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Wisconsin Film Festival | April 18-22 2012 | Madison
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Welcome to the 2012 Wisconsin Film Festival, presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute and the Department of Communication Arts!

The awards presented by the 2012 Festival are:

Steep & Brew Audience Award for Best Narrative Film

The Intouchables
dir: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
France | 2011 | 112 min

Steep & Brew Audience Award for Best Documentary Film

The Entertainers
dir: Michael Zimmer and Nick Holle
USA | 2012 | 91 min

Golden Badger Awards for Wisconsin Filmmaking

Into the Wake
dir: John Mossman
USA | 2012 | 78 min

I Have Always Been a Dreamer
dir: Sabine Gruffat
USA | 2012 | 78 min

Glue Man
dir: Joe Pickett
USA | 2012 | 7 min

Golden Badger Award for Wisconsin Student Filmmaking

dir: Corey Kupfer
USA | 2011 | 17 min

Attendance for the 2012 Festival was 28,553.

Dates of the next Wisconsin Film Festival will be anchored on the weekend of April 13–14, 2013.


Audience. Buzz. Cinema.This year’s international feature roundup includes special salutes to Iranian Cinema and films from the Quebec region of Canada. Other highlights include the local premieres of several films recently acclaimed on the festival circuit, including the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar; Terence Davies’s The Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz; the Russian thriller Elena; Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s epic police procedural Once Upon a Time in Anatolia; Johnnie To’s Life Without Principle; and the non-stop French action movie, Sleepless Night. Plus, the Midwest premiere of The Intouchables, France’s second-highest grossing production ever.

New American independent selections include the first local screenings of Craig Zobel’s controversial drama, Compliance, as well as Somebody Up There Likes Me from filmmaker Bob Byington, whose Harmony and Me was a hit of the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival.

International documentary selections include Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a cinematic feast for foodies; Khodorkovsky, a newsmaking portrait of the Russian capitalist and political prisoner; and Patience (After Sebald), an examination of W.J. Sebald’s novel, The Rings of Saturn. Plus, fresh from its Sundance Film Festival premiere, We’re Not Broke, which explores why U.S.-based multinational corporations frequently pay nothing or next-to-nothing in U.S. income taxes.

There are several exciting selections in Wisconsin’s Own, the Festival’s annual section of films made in our state or by natives of our state. This year’s lineup includes the world premiere of Frames, directed by Comm Arts graduate student Brandon Colvin; Last Day at Lambeau, a thorough examination of quarterback Brett Favre’s decision to leave the Green Bay Packers…and then return to pro football again; and former Comm Arts faculty member Sabine Gruffat’s thoughtful essay film, I Have Always Been a Dreamer. Plus, Filthy Theater: A Film About Joel Gersmann, which examines the life and work of the Madison playwright, director, and founder of the infamous Broom Street Theater.

The festival is rich in restorations and rediscoveries this year, including new 35mm prints of Milos Forman’s first American film, Taking Off; Went the Day Well? and It Always Rains on Sunday, two superb 1940s thrillers from Britain’s Ealing Studios that have been refurbished by Rialto Pictures; and Northern Lights, winner of the Camera D’or Prize at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival, which has been restored by the Academy Film Archive and which will be presented in person by its co-director and Bayfield, Wis. resident John Hanson.

Additionally, there will be several special events with in-person guests, including an evening with Oscar-nominated animator Don Hertzfeldt (Rejected; Billy’s Balloon); a salute to tap-dancing legends Harold and Fayard Nicholas hosted by noted film scholar, programmer, and distributor Bruce Goldstein; a special lecture by filmmaker, teacher, and Focus Features CEO James Schamus, co-presented by the UW Madison Center for the Humanities; and the first Wisconsin showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, a nearly shot-by-shot remake of Spielberg’s classic shot over a period of several years by Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, two teenage boys from Mississippi, during the 1980s. An inspiring and incredibly entertaining event, The Adaptation showing will be presented in person by Zala and Strompolos.

The main 2012 Wisconsin Film Festival programming team is Jim Healy, Mike King, Tom Yoshikami, and John Powers, all staff or graduate students in the UW Department of Communication Arts.

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