The 25th Wisconsin Film Festival is coming to Madison from April 13-20 to display cinema from around the world as well as local films, offering a combination of newer and older works that promote art and creativity.
The festival started in 1999 with the hopes of unearthing films for students and the surrounding community that might not have had the chance of being shown in the area.
On campus, films will be shown at Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall, the Chazen Museum of Art, the University of Wisconsin Cinematheque and Marquee at Union South. Hilldale Cinemas 1, 5 and 6 will be hosting films off campus.
Every current UW student just has to show their Wiscard to attend any of the festival’s 150 available screenings for free, according to the festival’s website. General admission is $12 for each film.
Here is a list of some of the most exciting showings.
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Thursday, April 13
“Luxembourg, Luxembourg” (2022) | 7:00 p.m. | Shannon Hall
April 13, the Wisconsin Film Festival kicks off with a showing of the comedy “Luxembourg, Luxembourg.” Released last fall, Ukrainian filmmaker Antonio Lukich’s second feature film follows twin brothers that live opposite lives. Vasya, a police officer and Kolya, a drug dealer, intend to find the father that abandoned them when they were children after hearing news that he is dying.
Friday, April 14
“The Connection” (1961) | 5:30 p.m. | Chazen Museum of Art
Often regarded as the first film using found footage, “The Connection” is directed by Shirley Clarke and finds a group of jazz musicians waiting for a heroin delivery. Winner of the Critic’s Prize at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, the film was censored and pulled from theaters in New York after only a couple of screenings due to its provocative subject matter and language. Following a legal battle, “The Connection” was put back into theaters and went on to achieve acclaim. Manohla Dargis, co-chief film critic of the New York Times, is scheduled to attend and discuss women and film following the screening.
“Next Door” (2022) | 8:30 p.m. | Shannon Hall
After a night of drinking, Chan-Woo, a student training to become a police officer, blacks out and wakes up in his next door neighbor’s apartment, forgetting everything about the night before. He also finds the corpse of a body in the middle of the room. The thriller-comedy is the directorial debut for South Korean filmmaker, Yeom-Ji Ho.
Secret Screening | 8:15 p.m. | Marquee at Union South
A secret screening is planned for the evening of April 14. The details have been kept hidden, but filmmakers are scheduled to attend.
Saturday, April 15
“Beyond Human Nature” (2023) | 4:00 p.m. | Marquee at Union South
Tom Monfils, a paper mill worker in Green Bay, Wisconsin, disappeared in 1992. A few days later, he was found murdered at the bottom of a paper pulp vat. This documentary directed by Wisconsin’s own, Michael Nelson, details the investigation of Monfils death in the hopes of bringing justice using personal accounts from people who lived through it.
“Showing Up” (2022) | 6:45 p.m. | Marquee at Union South
On the heels of critically acclaimed “First Cow,” Kelly Reichardt’s newest feature film follows an artist, played by Michelle Williams, with a fast-approaching and potentially career altering exhibition. This is the fourth film Williams and Reichardt have worked on together. The drama comedy focuses on the creation of art and the inspiration life has on it.
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Sunday, April 16
“Joyland” (2022) | 5 p.m. | Marquee at Union South
The first Pakistani film to ever premiere at Cannes, Saim Sadiq’s feature debut, “Joyland,” went on to win the Jury Prize and the Queer Palm prize for best LGBTQ themed movie at the festival.
Haider, the youngest son of a family living in patriarchy, joins an exotic dance group. He hides this from his wife and family as he begins to fall for Biba, a trans woman who is the group’s lead dancer. The film details repression and desire where each character is fighting to be themselves.
“Army of Darkness” (1992) | 6:30 p.m. | Chazen Museum of Art
Directed by Sam Raimi, “Army of Darkness” is the final installment of the Evil Dead trilogy. The horror-comedy series starring Bruce Campbell came from humble beginnings and grew into a multi-million-dollar franchise. The cult classic will be screened on 35 mm for its 30th anniversary.
The editor of the film and Academy Award winner, Bob Murawski is scheduled to attend a Q&A following the showing to discuss his career.
Monday, April 17
“I Like It Here” (2022) | 12:30 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 5
“I Like It Here” follows filmmaker Ralph Arlyck as he visits friends and family to talk about life and aging. Carrying a comedic while serious tone, Arlyck explores the joy of living and taking advantage of the time that remains.
The experienced filmmaker is scheduled to attend and hold a Q&A session following the film.
“The Beasts” (2022) | 8:00 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 6
Olga and Antoine, a well-off French couple living in a small village in Galicia, Spain butt heads with their neighbors over the economical impacts of a wind turbine project. Tensions rise as the locals begin to toy with their foreign counterparts leading to a severe tipping point.
The psychological thriller directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen won nine Goya Awards, Spain’s most prestigious trophy in film.
Tuesday, April 18
“Mother and Son” (2022) | 12:30 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 6
French filmmaker Léonor Serraille’s “Mother and Son” tells the story of Rose and her two sons, Jean and Ernest, moving from the Ivory Coast to a suburb in Paris in the late 1980s. The film takes place over 20 years and highlights their happiest moments as well as the adversity they face.
“Chop & Steele” (2022) | 6:15 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 6
This documentary stars Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, life-long friends and professional comedians. One of their more popular stunts involves Chop and Steel, a fake strongman duo. The pair would go on morning news shows, pranking unsuspecting hosts. Their antics would go viral, but one news station didn’t find the joke very funny and decided to sue them in federal court. The impending lawsuit puts their comedic integrity and friendship to the test.
Pickett and Prueher will be in attendance and hold a Q&A after the screening.
Wednesday, April 19
“The Trial” (1962) | 5:15 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 5
Directed by Orson Welles and starring Anthony Perkins (“Psycho”), “The Trial,” based on the novel by Franz Kafka, depicts the story of an office worker arrested and prosecuted without ever being made aware of the charges he is being accused of. A parody on the legal system and bureaucracy, the film is one of Welles’ most underrated pieces of work.
“Sick of Myself” (2022) | 8:15 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 1
“Sick of Myself” is a Norwegian comedy-drama film directed by Kristoffer Borgli that premiered at Cannes. It portrays Signe and Thomas, a couple that is constantly competing with each other. After Thomas begins gaining some success as an artist, Signe decides to one-up her boyfriend by going to extreme and self-destructive lengths in order to reclaim the spotlight.
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Thursday, April 20
“Sanctuary” (2022) | 6:15 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 1
“Sanctuary” stars Christopher Abbott, heir to a hotel chain, and his dominatrix, Margaret Qualley, as he attempts to end their relationship. Set in a single night in only one location, the psychological bouts Qualley and Abbott go through provide intense twists and turns. Drawing comparisons to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Zachary Wigon’s second feature film will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
“How to Blow up a Pipeline” (2022) | 8:15 p.m. | Hilldale Cinema 1
“Ocean’s Eleven” meets “A Man Escaped” in this crime-thriller directed by Daniel Goldhaber. “How to Blow up a Pipeline” details a group of young environmental activists plotting to disrupt an oil pipeline project. Praised for its cinematography, editing and score, the film has achieved acclaim from critics.
For a full schedule and description of all the films, check out the Wisconsin Film Festival Guide in the latest edition of the Isthmus.