"
6 p.m. – "The Tundra Within Me"
8:30 p.m. – "I'm Your Host"

Times Cinema

10:30 a.m. – "One Way Ticket: The Story of Greg Lutzka"
1:30 p.m. – "Joan Baez: I Am a Noise"
4:15 p.m. – "Without Arrows"
6:45 p.m. – "Decoupling"
9:15 p.m. – "Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction"

Day 12: Monday, April 22

Oriental Theatre - Main House

1:30 p.m. – "Black Girls"
4 p.m. – "Tokyo Cowboy"
7 p.m. – "Riddle of Fire"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

1 p.m. – "The World According to Allee Willis"
2 p.m. – "Monster"
3:30 p.m. – "Without Arrows"
5 p.m. – "Evil Does Not Exist"
6 p.m. – "Louder Than You Think"
8 p.m. – "Young. Wild. Free."
8:30 p.m. – "Shorts: Surprise, Surprise!"

Downer Theater

1:30 p.m. – "The Girls Are Alright"
2:15 p.m. – "Richland"
4 p.m. – "All the Colours of the World Are Between Black And White"
5 p.m. – "Seeking Mavis Beacon"
7 p.m. – "Every Little Thing"
8 p.m. – "Shorts: Out of This World"

Avalon

12:30 p.m. – "The Arc of Oblivion"
3:15 p.m. – "Tracing the Divide"
6 p.m. – "Corridor"
9 p.m. – "Chasing Chasing Amy"

Times Cinema

1 p.m. – "Songs From the Hole"
4 p.m. – "Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction"
6:15 p.m. – "All I've Got & Then Some"
8:30 p.m. – "Shorts: Date Night"

Day 13: Tuesday, April 23

Oriental Theatre - Main House

4 p.m. – "Io Capitano"
7 p.m. – "We Grown Now"
9:30 p.m. – "100 Yards"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

1 p.m. – "All You Hear is Noise"
2 p.m. – "Shorts: Stories We Tell"
3:30 p.m. – "Slow"
4:30 p.m. – "The Arc of Oblivion"
6:15 p.m. – "Big Boys"
7:30 p.m. – "Joan Baez: I Am a Noise"
8:45 p.m. – "Sira"

Downer Theater

12:15 p.m. – "Close Your Eyes"
1 p.m. – "The Movie Teller"
4 p.m. – "Naked Ambition"
4:45 p.m. – "A Ravaging Wind"
6:15 p.m. – "Hajjan"
7:15 p.m. – "Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World"
9:15 p.m. – "The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed"

Avalon

1 p.m. – "Confessions of a Good Samaritan"
3:45 p.m. – "Totem"
6:15 p.m. – "How to Have Sex"
8:45 p.m. – "Concrete Utopia"

Times Cinema

12:30 p.m. – "Four Daughters"
3:15 p.m. – "In Ukraine"
5:45 p.m. – "Black Girls"
8:30 p.m. – "Light Needs"

Day 14: Wednesday, April 24

Oriental Theatre - Main House

2:30 p.m. – "Tracing the Divide"
6:30 p.m. – "Shorts: Date Night"
9:15 p.m. – "Late Night with the Devil"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

12:30 p.m. – "All I've Got & Then Some"
1 p.m. – "GenreQueer Shorts"
3 p.m. – "Sujo"
3:45 p.m. – "Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry"
6 p.m. – "The Movie Teller"
7:15 p.m. – "Endless Calls for Fame"
8:45 p.m. – "Another Body"

Downer Theater

12:45 p.m. – "Bye Bye Tiberias"
1:30 p.m. – "Smoking Tigers"
3:15 p.m. – All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White"
4 p.m. – "Impossible Town"
6 p.m. – "Totem"
6:45 p.m. – "Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling"
8:30 p.m. – "Terrestrial Verses"
9:15 p.m. – "I'm Your Host"

Avalon

3:30 p.m. – "Out of the Picture"
6:30 p.m. – "Your Fat Friend"
9 p.m. – "Desire Lines"

Times Cinema

1 p.m. – "Banal & Adama"
3:30 p.m. – "Cat City"
6:30 p.m. – "Ashima"
9 p.m. – "Gasoline Rainbow"

Day 15: Thursday, April 25

Oriental Theatre - Main House

2 p.m. – "Chasing Chasing Amy"
4:30 p.m. – "Io Capitano"
7:30 p.m. – "Robot Dreams"

Oriental Theatre - Side Houses

12:30 p.m. – "Big Boys"
1 p.m. – "Who Can See Forever"
3 p.m. – "Swan Song"
4 p.m. – "Light Needs"
6 p.m. – "Ghostlight"
6:30 p.m. – "Four Daughters"

Downer Theater

1 p.m. – "Shorts: Surprise, Surprise!"
2:45 p.m. – "Breaking the News"
3:30 p.m. – "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt"
5:45 p.m. – "The Arc of Oblivion"
6:30 p.m. – "Naked Ambition"

Avalon

1 p.m. – "The Herricanes"
3:30 p.m. – "Your Fat Friend"
6 p.m. – "Let the Canary Sing"

Times Cinema

1 p.m. – "The Body Politic"
3:30 p.m. – "Black Girls"
6 p.m. – "Evil Does Not Exist"

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.