By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 31, 2011 at 5:01 AM

The 13th annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival is upon us, screening a range of short films from Milwaukee and beyond.

The two-day event takes place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5 at the Lubar Auditorium at Milwaukee Art Museum and brings 38 films that were selected from more than 250 entries from 25 countries.

Despite its name, the festival also screens four feature films this year, something it's been doing for a few years now.

"We have shown features in the past," says Ross Bigley, the festival director. "In 2008 we began doing that with the film, 'Realization,' a feature made up of shorts films that followed the same plot.
 
"We started this because through the Milwaukee Independent Film Society I get many request from local filmmakers asking for help in getting their films seen," adds Bigley, who says organizers are considering doing two festivals – one each for shorts and features.

"There aren't very many outlets for local filmmakers besides us. If they get a venue themselves they have to cover the rental costs, insurance and marketing, but through us we cover those expenses and we cut the door with the filmmaker. It makes their premiere their own special event without competing with 20 or so other films in festivals, plus they can begin recouping costs."

Friday's program begins at 5:15 p.m. and includes Milwaukee debuts of "Contra El Mar (Against The Sea)" by Richard Parkin, "WWRD?" by Glen Popple, "Who is ForestHeightster" by Brighton West, "14 Minutes" by Elise Plakke, "The Seven Year Wish" by Jenn Robers, "Heart <3" by Josh Flowers and "I Was A Parade" by Steven Levy.

There will also be an award presentation on Friday, more shorts and, at 9:15, the screening of local filmmaker Patrik Beck's feature-length "Broken Orbit."

There's an after party at Serum, 785 N. Jefferson St.

Saturday's events get underway at 1:15 p.m. with the screening of the feature-length "Afraid of Sunrise," followed by another feature, "The Bad Girl," which is currently in production here in Milwaukee, at 2:45 p.m.

A full slate of shorts follows at 4:30 p.m. and the juried films begin at 7 p.m.

The festival closes with the no-budget "The Amateur Monster Movie" by Kyle Richards. It's one of the most talked-about films in town these days.

Saturday's after party is at The Art Bar in Riverwest.

Admission to each session is $10. You can get full schedule and ticket details at the Milwaukee Independent Film Society website.

In the meantime, you can see a promotional spot here and here.

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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.