2012 Milwaukee Film Festival announces huge attendance increase, winner of Audience Award
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God takes top honors
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Since sifting through dull newspapers, hyperbolic blogs, and overflowing RSS feeds for meaningful news can be an arduous process, News Net catches and compiles both the amusing and the significant reports that were overlooked throughout the week.
• First, the bad news: After 15 days and 225 films, the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival has come to a close. Boo! Now, the good news: Festival officials have announced that this year’s installment was a rousing success, with a 40-percent increase in attendance (50,160 in 2012 vs. 35,700 in 2011) and a whopping 250-percent increase in sold-out screenings (77 in 2012 vs. 22 in 2011). Yay!
One of the many highlights of the fest was the U.S. première of Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s latest documentary, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God. The film explores the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent decades, and focuses on four students at St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin. The documentary was awarded the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Award for Best Feature Film. Past recipients of this MFF award include Waiting for “Superman” and Precious: Based On The Novel “Push” By Sapphire.
• Milwaukee’s own Faythe Levine was interviewed for the latest issue of The Believer. Levine’s current project is a book about American sign painters, which also happened to land on New York Magazine’s “Approval Matrix.”
• Journal Sentinel art critic Mary Louise Schumacher introduced the first installment of Art City Looks, in which local artists and culture enthusiasts discuss their favorite works of art in the permanent collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
• Schumacher also used a recent New York Times piece to pose a provocative question: Do we need professional critics? (Spoiler: Yes.)
• Milwaukee Magazine launched a new video series entitled Chef Talk, featuring local foodie stalwart Kyle Cherek.
• According to OnMilwaukee.com, arena football team the Milwaukee Mustangs will sit out the 2013 season. The Arena Football League has granted the team dormancy for the upcoming season, though the Mustangs are expected to return in 2014.
• Milwaukee Magazine revealed the name of the new restaurant that will take over the former Roots space: Wolf Peach. Again, that name: Wolf Peach.
• The Wisconsin Department of Tourism looked long and hard at the state’s many talented artists and filmmakers and once again decided that a Zucker brother was the best choice to direct a new tourism commercial. According to The Business Journal, Shorewood native Jerry Zucker (younger brother of David Zucker, who directed two Wisconsin tourism spots in the past) directed Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson in a commercial that will parody a “classic Hollywood film.” Happily, this is something Zucker knows plenty about.