Wisconsin Film Festival reels back into Madison
Alex De Young, Clarion Staff
April 10, 2012
Filed under Arts & Culture
Now that winter is finally behind us and the people of Madison’s spirits are warm, it would seem like a good time to see a new and engaging film, right? So instead of going to that boring old movie theater, check out the various hot spots for the Wisconsin Film Festival, because it’s right around the corner.
The Wisconsin Film Festival has quite a history. Founded in 1999, this five-day event is held every April throughout the greater downtown area. However, there are showings this year at Sundance. To date, this is the largest campus-based film festival in the United States, with an average audience of 32,000.
The festival begins on April 18 and runs until April 22. Tickets are on sale now and are priced at only $5 for students with a valid I.D., and for non-students the tickets are $8. You can purchase tickets either online (service fee included), by phone or at the official box office located on the second floor of the UW Memorial Union at 800 Langdon Street. If you’re unlucky and miss out on tickets for a sold out show, don’t sweat, the filmmakers are given extra tickets for friends and family, so if there are some no-shows you’re good as gold.
The first films are screened at 6:00 on April 18, and they will run throughout the weekend. The Orpheum, Monona Terrace, Chazen Art Museum, Union South, Sundance Cinemas, MMoCA, Voucher, UW Cinematheque and the Bartell Theatre will all host showings.
Students and film lovers alike will receive the pleasure in seeing student-made films, experimental new-age films, and even contenders for next year’s Oscars. Such films like “Kinyarwanda,” a film that was rumored to be in response to 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda;” this film takes an angle of a more direct, brutal, and realistic look at the genocide that occurred in Rwanda back in 1994. Roger Ebert (notable film reviewer) has been quoted stating that he was “shaken deeply” and that the film is “powerful.” You can catch this film on April 18 at 6:30 p.m., or on April 20 at 5:30 p.m. The venues hosting the film will be the Bartell Theatre and the Union South Marquee.
Katrina Simyab, a current student at Madison College, who has been volunteering for the film festival for the past two years and is continuing to do so with the 2012 festival, said that “there is a very small board of people that are actually employed by the festival.”
The jobs, which are strictly volunteer based, are of a wide variety. Various students and non-students can easily obtain such positions as ticket rippers and helping people locate their seats.
“Sponsorship and funding streams from the UW department of communications, whom get to pick the films and the theme of the festival. The festival is carried by the volunteers who believe in the festival,” Simyab said.
For students interested in signing up and volunteering for next year’s festival, check the official website (2012.wifilmfest.org) and look into the exciting opportunities the board always offers a couple months prior to the big event. Students and non-students alike can gain many interesting opportunities within the film world and even meet many of the directors, producers and actors that may influence such students in doing the same and creating the art form we know as film.