MILWAUKEE – Sept. 24, 2019 – The powerful stories behind legendary music institutions will lead off and close the 11th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by Associated Bank. 


Milwaukee Film announced on Tuesday that the Festival will kick off with “I Want My MTV” as its Opening Night feature on Thursday, Oct. 17. The documentary dives into the early days of a 1980s experiment that became a cultural touchstone, as well as its impact on the music and media industries. 


A musical doc will also close out the show, with “The Apollo” serving as the Closing Night presentation on Thursday, Oct. 31. The film explores the full history of the legendary Harlem theater that has influenced music, culture and everyday life in the U.S. for generations. 


On Friday, Oct. 25, “Chained for Life” will be the Centerpiece feature. This award-winning festival darling is a film-within-a-film offers a funny and humane approach to highlighting Hollywood’s representation issues, pointing out how at times we casually dehumanize those different from us. 


Opening, Centerpiece and Closing Night films will all be presented in the main house of the Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee. Special guests affiliated with each film are expected to attend these screenings. 


“Our opening, centerpiece and closing films all look at the power of the arts to shape our lives,” said Cara Ogburn, Festival director for Milwaukee Film. “They all contribute to important conversations about who we are as a society – and how we make changes toward who we want to be. 


“The Milwaukee Film Festival is an outstanding platform for us all to share conversations and experiences sparked by the simple act of watching a film together. We’re thrilled to have so much support from partners around the region who make this Festival possible,” she added. 


“Associated Bank is proud to be the Bank of the Milwaukee Film Festival, which continues to enrich the community through the power of film,” said Christopher Piotrowski, chief marketing officer, Associated Bank. “With our Milwaukee Film debit card, 5 cents per transaction is donated back to Milwaukee Film, further supporting the vitality and vibrancy of our local economy.” 


The rich and expansive offerings of the Milwaukee Film Festival, covering more than 300 titles and 100 events in 15 days, are largely sustained by support from the Festival’s 134 corporate partners, foundations and individual sponsors. 


Tickets for all Milwaukee Film Festival screenings and events, including these titles and over 300 more, will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, Oct. 3. Milwaukee Film Members get an early opportunity to purchase tickets with discounted pricing, starting on Tuesday, Oct. 1. For more information on becoming a Milwaukee Film Member, fans can visit


From Sept. 30 through Oct. 4, Associated Bank will be partnering with Stone Creek Coffee to give away two complimentary Festival vouchers per day to the first 15 people who come into participating Stone Creek locations in the Milwaukee metro area. 


Films listed above may be ticketed at premium prices. Full Festival passes, as well as voucher packages that can be exchanged for tickets to non-premium screenings, are currently available at


The full Festival schedule is expected to be released on Thursday, Sept. 26. 

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